Kara Sundlun learns how to avoid running injuries - WFSB 3 Connecticut

Kara on the Run

Kara Sundlun learns how to avoid running injuries

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Dr. Beth Taylor measures Kara Sundlun's heart rate. (WFSB photo) Dr. Beth Taylor measures Kara Sundlun's heart rate. (WFSB photo)

The countdown to the Hartford Marathon continues.

With just about a week to go, Eyewitness News anchor Kara Sundlun keeps plugging away at her 5k race training.

Since it's her first race, she recently met with a doctor to learn how to avoid injuries.

Sundlun went to Hartford Hospital to get a heart rate test.

Dr. Beth Taylor, an exercise physiologist, told Sundlun that most new runners try to do too much and can end up hurt.

“The big ones, plantar fasciitis, tendonitis, tight calves, can be from increasing mileage too much,” she said.

A good way to stay in the safe zone, according to Taylor, is to train according to the heart rate.

Taylor had Sundlun jog on a treadmill wearing a heart rate monitor. She measured the rate, then bumped up the speed to get Sundlun to her maximum.

However, Taylor said runners do not want to be at their max when running long distance.

“The chief mistake runners make is training at 10-minute mile and going out at 7-minute mile,” Taylor said. “You can't sustain that, you didn't train at that.”

Deep breaths and slowing down can help a runner finish.

“The faster you recover, the fitter you are,” Taylor said.

Sundlun said that so far, she's been keeping up with her training. However, Taylor said it's important to listen to the body over the plan.

“If you are starting to feel an injury, take a day off,” Taylor said. “It will save you so much over a long span.”

Knee and hip injuries are very common among runners.

To avoid them, doctors recommend strengthening the core and getting plenty of sleep.

“Everyday you run, you need adequate sleep because you are breaking down muscles,” Taylor said. “If you don't get enough sleep, you are risking a real injury.”

As Sundlun runs more, Taylor recommended good food.

“You need protein,” Taylor said. “You need adequate carbohydrates.”

That meant having some bread, but not too much.

“Running increases appetite. No one wants to train and gain weight,” Taylor said. “And then you are carrying on extra weight, which increases risk of injury.”

Sundlun said that in the next few weeks, she planned to sleep and eat well in order to be ready for the race on Oct. 11. To register for the race, click here.

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