Transitioning From the Treadmill
As the weather starts to get nicer and the days get longer, some of us start transitioning our activities from indoor to outdoor. It is important to take some things into consideration when moving from indoor to outdoor activities especially for injury prevention and joint health.
Consider training volume when moving from the treadmill to road running. One mile on the treadmill will not feel the same as one mile on the road. On the treadmill, terrain can be controlled and you are keeping up with the treadmill belt as you run. On the road, subtle inclines and declines as well as different road pitch will make the run feel different. Also, you must propel yourself forward rather than keeping up with the belt of a treadmill.Transitioning to the road may take scaling back on miles and building back up slowly. Also consider speed when making the transition, it may take a few runs at a slower speed to become accustomed to the road and to help with injury prevention.
Keep in mind that dehydration may be more of a factor when moving into a non-temperature controlled environment and as it gets hotter and more humid outside. Come up with a strategy to stay hydrated. Plan your runs around park water fountains or run a loop passing by your water station. Try putting a water bottle by your mailbox and run loops of your neighborhood so water is always available. A simple solution is to purchase a hydration belt to always have water with you!
Moving to the outdoors may be a good time to check your shoes. Running on the road will induce more impact to the joints, so make sure your shoes are not in need of replacement. If your joints start to bother you after starting an outdoor routine, you may need fresh shoes. Even hip pain could be induced with over-used shoes. If pain persists, contact your physician! Here is a great article to help you determine if it is time for new shoes.
Slow and steady adaptation is the key to a successful outdoor running season. Take small steps to return to the road and they will add up to a long run outside. Now, get out there and enjoy the weather!