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Posts tagged ‘stretching’

Hip Flexors

Due to the fact I did not run my 17 miles this morning (a very sad day for me), I spent the morning learning about the anatomy of the hip. I’ve been down this road so many times and I know my body pretty well by now. My hips are the source of my pain (left hip in particular) and it is affecting everything form my left quad, to my left knee, to my left peroneal tendon. (Instead of the singing the knee bone’s connected to the thigh bone it should be a tight iliacus causes runner’s knee…)  Read more

Speeding Recovery

An injury prevention and/or recovery article always seems to make it into my Google Reader feed at just the right time. That time being the I’m about to cross over the overtraining line so you better get back to those preventive exercises time.

For his latest article, Ben Greenfield interviewed David Tao, the chief researcher at about how to recover faster. You can read the entire article here but here are 9 things I took away from what I read:

  1. Sleep: There is strong evidence to support sleep helping with protein synthesis and muscle generation. There is also a strong connection between sleep and human growth hormone production, which helps keep muscles healthy and active. 
  2. Music: Listening to slow tempo music post exercise (in particular after an intense workout) can help bring the heart rate back down to what it would be in a resting state or before exercise.
  3. Massage: A massage helps break up the fascial connections that can form in response to stress in the muscles as well as reduce muscle tension
  4. The Stick and Foam Rollers: There is not really a lot of evidence to prove the benefits of foam rolling but there is definitely a lot of anecdotal evidence to suppor the claims. The Rumble Roller is the best.
  5. Compression Gear: Compression gear promotes optimal blood flow to those muscles that experience the most stress during exercise
  6. Icing: Research is now pointing to hot-cold therapy, not simply icing an area.
  7. Anti-inflammatories: Anti-inflammatories can hinder recovery by causing extra stress to the kidney and liver
  8. Naps: Naps for 30 or 90 minutes in the early or late afternoon (but not 5 hours within bed time) can help promote recovery
  9. Alcohol: One or two drinks post exercise is NOT going to hinder recovery

As race day approaches, I am going to focus more on sleep, music, massage, the Ruble Roller, and hot-cold therapy. I must get to the start line healthy.

Happy Trails and Happy Running,


Running Update: Oh elliptical how I’ve missed thee. Not! I made a decision today to cross train instead of run. I think it was the best decision for me and luckily this week is a lower mileage/easy week. I also did a some strength training to work on my left leg. It made me sad to not be outdoors but it was definitely what my body needed.

Leg Swings

One of my new favorite warm up stretches is the leg swing. I always see the cross country team doing this stretch before a workout so I’ve recently started incorporating them into my pre-run ritual. Along with the other hops, skips, and jumps I do, the leg swing helps to get the blood flowing in my legs.

Here is a great video from New York Road Runners on how to do the forward and side leg swing.

Leg Swing


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Dancer Pose – My Favorite Yoga Pose

I do not take yoga classes that often but back when I did take a class once a week, my favorite pose was always dancer pose. I always found this to be such a beautiful pose. My version of dancer pose was never anywhere close to the lifelong yogi’s version, but I wasn’t too shabby at it. After my easy run today, I hit the gym for some general strength training and yoga of course. Dancer pose always helps me to feel balanced, focused, and stretched.  Read more

Dynamic Stretching

Well like I said last night, I completed my list of areas where I am lacking self control. My conclusion: I’ve got a lot of work to do.

I wrote down that one of the areas where I needed to put more focus was yoga/dynamic stretching. My running coach (who I start working with next week, yay!) expressed his belief in the importance of dynamic stretching so in an effort to tackle my weak areas, I found a great video on this form of stretching. Read more

10 Laws of Running Injuries

Well I made it through my run today – hooray! And let me just add that after not really running for 3 week except for one 14 miler, 20+ miles is little on the hard side. Mentally, it was fine but my body is sore. Clearly cross training on the elliptical does not use the same muscle groups as actual running. I’ll take being sore though. I’m just glad I got to run.

While watching football today with Mario and my neighbor, I was reading through The Lore of RunningDr. Noakes has a section on injury prevention that I found to be quite informative.  The 10 Laws of Running Injuries was my favorite section. Here is what Dr. Noakes has to say about our running problems…

1) Injuries are not an act of God (you do something to get them)

2) Each injury progresses through 4 grades. Grade 1: and injury that causes pain after exercise and is often only felt hours after exercise has ceased. Grade 2: An injury that causes discomfort, not yet pain. and is insufficiently sever to reduce the athlete’s training. Grade 3: An injury that causes more severe discomfort, now recognized as pain. Grade 4: An injury so severe that it prevents any attempts at running.

3) Each injury indicates a breakdown (I guess that’s why I get injured towards the end of my training – I’ve broken down my body quite successfully.)

4) Most injuries are curable – Hooray!

5) Sophisticated methods are seldom needed

6) Treat the cause, not the effect – I really appreciate this one. My lower leg hurts and I know it comes from my weak hips. I can feel it when I walk and even tell when I sit down. That is the cause of my injury and that is what needs to be treated.

7) Complete rest is seldom the best treatment – I like this one!

8) Never accept as final the advice of a nonrunner (MD or other) – I can totally get behind this one. I love my running community friends because I often times feel they know better than a doctor I might go to because my leg hurts. They are runners and they feel my pain 🙂

9) Avoid surgery – According to Dr. Noakes, the “only true running injuries for which surgery is the first line of treatment are muscle compartment syndrome and interdigitial neuromas. Surgery may also have a role in the treatment of chronic achilles tendonitis.”

10) Recreational running does not appear to cause osteoarthritis – People tell me all the time I’m going to have arthritis when I get older (refer back to number 8). Noakes points out that modern studies show that evidence supporting osteoarthritis in long distance runners is for those elite athletes, who run many miles during their career. Although I may like that to be me, it’s not.

Well there you have it. The 10 Laws of Running Injuries. For any of those runners who may be injured, I hope this can be helpful!

Happy Trails and Happy Running,