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Archives for Injuries category

When to Replace Running Shoes?

Running shoes are critical to help athletes perform better, recover, and make sure our feet, shins, and legs are better taken care of.

Technology has helped greatly advance running shoes, as they are lighter, breathe better, provide different widths, and are made of better materials.  There is no perfect shoe for each person, so it’s going to come down to trying on different shoes and seeing what fits best.

However, many runners tend to keep their shoes around too long, and that is when things can get extremely sketchy for athletes.  As many runners spend at least $100 per pair of running shoes, there also is a financial incentive to keep using shoes that might be past their ideal lifetime.

Quick Tip: Running shoes should be replaced somewhere from 300-500 miles – and if you have foot, ankle, knee problems, you may be forced to replace your shoes at an earlier time.

Here is some great reading material about the ideal time to retire your shoes:

Competitor – How Often Should I Replace my Running Shoes? – When Should I Replace my Running Shoes?
Runner’s World – Running Shoe FAQ
New York Times – When to Retire a Running Shoe

More after the jump!

Tapering can be difficult for athletes unaware of how or when to let their bodies rest before an event.

It’s extremely important to utilize before strenuous workouts, but is still often ignored.

To get an inside perspective about tapering, Alameda Runners recently asked an expert about the importance of giving your body a break.

Ada Wells, MPT, Physical Therapist & owner of ProBalance, Inc. had this to say regarding event tapering:

“Tapering before a marathon or other long distance event is extremely important as hard training the two to three weeks before an event will not only not give the athlete any additional training benefit, it will actually increase the runner’s likelihood of developing a musculoskeletal injury. Fatigued muscles will be less likely to properly support joints in their proper alignment and will be more susceptible to strains, tears, etc. It is in the runner’s best interest to have the muscles and body rested so that they are at their peak during the race and beyond.”

Often times we like to cover vocal points that are commonly brought up among athletes, and tapering certainly is one of those subjects. I published a story related to the importance of tapering previously, while Ted discussed how he is horrible when it comes to tapering.

Is tapering ‘crucial for optimum performance’? It’s certainly not a topic that will die down soon – and it’s very much something you should follow.  More on this subject in the future.

I am still suffering from my hip flexor injury.  To make matters worse, I am working a lot of hours and my local pool is a slimy mess.  What is an injured athlete to do?  I can bike on flat ground but I don’t have the ambition for cycling as I already missed my summer bike ride and triathlon from my injury.  Now that I am healing up, I can lift weights but I don’t want to get bulky.

What I am doing now is  a far cry from my usual 10-15 hours of exercise per week but it helps.  I have a body blade that I picked up from Fitter First.  It looks like a real gadget that I was nervous about buying.  I paid $99 for it.  The price seems to be the same no matter where you look.

I happen to like Fitter first because they have quality stuff and cool videos of all the stuff that I bought.

The body blade is a fiber glass stick with rubber weights on the ends.  You shake it back and forth to get a workout.  The thing comes with the obligatory video that I watched and then promptly ignored.  I just shake the stick and let my body find the workout.  I know it works because I am sore the next day.  The nice thing about the stick is that it is easy to put in a corner and use it while watching TV.  They have workout plans but I just use it.  A lot of the two handed positions work the whole body.  Any time you work the whole body, calories are burning.

I also do some ab work that avoids pulling on the injured muscle group.  Resting is hard but I have some big events coming up and I must be healthy to have a chance at completing them.

It has been six weeks since I injured my hip muscle. I had to skip my triathlon Sunday. I did get to watch from my hotel room and I did get to relax while I was at it. I think taking a week off to relax might be a good thing. I would just prefer to be healthy and out running.

I went out for an easy 4 mile jog today. I was not breathing too hard when I finished but the pain came back an after I finished running. Not a severe pain but enough to cause a limp. I am thinking about doing a slow half marathon this Saturday because the course is so close, I can ride my bike to the start line. If I feel better tomorrow, I will dust off my 2:15 pace sign from the Oakland half and carry it for the San Leandro half marathon known as the summer breeze half by Brazen Racing.

Hip Flexor injury

I finally got lucky with an injury.  I was bound to have an easy injury eventually.  I may be able to do the triathlon Sunday.  It will be slow and painful but I will be able to compete.  I am looking forward to see how much pain I can endure for an hour.  The swim and bike should be fine.  It is that 10K run at the end that will hurt.

I don’t like to say this but I know it is true, get your injuries checked by a medical professional.  I don’t think a doctor could have done much for my injury but he could have done a lot for my peace of mind.  I went from what I thought was a pulled groin to thinking it was a fracture to proving it was a hip flexor injury.  Actually it is a specific muscle in the hip flexor group but I don’t remember which one.  Had I gotten it checked early, I could have done a lot of exercises and I did not need to mope about because of an injury.

Cross training is good.  Do not let injuries get you down.  Get it checked out and find a new way to keep moving.  By all means, keep moving!

Injuries and athletes

As previously mentioned, I suffered an injury that is similar to a groin pull.  Pulled groins are no big deal: a little rest, some training program changes, and you are good to go.  I took between 4-5 weeks off from running.

Three weeks of rest with some light spinning.  My groin felt good, I was ready to go out for a run in preparation for this weeks Olympic distance triathlon.  About 3 miles into the run and I was in pain.  Not groin pain but hip pain.

I am devastated.  I hope it is just fractured and I can do the triathlon if I can endure the pain.  It is rare that life throws an easy curve ball so I anticipate damage that is going to take months of rest.  At least it does not hurt when I walk, bike or run.

I am limping today.  I have an appointment with the sports chiropractor in a few days.  I hope he can find the injury without me having to go through insurance hell.

Injuries do strange things to us mentally.  Not only do I have an injury but I am very busy at work.  A combination of things just set me back.  I can do a lot of cross training that does not involve my hip but I seem to be letting it get the better of me.  I feel as if I am dying a slow death both physically and mentally.  When I stop exercising, I stop writing about exercising.  There is nothing wrong with my brain.  What stops me from writing?

I have a marathon training plan written up for CIM in December.  I need to get it posted.  It breaks my heart to post a training plan that I can’t participate in.

Let injuries heal

Let injuries heal… an experiment by Ted.

No matter how much you want to get out and do it, you must let your injuries heal.  About a month ago, while doing yoga, I felt my groin go “pop.”  My first thought was, “This is not good.”  My second thought was, “You over did it again.”

I get so many injuries from overdoing it but I just can’t seem to help it.  Summer injuries are the worst because I have so much going on.  I had to rest.  I still have to rest.  I am going nuts.  I will continue to go nuts.

The first week after the injury, pain, ice on the groin (not pleasant), rest and walked with a limp.

Week 2, slight pain, no ice and more rest with a slight limp.

Week 3, no pain, no limp… tried to jog 40 feet and gave up.

Week 4, no pain, ¼ mile jog, 30-mile bike.  Great restraint to not go further.

Week 5, no pain, ¾ mile swim.

I am getting better.  Groin injuries are bad and rest is the only answer.  It is so hard to sit still and rest.  I don’t do any writing for Alamedarunners.  I feel like I am getting fat and out of shape.  I went to the gym to lift weights one day and caused pain from carrying the weights to the bench.  I warmed up, the pain subsided, and then I was sore the following day.  I needed more rest.

Now that I am almost back to health, it is so hard to take it easy with small swims and small bike rides.  I have a triathlon in two weeks and a half marathon in three weeks.  I have to rest.  I want to go train.  The full marathon training plan for the California International Marathon kicks off in two weeks.  I am going to put my base training to the test.  I hope I can get by.  I know I can get through the triathlon and half marathon in the next couple of weeks.  The question is, how will I do?

I have been taking it very easy for the past month.  I am going to take it easy in my training for the rest of the month.  I am going to go hard in both events.  I will let you know what happens when you have a good base, get injured then rest for 6 weeks before one of your main events.

My two big events for the year are a triathlon and a marathon.  I already know that not resting after an injury stops athletic improvement and does not really heal until I rest.  Now I am going to find out how well rest works.