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Neighbors of DuPage

Decreased risk of injury when training for 5k

May 26, 2015 09:15AM ● By Katelyn Nelson

The spring 5K season is here, are you thinking of participating in a local race? Take care of your joints by keeping the following tips in mind.

First, don’t attempt to increase mileage too quickly, increase intensity gradually. Train on the flattest surface available, unpaved paths are the best option for cushioning your joints. Running on a treadmill with the incline set to 1% creates the closest simulation to outdoor running. For beginners, running every other day is appropriate; build in cross training (bike riding, swimming) or strength training on days in between. Plan for at least one day of complete rest per week and don’t be afraid to adjust the run/walk ratio. If it is difficult to catch your breath, add more frequent intervals of walking.  Ice regularly and remember to replace running shoes after 500 miles to maintain good support.

Hydration is key, drink at least eight ounces of water eight times a day to maintain adequate hydration. Dress appropriately for the elements and be sure to use reflective safety gear when running in early morning or dusk.

Your body will tell you if you have overdone it, warning signs not to be ignored include: pain radiating through leg or pain or swelling that lasts longer than 48 hours, a feeling of instability or that the knee will “give out,” or inability to put your full weight on the injured leg.


This health article is provided by DuPage Medical Group. For more information please call 630-790-1221.