Run Your First 5K Injury-free

Posted by on Saturday, January 21st, 2012

If you’ve got your sights set on getting in shape to run a 5K race, you’ve made a great decision. Setting a goal to lose weight  and exercise more is a great way to start the New Year. Once you’ve made a commitment to get fit, it’s easy to be revved up to start running. And that’s great. But if you’re overzealous about ramping up your running, you could get injured, and need medical care and time to recover.

Without proper training and conditioning, a foot or lower leg injury or strained muscles or tendons can derail your resolution. The best way to start running and avoid injury is to give yourself some time to get into shape.

source: Colon Cancer Coalition

Give Yourself Some Time

If you haven’t exercised much or logged many miles running recently, start your training program with a short walk or jog. Keep your weekly mileage increase to no more than 10 percent. If your’e really excited about your goal, it’s easy to think running every day will get you into shape faster. But you’ll only be risking injury if you do.

If you’re really committed, walk or run a few days a week and try bicycling, swimming, or a Zumba class on the other days. Give yourself some time to get ready for your race. The Runner’s World 10-Week Training Plan can help you get started. Or check out the New York Road Runners Club training information for advice on running races longer than the 5K.

Don’t Ignore Pain

If you experience pain while running, pushing through it will most likely aggravate your injury. Shin splints, plantar fasciitis, heel pain, tendonitis, knee pain, stress fractures, blisters, and other overuse injuries can put your dream on hold fast.

If you’ve got an injury, take a few days off, and then seek medical care if your symptoms persist. The Center for Podiatric Care and Sports Medicine team includes Dr. Josef J. Geldwert, Dr. Katherine LaiDr. Ryan Minara. Our doctors have treated thousands of athletes, serve as race directors for marathons, triathlons, and other events, and can help you reach the finish line injury-free.

If you have any foot problems or pain, contact The Center for Podiatric Care and Sports MedicineDr. Josef J. GeldwertDr. Katherine LaiDr. Nadia Levy, and Dr. Ryan Minara have helped thousands of people get back on their feet. Unfortunately, we cannot give diagnoses or treatment advice online. Please make an appointment to see us if you live in the NY metropolitan area or seek out a podiatrist in your area.