Get set for running season, even if you’re sidelined

Nov 6, 2014, 6:00 AM | Updated: 6:00 am

Time to clear our minds of elections season, with a race of another sort: Running season!

With daytime highs no longer hovering in the triple digits, Arizona is in prime running form for the next six months.

The official season kicked off Saturday with the 3TV Phoenix 10k.

This year, retailer Runner’s Den noticed a number of customers returning back to the sport in their 40s and 50s after taking a few years off for family or work obligations.

If you are one of the thousands of Arizonans sidelined from running by knee or back injuries, Doctor Art Mollen with the Mollen Clinic recommends a number of programs before you opt for knee surgery.

“Knee surgery should be a last option,” he said. “Instead, choose a physical therapy or bicycling program that will help to strengthen your knee, so that you don’t get that shifting from side to side.”

Core exercises often also help, said Mollen.

“Often, a patient doesn’t realize the pain in their knee is related to a lower back issue,” he said.

It’s why he recommends anyone returning to running after a long break, get checked out by their doctor and do plenty of stretching before heading out on foot.

If the pain does not go away with therapy and stretching, “there are injections (doctors) can give you into the knee that can be beneficial,” said Mollen.

“But, most often they are temporary and they are not long term,” he warned.

Between now and May, more than 100 races are scheduled in the greater Phoenix area.

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Get set for running season, even if you’re sidelined