I know many of you - like me - have had questions about the various aches, pains and pinches we are feeling as we become more active or even just step up our already active lifestyles. Every time I feel something uncomfortable, I canít help but wonder if itís normal, or if itís the start of an injury that I can prevent if I only knew what to do differently.

We will have one or more speakers on the topic of running injuries in the coming weeks at our Saturday group outings, and Iím lining up some guest blogs on the topic, but donít wait to figure out your own situation if you have a concern.

Hereís one story that might help, forwarded to me by our BLB teammate Leslie Meadows: http://www.runnersworld.com/health/the-big-7-body-breakdowns

Itís a very thorough look at Runnerís Knee, Achilles Tendonitis, Hamstring Issues, Plantar Fasciitis, Shinsplints, Iliotibial Band Syndrome (ITBS), and Stress Fracture - including what it is, whoís at risk, whether you can train through it and how to rehab it.

There are four things Iíll add that we have already learned together:

1) Wear proper running shoes with a style that fits your particular foot shape and running gait. Those 5-year-old sneakers you use for yard work are not going to give you the support you need.

2) Donít blow off your pre-run warm ups and your post-run stretches. Those post-run stretches, in particular, are meant to teach your body more flexibility.

3) Donít overtrain. If you are brand new to running or brisk walking and your training schedule says to run or walk 2 miles, do not run or walk 4 miles. The plan was designed to slowly build your endurance and reduce the risk of injury in getting there.

4) Drink lots of water. We'll talk more about hydration soon since we are going to be increasing our weekly mileage, but for now, we know BLBers have told us water has helped with leg cramps.

Finally, don't forget: The Akron Marathon Race Series events can be walked. If you develop a condition that requires you back off running, it might not interfere with you walking.

See you on the trails!

- Paula