November brings on the cooler, wetter weather and gives us the reprieve from the hot summer months. This starts the cooler running season. Wet weather makes it a bit easier to breathe. The coolness can burn the lungs. You may be thinking about winning the upcoming Turkey Trot around Thanksgiving, or wondering if you’ll ever be able to run one.
Turkey Trots usually have multiple options to them and can be fun family events! They can be runs, walks, or any sort of mix of that. If you haven’t ever run a 5k or Turkey Trot, here are some tips to get started:
Start Slow and Build Up:
A 5k is 3.1 miles which could take 40 minutes walking at a brisk pace on flatter ground. While it may be too late if you haven’t run much to complete it with continuous running, utilizing a run/walk strategy can get you through to the finish line without taxing your body too much. This will help decrease the likelihood of injury. In running we think of your running age, or the years you have been hitting the pavement. It takes time for the ligaments, bones, cartilage and muscles to adapt to the constant, repetitive stress placed on it with running. This is why it is good to start slow and build up if your running age isn’t too high.
Warm-up and Cool-Down:
There are a few easy little things you can do around running that will help ensure that you are ready to run and able to recover well. Light dynamic warm-ups like high knees, butt kicks, and frankenstein walks can kickstart the lower body muscles and get them ready to roll. Other activities like leg swings and lunges do a good job of activating the muscle groups that you will use during your run. And then after a run, you don’t want to just finish and sit back down on the couch. This can cause all the muscles that you just worked out to tighten up and you may experience increased muscle soreness the next day. Post-run stretch sessions, just 5-10 minutes of stretching or foam rolling of the quads, hamstrings, glutes and calves, can make a huge difference. And if you have a little bit more time, some light body-weight strengthening exercises are a great option!
Integrate Strength Training:
Strength training helps the muscles, ligaments, bones, etc, adapt to the load you are placing on your body when running. The further you run, the more endurance your muscles will need. As you increase miles, it is a good idea to keep up strength training in order to minimize the risk of developing an overuse injury. Simple things like squats, lunges, planks, and calf raises require little equipment and can be efficient in toning up your muscles. In order to overload yourself appropriately, weights may be required. If you have questions on how to start this, a Physical Therapy, Athletic Training, or Personal Trainer will be able to help!
Find Comfortable Shoes:
Try out different shoes to find what works for you. Some people do well in minimalist shoes, some need more cushion, some need more support. Try them on and walk/run in them. Find stores with good return policies or trial periods to make sure the shoe will work for you. There isn’t great research on the best shoe to wear, so trying them on and getting a good feel for the shoe is your best bet!
If you want advice on how to get started and what exercise to do to prep your body for starting running, stop in to Impact Physical Therapy and we can help!
Local Turkey Trots
27th Annual Hillsboro Turkey Trot (11/19/22): https://www.hillsboro-oregon.
Event for Kids of Hillsboro School District: Free!
Turkey Trot at the Zoo!
4 mile untimed route through the Oregon Zoo!
TurkeyThon in Tigard
5k at Cook Park