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An expert guide to avoiding injuries

HERE are some simple tips from the Irish Society of Chartered Physiotherapists on how to reduce the risk of injury as you prepare for the Flora Women's Mini Marathon:

1. If the increasing mileage proves too tough, take an easy day or rest, this will allow your body to refuel and recover.

2. Never increase your mileage by more than 10pc in a week; and never increase both speed and distance in the same week.

3. Vary your running surface and direction of your runs.

4. You don't have to run all the time; include cross-training into your programme with cycling, rowing and swimming.

5. Replace running shoes regularly; look under the soles for wear and the mid-sole for over-compression. It's better to vary between two pairs during your preparation.

Go to a specialist sports shop for advice on the best running shoe for your foot type, it's an essential expense. Increased back/leg aches and pains may be a sign that your running shoes need to be changed.

6. Warm up adequately with easy running to prepare your joints and muscles for your race pace, include stride outs, high knee lifts, heel kicks and trunk twisting. Perform static sustained stretches after running to minimise muscle soreness and joint stiffness. This helps to prepare your body for your next running session.

7. Keep a training diary. This is a useful way of monitoring last year's form and your training prior to an injury. Use the information to prevent the same pitfalls and to plan your next running programme.