Start running safely, how do you do that?
For the online 'Feeling Good Well-Being Days', organized by the Leiden University faculty FGGA, former top athlete and interim head of the University Sports Centre Lonneke Derriks explains how you can best start with running in a safe way. You can find her useful tips in the article below.
Running is becoming more and more popular, especially in corona time. This is logical, because there were no group lessons in the gym for weeks and your football competition hasn't been running for months. Still, we have to move in order to stay in shape a bit. How do you do that? Just' start running, increases the chance of injuries Lonneke Derriks, former elite athlete and interim head of the University Sports Centre, explains how you can best tackle this.
Don't just put your shoes on and go. You need a build-up schedule. You can find good schedules on the internet', says Lonneke, who was an athlete herself at a high level of 800 metres. You have to start really quietly. Your body needs time to recover. Maybe the schedules seem too simple or below your level, keep to it'.
Listen to your body
Once you have started, Lonneke's most important advice is: listen to your body. It's better to do a little less and take longer to reach your goal than to do too much too fast and overburden yourself with it. That's what causes the most injuries. With underburdening you don't move forward quickly, but with overburdening you don't move forward at all'. If you get a pain, don't continue but take a rest, Lonneke advises. You can make things worse if you keep walking. It doesn't matter that you are then lagging behind in your build-up. Training too hard is easier than good training. Especially for fanatical students, this can be a pitfall'.
Set a goal
Now that the former elite athlete no longer competes, it is quite difficult for her to find the right incentives. I'm running without a goal anyway. I was supposed to run the half marathon in Leiden, but it has now been postponed by corona. I am now focussing on spring, I hope there will be another match. Whatever goal you want to pursue, at least make sure you have a goal. You need an incentive to keep it going. That can be: feeling fitter, getting stronger, losing a few kilos. Or that you want to run twice a week with a roommate. That is also a goal. My goal now is to be ready in the spring for when the half marathon in Leiden will be on the programme again.
Old tennis shoes, kicked off trainers. As a lockdown runner you might be inclined to just put something on when you start. Good shoes are definitely worth investing in. When you run, you constantly make the same movement. It's repetition to repetition. That's why the strain on your muscles and joints is so great. Good footwear can partly compensate for this. Another piece of advice is to make your body stronger by doing strength training as well. Your body can then better absorb the same walking movement and protect you better against injuries'.
Interested in more usefil tips, article and online events from the FGGA Well-Being Days? Check them out here per day (November 23-26). For instance, you can also participate in an online HIIT class of our USC teacher Esther or a soundbath meditation class of our teacher Aurora!