Phillipp Walsleben pushes up the run-up. © Thomas van Bracht

Everyone has to run sometime. Phillipp Walsleben pushes up the run-up. © Thomas van Bracht

Every year, we hear about more and more injuries from racers wanting to improve their running skills for the cyclocross season only to end up busting knees, getting shin splints or just hating it (and life). So this year, we asked coach Chris Mayhew for his top five ways to get started with running properly. If you’re already a runner, bravo. If not, keep reading.

Build slowly. This is new and there are a lot of adaptations, both muscularly and neuromuscularly. You’ve got a big engine and can do a lot of damage starting out with too much load.

Start slowly. Your big engine isn’t going to serve you as well as you think. Start slow, finish strong.

Run off-road. Less traffic, easier on the knees, more scenic and more specific.

Get some good shoes. They don’t cost much and will last you awhile. Plus you can get some good advice from the local experts while you’re shopping for them.

Make it specific. How much running do you really do in your events, total? How long per run per lap? If you want to do 5ks that’s fine but as the season gets closer think about how to make your running as specific to your events as possible.

Will you be running during this offseason?

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Stay tuned for more training secrets as we get ready to be in the best ’cross shape of our lives by September!