Activating the Glutes

Activating the Glutes

You’ve just finished mile 26, the finish line is in sight, and you decide it’s time to start that finishing kick. Suddenly, you feel a sharp pain, immediately grab the back of your thigh, and stop running. Chances are, you’ve most likely pulled a hamstring. How? And what and can you do to avoid injuries like this in the future? It comes down to how your hamstrings and glutes work together.

Heat vs. Ice

Heat vs. Ice

As PTs, we are often asked when to use ice versus heat for injuries. The answer definitely depends on the injury. Ice and heat can both be used to reduce pain, but they are best applied in different situations. A recent literature review conducted by Malanga, Yan, and Stark examined the differences between heat and ice applications and their effectiveness.

What to Learn on a Training Run!

What to Learn on a Training Run!

Did you run this morning? Why? Did you run with a group? Did you listen to music? Did you start your watch or check your pace? These are some questions you may want to ask yourself when you are discovering what your real goals are. Every run should have a purpose, even if it is just to relax and enjoy yourself! Here are some suggestions for a more purposeful run:

IT Bands. They’re lame. But totally fixable.  {Guest Post!}

IT Bands. They’re lame. But totally fixable. {Guest Post!}

A little over two years ago I was running through the mountains of Virginia. Things were going well... until they weren’t. I would find out later from the esteemed, all-around amazing PT, Cat Fitzgerald, that years of running, cycling, and all manner of exercise (without the proper stretching or strength training) had finally caught up with me.

Does Racing Age Matter?

Does Racing Age Matter?

Endurance races, such as ultra-marathons and Ironman triathlons are becoming increasingly popular around the world. Whether it’s the idea of a new mental or physical challenge or just plain love of the sport, participation in these events continues to increase. In the Ironman triathlon, the overall number of finishers - both male and female - has increased dramatically over the past 30 years. In addition to increased participation, improvements in performance in this event have also been reported. But is there an ideal age for best performance?

Brain vs. Food

Brain vs. Food

Fueling for exercise, especially during long runs, is a commonly discussed topic in the running world. Pre-race carb-loading, mid-race fuel sources, and post-race meals are all part of a typical routine. So why do we sometimes not feel hungry when finishing a run? And why are we starving other times? It turns out that following aerobic exercise our brain’s response to food can sometimes be reduced.

Feel the (Foot) Burn

Feel the (Foot) Burn

Strength exercises are important to a long distance runner, especially if you are trying to get faster. This is not a secret. When you name your target areas, you often think of the back, core, shoulders, chest, legs... but don’t forget your feet! It may seem silly at first but for runners, actual intrinsic foot strength is VERY important.

Higher Step Rate, Lower Injury Rate?

Higher Step Rate, Lower Injury Rate?

Approximately 50% of running-related injuries occur at the knee, many of which can be attributed to the inability of this joint to control the loads applied when the foot first hits the ground. Theoretically, if these loads on the knee can be reduced, injury rates can also be reduced. Step length is directly related to the amount of force transmitted through the ankle, knee, and hip. A long stride length puts the foot way out in front of the body, where it acts as a brake every time it hits the ground. 

The Tipping Point

The Tipping Point

“My highest mileage week is 90 miles! I start with a 30, then, like three 45, then 50, then 60…” Who do you picture when I say this? A collegiate cross-country runner? A pro? 

Strength Training for Bones!

Strength Training for Bones!

Weight training affects more than just muscles; it can also strengthen your bones! As we age, bones begin to lose mineral density (Bone Mineral Density - BMD), and they becoming slightly weaker as a result; this is particularly evident in postmenopausal women. This condition is commonly known as osteoporosis. This decrease in BMD can be of concern, as weaker bones are at an increased risk of bone fracture. Longitudinal studies have shown that appropriatelyprescribed progressive resistance training can stimulate bone growth and increasing BMD in older adults, reducing risk of fracture.

Don't Skip Leg Day!

Don't Skip Leg Day!

If you asked most runners what day they would skip in their training plan, I can guarantee most of them will answer “strength.” We often see runners whose training plans don't even have a strength day included! While running is extremely demanding on our legs, it involves primarily linear movement, or movement in a forward direction only. Runners typically have weaker glutes, hips, and hamstrings compared to the quads, which can result in numerous lower body injuries