Wednesday, April 25, 2012

Run Forever! Everything you need to keep going.

No matter how long you've been running, you know it's a sport that can take a toll on the body.
Yes, the only way to run farther, faster, and longer is to hit the pavement (or trails!) and run.
But with every step you hit the ground, the ground hits you back!
So what does it take to avoid the pain, soreness, and potential injures and keep running for years to come?

Foam Rolling for Runners
What it's for:
For chronic pain, especially in the calf (lower leg), the IT band (side of the thigh, sometimes shows up as sharp knee pain), and the piriformis (beneath the glutes/butt near the lower back).

How it works:
Foam rolling is considered to be a self Myo-Fascia Release Technique.  Fascia is the web of connective tissue that surrounds and connects each muscle fiber.  When the fascia is under trauma (such as when running) it can protect itself by "hardening", causing chronic holding patterns that cause pain and prevent the ability to stretch the underlying muscle.

Strength Training for Runners
What its for:
When you want to be able to run up that steep hill, run faster, or sprint at the end of the race.  Stronger muscle throughout the body prevent compensating with weaker muscles and therefore prevent the most common injuries ... including falling!

Yes, you can fit it in your schedule! 
  • Add in a few exercises pre or post run as part of a warm up or cool down.  
  • Dedicate 20-30 minutes on the days you do shorter runs. 
  • Plan for a longer workout (45-60 minutes) on a day you are not running.

Yoga for Runners
Why stretch?
Running and strength training shortens muscles. Shorter muscles limit stride length and therefore limit your speed. They also get sore and are even more prone to getting injuries. Avoid the most common mistake runners make (Never Stretching!) Plus, you'll look like a pro so be ready when other runners ask you if you can show them how to stretch!

Tips when stretching:
  • Stretching can sometimes be uncomfortable, but should never painful. 
  • Breathing can greatly reduce the discomfort and even increase the ability of the muscle to stretch.
  • Any areas that require extra attention hold for at least 30 seconds or longer.

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