We all know there are many reasons why Long Island is an exceptional place to live – and there are even more for those who participate in our local running communities!
Just as a starting point alone, the Greater Long Island Running Club and Massapequa Road Runners are two outstanding organizations that connect runners, facilitate training, and host races.
Speaking of races, something else that makes Long Island runner-friendly is the veritably endless list of racing options you have – no matter your goals or running abilities.
Even if you don’t plan on crossing the finish line first, you can still always challenge yourself and try to set a PR (personal record) by participating in any of the upcoming local runs:
- Miles for Matt Foundation Celebrate Life V 5k Run/Walk
- 4th Annual Breathe for Britt 5K Run/Walk
- Sayville Fire Department 5k Run & Walk
- The Ray Downey "Forever Running" Memorial 5K Run/Walk
- Massapequa Road Runners Firecracker 5K
Beyond providing an opportunity to push yourself in pursuit of a new PR, races like these are often used to raise money for charitable organizations and worthy causes. Many even make a positive impact in our Long Island community.
Of course, if you haven’t been active and don’t regularly train, it’s best to sit out those upcoming races and wait for ones a little further down the line. As a general guideline, you need to give yourself at least two months before your first 5K if you’re just starting out.
If that applies to you, base your program on training 3-4 days per week for half an hour at a time.
In the first week, start with a walk/run mix of 4 minutes walking followed by 1 minute of jogging during your 30-minute sessions. In the second week, progress to 3 minutes walking and 2 minutes light jogging during your 30-minute sessions. Follow this pattern (subtract one minute of walking and add one minute of jogging) every week until you are able to jog the whole 30 minutes.
From there, you can start to increase either your intensity—go from jogging to running—or duration, but make sure you do so gradually.
Remember, trying to do “too much, too soon” can increase your injury risk!
Once you have determined your training program and picked up an appropriate pair of running shoes (ones that fit well and are appropriate for your pronation pattern!), you need to decide where you will run. Fortunately, you have many great options here in Nassau County.
Some of the more popular Long Island running trails include:
- Bethpage Bike Path. While designed for bikes, this path’s lack of elevation makes it a great choice for runners. The preserve also has scenic ponds and streams where you can spot local wildlife.
- Theodore Roosevelt Memorial Park in Oyster Bay. This option is perfect for runners who wish to incorporate some hill work into their training.
- Sunken Meadow State Park. This park boasts both flat and hilly courses, which provides nice options for runners of all abilities.
- Eisenhower Park. The Long Island Road Runners Club makes this beautiful park the site for most of their races.
- Hempstead Lake State Park. Want a little more challenge in your training? Follow the 2 ½-mile exercise path at this park to add some resistance exercises for a stronger body.
Running is an excellent form of exercise, but keep in mind that any physical activity carries an inherent risk of injury – especially for feet, ankles and heels.
There are measures you can take to reduce that risk—so don’t think that’s an excuse not to exercise on a regular basis!—and most lower limb injuries can be effectively treated without surgery.
In the event you hurt a foot or ankle while running or performing any other physical activity, don’t try to push through it. Doing so will likely lead to greater injury and pain. Instead, come see us for professional diagnosis and a customized treatment plan!
Connect with Massapequa Podiatry Associates today by calling (516) 541-9000 or take a moment right now to contact us online.