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Youth Sports Running Safety Tips

Running injuries are quite common. But they can be reduced if you follow the proper conditioning and training programs; wear the appropriate apparel and footwear; and are aware of your running environment. Follow these guidelines to prevent injuries.


  • Plan a progressive running program to prevent injuries. A five-minute warm-up (which should raise your temperature by one degree) followed by stretching exercises, is essential before starting a run. Following the run, stretching again is important.

  • During hot weather, run in the early morning or evening, to avoid heat exhaustion. Do not run when pollution levels are high.

  • Start your run with the body feeling "a little cool" since body temperature will increase when you start running.

  • You can lose between six and 12 ounces of fluid for every 20 minutes of running. Drink 10-15 ounces of fluid 10 to 15 minutes prior to running and every 20 to 30 minutes along your route. Weigh yourself before and after a run. For every pound lost, drink one pint of fluid.

  • Run in the shade if possible to avoid direct sun. If exposed to the sun, apply at least #15 sunscreen. Wear sunglasses to filter out UVA and UVB rays, and wear a hat with a visor to shade your eyes and face.

  • In high altitudes, runners should gradually acclimate themselves to lower oxygen levels, by slow, steady increases in speed and distance.

  • When selecting a running shoe, look for good shock absorption and construction that will provide stability and cushioning to the foot. Make sure that there is a thumbnail's width between the end of the longest toe and the end of the shoe. Buy shoes at the end of the day when the foot is the largest.