These tips might help you keep running 5Ks throughout the summer

It’s time to break out the running shoes: 5K season is almost here.

Registration is now open for several area events, including Mukilteo’s Sneakers and Sirens 5K/10K on June 15, Camano Island’s seventh annual Crab Dash 5K/10K on June 22, Edmonds’ fifth annual Beat Brackett 5K on July 4 and Mill Creek’s Run With Heart on Aug. 10.

So, we figure it’s as good a time as any to share some advice from local physical therapists so you can avoid hurting yourself before the last hurdle.

Runners, take your mark.

1. Don’t skip the small stuff. Warm up with some walking, light jogging or skipping for at least five to seven minutes before to running to help increase heart rate and circulation, loosen up joints and increase blood flow to the muscles.

Walking and stretching — to help reduce lactic acid that can lead to stiffness and muscle cramps — should do the trick for a cool down.

2. Wear the right shoes.

Those PF Flyers may have helped Benny “The Jet” Rodriguez outrun “The Beast” in the 1993 comedy “Sandlot,” but they’re not fit for a 5K.

The way your feet strike ground affects muscles and joints throughout your body’s kinetic chain, from the feet and ankles to the knees and hips, and up into your spine and torso.

Buy shoes that fit properly, but also can absorb the impact of each stride over long distances.

3. Listen to your body.

Forget the “no pain, no gain” mantra, unless you want to injure yourself.

If you feel pain or unnatural discomfort or fatigue, take a breather and assess the damage. You also may want to seek treatment.

If your pain level rises from a 2 to a 4 on a scale of 10, it’s time to stop and figure out what’s going on.

Evan Thompson, Herald writer

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