(ABC) -More and more people are on the run…literally. A recent study found that participation in the 100 largest road races in the United States grew 77 percent over the past 14 years.

Dr. Laura Goldberg, a sports health expert at Cleveland Clinic, says the key to finishing any road race without hurting yourself is proper training.

"One person's 5k may be another person's marathon, so it's really a matter of increasing your training and making sure you have enough of a base and that you've built up your miles so you can handle what you're training for," Dr. Goldberg explained.

Dr. Goldberg says part of your training should include a hydration and fuel plan. She says practice hydrating yourself before, during and after long runs, so you're prepared on race day. Consider what you'll eat, too. You should also pay close attention to the weather in the weeks leading up to the race. Have several clothing options available that you are comfortable wearing on long runs, and put together a pacing plan.

Dr. Goldberg says having enough time to prepare for your race is most critical.

"The rule of thumb is we're not really building more than 10 percent mileage a week, so if you build that in, to get up to 26 miles takes a lot longer than 13, or 6 or 3," Dr. Goldberg said.

Dr. Goldberg says to expect to take two to three months to build your base mileage. She says you have to establish your base mileage first, before you can start adding 10 percent a week.

In other health news, be sure to mark your calendar for the free skin cancer screenings at the Leah M. Fitch Cancer Center in Lawton. It will be held on Saturday, May 14, from 8 a.m. until noon. To schedule an appointment, call 580-250-6565.

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