Just the other morning, I finished the first of what promises to be plenty of hot, humid long runs with my training group and while we were trying to rehydrate, a relative newbie came by and asked me the best to treat a sore calf muscle. He was diligently stretching the calf after every run, followed later by dipping his legs in a Jacuzzi and then placing a heating pad on the calf for another 10 minutes. The calf hadn't been responding at all to his treatment and he was worried.
Bunions. Just the word is repelling and scary. Sadly, bunions are an ugly, yet all-too-common foot deformity that afflicts millions of American women. And some men. The incidence of bunions has risen over the years to the point where it has become practically an epidemic. Especially among women who spend hours on their feet such as nurses, teachers and waitresses, many of whom are also runners.
It isn't exactly a newsflash that we runners are an awfully disciplined, highly motivated group of achievement-oriented, dedicated people. Maybe too dedicated. At least some time we are. To run a marathon or even a half marathon, obviously takes a lot of dedication to put in all the training miles. But many of us tend to do too much and run too many miles, hills, long runs and speed work. If you do, you certainly can get in great shape, but once you go overboard, all the work you put in can develop into overtraining and it’s just as serious a problem for marathoners as training too little. Maybe even more so.
One of the most difficult training concepts to accept is also the very simplest: Rest. That’s right, total rest. Not active rest or cross-training, but complete rest. It doesn’t matter whether you’re a runner, swimmer, cyclist, weight lifter or bowler (OK, maybe not a bowler), but your most important training day should have a big goose egg next to it. A zero. Zilch. Nyet. Nada. Nothing.
Do you have forefoot pain? Does the area right under your toes—especially the big toe--get sore after running? If it does, you already know this is not very pleasant.
It used to be that whenever you saw a doctor for a running injury—no matter how minor--the prescription was almost always the same: Stop running! If something is bothering you, then you stop, right?
Shin splints are an insidious injury that most often targets and frustrates many beginning runners. It’s a tough injury that can result in such soreness and even pain that many newbies—particularly young runners--are forced to abandon running.
Massage has been around forever. Even the Greeks used some type of massage. Runners have known about its practicality and benefits for decades, but, until the past years, it seemed sports massage was only available for the elite athletes.
Last summer, 66-year-old Austinite Bobby Atnip went out for his usual run around Lady Bird Lake, something he's been doing for more than 40 years. Cognizant of not just his surroundings but also his own [...]
Regardless of your ability, speed or body shape, the greatest challenge almost all runners face is a simple one: Staying healthy. By the very nature of the aerobic benefits of running, we are certainly healthier than our sedentary counterparts, but runners tend to pick up all sorts of niggling injuries. Fortunately, usually it's nothing serious. But little things tend to slow us down, especially as we approach a key marathon or half marathon. But, those troublesome little things that can be avoided if you follow the rules of healthy, injury-free running.
The greatest boost to putting a little pizzazz back into your sex life is to increase your overall circulation. If you can boost the blood flow to your heart and other muscles, you'll also improve the circulation to your sexual glands as well.
Aspirin. The various types of this wonder drug have become so commonplace in our lives that almost everybody who runs has taken some form of this pain killer. And why not? Aspirin is considered safe without any side effects, effective, inexpensive and readily available without a prescription.
If you’re training for either or both of the big winter races—the 3M Half Marathon (January 24) or the Austin Marathon or Half (February 14)--you should already have several long runs under your legs. Regardless of how many long runs you have completed so far, there’s absolutely no question that long runs are the key to your marathon (or half marathon) training program. Running the right number at the proper pace and distance will go a long way toward making your target race a success.
Most runners hate to stretch. Especially guys. We complain about lack of flexibility, but do nothing about it. Most of us who can do two-hour runs (or longer) never seem to be able to find an extra 10 minutes to stretch. Recently, I had one friend tell me something to the effect that real runners don’t stretch. Of course, when he was telling me this he was hobbling around with a calf injury.
Athlete’s foot doesn’t rank up there with cancer and heart disease for its tragic effects, but it is an ugly, irritating skin infection that bothers countless runners. Once your feet begin to itch between the toes you know something is developing that isn’t good. Next, your feet get very dry and the skin cracks between your toes. Yuck. Welcome to the wonderful world of athlete’s foot.
Even though American men have been bombarded for the absolute necessity to get regular checkups and blood work to detect prostate cancer in the early stages, way too many men ignore this warning. Awareness of the risks of prostate cancer has certainly increased, but still one in eight American men will die from this deadly disease.
Injuries are a fact of the running life. Especially for a newbie. Nearly every runner will get injured at some point, but fortunately most of the common running injuries that plague runners are minor—and avoidable. Obviously, prevention is the best way to go either by eliminating the causes or by listening to the body’s warning signs and taking a break.
When done on a regular basis, backward running strengthens the legs muscles (hamstrings, calf muscles and soleus) that aren’t used as much as the primary muscles for forward running. The benefits of backward running are better overall muscular balance as well as stretching and lengthening foot and lower leg muscles such as the Achilles and soleus muscles.
Just the other morning, I finished another hot, long run with my training group and while we were attempting to rehydrate, a relative newbie came by and asked the best to treat a sore calf muscle that had been bothering him. He was diligently stretching the calf after every run, followed immediately by a heated whirlpool and then placing a heating pad on the calf for another 10 minutes. The calf hasn't been responding, was still bothering him and he was worried.
As runners, we all recognize the importance of recovery from hard workouts and races. Without adequate recovery, our running becomes stagnant and if the training is hard enough and the recovery is inadequate, injury is certain to follow. One of the most important components of recovery is also the simplest: Sleep. Obviously, we all need to sleep but the more we train, the greater its importance. And yet, due to our stressful lives full of responsibilities, adequate, quality sleep is often something which is overlooked.
There isn't a runner alive who hasn't suffered at one time or another from a simple ankle sprain. It is - by far - the most common injury that puts runners on the injury list. According to the American Orthopedic Foot and Ankle Society, physicians see more than a million patients a year complaining of ankle sprains.
How many times have you heard this one from some of your non-running friends and family: “If you keep up with all that running, the pounding will catch up with you and ruin your joints sooner or later.” Your well-meaning friends and family are bringing up a logical concern—one that even maybe you have considered. We all love running and it's certainly a great activity/sport, but if I continue with it, will I end up stiff, in pain and more prone to arthritis when I get older?
A familiar refrain from many of our non-running, but well meaning friends is: You aren't getting any younger. Never been exactly sure what that's supposed to mean. Obviously, it's true but not a soul ever gets younger. Anyway, simply because all of us are getting older doesn’t necessarily mean we also have to slow down. Eventually we will slow down, but because you’re about to turn 30, 40 or 50 doesn’t mean that the ravages of time are going to force you to the sidelines.
You see it after nearly every race. The top runners—the fastest folks in the field—finish the race, grab a drink and head off for another few miles, while the rest of us lie down trying to recover. What's up with that? Do the best runners know something we don't?