Tips For Runners: 3 Key Areas To Focus On To Help You Cross The Finish Line

Have you taken up a new fitness routine after Christmas? Or are you sticking to your New Years Resolution? 

This past month alone, I’ve seen many clients who have mentioned signing up for local 5K and 10K runs and starting to schedule training for these races over the next few months (the majority actually being New Years Resolutions) which is inspiring!

“However, it is so important to make sure you take care yourself to avoid any sort of injury!”

Runners should concentrate on three key areas during their training:

1) Increasing distance gradually (10% each week as a guide)

2) Wearing appropriate footwear that maintains optimal foot position in order to put as little stress as possible on the lower limbs

3) Follow a comprehensive strengthening and stretching program in addition to running

Warm-ups & cool-downs:

Ensure that warm-ups and cool-downs include thorough stretches in order to maintain optimal muscle length reducing stress on the lower limbs.

Maintain training:

Obviously, cardiovascular fitness is a priority for runners, however following a core-strengthening program will provide support for the lower back, reducing the risk if herniated discs or sciatica.


Running on hard surfaces can damage the knees. Foam roller exercises and stretching are a good way of mobilizing the tissues on the outside of the leg to help reduce knee pain.


Performance can be improved and risk of injury reduced by performing leg strengthening exercises such as squats.

Power and stability:

Stabilizing exercises such as single-leg squats ensure that the body Is well supported when running.

If you follow these simple rules, it will make the future training you’re doing much easier and puts you back in control.

If you have any questions or want more tips, just ask me or call our clinic. 🙂

Kim Gladfelter

Kim Gladfelter, PT, MPT, OCS, FAAOMPT, is a physical therapist and owner of PhysioFit Physical Therapy & Wellness in Los Altos, CA. Kim's facility has a complete wellness center, offering classes in Pilates, Yoga, Gyrotonic® and TRX suspension training, as well as special clinical programs for women’s health. Kim works with people aged 30-65+ on a daily basis and is an expert Columnist who writes health articles for the Los Altos Town Crier newspaper, professional newsletters and blogs nationwide. She also reaches out to the local community, support groups, schools, libraries and sports centers to advise and educate on body awareness and exercise for back pain.
Kim Gladfelter

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