Posted by Jess Brehmer, M.D.
June 18, 2014
Spring and summer often are the most popular times of the year for people to be active. And with the winter we just had, I expect this spring and summer to be no different. As the weather starts to warm up, people often take their workouts outside, especially running. With all of the 5K, 10K, triathlon, half-marathon and marathon events available, people are eager to participate and get in shape. Whether you're trying to squeeze in a run before or after work to keep the pounds off or you are in full-on training mode for that up-coming marathon, following are a few things to remember to avoid injuries.
If you're just starting a new running regimen, start slow with low intensity and shorter distances. Once you are comfortable with that, gradually increase the intensity and distance. Commonly, injuries occur with those who do too much, too soon.
Make sure you have good supportive footwear. Are you still wearing that same pair of shoes you wore last year and the year before? New supportive running shoes with proper fit, cushion and support will help you go the distance.
Ensure you get proper nutrition. Eating a well-balanced diet daily and getting appropriate fluid and electrolyte replacement before and after your run will allow your body to perform as it needs to. This will help you reach your goals.
Make sure you warm up properly before and after your run. This will help avoid cramps, sprains and strains.
Run with a friend. The support and accountability provided by a friend will get you through the tough times so you don’t get discouraged and will help you stay on track with your training.
Plan your runs to accommodate dangerous heat and humidity during the summer. You may need to change the time you run to avoid dangers of heat exhaustion and heat stroke. Running early in the morning or later in the evening when temperatures are cooler is something to consider.
Avoid dangerous situations by staying hydrated during your runs on hot, humid days. This may require that you bring a hydration pack or water bottle with you. Other options include having someone meet you along your route or have specific checkpoints on your route where you stop for fluids.
Wear proper reflective gear if you’re planning to run near traffic, especially at night.