Updated 07/10/2012 06:33 PM
How to avoid running on empty
It was back to work for some Boilermaker participants Tuesday. They may be through with training for the Utica road race, but physical therapists say there are steps runners should take to keep themselves healthy after big events and all year long. Our Sarah Blazonis stopped by Sitrin's Medical Rehabilitation Center were runners got free physical therapy screenings and helpful tips.
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NEW HARTFORD, N.Y. -- Crossing the Boilermaker finish line for the first time was the main goal for Leia Scime-Stickles this past weekend.
"It was amazing. It was fun. All the fans, the support that we had was great," Scime-Stickles said.
She says she trained for the 15K and felt good afterward. Still, she was one of the runners who stopped by Sitrin's free physical therapy screenings Tuesday.
"I don't want injuries," said Scime-Stickles. "I was having a little shin splint problem and I wanted to make sure I could fix it."
Physical therapists say aches and pains like Scime-Stickles’ are some of the most common complaints they hear following races like the Boilermaker.
"That could be anything from musculoskeletal problems in terms of muscles that are too long or too short up to even biomechanical deficiencies that we may see in someone's knees, hips, feet," said James Wallace, Sitrin's physical therapy director.
Therapists talk to runners about their training routines, listen to any issues they have and observe how they walk and run. Afterward, they make recommendations based on the session.
Physical therapists say oftentimes they're able to find problems in their early stages that some runners might not even know they have or pinpoint a surprising cause of pain such as, in Scime-Stickles case, footwear.
"Two hundred fifty to 500 miles. You would never know," said Scime-Stickles of the recommended lifespan for running shoes. "Just gives me an excuse to go buy more sneakers."
Therapists say all Boilermaker participants should be taking it easy this week.
"It's actually recommended that you reduce your intensity and your mileage by 30 to 50 percent every four to five weeks throughout a season and that really should follow peak events," said Wallace.
Also important is icing aches. Therapists also recommend regular screenings to catch any problems before they develop into long-term ailments.
You can stop by Sitrin for a screening from 8 a.m. to 4 p.m. Thursday. Call (315) 737-2246 to schedule an appointment.