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Get the Most Out of Your Run
Date:7/14/2009

re a bit different. So are brands. Choose a pair of running shoes that feel comfortable to your foot.

Before hitting the pavement or the trails, stretch.

  • Loosen up the calf and thigh muscles, otherwise known as a runners' stretch. Also stretch the hamstrings, often the site of runner's injuries.
  • To warm up, start by walking and then progress to a slow jog, building speed and intensity as you go. Don't forget to stretch again after you run.

Running surface matters.

  • Try to run on a surface that is softer than pavement, such as a running track. If you've just starting running or are returning to it after not running for a while, the smooth, flat track surface will make it easier to avoid tripping over irregular roots, rocks or inclines that can cause sprains.
  • Work up to hills or off-road running. Running up hills puts added stress on the Achilles tendon, which is commonly injured in runners, while running downhill puts more pressure on the knees, hips and back.
  • A track is better than a treadmill. Treadmills can lead to repetitive stress injuries because runners don't vary their stride.

Pace yourself.

  • Begin your sessions with a slow walk progressing to a slow jog before picking up speed, especially in the early stages of training.
  • Beginners or those just getting back into running should take a day off between runs, to allow muscles to rest, recover and heal. This is especially true if you're feeling sore.

Watch your technique.

  • To avoid injury, try to have your feet land just beneath your hips. Avoid over-striding.
  • Pay attention to your posture. Keep your shoulders back and your hands lightly cupped. Clenching your fists can cause tension in your shoulders and arms.
  • Hold your elbows close to the body at a 90-degree angle for the greatest upper body efficiency.

And finally, make sure you
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