Tips to stay healthy leading to race day

PHILADELPHIA (WPVI) -- We're about two weeks and counting from the Blue Cross Broad Street Run, and now is a crucial time in training. You want to get your miles in, but also stay healthy leading up to the race.

The Broad Street Run is an annual tradition in Philadelphia. This year it's May 1st when tens-of-thousands of people will run 10 miles down Broad Street.

The City Fit Girls is a group of women who meet every Wednesday to do a fun training run in the city.

"It's my thing. I love it. It calms me down and keeps me healthy," says Rachel Brown.

This will be her second Blue Cross Broad Street Run. She's hoping to improve her time but also stay injury-free.

She says, "I really try to bump up my mileage on the weekends by one or two miles each week. I really try to be cautious about that."

Dr. Todd McGrath, a sports medicine doctor with Aria 3B Orthopedics, says that slow and steady training is key. He says many common complaints, such as knee pain, Achilles tendonitis and plantar fasciitis, are due to over-training or increasing your mileage too quickly.

Dr. McGrath says, "If you start feeling those little aches and pains, you want to back it off a little bit."

He also recommends cross-training and tapering a few weeks out. That's advice the City Fit Girls will follow.

"So, getting in the shorter runs and taking it easy, cross-training so you're not putting too much stress on the body," explained Dr. McGrath.

He says most injuries won't take you out of the game, but there are some symptoms that should be checked out.

"Things that linger beyond the run, things that start to change the way you run or affect your running gait," he said.

For Rachel, she's feeling strong and says she'll be ready.

She tells us, "My goal is to stay healthy and have fun."

And one more tip: If you've fallen behind on your training, don't try to cram the miles in. Try to pick up where you left off, still taper down, and then come race day it's better to lower your overall expectations. Go out slow and just enjoy the run.

For more information on City Fit Girls, visit:
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