Running a marathon is not just about your muscles and your legs. As I reflected back on the process it dawned on me that it took every system on my body to complete the Marathon. So here it is, a review of all the systems it took to get to the finish line!
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.
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.
Baby got back? While this song may remind you of the 90’s, for runners a weak booty may be contributing to some common running injuries. Your butt muscles, also known as the gluteus maximus, medium, and minimus, keep the pelvis steady, propel us forward, and extend the hips during walking and running. In addition to being aesthetically pleasing in yoga pants, a functionally strong gluteal group decreases the risk of injury when running.
In February, it became official: I was running the TCS NYC Marathon! As a physical therapist working in a running-based clinic I figured I had a pretty good idea of what to expect from the training. The miles, time commitment, nutrition; I was ready for it all, right? I quickly found out that it was much more work than I expected.
If you've ever had a hip or knee injury as a runner, you most likely have heard of the TFL. But what exactly is it and what role does it play in daily movement? The TFL (tensor fascia latae) is a muscle responsible for flexing, abducting (bringing out to the side), and internally rotating your hip. The TFL originates at the top of your pelvis and narrows into an attachment to your iliotibial band. Tightness in this muscle pulls the ball of your hip too far forward in the socket and makes it difficult for your hip to maintain its neutral position when walking and running.
On November 1, 2015, several sweaty, joyful, exhausted runners trickled through our doors after crossing the finish line of the TCS NYC Marathon. Sore and victorious, they told their heroic tales of their mornings that had begun before sunrise on Staten Island and involved self-transformation through the boroughs of New York City, all the way to the finish in Central Park.
Here is a story that we are hearing weekly these days.
Patient: I ran over the weekend and I didn’t realize it was so humid. My run went really well but my achilles tendon has been on fire ever since.
Therapist: How much water did you drink this weekend
Patient: 2 cups of coffee and 1 bottle of beer
Most runners are acutely aware of all of the different types of injuries that can occur. I f they aren't , it's typically because they've been lucky enough to remain injury - free. But as we age, t he possibility of injury continues to increase.