If you’re not a runner, the prospect of running a 5k may seem daunting. But with a little bit of preparation, anyone can do it! Here are some tips to get you started:
1. Start slow
Build up your mileage gradually. If you try to do too much too soon, you’ll likely end up injured.
Achilles tendonitis is a common injury among runners, especially those who are just starting out. The Achilles tendon is the thickest and strongest tendon in the body, connecting the calf muscles to the heel bone, but it can easily become inflamed or irritated if you’re not careful.
Symptoms of Achilles tendonitis include pain and stiffness in the Achilles tendon, swelling, and difficulty flexing your ankle. If you think you might have Achilles tendonitis, it’s important to see a podiatrist right away. Untreated tendonitis can lead to more serious problems, such as ruptured tendons.
Another common running injury is a sprained ankle. This happens when the ligaments that support the ankle are twisted or stretched beyond their limits. Symptoms include pain, swelling, and difficulty walking. You should apply ice and compression to the area, and make an appointment with your podiatrist immediately.
An ankle sprain can often be confused with another common running injury: peroneal tendonitis. There are two peroneal tendons that stabilize your foot and protect it from sprains. When one or both become inflamed, this is called peroneal tendonitis. Symptoms of peroneal tendonitis can include pain around the ankle, swelling, stiffness, and difficulty walking. Not only is peroneal tendonitis often mistaken for an ankle sprain, but the peroneal tendon is also slow to heal, especially without the proper treatment. It is important to see a podiatrist to prevent any delay in healing.
If you begin to experience pain in your arch or heel you may have plantar fasciitis. Many runners get plantar fasciitis due to a lack of proper arch support and a lack of stretching (we’ll discuss that more below). Plantar fasciitis is a condition that many people think will get better on its own, but trust us, it won’t. Symptoms include pain and stiffness in your arch and heel, pain after standing, or feeling that your feet are tired. Seeking treatment from a podiatrist is important to prevent a more serious condition such as a plantar fascia tear.
2. Pay attention to your body and take breaks when you need them.
Take a break when you need it! If you push your body too far, not only will you be miserable, but you can cause one of the injuries previously mentioned.
3. Make sure to stretch before and after your runs.
This will help prevent injuries and keep your muscles loose. Check out some simple stretches you can dohere.
4. Stay hydrated!
Drink plenty of water before, during, and after your run. I like to usehydration tablets to make sure I stay hydrated during my runs.
5. Invest in a good pair of running shoes.
They don’t have to be the most expensive, but they should fit well and be designed for running. Make sure that your tennis shoes aren’t flexible and have a well-cushioned sole for shock absorption. Some of my favorite running shoes are Brooks, Asics, and New Balance.
6. Start slow and finish strong.
Even if you don’t think you can run the entire 5k, start off slow and pick up. Over time your body will adjust and running will become easier!
Whether you’re just starting out or you’ve been running for years, injuries are always a risk. But with the proper knowledge and precautions, you can minimize your chances of getting hurt. If you do injure yourself, we can help get you back on your feet with laser therapy. The MLS laser is a cold laser, which uses specific wavelengths and a patented delivery system to speed up the process of relieving inflammation, pain and repairing damaged tissue. Most patients feel a 75% reduction in pain after just six laser treatments performed in two weeks.
For more information about running injuries or laser treatment, contact our office at or schedule an appointment online.