The official start to the Chicago running season with the Bank of America Shamrock Shuffle is right around the corner. With the frigid temperatures and abundant snowfall that Chicago has endured this winter, you may have logged in fewer miles these past few months outside than in previous winters. Warmer temperatures are predicted for later this week and spring is right around the corner and we encourage you to consider these tips to safely transition from the treadmill to outdoor running.
If you have been doing most of your running this winter indoors on the treadmill, you need to be careful when moving outside. Consider transitioning outside gradually in order to avoid injury. When the sun is shining and the temperatures are above freezing it is easy to run outside and go a little overboard.
Use these outdoor running tips to help begin your transition:
- Start with one-to-two easy shorter runs outside and build from there. The treadmill is a bit more forgiving than running outside on the pavement. Running on the treadmill reduces impact and is easier on the body.
- Injury prevention: While running on the treadmill, your hamstrings do not do as much work as they do when you are running outside. This is due to the propulsion of the belt. One needs to realize that outside you do not have the belt assisting you and therefore need to transition appropriately.Some tips to consider include strengthening exercises for your hamstrings as part of your cross training. For cardiovascular cross training, an upright bicycle engages in the hamstring muscle group.For muscular strengthening, a bridge is a good basic exercise. Start with 2-3 sets of 10 repetitions.
Once you have mastered the basic bridge, add a bridge with a hamstring curl using a stability ball. Start with 2 sets of 10 repetitions working your way up to 10.
- Dress for the weather: In the cold, layers are your best friend. However, keep in mind that your body typically feels like it is 10 to 15 degrees warmer than it is outside when running. To stay warm and dry without overheating, wear no more than three light layers of wicked clothing, which is designed to pull moisture away from the skin.
- Hydrate: As you transition outside, you may have been used to having a water bottle close to you on the treadmill. Consider running with a water belt to stay hydrated during your run as most public fountains are still off for the winter.
As always, if something hurts, stop by one of our 80+ clinics for a Complimentary Injury Screen!
How do you prepare for the transition from treadmill to outdoor running? Share your running tips below!