I’m here with Julie Petrusak, National Academy of Sports Medicine, Certified Personal Trainer and Corrective Exercise Specialist. Julie is gearing up for the April 19th launch of her new beginner’s running program, Rev Up to Run!
Julie, I think a lot of beginners out there, may feel like it’s simply “too late” to start running, or to get in shape. What do you want to say to them?
It’s never “too late,” but depending on where you are in your life, your strategy to get results, may evolve.
Instead of thinking, “Oh, I can’t get there as quickly as I did in my twenties,” and “getting in shape was so much easier when I was younger,” you can choose to focus on a new approach. It can be really empowering! To go for a specific goal; whereas it may take you longer, or the strategy may be quite different from someone else: the focus can allow you to learn new things about yourself. You can still get there, but you will find a new and different path. This program will help you!
What gave you the idea to start this project?
I spent years working with clients who were looking for an additional mode of exercise, outside of our personal training sessions. Many choose running to supplement their gym workouts, because running is fun and seemingly simple. They would get to exercise outside, and it seemed easy, to go for a quick run here and there.
Then, they would return to their next session with some sort of issue: shin splints, knee pain, you name it. It was frustrating for everyone because they really enjoyed running, and just didn’t know what they were doing “wrong” or how to correct it.
I realized there was a link missing between what they were learning in their training sessions, and the sports-science principals they were applying to their runs, on their own. Running seems like an easy, accessible thing that everyone can do; but there’s a lot of technique involved that never gets addressed with beginners. So I decided to start this program, and really tackle everything a beginner runner needs to know to allow for success.
Several people enrolled in the program don’t have much, if any, running experience. What can they expect?
We’ll be starting from the ground up, covering all of the basics, starting with a gait analysis. Many people hit a wall at some point in their running, and they stop enjoying it. Through starting with the fundamentals of form and technique, we’ll figure out what a person’s weaknesses are, and why they have hit that wall. The gate analysis gives us a strategy and a roadmap to mitigate the issues and help members to move forward with ease.
A gait analysis is a video of you running, that we’ll watch in slow motion. This way, we can observe what the feet, limbs, hips, abs, arms, neck and head, are doing. It’s important to not run in an incorrect manner, because you may not absorb shock efficiently. There’s a huge amount of ground reaction force that your body has to absorb: that much impact & shock can damage your joints if foot to core sequencing is not performed properly. In contrast, it can also be the source of immense potential energy, and a sense of exhilaration!
You may also be using some sort of compensation mechanism. Or, you may have a muscle-activation pattern that is not helping you. Because there are more efficient recruitment patterns, these compensation patterns, once identified are quite rewarding to correct. Also, when you correct your running form, it can help in building your endurance, because you’re not expending as much energy with each stride.
By shoring up some of these inefficiencies while running, we can strategize around what it is, that is really challenging you, and break a plateau or wall; as opposed to just “pushing through” and feeling hot, sweaty, and miserable.
We’ll also be introducing a host of exercises that will help you to prepare your entire body for running.
New runners may find that by improving their cardiovascular capacity, they have more energy for the busy New York City life. There’s a mindfulness to running, that allows one to integrate the use of the breath with movement. It can have a meditative benefit. In this way, running can help to improve your focus throughout the day. There are so many benefits to running with great form and technique, that it is no wonder that so many want to get out there to do it! Our program ensures that those runs are not only enjoyable, they are safe, and sustainable over time!