18 Sep Changing Your Running Surfaces
Running is often an easy form of exercise to fit into a busy life but running properly is quite the skill.
From the moment we are born, we are learning all the time. Children learn how to crawl, stand, walk and eventually run. As we get older we learn different techniques on how to run faster and how to adapt to running on different surfaces.
Why is this important?
As you run, the body goes through dramatic changes beginning with landing on one foot, loading up, and then propelling forward all in a short period of time before the action happens again on the other foot. During this time, there are some main muscles that will help propel you forward like your gastrocnemius and soleus (calf muscles) that are designed to push your foot into the ground quicker like a spring. There are also smaller stabilising muscles and ligaments that will hold your ankle in place such as the Tibialis Posterior, the tibialis anterior and the Flexor Hallucis Longus Tendon.
The reason why it’s important to change what you run on is because the body can adapt to only running efficiently on a specific surface. Changing the surfaces challenges your muscles in different ways and can completely change how you feel after a workout. It allows you to use all of your leg muscles instead of only working the same ones. By running on softer surfaces such as grass, there is significantly less impact on your body and allows for better performance and less recovery time.
It is important to remember that when we change routines and our body is not used to it we need to be more cautious as that is when injury, such as a twisted ankle, is more likely to happen. This is because your body is unsure on how to react to an unstable surface so it is always best to start with a walk. This allows the muscles to learn from this new environment and the ligaments can strengthen to avoid any slip. Try taking a slower jog on the grass or at the beach and take the time to notice how you may need to work harder to maintain a comfortable speed without slipping.
Most importantly get out there and have some fun. Trying new things develops the body and broadens the mind and you may even find out you enjoy running a new track.
If your finding running a bit of a struggle or something in the ankle doesn’t seem right then feel free to come in and see one of our awesome team and we would be happy to have a chat and figure out a plan that can help you reach your goal.