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Calf Cramp Season!

Calf Cramp Season!

Welcome to the last two weeks of August, also known as “Calf Cramp Season” at Custom Performance. Like clockwork, we are treated to a deluge of marathoners complaining of calf cramping and pain. Sound familiar?

Don't Ignore the Niggle!

Don't Ignore the Niggle!

This is the time in our training cycles that little niggles and weird pains start cropping up. Maybe shin splints are setting in, or your left hamstring is deeeefinitely feeling different than your right.

Heart Rate Variability

Heart Rate Variability

If you’ve been paying attention to the fitness world lately, you’ve probably heard the term heart rate variability thrown around in regards to training and recovery. In the simplest terms, heart rate variability (HRV) is the measure of time intervals between heartbeats, measuring how well our autonomic nervous system is functioning.

Why I broke up with my "Fitness Friend"

Why I broke up with my "Fitness Friend"

I used to have this friend. Well, it was an app friend. Maybe I should call it a buddy or pal. I was letting myself fall out of shape and decided I needed a change. I needed to work on my fitness. I had heard about this app that would be my best friend, but it turned into a complicated break-up.

Injuries Suck - But They Don’t Have To!

Injuries Suck - But They Don’t Have To!

Being injured sucks, there's no way around that. Injuries always seem to occur at the most inopportune times and throw a wrench in your perfectly designed training schedule. Every injury, no matter how big or small, sends a runner through the 5 stages of grief.

The Knee and Hip Connection

The Knee and Hip Connection

When a new client comes in with a knee pain, eight out of ten times I’ll start my exam at the hip. Seven out of those eight times, my client looks at me like I’m crazy. I think it’s time I reveal the method to my madness.

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.

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:

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. 

Plyos for Performance

Plyos for Performance

To be at peak performance and minimal injury risk, strength training should be an integral part of all running programs. For your strength training to be effective, you should should be specific and deliberate when choosing your exercises.