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Your best bet to beat aches is a stretch-then-soothe strategy, Dr. Metzl advises: "Before your run, do three minutes of dynamic stretches, including walking lunges, followed by a two-minute light jog." Once you're back home, grab a foam roller -- like the Gold's Gym 18" Foam Roller ($15, walmart.com) -- and slowly iron out your muscles with these moves.
Hips: The muscles around your hip joint, a.k.a. the hip flexors, help you draw your knee up as you stride. They can get inflamed, resulting in a feeling of tightness or even a sharp pain with every step.
Hip Flexors Roll
Your glutes, which help stabilize your pelvis as you pound the pavement, can tighten up if they are too weak, Dr. Metzl says.
As your foot strikes the ground, your hamstrings contract to counterbalance the forward motion of your body. "Sometimes pushing too hard too soon can cause a strain in them," Dr. Metzl says.
Originally published in FITNESS magazine, June 2012.