RENO, NV - With spring weather returning and summer on the way, you might be considering doing a little running to shed a few pounds or get in shape. However, if you are new to the sport and are thinking, 'how hard could it be,' there are a few serious injuries beginners need to look out for.
When Jane Owen hit the 40-year milestone in August last year, she wanted a healthier lifestyle, but as a mother of four, finding time for herself can be difficult.
"If you're going to be selfish, be selfish for your health," Owen said. "It was kind of an adjustment for them to take time out of our busy schedule to do this for my schedule."
She decided to pick up running, without any training. After a while she started to feel some pain in her knees.
"About 20 percent of runners will experience knee pain at some point," said Christa Jacobe-Mann, a physical therapist from Nevada Physical Therapy. "It can be due to a lot of reasons but it comes from weakness in the hips or having abnormal shock absorption in your feet or ankles."
Owen's first lesson: not all shoes are the same because you get what you pay for.
"Oh my goodness, when I started, I had a pair of shoes I've had for 10 years, just an old pair of tennis shoes."
After she was properly fitted for the right shoes, her problems disappeared. However, it's not just shoes that will stop you from hurting yourself. Experts say, it's all about your training and knowing your limits.
"Too much too soon leads to problems," listen to your symptoms early so it doesn't become a chronic problem that can impact training for future races," said Jacobe-Mann.
Beginners can expect to train about five weeks for a three-mile run and 16 weeks for a marathon.
"Make sure you can walk a good two miles without experiencing any pain and then when you can do that a couple of times, start slowly incorporating running, maybe move to a walk to jog and then start jogging more and walking less," Jacobe-Mann said.
Runners are notorious for not stretching enough after a race; it's important to keep the blood flowing through the muscles.
Owen just finished her first marathon in April.
If you want to join a running club...the Reno Running and Fitness club offers free runs on Tuesday evenings and Sunday afternoons.