Last week’s Boston Marathon concluded to much fanfare despite the pouring rain and gusting wind.
If it made you anxious to hit the pavement in your running shoes, you’re not alone. Spring is one of the busiest times for races around the country – everything from 5Ks to marathons.
Many non-elite runners will be rusty after spending the winter indoors or on the treadmill.
These seasonal runners need to dust off their skills and muscles before exerting themselves fully, according to Mike Muldoon, MS, PT, Rehabilitation Site Manager at Beverly and Addison Gilbert Hospitals.
“Maybe you’ve put on some pounds over the winter or maybe you’re muscles are tight,” Muldoon said on a recent Facebook Live interview. “But it’s time to get checked out and make sure you’re ready to run. The worst thing would be getting hurt a month or six weeks after you start training.”
He recommends runners get a Functional Movement Screening, and likens it to “spring cleaning.”
The functional movement screen is a 7-point test that is designed to see areas of weakness in movement so that subsequent injuries can be prevented with corrective exercises.
“If you screen your movement on a regular basis, we are able to see changes,” Muldoon said. “If I get a good baseline on someone, I’ll later be able to see if they’re improving as an athlete or getting worse.”
One example Muldoon mentioned: if one side your leg buckles on a hurdle step but the other side is fine, you might be at risk for a knee injury because one of your hips is weak.
The functional movement screen was developed by Gray Cook, one of the world’s most respected injury-prevention specialists. Cook argued most injuries were not related to stress but rather imbalance.
In addition, Muldoon urges runners to cross-train with other aerobic and strength exercises. He said working on your core is especially important.
To learn more of Muldoon’s tips for getting in tip-top running shape, view his recent Facebook Live on the Beverly Hospital Facebook page.
You can also use these tips while training for the Lahey Health Cancer 5k Walk & Run. There is still time to register your team for the race on June 23.