How to Safely Start a New Running Program

You have to use caution when you first start runningWhen they’re not training properly, runners are very susceptible to foot injuries. At no time is this more true, however, than when you are just getting into running for the first time or after a long hiatus.

A new study published by Danish researchers in the Journal of Sports Physical Therapy examined runners during their first three weeks of training, a period in which injury is very likely to occur.

According to their findings, obese runners (those with a BMI of 30 or greater) had a dramatically higher risk of sustaining a running injury during their first three weeks of training. This fact is troubling since many heavier individuals will take up running as a way to lose weight.

In order to avoid this heightened risk of injury, the study offered some great training tips. One important suggestion (which lowered risk of injury by 50%!!) was to run no more than 2 miles total during the first week of training. While this might seem like a shockingly low number for more seasoned runners, the researchers found this was the magic mileage threshold for new runners in terms of injury prevention.

The study also suggested that, before engaging in running for weight loss, heavier individuals would be wise to begin a lower-impact walking or walk-run exercise regimen, only starting to run for longer periods of time once they’d already begun shedding pounds.

Starting a new running program can be risky, regardless of what you weigh. If you want to get into running but are concerned about your foot health, schedule an appointment with Dr. Andrew Schneider to discuss your safest training options. 

Dr. Andrew Schneider
Dr. Andrew Schneider is a podiatrist and foot surgeon at Tanglewood Foot Specialists in Houston, TX.