With gyms and other fitness facilities closed, many are staying fit by going out for a run – even if they weren’t regular runners before. You want to be safe so you don’t get hurt – especially considering non-emergency medical care is not a option. So West Seattle Runner (WSB sponsor) offered to write up some advice on safe running:
We see lots of runners out on the streets, tracks, and trails of West Seattle these days. We have heard many say that they are taking up running since they don’t have access to their typical workout routine at this time. We hope that you will enjoy running as much as we do! We also thought it might be helpful to share a few tips on how to get started running in a way that will reduce injury, increase enjoyment and keep you running for years to come. Our best tip is to start conservatively and gradually build. Here’s how:
1) Begin by setting out for a walk/run workout. If you have never run before (or it has been a long time) but you are consistently doing walks of 30 minutes now, you can start to add in two-minute intervals of running followed by walking for an interval of time that allows your heart rate to restore to normal. Then you can add in another two minutes of running. Continue to do this until you are soon running your entire 30 minutes. *If you have been walking for 20 minutes, you can use the same protocol, just start with a 20 minute segment. If you have not been doing any aerobic activity, start with building your endurance with 20-30-minute walks and then work into the protocol described earlier.
2) If you are already able to run for 30 minutes, you can gradually add to your time every other day. You can choose to run by time or miles. But the general rule of thumb is that you don’t increase your overall volume by more than 10 percent each week.
3) We don’t recommend that you run every day. Your body does need time to recover. At first, it might be best to go every other day and allow yourself to determine how you are adjusting to the new activity.
4) Be able to hold a conversation while running. While this is going to be more of a solo sport for right now due to COVID-19, a “conversational pace” is still a great way to gauge if your pacing is right. If you are gasping for air and unable to talk, you are simply running too fast and you need to slow down. That will sometimes mean slowing to a walk. That is okay, you won’t have to do that for long. Going at a conversational pace allows you to build your aerobic base, makes for a more enjoyable experience and reduces the risk of injury.
5) Join a community where you feel supported, connected, and get your questions answered. Join our West Seattle Runner Group Page on Facebook where we’ll do FB live kickoffs to virtual group runs each Wednesday night. Our runners are also posting pictures and reports on how their runs are going. They are an encouraging group and love to answer questions and share tips.
6) Enlisting the help of a running coach can be helpful to get a program that is tailored to your specific needs. P3|Running offers coaching that can all be done virtually via online calendars, phone calls, video chatting etc.
7) Have fun! We are in love with this sport for a reason and we hope it gives to you the way it gives to us at this time. It is our bias that running is good for physical and mental health.
The West Seattle Runner Team
WSR is West Seattle’s only running store. They’re also still open, with “safe shopping” measures in place, as shown here – 2749 California SW.