If you suffer from a baffling series of overuse running injuries, there often is a root cause, other than the usual overtraining, bad shoes, too much racing syndrome. One of the most common conditions that plague runners is something called leg-length discrepancies. In short, the lengths of your legs are unequal. One is longer than the other. For most people, this isn’t necessarily a problem. But for a runner it often is because of the repeated stress that is placed on the lower legs. If one leg is shorter (or longer), the stress is not equally distributed and injuries are often the result.
If you were paying more attention during science class than I was, you know the air we breathe contains more than just oxygen. There are all sorts of gases in our air—some necessary for life and others that are deadly in certain doses.
I got my first taste of road racing as an intern for the 2007 Austin Marathon and Half Marathon. Yeah, I wasn’t even a runner, but that quickly changed. I became immersed in the Austin running culture and smitten with the idea that another sport (besides football and baseball) would allow me to push myself and test my limits. Throughout the years there have been plenty of road races, completing many 5Ks, 10Ks, and even a marathon (2015 Austin!). But I’ve never raced; never thought of winning. I’ve never wanted to win; never thought I could win. I’ve never worked to better my time to win. I’ve never trained and pushed myself to win.
As runners, we tend to pay far more attention to the inner workings of our body than the outside. We run through the Texas summer heat and oppressive sun and assume if our legs and lungs are OK, we must be fine. Maybe, maybe not. Many of us suffer in silence as our skin takes a beating. There is simply no doubt about it, if you are running in the summer, your skin will feel the effects of one or all of the following: sunburn, chafing, wind burn, sweat-induced acne) or just plain, post-run itchiness caused by dry skin.
My calendar says it’s still spring, but sure feels like we're already knee-deep into summer. It hasn't gotten disgusting quite yet, but it's just around the corner (otherwise, known as May). You don’t need me to tell you that the heat and humidity here in Central Texas makes running pretty darn tough. That is, running on dry land.
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.
There's absolutely no question that running is a difficult sport. Certainly, it's extremely rewarding, but any long-term training program is a major undertaking requiring a significant commitment. Take a look at what training is. Basically, it's hard, physical work which essentially boils down to adding specific stresses to your mind and body over a certain period of time.
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.
Just about every runner who trains consistently and with some degree of intensity will suffer some type of injury. The stress of training and the repetitive nature of the sport makes it almost inevitable that somewhere along the way you will injure a body part, usually a running muscle.
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.
One of the most common pearls of wisdom experienced runners have for newbies is that you absolutely do need to buy at least two or three pair of running shoes to train effectively. Many veteran runners advocate just that and have closets full of shoes as proof, but the question remains: Do you really need more than one pair of good running shoes?
Earlier this week, William Dyson sat down with Paul Terranova, 2015 USATF Men's Master Trail Runner of the Year, to talk about the his upcoming race (Lost Pines Trail Marathon), his approach to running, and what occupies his mind on long runs other than Justin Bieber. Paul also doles out great advice that’s applicable to new and seasoned runners alike.
Granted, it's still technically winter but the high in Austin today is 91 and it sure feels a lot like summer. That means a lot of things to different people, but it also means it's high time to get some new running shorts for the spring and summer heat.
For so many busy, on-the-go runners, just about the only time we have to get our run in during the work week is during our lunch hour. It isn’t a lot of time, but if that’s all you have, you have to make the most of it.
Every runner wants to run faster. Sure you do. Even if you’re just trying to finish races and not set any speed records, you still want to run as fast as fast as you can. Everyone does. But, there are really only two basic ways to run faster: You can increase the length of your stride and cover more ground or you can increase the number of strides you take.
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?
Now that marathon season is—finally--over and done with in Central Texas, we can turn our attention to shorter spring races. With all that hard-fought fitness in the bank after months of long runs, the shorter races are a good way to work on speed and leg turnover. Fortunately, we have a well-established circuit of several high-caliber races.
I consider myself a very lucky guy. Over the years, I’ve been lucky enough to run with some of the world’s greatest runners from Olympic gold medalist icons like Herb Elliott and Rosa Mota to American heroes such as Bill Rodgers, Meb Keflezighi, Steve Scott and Alberto Salazar. I’ve learned something from every one of them. But there’s one great runner who I ran with many years ago who has always stood out for me. That man is Rob de Castella.
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.
Marathons aren't just tough to run and get through the 26.2 miles. It's tough to recover from one too. A marathon pushes the body to the max and stresses every part of your system and structure.
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 [...]
Don't look now, but the Austin Marathon is just over the horizon and it will be here on February 14th before you know it. If Austin is your first marathon, you need to start formulating a game plan today. You had a training plan to prepare you for the Austin Marathon; now you need a marathon plan. Failure to have a good one is a prescription for failure.