How to train and prevent common injuries ahead of the Tunnel to Towers South Carolina 5K event

How to train and prevent common injuries ahead of the Tunnel to Towers South Carolina 5K event

COLUMBIA, S.C. (WIS) - The annual Stephen Siller Tunnel to Towers South Carolina 5K event will take place on Friday evening, September 20, in Columbia’s Vista.

Stacie Weaver, a nurse at Lexington Medical Center, will take part in the race the fourth time on Friday.

“Running in Tunnel to Towers is more than just a 5K,” she said. “It’s about helping support and give back to the military that makes a sacrifice every day to provide freedom for us. This is just a small way that I can give back and say that, yes, I do support you and your families and thank you for your service and thank you for what you give to this country.”

While she has run dozens of 5K’s, she trains diligently for each race.

“I try to make sure that I get adequate sleep, I make sure that I stretch in the mornings and evenings, and I also take a hot bath the night before with Epsom salt just to help with muscle recovery to make sure my muscles are as loose as can be,” Weaver said.

If you’re not a frequent runner like Weaver, Dr. Justin Knight, an orthopedic surgeon at Lexington Medical Center wants to remind those running to know their limits to prevent common injuries when training for a race.

“Runners in my clinic, being a sports medicine clinic, and some of the most common things that I’ll see are typically cartilage damage in the front part of the knee,” Dr. Knight said. “We commonly call that runners knee. We’ll see tears in the meniscus cartilage, which is the cushion between the femur bone and tibia bone, and we’ll see a lot of different tendonitis,” Knight said.

So what should you do to prepare?

“Make sure that you stretch, make sure that you’re working on your flexibility, make sure that you hydrate, make sure that you are incorporating strength training and that sort of thing in your workout,” Knight said.

Knight added hydration is key after the run.

“Especially living in South Carolina like we do where it’s very hot and humid, we got to hydrate, hydrate, hydrate, and that will help with cramping and certainly help with your post-run recovery, and you got to stretch after the run for sure,” Knight said.

Knight recommended trying to keep meals light right before you run to minimize risks with cramping.

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