Should you stretch that injury?| Dr. Stephen Gangemi "Sock Doc" | “Traditional stretching does not help injuries because it strains the muscle fibers and connective tissues that are trying to heal.”
Does Stretching Alter Your Muscles or Your Brain? | Alex Hutchinson | Stretching may be more about the brain relaxing the muscles than the muscles actually lengthening, at least the type of stretching most people do.
Quite a Stretch -Stretching research clearly shows that a stretching habit isn’t good for much of anything that people think it is | Paul Ingraham from SaveYourself.ca | “”There is really only one “benefit” to stretching that seems to be clear and (almost) uncontroversial: it does increase flexibility. The trouble is, what is it worth? Is it actually a benefit?””
Stop Stretching Your Hamstrings! | Michelle Edwards | “Pulling on any muscle in a static stretch will not make a muscle longer but might damage the tendons and ligaments that keep joints stable during movement. Instead take long walks, lay on a big exercise ball to open the front of your body and try a standing desk.”
They say runners need flexibility, but you may be surprised at the latest thinking | Amanda Loudin |“If the springs aren’t tight enough, they can’t do their jobs properly.”
“Hello! I’m writing here today to ask for your help. running was always one of my favorite parts of the day. I would look forward to getting my run in and it was always a great time to get out my emotions. But recently its different. I’ve been plagued by injury after injury and its starting to drag on my love for running. Running has almost become a chore for me lately. its hard to get up enough motivation to go for a run or to even think about running. I’ve tried changing up my running style, the time i run, the people i run with, I’ve even tried running alone but nothing seems to work. I was wondering if you have any tips or ideas on something that could help me. I would appreciate it very much.”
Get a Coach
This is not only on the list because I’m a coach, but because I have a coach and it has given my running a renewed sense of purpose. The simple fact that someone is taking the time out of their life to prescribe me training and looking at my log is huge motivation. I want to do my best for them and for myself! Also, you mention recurring injury. Coaches can be a great tool to help an athlete who’s been having injury issues. An outside view (aka someone telling you what to do or what not to do) can be a good asset.
Sign Up For a Race or a Race Series
I just had an athlete finish up an entire series of races. Each event gave finishers points based on their placing and the number of other runners. This was a fun series as it gave more meaning to each individual race, as well as having a nice schedule of events for a number of months. He seriously enjoyed doing this and tracked his improvements compared the same races last year.
Take a Break
There is a quick and easy solution for people who have lost their love of the run. Don’t run. Go on a running holiday, give yourself permission to not run at all. Maybe within a week or a month you’ll find yourself wanting to go for a run. There you go, now you can go run 🙂
“If you don’t enjoy running, why fight through it? You need to enjoy running or you won’t be able to take on new challenges.” – Renato Canova
Honestly, the runs I enjoy the most are the slowest and most relaxing ones. The ones that my only concern is to “run easy”. I do track the distance and I do wear a heart rate monitor, but only view them afterwards for review. Slowing down and the below suggestion can both help keep athletes from over-extending and becoming injured, which you brought up in your question.
Buy a Book, Start a Training Plan
Having a schedule laid out for you so you can visually connect with the next 3-5 months of training can really help put things in perspective. I’d also suggest having at least one goal race at the end of this plan.
Back before I was a runner, I was a cyclist, and became bored. Adding two other sports into the mix led to new adventures in training and racing!
Do you have any other suggestions for the bored runner?
Have a question you’d like me to answer? Please contact me!
Totally had a blast last week! Saturday was possibly the warmest day we’ve had all year. So I took the opportunity and did the 9 mile bike path loop that goes right past my apartment! Desi jumped on the bike and road with me 🙂 Love our bike-runs!
Key workouts last week were:
7.33 miles in 1:00:00
warm up + 8x60sec Max Hill Sprints with long recoveries + cool down
This was a treadmill run, fairly comfortable effort. throughout. This was a progression from a similar workout 4-5 weeks prior that had fewer hill sprints.
10.15miles in 1:1
Gradual increase in pace over the course.
Splits & HR: 8:29 (101), 7:50 (142), 7:47 (143), 7:38 (146), 7:29 (149), 7:26 (149), 7:20 (149), 7:04 (153), 7:09 (157), 6:48 (156)
I followed this up with a 4 mile run later in the afternoon even, that one an easy sub 8 minute pace too!
Next week, I’m looking at a few key workouts consisting of:
wu + 10x400m @ 5k goal pace (5:28) with 400m jogging recovery + cd
Moderate Long Run of 90 min with the last 30min @ aerobic threshold (~6:15)
This week was a fairly easy taper week for my first race of 2014, a cold 5k.
I don’t taper how most runners traditionally do, which it seems is lowered volume & lowered intensity.
The previous months have been general training, as I’ve been stuck indoors. Usually a weekly tempo run, a weekly longer run, and more steady state runs in between. The workouts from the last week are below:
warm up, 25min tempo run, cool down
warm up, MOD50, 40 @ aerobic threshold, cool down
Warm up, 30min fartlek, cool down
20 minute warm up, reps of 600m to 100m at 5k goal pace (3:30 / km) with equal distance jogging. No cool down.
Nothing special today. I did a 15 minute warmup followed by a 15 minute fartlek with accelerations ranging from 25m to 300m.
4k warm up, 5k in 17:32, 3k cool down
I’m of course happy with the 9 second PR, however I’m a bit disappointed that I won by something like 5 minutes! I drove an hour to this race in hopes of having at least 1 other person close to my fitness level, to help push me along. The temp was a cold 13 degrees and my tights actually had crotch frost at the end! My motivation was quite low, and the 4th kilometer was primarily uphill and into the wind, making it possibly the slowest kilometer I’ve run in a 5k race in the last year. Next up is the Scotty Roberts 5k in 6 weeks, judging from previous results there should be a couple people close to my fitness level at the run!
Only once a week do I generally drink caffeine. Before my 5k I drank this “instant latte” from Starbucks. Drinking caffeinated coffee only once a week before a hard really definitely makes a big difference! After my race and hard workouts I drink a couple cups of soy/almond milk with a scoop of a greens powder.
This was certainly an interesting week. I was in Portland OR from Monday to Friday, and was only able to run at sunrise in the AM on Tue, Wed, and Thur as I was traveling the entire days of Mon and Friday.
I wanted to enjoy running in PDX more than doing workouts, plus I had no idea where I was going to run. The two times I was able to get out were more just me exploring than actually training, which was great. I loved being out there, check out the photos as the bottom of this post 🙂
As for the running, I did something interesting. Since I did no quality running during the week, I executed both a tempo and a hard long run on the weekend. Most runners tend to do a hard effort separated by a few days of easier running, however I’ve experimented with doing back to back hard runs in the past. I’ve often felt the first hard workout being shorter and faster makes the longer and slower (yet still hard) workout feel better. During the long I did not feel any residual fatigue from the tempo the day before, and completed the long run exactly as prescribed.
The two quality sessions I ran, which were on Saturday and Sunday, were as follows:
wu + 25min tempo @ 6:00 avg +5x (200m fast + 300m jog)
I did the warm up and cool down on a treadmill with the tempo work on the track. I try to always do the wu/cd on a different surface than the workout, which usually means warming up on the treadmill.
Hard Long Run
MOD50 + 40 at aerobic threshold (6:30)
This very much felt like a half marathon, effort wise. The pace was of course slower, but the effort was exactly what 13.1 miles at race pace would have felt like. 1st third was pretty easy, middle third was “effortful”, last third was “if I speed up any more, I’m going to barf”. The only thing that kept this from being true race effort during the last bit was I didn’t really push it 100% during the last 1-2 miles.
Splits: 7:20, 7:20, 7:14, 7:18, 7:15, 7:18, 7:10, 6:30, 6:28, 6:23, 6:24, 6:27, 6:26
And the photos from the trip!
This is a repost from The Motivated Runner website. I suggest you visit and subscribe over there, Jack shares a lot of great content.
Yesterday there was an article that came from RunnersWorld.com concerning the almighty mid-foot vs. rearfoot debate. This debate has raged for the past 10 years with attempts to answer the question in a black and white fashion. Most of us have realized by now that nothing in life is black and white, including foot strike. I have my opinion on the topic, but also realize that different things work for different people.
I get really annoyed with Runner’s World because many posts are what I would consider ”hacky”. They have found ways to make viewers pay attention, click on their links, and read their articles all in the interest of ad money and readership of their flailing publication. This is nothing new or novel and somewhat the model of how every website and blog works, but I do believe there are more responsible ways to go about it.
Runner’s World loves to post the same articles over and over as well as articles with little to no information. Amby Burfoot’s most recent post on a study conducted by the University of Spain was one such article. The title stated: “Heel Landing Beats Midfoot in Half-Marathon Study”. So, of course, everyone clicked on it as Runner’s World would hope. I too, was sucked in thanks to FaceBook messages, emails, and tweets from friends. The article had little to no substance on an insufficient study, with no details of how the study was conducted. This of course created a firestorm of comments, likes, twitter conversations, and buzz. Exactly what Runner’s World needs to try to save a struggling publication of repeating material.
So enough Runner’s World bashing, on to issues with their post and what we don’t know about the study:
1. Efficiency is a whole body issue, not just foot strike. Runners have many inefficiencies in their posture, arm swing, breathing, and alignment. To say that the efficiency of running is completely based around a mid-foot or forefoot strike is incorrect.
2. All of the runners were able to run in whatever shoe they liked. We know that shoe choice can affect gait mechanics. A higher heeled shoe can catch and encourage a strike more out in front of the body (typically with heel first), whereas a level platform shoe allows for the foot to swing through more freely and land closer to the body (less drastic heel landing or mid-foot strike).
3.The study contained only 20 runners. 20 is a very small sample size and not one in which an accurate data set can be gathered. It’s hard to come to conclusions with only 20 people.
4. Treadmill running was the only form of measurement. With the exception of the winter months, runners are most typically outside hitting the roads. Treadmill running isn’t a direct comparison to road running. I do realize that gathering data outside is difficult.
5. The title of the article simply states that heel landing “beats” mid-foot striking at the half marathon distance. However, inside the article they state that mid-foot strikers are on average faster. Running faster leads to decreased running economy. Just like driving faster lowers MPG. The goal is to run as fast as you can and have nothing left at the finish, not to have the highest MPG. That being said, if you run out of gas, you go slower or stop. It’s a trade off. As far as I know, the faster time “beats” the slower time in races.
I have been really annoyed with the number of irresponsible articles in all forms of media lately. After doing a lot of research of what sells on my website, I have seen trends in many of the “hacky” websites. It’s quite disturbing to say the least and goes unnoticed to the typical consumer.
I want everyone to be more aware of what is going on and to question silly articles like these. They are misleading and focused on driving ad sales and magazine sales. Question the authenticity of all studies and try to go to the root of it, not the Runner’s World take on it. Although, Runner’s World made that impossible by not providing a link to the abstract of the study. Runner’s World, you receive a F.
Had a spectacular week of running. I’ve been feeling much better mentally, as the temperature outside has been picking up. That does not mean I’ve actually ran outside yet, but it’s warming up! The issue with the warm up is all the melted snow freezes at night, so it’s actually more dangerous to run due to the amount of ice, even though the temp is above 0 degrees.
So, I’m still running inside on the 100m track. However from the 10th-14th I’ll be in Portland, which is looking like 60’s and some rain, and I’ll be sure to run outdoors each day. After I return, I’m hoping to be able to do a lot more of my training outdoors here in South Dakota!
No complaints about the training either! The key workouts were as follows:
wu20, MOD110, cd20
Totally killed this run, I just ran what felt good and it happened to be in the moderate pace range. This day also included a 2 mile warm up and cool down, so ended up being 19 miles for the day.
Splits: 8:03 7:24 7:26 7:24 7:24 7:31 7:28 7:18 7:24 7:24 7:21 7:00 7:21 7:20 7:10
Nutrition for the day was decaf coffee in the morning with a fruit smoothie around noon. I did the workout at 1:30 and had a second fruit smoothie with me at the rec, and drank that while in the sauna. Dinner was mashed potatoes, gravy, corn, and stuffing (yuuummm!!). Later in the evening I ate a couple hummus & avocado sandwiches.
warm up + 2 x (3200m @ aerobic threshold (5:45) with 3min jogging) + 800m at best effort + cooldown
I did the warm up on a track and moved to the treadmill for the workout, 5:45+ pace is just too fast for a 100m track.
Nutrition for the day was tea first thing in the morning. I was running at noon so at 11am I ate a single sushi roll that was left over from the previous night, along with 2c of caffeinated coffee. It’s difficult to tell, but I’m fairly certain that having caffeine once weekly does definitely improve the quality of the workout. During the run I had 130cal of CHO and afterwards I drank a bottle of soy milk with a tablespoon of Amazing Grass green powder. When I got home I had a bit of artichoke dip with a couple biscuits. Later in the evening we grilled out so I ate a some veggie burgers.
The highlight of the week was busting out my old SKORA Fits, that were at 1060 miles. Now they’re one run under 1100. I’m taking them with me to Portland to show the crew a well worn pair of Fits, considering they’re still on pre-order. They fit so good. Even my second pair with 400 miles on them does not feel as comfortable!
The disappointment of the week was just being sick. I’m feeling about 95%, I’ve just been having to use my old inhaler recently. Just a slight resistance in my throat when I breath in or out too deeply. My energy level is back up and my body feel good, aside from that little wheeze if I breath to deeply, which sometimes makes me cough. Nothing the inhaler can’t fix.
A grade school memory of mine is from the required track & field day.
I decided to run in one of the shorter sprinting races, probably the 100m, of which I have no actual recollection of.
However I do recall deciding to not warm up for the event..at all. Why would I want to run and waste energy, before having to race?
I came in last.
Click here to read more about warming up, including how I recommend it be done, why you should not be afraid of a hard warm up, and its affect on delayed onset muscle soreness!
Very solid week of training here!
I’m experimenting with a method of upping my volume while at the same time improving the quality of my workouts. Adding a warm up, duh. There was a recent study out that found a proper warmup is more likely to reduce DOMS than a proper cooldown, contrary to popular recommendation.
This means that before my runs I’ll do an EZ 20 minutes at about a 10 minute pace, basically as easy as I can run. I’ll incorporate various drills into these 20 minutes, such as skipping, bounding, high knees, etc. I’ll also some 2-3 100-200m strides. Then I’ll move into the workout, such as an EZ60. That makes my first mile actually within the “ez” range instead of slower, so the overall hour workout is higher quality, yet my quantity of total daily volume is up as well. I’ll also try to add in a 20 minute cooldown run as well. So an EZ60 7.5 mile run turns into 11.5 miles.
The highlight of the week was definitely the moderate hour at a 7:22 average followed up by a half hour at aerobic threshold, a 6:27 average pace. I also fit in a 2 mile warmup and a two mile cooldown, bringing my total mileage that day to 17.
The lowpoint was, without a question, getting sick. I had a fever of about 99.5F on Saturday, but felt great for my Sunday speedworkout. On Saturday I thought my eyes/throat/nose were just dry from having the heater in the bedroom up too high, but during my run I was feeling a bit weak and shortened it, and afterwards I was pretty trashed for the remainder of the day.
3:30 half hour elliptical
5:30 lots of Mexican food
9am three bananas, oats
3:30 rice, beans, veggies, bun with promise
5pm snacked on an apple w pb
8:30 cheese quesadilla
7am coffee & cinnamon roll
7:30 wu, MOD60, 30@AT, cd with 3 mints
10am two bananas
11:30 oats & a bagel
4pm two quesadillas
6pm cheese quesadilla & apple
Noon two pb&j’s with a banana
3pm rice, beans, veggies, & peanut sauce
6pm cheese quesadilla
8am wu, EZ60, cd
10am oatmeal & a bagel
2:30 two pb&j’s with a banana
4pm cucumber & hummus
5:30 chik-n sandwiches
6pm curry, rice, naan
This was a solid week. Lower mileage but a couple very high quality sessions in there!
A weekly highly was probably the Farklek on Thursday. It consisted of:
4x (100m @ 5k goal pace (5:30) + 100m jog, 200 @ gp 200 jog, 300 @ gp 200 jog, 400 @ gp 200 jog)
All of the repetitions at goal pace were done fairly comfortably within 1-2 seconds of the goal split. On a 100m track it often depends on how many of the corners I can take short and how many I have to take wide around walkers, ha!
The low point of the week was nothing to do with my running, but I stupid treadmill. The calibration is just so far off. During the 6k uphill tempo my footpod put me at a 6:30 something average pace but the treadmill was over a 7:00 pace, and there’s not a chance I didn’t even average 7:00 during that run. It was pretty much the highest effort I could maintain for those 6 kilometers.