No pain, no gain, right? Well, maybe in certain scenarios, this old motto is false. A runner in training should expect fatigue. They should expect muscle soreness. They should also anticipate that not every run will be a good one. But what about when these truths start piling up? Does the runner need to learn to push through or is it possible that backing off will be the key to their success?
While it might not seem possible, a runner can actually over-train and negatively impact their performance.
Over-training is characterized as not allowing the body to rest and recover from the stress of training. If the body can’t catch up on the much needed repair time, the athlete’s performance will suffer. This is a very serious problem. Over-training has the potential to ruin one’s running career if not taken seriously. If the body gets into a state of over-training, it’s very difficult to recover.
As a runner, there’s nothing more wonderful than a cool morning, a gentle breeze, and some scenery. I love to run outside. Because of where I live, I typically run on pavement in neighborhoods. Sometimes I manage to run through parks and even along rivers during my weekly training. When everything is in sync, there’s noting better, but that’s just one runner’s opinion.
Many runners run outdoors on the pavement. However, there are also a lot of runners who actually prefer the treadmill. As I’ve had my fair share of terrain experience, I can safely say that neither is necessarily better, but they are very different.
Road running naturally creates many benefits for the training athlete. Because of the uneven surface the outdoors provides, the body gets a complete workout. Stabilizing muscles have to work harder out on the road as the runner has to shift to adapt to the changes. Road running will also bring its share of climate obstacles. Wind will provide great resistance training and heat and cold can also help the runner prepare for any given race day condition. Another major bonus of road running is that it burns more calories than treadmill running as it is more intense and demands more energy from the leg muscles.
I ran my first marathon in the spring of 2007. There were medic tents located every few miles along the course. That made perfect sense to me however, I was utterly confused about the continuous offers of Vaseline on a stick. The medics had large tongue depressors with heaping dollops of petroleum jelly on the ends. As I passed the tents they held them out hollering, “Vaseline? Vaseline?”
My best guess was that runners must like to use Vaseline for lip balm to keep their lips from getting dry.
Somewhere around mile 13 all my curiosity was cured. I was passing yet another tent and ignoring the offer for jelly on a stick when I heard thundering steps behind me and a primal scream rang out, “VASELINE!!!!”
The male runner was doing some sort of bow-legged hop as he quickly grabbed the aid and proceeded to slather it all over his nether region.
All questions were then answered and I got my first glimpse into a dirtier side of running.
Dr. Stephen Liston D.C., P.S. is a licensed chiropractor in Vancouver, WA. In addition to his chiropractic care, Dr. Liston’s practice provides specific recommendations on nutritional supplements and healthy food choices to enhance his patients’ return to optimal health.
The gym is a fantastic and popular place to work out. If you’re going to a good one, they will also usually have many of the latest fitness machines. But if you plan to partake in gym exercises, be sure that you do it right or you may end up injured and find yourself doing physical therapy.
Here are some of the more common injury-causing mistakes that happen at the gym:
1. Stretching Before Your Workout – Stretching will loosen up your muscles and joints. However, if you don’t warm-up beforehand, you may be doing more harm than good. Your muscles are a bit like taffy. If you were to stretch taffy when it’s cold, it will snap. But when you warm taffy up, it stretches easily. Your warm-up can consist of walking for a few minutes at a moderate pace to get your blood flowing. (more…)
There are some injuries you have to just push through, and then there are aches and pains that will stop you dead in your tracks. It’s sometimes hard to tell the difference between if your pain is just normal wear and tear or if continuing on will cause serious damage to your body.
A common complaint among athletes and exercise enthusiasts is heel pain. Repeated pounding on hard surfaces, like running on asphalt or a treadmill, can often be blamed on unsupportive shoes and bruising, but sometimes that sharp pain in your heel can be a more serious problem: Plantar Fasciitis.
Plantar Fasciitis is a common foot injury that occurs when the thick band of connective tissue, the plantar fascia, that runs from your heel bone over the sole of your foot towards your toes becomes inflamed. It is most commonly caused by repeated pounding, but long periods of weight baring is also a cause, and as Americans become more obese, the added body weight has more instances of Plantar Fasciitis cropping up.