If this schedule sounds familiar, you’re most likely training for an upcoming race. Whether it’s a 10K or full marathon, your running schedule is probably dictating your life. Some weeks go smoothly and others can be a challenge. Between work, your social life, training, and getting enough food and sleep, how do we find the balance? Everyone maintains their life balance in different ways. If you’re anything like me, you rely on lists, meal prep, and a training schedule to guide you through each week. And while every week definitely hasn’t been perfect (I’m always learning), here’s how I’ve been balancing it all out.
Awareness of stress fractures and their season-ending effects has become very prevalent in the running community. Runners are getting a sense of what to look for if they are worried about a possible stress fracture. This is helpful to a degree, but recently we've been seeing an increase in less-common stress fracture types. One in particular, fibular stress fractures (the other lower leg bone next to the tibia), has been showing up in at Custom Performance more frequently.
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?
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.
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.
Right before the 2017 NYC marathon, Meb Keflezighi came to Custom Performance to kick off the weekend with a Q&A session. When talking about training and racing he said "I really believe that during preparation it’s 90% physical, 10% mental. When the gun goes off it’s 90% mental and 10% being healthy.” As racing season ramps up, let’s not forget that mental training is just as important as physical training.
Hydration guidelines from ACSM
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.
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.
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.
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
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.