Running is one of the best ways to stay fit. It’s inexpensive, portable, and a great way to clear your head. But if you’re a woman and you run, there are some important things you need to know. Here’s a list of five things every woman runner needs to know. You might be surprised by how different our training needs to be from that of a man.
Now is the one time in your life where you can say, “Shoes are important to my health!”
Sure we love shoes! But when you’re a runner, the right shoes make all the difference in the world. A good running shoe doesn’t need to be expensive; in fact, one of my very favorites is a less expensive model, but the fit is perfect and it has the stability and weight I need. So take the time to have a professional fit at a running specialty store. If you wear the wrong shoe, you’re setting yourself up for blisters, shin splints, and other injuries.
Watch those knees!
As women, we have a wider hip to knee ratio than men, and tend to carry a lot of our body weight in the lower halves of our bodies. This combined with the compounded pressure of running can really stress your knees. So take care of them with stretching, proper shoes, enough rest time, and easing up when you feel discomfort.
Listen to your body
Like your knees, there are other areas of a women’s body to be in tuned to while running. For a while I noticed a dull, aching pain every time I trained, and I went to the doctor to find out it was a rather large ovarian cyst causing me the discomfort. I would have never known I had this cyst had I not had the pain when I trained. So listen to those pangs on the road and have them checked out if they persist.
Watch your posture!
Women tend to over-arch their backs and round their shoulders when they run. This stresses the hips and back, also not allowing your core to do its job. While you’re running, think of a string pulling you straight up by the top of the head while your belly button pushes back as close to the spine as possible. This will give you a good running posture and let your core do the work without adding stress to your hips and back!
Avoid pointy shoes off the track
It seems silly, but if you’re a runner and you wear pointy-toed shoes regularly, you might be setting yourself up for an injury without even realizing it! Those shoes stress the arches of your feet, as well as put pressure on your Achilles tendon because of the way they pinch your toes and change the way your feet strike the ground. Why is this? As you become a proficient runner your feet, especially your toes, will spread to provide you with stability and absorb shock. Sure you can suffer for fashion every now and then, but don’t make the pointy shoes a habit.
So if you’re a runner, take these tips to heart when you’re training. We have different needs as women, and it’s important to adjust for that to get the most out of our workouts!