Five Tips for Transitioning from the Treadmill to the Sidewalk

With spring just over a week away, many runners are gearing up to take their cardio routine from the treadmill to the sidewalk.

While it’s exciting to “hit the road,” you may be a bit wary about transitioning your routine outdoors. But with a good pair of running shoes and some healthy preparation, we can help you get the most out of your outdoor run.

Please note: Running is a high-impact activity. If you’ve never run before, please consult a chiropractor/medical practitioner to ensure you won’t worsen any pre-existing conditions or cause injury to your joints.

Here are some tips to help get you started:

1. Warm up and cool down

Make sure you stretch before and after your run. Stretches are an essential part of your running routine to avoid injuries. Some important points to keep in mind:

  • Never stretch a cold muscle
  • Hold each stretch for a slow count of 30
  • Repeat twice on each side
  • Don’t overstretch—be comfortable
  • Don’t bounce when stretching

2. Pick a road or trail you are familiar with

When starting out, the last thing you want to worry about is getting lost. Before you lace up your sneakers, do some research: ask friends where they like to run, use online running forums to find popular routes, and check to see if your park has designated trails. The more popular and visible the trail, the better.

3. Wear the appropriate footwear

Adapt your shoes to your environment. A regular running sneaker works for the flat, predictable surface of a treadmill. But once you are outdoors, make sure the sneaker’s tread can handle the gravel, dirt roads, and slick trails. Runners should get a sneaker that supports the feet while having the appropriate sole to help maneuver and provide support over uneven surfaces.

4. Begin slowly

Running outside is more taxing on your muscles, joints and bones, making you more prone to injuries like shin splints. Start off with shorter distances on flat roads or trails. As your endurance improves, gradually increase your mileage and hill work.

5. Maintain a constant pace

Don’t feel compelled to push yourself to run at the same pace that you would on a treadmill. Start with moderate and comfortable pace that allows you to run safely, and gradually increase your speed over several weeks as your body allows.

If you’ve been running on a treadmill for a while, transitioning to the outdoors may take time. The mechanics of running on a stationary treadmill are different than running outside on an uneven surface. When in doubt, you can always talk to a member of our wellness team about how to improve your form and prevent/manage injuries.

At Pickering Village Chiropractic and Massage, we provide our patients with more than just chiropractic and massage therapy services, but also the know-how to build better personal wellness habits so you can be at your best for work or play, every day.

To book an appointment or learn more about the chiropractic and therapeutic massage therapy services available at our clinic, call 905-427-3202.

 

With content from the Canadian Chiropractic Association.