Running injuries can be avoided, according to Megan Searfoss, owner of Ridgefield and Darien Running Company. Megan is the owner of Ridgefield and Darien Running Company, a run-specialty retailer, located in Ridgefield and Darien, CT. With over 20 years of experience in the healthy lifestyle industry, Megan has become recognized by media outlets as a trusted expert and adviser. Author of See Mom Run–Every Mother’s Guide to Getting Fit and Running her First 5K released in December of 2014, she has created many online training programs for www.runlikeamother.com and www.fitstudio.com. Megan also coaches athletes in triathlon and running of any distance.
What is your background and what inspired you to start the Ridgefield Running Company?
I grew up in Sonoma County, CA, and left there following my husband’s career which brought us to Ridgefield in 2006. I worked in marketing and merchandising before children. In 2008, I started Run Like a Mother, which is a national 5K race series. As a competitive athlete, I have competed at the Ironman World Championships and Boston Marathon, 9 Ironman distance events, over 20 marathons, and countless other races. While my personal favorites are long-distance events, it is introducing a non-exerciser to training and competing in a 5K that is most rewarding to me.
What advice do you have for people who want to start running but don’t know where to begin?
Get fitted for the correct shoe first and foremost, this will help keep your feet happy! Go to a run specialty retailer (such as Ridgefield Running Company) to get properly evaluated.
Start running with a walk/run approach. I suggest starting with 1 minute of running with 4 minutes of walking (5-minute total) and repeating it 8 times. This way you are out for 40 minutes, safely preparing your heart, lungs, tendons and ligaments for running. Too often we see athletes do too much, too fast, too soon and they get injured. By slowly increasing the run segment of a 5-minute interval it gives your body time to respond to this weight bearing exercise. Bad knees are always blamed on running, when in fact, running doesn’t ruin knees when done properly.
Compared to solo running, are there any benefits to being in a group-run?
Group runs are awesome! It is motivating to run with others, if you are conscious of running your pace and not overexerting yourself. Group runs can make training go by quickly and it’s fun!
In your experience, what are the most common accidents that runners are involved in, how often do injuries occur, and what can you do to avoid them?
Not preparing your body for running causes injuries. I’d rather see someone cut down their mileage or eliminate one run a week for a strength training session or core work. It will prevent a lot of overuse type injuries. Making sure you are in the right shoe is important and insoles can be helpful, but paying attention to your body is paramount.
To ensure a safe run, what are some precautions you can take and what are the risks to not wearing the proper equipment?
Dress to See and Be Seen
If an athlete is at running at dusk or dawn, using a headlamp to see and wearing high-visibility clothing or vests can prevent accidents. It is important for athletes to be aware of their surroundings when they run. RRC/DRC sells bone-conducting headsets which allow you to hear the road and your music at the same time.
Be aware of your surroundings
We have entered a new era of distracted driving, so making eye contact with drivers is important!
Always run AGAINST traffic
Knowing what is coming at you is safest.
Do you have any last thoughts you would like to share with our readers?
Running is a wonderful exercise that can be done at any pace. Learning to walk-to-run will help build an exercise that can be carried throughout a lifetime. It can be fast or slow and provide lifelong benefits for your mind and body. Personally, I solve all my problems on my runs. I love what it does for me physically, but it is the strength it gives me mentally that is magic. I think we all need to test ourselves physically as it keeps a body strong and a mind alert.
More about Megan Searfoss and her business:
In 2018, 2019, 2020 and 2021 Ridgefield Running Company was named Top 50 Best Running Stores in America, with 2019 awarded Top Ten and in 2020 a Top Four Store. Megan was listed as a Top 25- Most Creative, Most Dedicated and Most Influential in Ridgefield by TownVibe. She is the recipient of the Ridgefield Library Paccadolmi Award honored as Volunteer of the year. Time and time again, her encouragement to cross the finish line has changed lives of many women that didn’t believe they could.
Megan is passionate about engaging women to make health and wellness a part of their lives through Run Like a Mother, a company she founded in 2008. Run Like A Mother® is a branded lifestyle property that encompasses women at every stage of motherhood. Megan created the National Run Like a Mother® 5K race event series, a women’s only 5K occurring every Mother’s Day. The event includes a Kid’s One Mile Race and a post-race party for the entire family.
Pro Tip: Running accidents that involve significant injuries sometimes require the services of an injury attorney who can help in a variety of accident cases. Should you have any questions about your Connecticut accident case, please contact us.