Speed ​​jogging: how to start to avoid injuries and what are its unexpected benefits

Kristen Cieslak runs on the track at Astoria Park in Queens on April 22, 2024. (Mimi Datremont/The New York Times)

When was the last time you did work? speed race? I mean a full speed sprint.

For many of us, it has been a long time coming. Maybe since high school. It is found in almost every city in the United States 5 and 10 km races, half marathon or full marathon. But you are unlikely to find an athletics track designed for running 100, 200 or 400 meters (although some exist).

One reason many adults avoid running is that thinking about past injuries (or possible future injuries) can be scary. Another reason, of course, is that running too fast is difficult, and often leaves us lying flat and panting.

But being difficult is exactly the idea. Sprinting puts tremendous stress on our physical systems, which, when done safely, makes us stronger, more flexible and fitter.

Sprinting, although challenging, stands out as a superior exercise for enhancing physical strength and flexibility. (Illustrative image)

Simply put, running consists of Run as fast as you can, or close to it. “It's one of the movements that delivers the best performance,” said Matt Sanderson, the brand's director of fitness. flame.

Jogging helps Develop and maintain fast-twitch muscle fibers. Maintaining this fiber can help Prevent slip and fallWhich is the main cause of injuries among the elderly.

Because running engages a lot of muscles, “it will be better at helping maintain your muscle mass and preventing muscle loss as you get older,” said Christopher Lundstrom, a professor of kinesiology at the University of Minnesota who studies sports and exercise science.

Before starting at full speed, it is important to start at a low intensity and gradually increase the effort. (Illustrative image)

Several small studies also suggest this Jogging is best for maintaining and increasing bone density From endurance racing.

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However, it just should Jogging vigorously after a thorough warm-up, Regardless of your physical condition, it can cause muscle strain and strain, as well as major injuries, such as a ruptured Achilles tendon. If you're concerned about injuries or health problems, talk to your doctor first.

If you have a larger body and are concerned about pressure on your joints or bones, Sanderson recommends Start with lower impact exercisessuch as pushing on skis, to gain strength and build fitness before trying to run.

“Spend some time preparing your weave. Jump rope, or even skipping or jumping into the pool,” she said.

Repeated sprints, which focus on maintaining a percentage of effort, are essential for gaining speed and strength. (Illustrative image)

Finally, remember that “maximum speed” is a relative term. If you ran 100 meters in 12 seconds a few decades ago, adjust your expectations. Every athlete is different, but here are some general tips for running a sprint safely.

Start slow

Even if the ultimate goal is to move forward quickly, it's important to start slow. Running 100 meters right away is probably a bad idea.

“If you haven't been jogging recently, you might want to run a little faster than you're used to,” Lundstrom advises. Then “a little harder, and build up to a full sprint.”

Increased intensity

Adjusting expectations is crucial for mature athletes looking to reincorporate running into their training. (Illustrative image)

Experts also suggest “Progressive short races” During normal jogging, work on running at full speed. While running, choose a point to start increasing your running intensity every 10 meters or so until you reach an effort where speaking becomes difficult. From there, decrease every 10 meters until you return to your normal running pace.

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If you don't like running, you can do short, progressive running exercises as a standalone workout, repeating each run several times.

Set a reference point

In addition to improving physical health, running challenges and enriches an athlete's training experience. (Illustrative image)

Once you start running, the first thing you should do is set a base time for a certain distance. It's not so much about showing off as it is about having a tool to organize subsequent training.

Start with a distance of 40 to 60 metres. Simply do a fast race and record your best time.

Use your own threshold

Once you have a baseline time, use it to plan your workouts. A simple routine, according to Sanderson, consists of doing short, repeated runs over the chosen distance, and trying to keep the effort within a certain margin in relation to the reference time. This margin is called the “percentage threshold”.

Sprinting isn't just for young athletes, it provides significant health benefits at any age. (picture information)

Thresholds vary for each athleteBut for someone with a high level of fitness, 5 percent is good. Others may aim for 10 percent.

If running 36 meters takes seven seconds, the 10 percent threshold is 7.4 seconds. So keep repeating this sprint (with a few minutes of easy walking in between) until you're running slower than about eight seconds, then stop training.

At first, the number of runs you can do may be low. But as you gain strength and speed, you will find that your ability to maintain speed will increase.

Fast-twitch muscle fibers, which are necessary to prevent falls, are strengthened by running. (Illustrative image)

Stay away from the local high school slopes at first

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Although you may be tempted to lace up your old track shoes and head to your local high school, Sanderson advises against starting out on a rubber surface, as the bounce of the track may increase your chances of injury.

“Your performance will probably go up,” he said of track running. “But it puts more demands on your Achilles tendon and your leg.”

Sanderson recommends starting your run on natural grass. From there, you can move onto the sidewalk and finally the rubber track you might remember from school.

© The New York Times 2024

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