Running, for the non-runner, during the 'rona.

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  • #40105

    I’m a fairly well-conditioned all-around mountain athlete. 40 years old. ACL reconstruction years ago, with associated aches and pains. Currently, my ski touring base fitness is as high as it’s been. (AnT 159, AeT at least 149). I’ve never been much of a runner. But, now, for me and for lots of us, running is the most responsible, accessible form of training. How do I responsibly add more running into my program? Resources for self-coaching form? Or even remote, “virtual” form coaching/feedback? Progression heuristics? (i.e. “add in no more than x miles/hours a day/week/month”). Performance cues and clues to watch for as I add more running? Signs of injury or overuse I might miss? How to work in higher intensity while also getting my body accustomed to running?

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    Anonymous on #40138

    The general rule of thumb for increasing running volume is no more than adding 10% per week, but in my experience, especially with fit people, that’s quite conservative. One thing that is really helpful with using AeT is that it tends to make running be more of a run/walk if you’re not as efficient with the movement. Because of your background, I bet you could safely start with 30-45 min. of running (at or under AeT) and see how that feels. To add more volume you could do an uphill walk either outside or on the treadmill. One of the biggest differences in terms of movement from skiing is the quicker tempo, so try to keep a high leg turnover, to lessen the stress on your muscles and tendons. “They” say 180 steps per minute (3 per second is an easy way to check in on it anytime during your run) is the most efficient in terms of lower chance of injury. For building up week to week, I would start with a few times a week of 30-45 min. and if that goes well, increasing the frequency to 4-5 days, and then start increasing the duration of the runs. There is much more impact that skiing so that will likely be your limiting factor. If you’re really stiff after a run that’s relatively normal as you get started, but it should resolve by the next day. I would wait to do any higher intensity until you can do several weeks of easy running, and then start with hill sprints or strides which serve as a specific strength workout, help with running economy and are low injury risk.

    Steve Magness has a great website called Science of Running, with some articles on running form. I wrote an article here on downhill running technique, but it applies to all running:

    Have fun! You never know, you might love it and become a runner…

    jediahmporter on #40188

    This is great! Exactly what I was looking for. Hopefully others find it even just a little bit useful.

    Reed on #40240

    As for signs of injury or overuse – it pays to be conservative. Running should not hurt. “Run through the pain” is a path to injury, perhaps not immediately but definitely in the long term. Maybe try out different running forms / techniques (Pose, Chi, etc.) and see what works for you.

    Aaron on #40337

    As a previous non-runner (and still running hack), I eased into it and found a few things helped in addition to Alison’s good advice on progression of volume etc.

    I find some combo of functional/general strength training really helpful in avoiding/managing ‘niggles’. UA has ‘functional runner’ general strength workouts in their plan(s? I only have 1) that I use for 8 weeks as I transition into a base period. I have also used Jay Johnsons ‘SAM’ easy/hard workouts to good effect. I also find zerenpt on instagram really informative, and have been adding more closed chain banded exercises for glute/hip/knee stability etc. See this UA video for some examples.

    On a different tack, as a ski mountaineer and summer off trail hiker with loaded packs I have always found my eccentric strength sufficient to allow comfortable downhill running, better feeling actually than flat hard ground running. So I do alot of my ‘running’ volume as power hiking uphill, followed by running downhill on trails – which mimics my ‘events’ anyway (non-competitive off-trial mtn exploring). Knowing your capabilities from other social media, I suspect you can handle a different downhill load than most ‘beginner’ runners. Of course, this might not work for your access considerations for trails right now.

    Anonymous on #40364

    Great point re: functional strength. In addition to the above suggestions, the books Anatomy for Runners and Running Rewired, both by Jay Dicharry are excellent for figuring out what imbalances you might have and tailor the strength to you, for the specific demands of running.

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