Weather, mileage could increase Mini Marathon injury risk

INDIANAPOLIS (WISH) – Thousands of runners have been hitting the streets, tracks and trails in anticipation for the OneAmerica 500 Festival Mini Marathon six weeks from Saturday.

Typically, runners who follow a training program would have reached eight to nine miles so many weeks ahead of the May 3 race of 13.1 miles. However, progress for many this year has suffered due to the season. Few days of pleasant weather for outdoor runs could add up to bigger problems, according to running coach Stephanie Kaiser.

Kaiser coordinates the mini training program at the National Institute for Fitness and Sport (NIFS) in Indianapolis. She expressed concern that as anxious athletes kick their plans into high gear, and high mileage, injuries like shin splints, exhausted muscles and stress fractures could sideline goals.

“You don’t want to just start running a ton right now to try to make up for any lost time that you might have had,” Kaiser said. “Follow a gradual progression into some longer runs.”

To avoid injury, Kaiser suggests slowly progressing into longer distances while making sure to stretch and rest between runs.

“The best plan of action is to make sure you’re recovering right; getting enough sleep and eating right, hydrating, all that is going to play into staying healthy leading up to the race,” she said.

The 2014 Mini Marathon will mark the 38th running of the race. The event is considered the nation’s largest half marathon. It has sold out to 35,000 participants the past 12 years.

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