Po­ten­tial in­juries and how to avoid them

The Denver Post - - LIFE & CULTURE - Danika Wor­thing­ton: dwor­thing­ton@ den­ver­post.com, 303-9541337 or @dani_­worth

should come all the way to your side, he said. But don’t overex­tend! Your hand shouldn’t go be­hind your torso.

4. Main­tain an up­right, ath­let­i­cally bal­anced pos­ture. Peo­ple hear they are sup­posed to lean for­ward at the hips in­stead of the an­kles, but this can lead to knee prob­lems. Hilden said to stay com­fort­ably up­right — not For­rest Gump up­right.

New run­ners are es­pe­cially sus­cep­ti­ble to shin splints, Achilles ten­dini­tis, plan­tar fasci­itis and knee pain, said all of our ex­perts. A lot of these come from do­ing too much too quickly and bad shoes. A good way to avoid in­juries is to take things slow, have proper form and in­cor­po­rate strength train­ing.

If you’ve never run be­fore, 5-6 days in a row of run­ning will likely cause an in­jury, said Junko Kazukawa, a trainer at Colorado Ath­letic Club who runs ul­tra­ma­rathons. To avoid overuse in­juries, set an easy pace — it doesn’t have to hurt to be ef­fec­tive, she said. Dif­fer­en­ti­ate run­ning days. Make one day a slow long dis­tance run, an­other day hills and an­other day in­ter­vals (in­ter­spers­ing high-in­ten­sity run­ning with low in­ten­sity).

Other ways to dif­fer­en­ti­ate: a strength­en­ing day at the gym, yoga or crosstrain­ing, such as bik­ing or swim­ming.

Last, and very im­por­tantly, take rest days — and ac­tu­ally rest.

If you have a pre-ex­ist­ing con­di­tion, make sure to tell a per­sonal trainer or coach, she said.

Do not in­crease mileage by more than 10 per­cent at a time, said Colleen De Reuck, an Olympian and Boul­der Strid­ers run­ning club coach (who is mar­ried to Dar­ren). She rec­om­mended get­ting mas­sages or us­ing a foam roller to pre­vent in­juries be­fore they hap­pen.

And if you do end up with an in­jury, Run­ners Roost’s Smith said to re­mem­ber R.I.C.E. — rest, ice, com­pres­sion and el­e­va­tion — is a good way to heal.

1. Legs: lunges, side lunges, step-ups, squats and calf raises.

2. Core and up­per body: push-ups, planks and bridges (ly­ing on your back with knees bent, raise your hips so the body forms a straight line from your shoul­ders to your knees).

3. Back: lower back ex­ten­sions, lat pull-downs and seated rows.

One more tip: Colleen De Reuck rec­om­mended strength­en­ing your feet by stand­ing on one foot (with­out a shoe) while brush­ing your teeth.

How to run at al­ti­tude

First, stay hy­drated. Sec­ond, don’t try to be a hero. Take it slow.

If you go too fast at lower el­e­va­tions, you can slow down and re­cover. But not so much at al­ti­tude. If you’re head­ing up to the moun­tains for a run, Dar­ren De Reuck rec­om­mended adding 10-15 sec­onds onto your nor­mal mile time.

McDow­ell said she’ll run at al­ti­tude based on times in­stead of mileage. Say you’re in the moun­tains for the week­end and your train­ing sched­ule has you run­ning 4 miles one day. If you nor­mally run 11-minute miles, she said to run for 44 min­utes at a slower pace and then call it. You won’t hit your mileage, but that’s OK.

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