Wednesday, March 5, 2014

Brigham & Women’s Return to Running Program

This afternoon Cape Cod Rehab Physical Therapist Tiffany visited the Mashpee office to deliver an inservice presentation on the Brigham & Women’s Return to Running Program.

How appropriate.

It was a pretty cool program to learn about and also somewhat ridiculous!  A lot of my coworkers have adapted a modified version of the program.

Phase I is walking.  Brigham & Women’s believes that you should be able to walk pain free in a controlled environment at roughly 4.2 to 5.2 mph before moving on to Phase II.  I don’t know if you realize it but 4.2 is really fast walking!  (5.0 mph is approximately a 12 minute mile).  My little legs would much rather slowly jog at that pace.

Phase II is a very aggressive plyometric program involving both leg hops and single leg hops (in place, forward/back, side to side) and single leg broad hops.  My coworkers recommended either beginning with the ACL Jump Program (to learn how to properly and safely land) and/or focus on more running specific drills (high knees, high heels, strides). 

If you can successfully complete Phase I and Phase II pain free, you may be ready for the walk/run phase.

Phase III is considered the Walk/Run Progression.  It starts with intervals of walking 5 minutes and jogging for 1 minute.  The next step would be to walk 4 minutes, jog 2 minutes and so on.  The goal is 30 minutes every other day (with at least 5 min warm up and cool down).

Phase IV you’re running!

Our physical therapists talked about the 10% rule and other things to consider like footwear and utilizing the pool as part of our modified return to play program.  The pool is a great way to maintain your fitness level while injured but also to test running in the shallow end, which includes the resistance of the water but you’re only carrying a percentage of your body weight.

I learn so much from my coworkers and this inservice came at a great time for me personally.  I’m so ready to get back at it!  Start slow… don’t overdo it… gradually increase time and distance… everything runners ignore once we start feeling good again! 

Just kidding… Kinda.  :)

Anyway, if you’re interested in reading the Brigham & Women’s Return to Running Program, you can check it out here and always consult your doctor or physical therapist before beginning any new running or plyometric program.

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