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Destination Recreation: Running Injury Prevention - WCAX.COM Local Vermont News, Weather and Sports-

Destination Recreation: Running Injury Prevention

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BURLINGTON, Vt. -

These days the Burlington Bike Path is getting more traffic.

"Now that the weather is nice and it's finally springtime, I try to get out as much as possible," says Landon Fenimore from Elizabethtown, N.Y.

Landon Fenimore goes out for a run almost everyday during the warmer months.

In the past, while getting back into his running groove, he's developed some minor injuries, especially in his hamstrings.

"Occasionally, yeah. I mean you kind of have to ease into it a little bit, and make sure to stretch, that's important," he says.

That's a good point: One of the most common mistakes that runners make is trying to do too much too fast.

"Pain can occur really under any one of those specific bones," says Dr. Stephen Merena.

Dr. Merena is a podiatrist with Fletcher Allen, and he has 15 years of experience under his belt.

"Doing some sort of warm-up that's going to loosen up the muscles and the tendons in your foot and and ankle, as well as the leg as a whole," he says.

Even with the proper warm-up, don't over-do it.

"The average runner will impact the ground at about 7 to 8 times their body weight, compared to just a walking stride," he says.

With so much force focused on your joints, Merena has a good rule of thumb to follow.

"No more than 10 percent increase in mileage per week," he recommends.

The terrain that you run on can make a difference too. Flatter, forgiving surfaces are a safer bet.

Our feet also need some love, Merena recommends being properly fitted.

"There's certain shoe places within the area that take the time to look at your foot, evaluate what happens when you're standing, walking, or running, and can help pick appropriate foot gear," he says.

Even with the right gear, injuries do happen.

"The most common injury is associated with either heel or arch pain, primarily on the bottom of the heel, and with the heel pain the most common diagnosis is plantar fasciitis," he says.

In general if you're body is overly sore or achy, Merena says you should take a break -- a notion that can be tough for runners to swallow.

"If you try to push through these types of injuries, it'll compound itself and make it worse," he says.

A little rest can go a long way in terms of recovery. And with a little luck, you'll be running on some of Vermont's scenic terrain before too long.

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