Potential injuries and how to avoid them
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.