Dr. Jordan Metzl says to look for overuse injuries

< p>The expert:
Jordan Metzl, M.D.

Running résumé:
With 29 marathons and nine Ironman finishes to his name, sports doc and medical columnist Jordan Metzl believes in the power of a challenge. In his post at New York City's Hospital for Special Surgery, Metzl specializes in the non-surgical treatment of sports injuries -- an approach designed to help athletes of all levels get back in the game as quickly as possible.

His forthcoming book, "The Athlete's Book of Home Remedies," (March, 2012), offers easy-to-follow strategies and smart self-treatment for common injuries that might otherwise keep us sidelined. To join his many devotees, check out Dr. Metzl's IronStrength Workout on Runnersworld.com. Dr. Metzl is also a member of the espnW Advisory Board.

Sage advice:
Be vigilant. With just four weeks to race day and so many workouts already under your belt, the last month of training can start to feel like a coast to the finish. Not so fast. Overuse injuries mount over time, so taking care of your body in this last stretch is key. As you move toward tapering, try and treat yourself like you did when you were just getting started: plenty of sleep, foods that fuel and workouts consistent with your plan. Along the way, remember that while aches and pains come with the territory, anything that's uncomfortable enough to cause a change in stride is a red flag. If that happens, see a doc. Otherwise, stay calm, trust your training and listen to your body as you enter the final stretch -- just like you will on race day. You'll conquer this challenge and be ready for the next one.

Cheer Sage on via Twitter @espnW: #run SAGE.

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