Signed up for a 5K?! We have some tips for you!
Late summer and autumn is a great time to run a 5K for healthy fun, to aide in training for a longer race or for a fundraiser. Here are a few PT tips to make to make your 5K a success:
Do dynamic stretches before you run to help activate or turn on your running muscles. Running is a very dynamic activity and a long stretch ( static) may shut down or turn your muscles off. Dynamic stretching will get your blood flowing, muscles loosened up and alert your brain that you are about to run a race. Save the long hold stretching for after the race.
Turn your butt (gluteal) muscles ON with exercises to prepare them to run. Endurance is important for running a 5K and if your gluteal muscles are not trained for endurance, they will fatigue and may put stress on your hips, knees and feet.
Turn your core muscles ON to protect your back and help you run faster. A strong core promotes proper low back alignment, hip control and prevents fatigue.
If you want specific individualized exercises on how to turn on your butt muscles and core, please reach out! PT’s are very good at teaching gluteal and core exercises to address your running form.
Hydrate with water or an electrolyte drink to help supply cells with oxygen and nutrients for your run & regulate your internal body temperature.
Individualized footwear is important, it promotes proper body alignment, comfort & injury prevention. We all have unique feet so get a sneaker fitting at a local running store.
Pace yourself! Conserve your energy to complete the race successfully, avoid running the first half of the 5K too fast. Monitor your pace and heart race to avoid the initial adrenaline rush in the beginning of the race.
Consider getting a running assessment from a PT. We can provide you with useful information on your running form, muscle endurance and footwear to maximize your performance. New York State has direct access for PT, so you can come in for an assessment without having to see your doctor first.
1. Lobby, M. (2011, January 14). Run Stronger, Run Longer: How Strength Training Benefits Runners. Retrieved from: http://www.runnersworld.com/race-training/run-stronger-run-longer-how-strength-training-benefits-runners?page=single
2. The running athlete: stress fractures, osteitis pubis, and snapping hips. (2014, March 6) Retrieved from: http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/24587861