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injury prevention

Learn the Lingo: Common Runner’s Injuries Defined

Just like any hobby or interest, there’s a certain jargon to accompany and running is no exception. We speak in a foreign language at times. Runners will talk of BQs and PRs. We’ll discuss pronation, tempo pace, or Gu. Perhaps one of the oddest topics to dissect is when runners speak of their injuries. They may refer to their IT band or their need to go home and R.I.C.E.

We runners all can share a war story of an injury as the sport can demand a lot from the body. Next time you catch a runner slip into an obsolete vernacular about running injuries, here’s a heads up as to what they’re probably taking about.

Below is a list of some of the most common runner’s injuries. There seems to be an overarching theme behind the cause of most runner’s injuries: over-use, improper footwear, or lack of stretching.

1. Shin Splints
Shin splints are typically felt as a pain on the inside of the shin. Most splints are caused by a biomechanical flaw in one’s running gait, however many times a proper fitted shoe can correct those flaws. Other major culprits in the cause of shin splints is over training or overuse and tight calf muscles in need of stretching

2. Plantar Fasciitis
Often runners will refer to the annoying pain in their foot as PF. PF is a pain in the middle of the foot arch. Again, tight calf muscles are partly to blame. Other causes are an abnormal motion of the foot called excessive pronation. In long distance running the foot should strike the ground on the heel and roll forward to the toes and finally inward to the arch. If the arch dips too low excessive pronation is taking place and easily going to stress that tendon causing PF.

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Yoga Doesn’t Have to Wreck Your Body

A recent article published by the New York Times suggested the many ways yoga can wreck your body. While this is true, it is important to understand that injuries can be avoided. Without knowing much about yoga, especially the myriad ways yoga is practiced in our modern day society, one might read that article and take it as a reason to toss out their New Year’s resolution of trying a yoga class for the first time. But the reality is, yoga doesn’t do the body wrecking, you do, and it happens when you neither honor your limits nor trust in your abilities. Having a qualified yoga teacher also helps prevent needless wrecking and wrenching of our fragile bodies, but ultimately, we are our best teachers.

The bottom line is that with any type of physical activity we all must trust ourselves, our own inner teacher. There are times when it is appropriate to dig in a little deeper to move past self imposed limitations of movement, and there are times when it is completely acceptable to bow out of a pose or an exercise if it hurts. Also, no two styles of yoga are exactly the same. It is best to find one that fits your body type, rather than try to fit your body into a style that does not suit you.

While some yoga poses will be extremely inappropriate for you, some yoga poses are necessary to counter other poses in an effort to avoid muscle imbalance and instability. A qualified instructor will lead you in such a way that you have no choice but to listen to your body’s needs. You will know when too much is too much, and you will understand why some poses are needed to keep you aligned.

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Stay in Shape While Recovering From an Injury

By Elizabeth Magill

Dealing with an injury that requires rest–no matter for how long–can seem like an eternity.  If you’re fitness-conscious as well, you’ll be concerned about staying in shape during your recovery. According to the International Association of Athletics Federations you can do it by focusing on strength, balance, flexibility, and endurance during your downtime.

Here are 10 tips to help you stay fit while recovering.

1. Start with R.I.C.E.

If your injury is sports-related, a sprain, strain, knee injury, fracture, dislocation, or an injury of the Achilles tendon, treatment should begin with the R.I.C.E. method, an acronym for rest, ice, compression and elevation. R.I.C.E helps to reduce swelling and relieve pain, especially during the early phase of the injury. The R.I.C.E. treatment also helps your injury heal faster, enabling you to get back to your previous fitness regime more quickly.

2. Communicate with your doctor

Whatever exercise you do, do it under your doctor’s supervision. Your physician will keep you apprised of what you’re ready for, and what you need to hold off on, so that you don’t re-injure yourself.

3. Listen to your body

In addition to listening to your doctor, listen to your body. It will let you know when you’re exercising too much or pushing too hard. Overdoing it can hinder your ability to stay in shape while recovering from an injury.
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Why You Should Strengthen Your Shins

By Sandra Hume

If you were asked to make a list of the muscles that were most important to take care of, your shins might not even make the top five, especially if they’ve never given you trouble.

But anyone who’s experienced shin pain knows all too well the importance of the bones between the knee and the ankle — the fibula and tibia — and specifically the muscles that attach to them.

In everyday life, shins play a pretty crucial role, says Robert Steigerwald, M.A., exercise physiologist and personal trainer in Huntington, NY. (Find him on Twitter as @metabolicbob.) The muscles surrounded by the tibia and fibula bones of the shin help with basic balance and make walking over anything uneven possible. Thank your shins when you can navigate up the stairs, down a hill and onto a sidewalk.

Once we incorporate exercise into life — even something as simple as walking — we ask more of these muscles. Shins can easily be overexerted and result in shin pain, which is commonly known as “shin splints.”
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10 Percent Mileage Increase Rule for Runners is Challenged

There are lots of “rules” when it comes to running. “You have to stretch.” “You have to wear proper shoes.” “You have to cross train.”

I’ve heard all of these and more. I’ve also heard every one of these rules debunked at one point or another. It can be confusing at times to know exactly what we are supposed to do to ensure optimal running performance and health.

Recently another long standing “rule” of running was challenged in the news. The New York Times reported that the 10% rule was put under the microscope to see if its tenure still holds true or if it ever deserved its position as valid advice in the first place.

The 10% rule states that a runner should not increase their mileage more than 10% each week. The idea is that this gradual increase will prevent the body from succumbing to injury. This rule was put to the test, and studies found that it didn’t hold up: Just as many runners sustained injuries who followed the rule as those who did not.

So, what does this mean? Can a runner start out at a 10 mile total one week, and then jump up to 30 the next week? Will this increased distance and stress play no role in promoting an injury?

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