It’s ironic how an activity involving zero contact with another person is invariably the activity people get hurt most from. Often, the first thing people do when they want to get in shape is start running. Often, people are hurt not too soon after.
Shin splints, foot issues, knee pain, hip problems, even lower back symptoms can come about.
I often get inquiries from two types of people 1) Those in the middle of dealing with an issue from running 2) Those who have been healthy for a while, want to get back into running, but are nervous.
For the first group, they often have no idea what to do in conjunction with their running to keep them healthy. Hell, for many runners, running is the only thing they’re doing. Their idea of staying healthy is to buy a new pair of Asics every certain amount of miles.
For the second group, they often have a better idea of how to stay healthy, but no idea how to start running.
- “What shoes should I wear?”
- “How many times per week should I start with?”
- “How many miles should I be shooting for?”
These groups aren’t helped by the information out there, as so much of it is inadequate, with much of it all the same. The group who is trying to stay / get healthy is all too familiar with:
- “Stay hydrated.”
- “Make sure you warm up.”
- “Make sure you stretch.”
- “Add foam rolling.”
- “Make sure you buy those new Asics every X amount of miles.”
And the group who just wants to start running deals with:
- “Start running / jogging X amount of times per week.”
Of course, this is how many end up hurt. Because ALL they’re doing is running.
- “Jog X, walk X.”
There’s no room for individual variance with this. What if someone can’t “jog x”? It’s too rigid, and it’s too complicated. The majority of people just want to complete whatever distance they’re doing, without destroying their body. They don’t need some program where they’re constantly timing themselves, doing intervals, worrying about heart rates. What people need is a progression to complete a distance, some basic know-how on running form and shoes, with the supplementary exercise to keep them from injuring themselves.
6 Weeks To A Healthy 10k
What is this?
A 6 week program geared at two things:
1) Being able to complete a 10k distance (or less).
2) To do 1) while staying as healthy as possible.
I picked a 10k because that seems to be the sweet spot for recreational runners. It’s a distance most can achieve, but it’s still a challenge. That said, because lesser distances, like a 5k, precede the 10k distance, this program will work for lesser distances as well.
What’s in this?
The program comes in spreadsheet form. Here are all the tabs (Table of Contents):
- Guiding Notes
- Advice for following the program
- How to go about the exercises
- Some general health notes
- Corrective Strategy
- Rationale for the program’s layout
- How to do the running days
- Outside versus treadmill running
- When and why to do each
- An app suggestion
- Basic running form notes
- Tailored specifically for knee, foot and hip pain. The most common complaints of runners.
- Pictures, videos (with slow motion) to help illustrate what you want to focus on.
- Cues to help work on technique
- Activities of Daily Living
- You work on your running technique and do a bunch of exercises to stay healthy, what about the other 23 hours of the day?
- Suggestions for how to sit, stand, and lay down.
- Exercise form notes
- A video of every exercise, with voiceovers from me going over technique. (There are 10 exercises.)
- How to set up each exercise
- What to think about during each exercise
- Monday through Sunday program
- Every day of the week is laid out
- Exercises with sets and reps
- When to do your running, days per week, how far to go; how to warm up and cool down beforehand. (This is not your “Walk for 5 minutes before you run” suggestion.)
- Every day of the week is laid out
- The types of shoes you want to avoid (hint: most running shoes)
- How to pick a shoe for your foot
- Pictures with examples
- My favorite shoe recommendation
- How to discern if a shoe is worn out <- Rather than base things on a certain amount of miles, you can examine the shoe in a simple way and immediately know if you’re due for a new pair. (More pictures with examples.)
- Recommendations geared around staying healthy. These are not performance based, but more towards keeping your joints healthy, and feeling good in general.
- Example of what a daily regimen might look like
- A five item checklist to help keep you on track
Remember, this is not a performance oriented program. It’s not for an accomplished runner looking to set a PR. It’s for the person who wants to run and not be an arthritic mess. (If you’re a runner just looking for exercise suggestions, especially of the corrective variety, then you may find this useful.)
As a frame of reference, after not running more than a mile for over a decade, with a long injury background, such as a torn meniscus and ACL, I followed this program and was able to run the entire 6.2 miles for a race I entered, and do so with no pain.
I’ve received a lot of questions on how I approach running, how to keep things like the IT band at bay, what corrective exercises to mesh with a running program, etc. This program answers these questions and more.