We are very close to turning the calendar over to 2018, and this means many of you are making the wise decision to be more active in the new year. That is an absolutely outstanding choice and we are here to help and support you with your health goals.
A very popular resolution in this regard is to start running. As the top podiatric practice in the greater Sacramento area, we happen to know a thing or two about running and are glad to share!
Now, no matter your ultimate running goals—some want to run marathons, others are simply looking to burn more calories—something you may want to consider with your new running program is to participate in 5k races. (Don’t let the term “race” scare you off – it is perfectly acceptable to run these races solely for enjoyment.)
These particular races are great because A) there are so many of them during the year, B) 5k (3.1 miles) is a good distance for beginners and pros alike, and C) they often use any proceeds to benefit worthy causes.
We have a fantastic resource for runners here in Sacramento – Fleet Feet Sports. Fleet Feet is certainly an outstanding option for finding the best pair of running shoes for your unique feet, but they also maintain a calendar of local races throughout the year. At present, the calendar for 2018 is updated all the way through August. (Their team will be sure to add later races as information becomes available throughout the year.)
According to Fleet Feet, there are 17 different 5k races planning in our local community so far (and we’ve found a couple more through other sources as well). These various races all constitute an opportunity to improve your fitness, along with being—as noted—opportunities to contribute to various charitable organizations.
For example, the Run for a Cure 5k/10k on January 6 raises funds used to work on developing a cure for ALS (aka, Lou Gehrig’s disease) and the Shamrock’n 5k (and 10k and Leprechaun Dash) benefits the Sacramento-based Triumph Cancer Foundation.
(Please note: We do not have any affiliation with Fleet Feet Sports.)
If you are thinking about participating in any of our local 5k races, it’s important to take the appropriate precautions to reduce your risk of injury. These include:
Ease into it. If you are new to running, you may need to start with a walk/jog (or run) mix before you are ready to jump into a full-fledged running program. Doing so enables your body to adjust to the additional stress you are going to be placing on it. Here’s a plan you may wish to follow:
In the first week, walk for four minutes and then jog for one (and repeat the patter for however long you are planning.
In the second week, change the times to three minutes of walking and two minutes of jogging.
In the third week, walk two minutes for every three minutes of jogging.
In the fourth week, walk one minute for every four minutes of jogging.
In the fifth week, jog the entire time. Then, start to increase your speed a little (no more than 10%) every week thereafter.
Warm up and stretch first. No matter if you are training or racing, you need to prepare your body ahead of time. Take 5-10 minutes and walk briskly or jog lightly and do some dynamic stretches before you run.
Make sure you’re wearing proper running shoes. Don’t just order your footwear online! Actually go to a physical, “brick and mortar” store. Why? So you can see how your shoes actually fit. Additionally, going to a store that caters to runners will enable you to ask questions from a professional who knows about which shoes are best for which types of pronation patterns.
Consult with medical professionals. Been awhile since you were last physically active on a regular basis? Started your running program and now you have foot or ankle pain? Come see us! We can assess your lower limbs before you begin training and identify potential risks, and we provide effective treatment for a wide range of foot and ankle problems – including sports injuries.If you would like more information, need an evaluation before starting your running journey, or require professional foot care, contact McDowell Podiatry Group by calling (916) 961-3434.