Want To Start Running? 5 Tips to Get You On Your Way

As the temperatures begin to drop and the heat of summer seems to be behind us, the number of people participating in outdoor activities is on the rise.  The same is true for distance running events.  It seems that there is an event almost every weekend from now until the Crescent City Classic.  If you are already a runner this is an exciting time of year.  For those of you who have never been a runner, but would love to start, there is no time like the present.

It can be intimidating to start a new activity, and running is no exception. The advantage running has over other forms of exercise is that it is a great cardio vascular activity and can be done almost anywhere with minimal investment.  The following is a list of things you should know and resources to help you get started.

  1. Footwear:  A key ingredient to running success is a good pair of shoes.  The right shoes can be a very important component in the prevention of injury.  I recommend buying your shoes from an establishment that deals with runners specifically.  There are several reputable retailers in the Metairie and New Orleans area that can help you find the shoes that are best designed to accommodate your individual needs.  A couple of my favorites are Varsity Sports and Louisiana Running Company.
  2. Have a plan:  You have heard of the terrible twos?  In the running world it is the terrible toos, referring to too much, too soon, and too often. If you have an established plan for your run / workout you are less likely to fall victim to this.  You can find a great example of a training schedule for the novice runner here.
  3. Warm-up:  Before beginning any exercise activity proper warm up is imperative.  When preparing for a run, I recommend a more dynamic-type warm-up to static stretching.
  4. Cool Down: Cooling down and stretching after your run is as important as your warm-up, so be sure not to skimp on this.  This is when you are more likely to benefit from static stretching.  The muscle groups that tend to become the most tight with running are the gastrocnemius/soleus complex (the calves), the quadriceps, hip flexors and ITbands.  You can find suggestions for stretching these and other muscle groups here.
  5. Listen to your body: Running is such an exhilarating form of exercise, it can be hard to stop once you get started.  So be careful not to ignore the possible signs of injury.  Pain that you feel during activity and pain that lingers after you have stopped that activity are indications that you may be in the beginning stages of injury.  Give your body a break at this point.  If after a few days of rest you are able to return to running pain free, gradually resume your prior running schedule.  If the pain lingers and begins to affect you in your everyday activities it is appropriate to seek medical intervention.

The staff at Baudry Therapy Center is always available to schedule a running consultation or to offer assistance with any other health or fitness questions you may have, just give us a call.  Cheers to happy and healthy running this upcoming season!

Taryn Cohn MSPT, COMT

Photo: Steve-h

Susan B. Komen – Race For The Cure

As we watched the NFL games this past Sunday, we were reminded by the players’ pink gloves, armbands and shoes, that October is Breast Cancer Awareness Month.  In New Orleans, the annual Susan G. Komen Race for the Cure will be held on October 22 in City Park.  The Race for the Cure is an amazing opportunity to come out enjoy the weather and help raise money for a good cause.

The first Race for the Cure I participated in was in Indianapolis, in memoriam of Mary Kathleen Boyle, the woman who would have been my mother-in-law.  I was engaged at the time, and extremely saddened by the story my future-husband would tell of the woman who lost her more than 20-year battle with breast cancer five years prior to our meeting.  I ran the race with my best friend, among thousands of other Hoosiers decked out in various shades of pink.  Several things were remarkable about that day.  It was April in Indiana, the sun was shining, and the temperatures were in the 70’s (rare for that time of year).  People of all shapes and sizes came out for the event- generations of families, parents pushing strollers, groups of women walking arm in arm.  Many participants had photos and names of friends and family members for whom they were walking or running in honor.   What was the most impactful about that day was the participation of the survivors.  Some survivors had been cancer-free for more than 20 years, while others were still actively in treatment.  Although not all would be able to complete the 5K course, their presence was a nonverbal testament to their strength and courage.

Since that first race, I have tried to make my participation an annual event, each time with renewed inspiration and awe of those fighting this battle.  This year, Baudry Therapy Center will be running as a team.  We would love to have as many participants as possible. Click here to join our team!

What has been your experience with this event?  Please post some of your favorite memories in our comments section.

Taryn Cohn MSPT, COMT

Photo: WildChild1976