5k season is here!  Whether you are a beginner runner like myself or a seasoned athlete, are you giving your body what it needs to support your training efforts and setting yourself up for success?  Here are some simple tips that will keep you running:

Train- This might seem like an obvious one but many injuries happen because people overestimate their fitness level and underestimate the task at hand. There are plenty of 5k, 1/2 and marathon training programs available.  Find one that works well for you and stick to it. Give your body the preparation and recovery time it needs.

Hydrate –  As you increase the demand on your body, you will need to increase your hydration. A good percentage of muscle aches and cramps are due to dehydration. Good, clean water is your best source of hydration.

Gear – Invest in good shoes and for women, a good sports bra.

Have your spine checked – Let’s face it, running is not the easiest sport on your body. The health and condition of your spine affects your posture in general and more specifically, your running posture. The condition of your spine can affect your running gait and the condition of your knees and feet. So if you’re feeling aches and pains beyond the post workout soreness or you are not performing the way you would like to be, your spine could be the source of the problem. A properly functioning spine equals a properly functioning body and a better performing body.