Category Archives: Archive of FREE Articles

Cure Your Gastric Distress and Race Faster

cure gastric distress while runningLike many runners, our coaching client Linda has difficulty tolerating sports drinks during training and racing. The resulting severe stomach cramps have ruined many long runs and has dashed race plans. It makes fueling during long runs and races very challenging.

Well, a solution may be at hand.

Alex Hutchinson writes in his Sweat Science blog  — over the past nine years, several research studies have shown that swishing a sports drink in your mouth and spitting (not swallowing) boosts performance in endurance events longer than 30 minutes in duration When and Why to Swish-n-Spit Your Sports Drink.

It may be hard to believe, but it’s hard to argue with ………. as the evidence mounts.

Is a Cooldown a Waste of Time?

Like stretching, cooling down after a run has long been accepted as a best practice.  Isn’t it a good idea to gradually reduce your heart rate with 5-10 minutes of light jogging? Doesn’t a cooldown help reduce post-exercise muscle soreness?  Doesn’t a gradual shift from running to non-exercise help speed recovery? Isn’t it bad for your heart to just stop running with no gradual transition to non-exercise?

The much touted physical benefits of a cooldown may also prove to be just another myth to be exposed.  Neither holding up under the harsh light of scientific scrutiny.

The Truth About Plantar Fasciitis

The Truth About Plantar FasciitisQuestion from the “email bag”: For about the past month I have had severe pain in my right heel (plantar fasciitis I assume). I have read about how to treat this through rest and ice, etc. The problem is, I am stubborn and a bit too regimented when it comes to training/exercising. Needless to say, I have not rested. To add to this, I have started my marathon training. Obviously, I want my heel pain to go away; however, I am scared to rest when I am supposed to be building up my mileage. The pain usually goes away after the first mile, but then returns once the run is done. I would greatly appreciate any advice.

Thank you so much,

H.R.

Answer:

Although what you are describing definitely sounds like plantar fasciitis, I recommend getting it diagnosed by a sports medicine specialist.  This will rule out the possibility your pain is caused by a more serious condition, like a stress fracture.

Let’s assume for the moment your condition is plantar fasciitis.  The traditional explanation that this injury is caused by acute inflammation is now believed to be incorrect.

Clear and Present Danger — Outdoor Running with Headphones

running dangerRunning with headphones results in a reduced awareness of your physical surroundings. Like it or not, all runners (esp. women) must run defensively at times.

Today’s Featured Article is not about nutrition, injury prevention or how to run faster.  It concerns a more serious matter – personal safety.  Many runners consider headphones a mandatory article of clothing.  You can’t run without tunes.  However………

Safety (a.k.a. proving a point to your teenager)

Running with headphones results in a reduced awareness of your physical surroundings.  If you are treadmill running, by all means, hit the playlist. Outdoors, being less than totally conscious of your physical surroundings compromises your personal safety.   Like it or not – all runners (especially women) must run defensively at times.  Headphone wearers range from being less attentive to totally oblivious of other people, cars and dogs – all of which are potential attackers that can pose real threat to a runner’s physical safety.

How Soon After My (Half) Marathon Can I Race?

women runner

Bennett was recently asked: “Is it safe for me to run a half-marathon five weeks after running my first marathon?”

There is no hard and fast rule regarding the length of time one should wait after racing an all out effort before stepping up to the start line again.  The higher your pre-race mileage, the shorter your recovery period and the sooner you can race again.  For many runners — especially women age over 40 (we’ll explain why soon):

Should Your and Your Man’s IT Band Pain Be Treated Differently?

injury prevention running

Conventional studies on gender differences in running injuries focused on comparing injured women to their injured male counterparts. The research then concluded if certain injuries were more prevalent among women or men. Traditionally, the prescription for rehab for men and women suffering the same injury was identical.

That may no longer be the case!

Alex Hutchinson, in his Sweat Science column in the May 4th Runner’s World, wrote about exciting new research conducted by Dr. Reed Ferber at the University of Calgary’s Running Injury Clinic. Instead of comparing injured women to injured men, Dr. Ferber and colleagues have been comparing injured women to non-injured women; at the same time, contrasting uninjured male to non-injured male runners.

Should Women Runners Eat Like Men?

women runnersWomen runners differ from their male counterparts in both caloric and carbohydrate requirement.

When running the same distance, men burn more calories than women due to their higher muscle mass and less fat.

In addition to burning more calories when running, men utilize more carbs as fuel than women, even when running the same distance.  Therefore, women runners need fewer carbs than men.

To find out exactly how much of each you need and precisely how to get it ……

Is Your GPS Watch Hurting Your Running?

We rely on our GPS watches to track running distance, overall pace, instantaneous pace and other variables. Is your GPS watch really accurate?

Training for Grandma’s Marathon was not going well for coaching client Diann.  She was experiencing difficulty completing workouts that should have been doable.  She was chronically tired.  Her lower back and knees were painful.   She was forced to take frequent breaks from training to prevent her nagging injuries from developing into full blown injuries that would force a long layoff.

This didn’t make sense.  Based on her fitness and experience, her workouts should have been doable; the training load should have been manageable.

We searched for a solution.  On a 7 mile (11K) run, Diann insightfully observed:

“Here’s the aha – at the end of the run my (GPS) watch said we ran a 10:00 (6:15 min/km) average. Throughout the run I saw 10:30 (6:34/km) frequently floating by for pace, so I assumed I was running pretty casual.  But my girlfriends’ GPS watches said 9:15 (5:47/km) to 9:22 (5:51/km) pace.  That’s a big difference.   I believe my watch has also been contributing to the injury issue and I’ve been at times inadvertently running too fast”

The Runner’s Guide to Caffeine

runner caffiene

Just as runners are passionate about running, coffee lovers are passionate about their coffee.

Caffeine is the most widely consumed non-nutritional drug worldwide.  What effect does it have on runners and running performance?

Research shows that without a doubt, caffeine does provide a performance boost (aka ergogenic effect) to participants in a wide variety of sports.  To quote Australian Institute of Sport’s Nutrition Department Head Dr. Louise Burke: “These benefits are likely to occur across a range of sports, including endurance events, stop and go events, and sports involving sustained high-intensity activity lasting 1-60 minutes.”  The breadth of events covered by Dr. Burke’s statement includes every running distance from 400m (one lap around a track) to ultra-marathons.

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