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25 April 2005

Running smart, running strong

Runners need to stay S.M.A.R.T. to cut their risk for overuse injuries, experts say.

Runners need to stay S.M.A.R.T. to cut their risk for overuse injuries, experts say.

The following S.M.A.R.T. tips can help prevent overuse injuries, the association says:
  • Stretch. Perform specific stretching exercises before and after each run, concentrating on the calf, hamstring, quadriceps, groin, buttocks, outside of the knee, and back.
  • Move. Proper body posture and body mechanics will help reduce the strain on the body.
  • Add it up. Runners should take a gradual approach to increasing their running distance and speed. Pushing too hard from one week to the next could result in an injury. Mileage should only be increased about 10 percent per week, the experts say.
  • Reduce strain. Avoid running on hard surfaces. Dirt paths are better than asphalt and asphalt is better than concrete. Beware of grass, which can hide holes, rocks and other hazards. Rotate activities - running, cycling, swimming - in order to reduce strain. Don't overdo it. Proper rest is essential. Drink plenty of fluids while running.
  • Talk to a physiotherapist for fitness and injury prevention advice.

 
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