Here’s your quick primer to stay healthy as you head out the door for your first run
As the weather grows ever warmer, it’s tempting to lace up your running shoes from last year and head out for a run. But don’t go from zero to 10K right away.
Most running injuries happen because guys do too much too fast, says Vijay Vad, M.D., a sports medicine specialist at the Hospital for Special Surgery and the author of The New Rules of Running. He advises finding a pace that lets you breathe rhythmically as you run: Inhale through your nose for a count of two, hold it for two, and then exhale through your nose and mouth for two. Can’t do it? Back off the throttle until you can.
That said, injury prevention is also about what you do when you’re not running. Do weight training and cycling at least once every five days to strengthen your muscles without overloading your joints and other soft tissue, says Dr. Vad. (Avoid squats and lunges, which strain the same joints that running does. Work your glutes with hip raises instead.)
One more thing: Buy two pairs of running shoes. A study from Luxembourg shows that runners who switched between at least two pairs of shoes were 39 percent less likely to sustain running-related injuries. This may be because the different structures of the kicks alternated the location of forces applied to their bodies as they ran.