Aside from fireworks, grilling out, baseball, hot dog eating contests and freedom, the Fourth of July is also synonymous with race season. At this point, many have already begun their busy race schedules and are starting to build up to longer distances. But this Independence Day offers several fun, shorter distance races, to add to the mix.
This Wednesday, Denver offers the Liberty Run, which is a four-mile run/walk in Wash Park and also includes the Firecracker Kid’s Fun Run. Boulder will host the annual Avery's Four on the Fourth. Runners will start from Avery Brewing and run a flat, fast course through the Flatiron Business Park. Georgetown will be hosting the Georgetown 4th of July 5k. And if obstacle races are a bit more thrilling this weekend, be sure to check out the Mad Mud Run up in Steamboat Springs.
However, while staying both fit and patriotic, it is also important to keep safety in mind. Dr. Roger Murken offers some helpful tips to avoid injury while staying active through running.
• Warm up before and stretch after. A good warm up prepares your body for more intense activity. As part of a cool down, stretch while your muscles are still warm.
• Train in advance. Inadequate preparation can lead to injuries during or after the race.
• Incorporate cross training. Running should be a regular part of your training regime, but adding other activities such as biking, swimming and yoga can help.
• Watch for overuse. Even before some runners get to the starting line, common overuse injuries such as stress fractures and tendonitis can take them out of the race.
• Know your feet. Do you pronate or supinate? If you’re not sure, a good running store can take a look and offer advice.
• Wear good shoes. Lots of people keep running shoes far too long, leading to less effective shock absorption and unnecessary wear and tear on the body.
• Beware of going bare. If you join the barefoot running trend, be aware that it puts a different kind of stress on your foot. Train appropriately to avoid injury.
• Listen to your body. Often runners will get a small injury and think they can “run it off.” Listening to your body can help head off injuries and keep you on your feet.
Have a safe and happy Fourth of July!