Running: Knowing the Basics Goes a Long Way
Running: Knowing the Basics Goes a Long Way
- Run in familiar neighborhoods close to your home.
- Do not run in dark, secluded areas, especially at night.
- Avoid busy, highly trafficked streets.
- Take responsibility for staying clear of motor vehicles.
- Never assume a driver can see you in his mirrors.
- If you do run at dawn, dusk, or at night, wear bright clothing including at least one piece of clothing with specially designed reflectors.
- Avoid wearing headphones while running, as they decrease your awareness of surroundings.
Treating the Inevitable
- Level 1—Minor pain noticed after running
- Level 2—Discomfort or tightness noticed while running, but does not limit activity
- Level 3—Pain felt while running that begins to limit activity
- Level 4—Severe pain while running that forces you to stop
- Level 1 may requires 1-2 days rest.
- Level 2 requires 4-7 days rest.
- Level 3 requires 2-4 weeks rest.
- Level 4 may need six weeks or more of relative rest.
Stay well hydrated but avoid over-hydration.
- Drink fluids 30-45 minutes prior to running, and a cupful every 10-15 minutes while running depending upon your individual needs.
- The American College of Sports Medicine recommends drinking at intervals to match fluid loss, along with intake of electrolytes to prevent hyponatremia (a dangerously low level of sodium in the blood).
- Build slowly, gradually increasing your running in hot weather, so as to give your system time to acclimate itself. And take into account your fitness level, since the less fit you are, the more susceptible you are to heat-related injury.
- Pay attention to humidity. Recognize that the combination of heat and humidity affects your system. For example, 85ºF (29ºC) heat with very high humidity puts more strain on your system than 95ºF (35ºC) heat with very low humidity.
- Recognize that many health conditions, including type 2 diabetes, high blood pressure, the flu, and obesity, as well as many medicines, can lower your heat tolerance. If you are uncertain about a condition or medicine, check with your doctor.
- Wear sunblock and UV-protective sunglasses when running during the day to protect against skin and eye damage.
- Warm up well before you begin each run.
- Avoid icy areas and snowy areas. But if you must choose, remember that snow gives you much more traction than ice.
- Recognize that not just cold, but cold plus wind (the wind chill factor) causes cold-related injuries, including frostbite.
- To help maintain warmth throughout your run, begin your run heading into the wind and return with the wind at your back.
- Make sure your entire body is protected. Pay special attention to your extremities (head, ears, hands, and feet), which are most susceptible to frostbite. Since a great deal of heat is lost through your head, be sure to wear a warm hat, and in extreme wind and cold, wear a ski mask or other protection for your face.
- Wear proper clothing. Wool is warm and helps whisk moisture away from your skin, but it can be heavy. Polypropylene and Gortex clothing are warm, allow evaporation of sweat, and have the benefit of being lightweight. A layer of nylon can also help lessen the effect of wind. On your feet, try a thick sock over a thinner sock as long as this does not make your foot fit too tightly in your shoe.
American Council on Exercise http://www.acefitness.org/
American Society of Exercise Physiologists http://www.asep.org/
Canadian Society of Exercise Physiology http://www.csep.ca/
Healthy Canadians http://www.healthycanadians.gc.ca/
American College of Sports Medicine Recommendations for Endurance Athletes. Am Fam Physician.2000;73(3): 547.
Early detection and treatment of running injuries. Team Oregon website. Available at: http://www.teamoregon.com.
Georgia State University website. Available at: http://www2.gsu.edu/~wwwfit/running.html.
How to avoid injuries. Dr. Pribut's Running Injuries website. Available at: http://www.drpribut.com/sports/sportframe.html.
Johnson JA. The running shoe. In: O’Connor FG, Wilder RP, ed. Textbook of Running Medicine. New York: McGraw Hill; 2001:589-594.
Wilder RP, O’Connor FG. Evaluation of the Injured Runner. In: O’Connor FG, Wilder RP, ed. Textbook of Running Medicine. New York: McGraw Hill; 2001:51.
- Reviewer: Brian Randall, MD
- Review Date: 12/2011 -
- Update Date: 12/20/2011 -