Health Watch: Fairbanks Memorial Hospital offers insights on training for summer running events

Published: Apr. 27, 2022 at 4:41 PM AKDT
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FAIRBANKS, Alaska (KTVF) - Summer is right around the corner, and with it will come community events like races and marathons. But when training to participate in events like the Midnight Sun Run, there are some best practices one can utilize to avoid injuries.

According to Dr. Nicholas Rasmussen, Doctor of Physical Therapy for Fairbanks Memorial Hospital, when training for a race or marathon, one of the first steps one should take is to get their body used to moving for the duration of the event. “So if it’s a 5K, and you’re looking to spend 30 minutes doing that,” Dr. Rasmussen explained, “get used to being active on your feet continuously for that amount of time so your bones and your tissues get used to the amount of workload that that’s going to entail.”

Another key aspect is getting the body used to more and more running bit by bit. “If you tolerate for a mile, go out and run a mile for three times a week and then start building from there,” Dr. Rasmussen elaborated. “Generally speaking, it’s about a 10% increase every two to three weeks in your overall distance of the time that you spend during the activity.”

But while training, there are a few common injuries one should be on the lookout for according to Dr. Rasmussen. “A lot of times we see issues with shin splints or ankle problems. We see some hip problems or the outside of the thigh, the lateral thigh. We see some low back pain, a lot of times just from the the impact of the running especially when people don’t have the strength they need around the hips.”

Dr. Rasmussen continued, “Any kind of warning sign is like a consistent ache that regularly bothers you either during the run or after the run, and if these things start to become a higher intensity or they start lasting longer or they start happening sooner. So maybe you start and you don’t have pain until after your run and it doesn’t happen for a couple hours, and then it happens sooner and sooner, and then you’re having pain during a run,, and now you’re starting to deal with pain before the run. Those are cardinal signs that something’s getting worse, not better.”

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