Don’t get sidelined! Follow these tips to run injury-free as you up your mileage.
Wear the right shoes. Make sure that you have a fresh pair of running shoes that fit well and accommodate your stride. Go to a specialty running shop to have a shoe expert analyze your gait and fit you properly. If your shoes are over a year old or have more than 400 miles on them, it’s time for a new pair.
Strength train. Running injuries, especially knee- and hip-related problems, are often a result of muscle weaknesses or imbalances. Core and lower body exercises are especially important for injury prevention.
Vary your running surface. Running on concrete sidewalks can be very tough on your joints, so choose roads, trails or tracks whenever possible.
Don’t assume more is better. Running too much too soon causes injury. Stick to the schedule (don’t add extra workouts!) and always take at least one complete rest day per week to give your body a chance to recover and repair.
Listen to your body. Don’t force a run if you feel any niggling pain—or if your body just needs a break. Resting an injury in its early stages will prevent more time off later.