Dr. Mark J Mendeszoon

Dr. Mark J Mendeszoon

Friday, December 11, 2015

Winter Running

Although we have been lucky in Northeast Ohio with the weather, winter will be upon us in no time. Many people take to running indoors on a treadmill and some people still enjoy running outside in the elements .

Running on a treadmill does take time to get used to. It is recommended that once you learn how to run on a treadmill , the following steps or recommended to prevent injury and illness. As many people use the treadmill and a public gym or venue the first important step is to always wipe down the machine especially the display unit with a cleaning agent. This should be done before and after your run as this will reduce the amount of bacteria and viruses that can be placed on your hands and eventually your body.  It is also important to make sure that the belt is running smoothly and does not catch as this can cause tremendous damage once up and running.  Also, inspect that the incline works smoothly and is not jerky which can also cause injuries running at a normal pace.

Most people tend to run more quickly on a treadmill due to the fact  that the running belt is on a continuous motion and there are less ground react to force us to overcome such as running outside.  Running inside also negates headwind and thus it is recommended to keep the incline at at least 1.5°. This will simulate minor headwind such as running outside but more importantly, prevent injuries of the foot and ankle by reducing foot slap when the incline is at 0°. When running outside, it is important that your shoelaces a double tied for if they come loose on the treadmill they can get caught in the belt and cause severe injury.  Treadmill running can be monotonous and  less enjoyable than running outside and therefore some people watch TV or  listen to music.  If this is the case, it is important that you still remain aware of your surroundings and a function of the machine.  Those coming back from injury may benefit from running initially on a treadmill as it impact is less due to their softer surfaces.

Running outside in the winter time can be a very enjoyable experience but also more difficult for a runner.  Regardless of the cold temperatures it is very important to still keep hydrated before, during and after your runs. By keeping properly hydrated will regulate your body temperature and reduce the chances of frostbite.   The general rule of thumb of staying hydrated is to drink as much water and noncarbonated reduced sugar drinks so that your urine remains clear . During your runs it is very important to keep a water bottle handy so that you can remain hydrated in the adverse conditions.
 Other ways of preventing frostbite is to reduce the amount of exposed skin while running outside. The technology in  winter running clothing is incredible and the days of running and multiple layers is gone.  Due to the fact that over 60% of your bodies heat is released from the head and neck it is important to keep these body parts covered.  Also utilizing proper gloves, mittens and socks can reduce the fingers and toes from being exposed to the winter elements.

Running in the wintertime also poses problems as the ground can remain slick or icy.  As a person loses traction with running it can cause increased stress on the lower extremity causing for more muscle  and tendon aches and pains.  A recommendation to counter this is to use an appropriate trail shoe or a  type of "shoe tracks". These will allow for better grip in the slippery conditions and can prevent slipping and falling which can cause for bad sprains, strains and fractures.

Our professionally trained staff at Achilles Running Shop  can educate you and place you into the proper equipment to have a safe winter running season.  We would like to wish everyone a happy holiday season and happy new year for 2016.  We also would like to invite all of you to our inaugural Achilles Running Shop Winter Track Carnival on  January 8, 2016 at Spire Institute in Geneva, Ohio.  This will be a family event for all age groups who enjoy running. Come and enjoy the opportunity to run on one of the worlds best indoor track facilities. Hope to see you all then. Please check out our website for more information.

No comments:

Post a Comment