Hey guys, It's almost FRIDAY! So, I know that means most runners are gearing up and getting ready to tackle that weekend workout or possibly that first race of the season!
We all seem to know what to do when it comes down to the workout, but how do YOU begin your session?
It's SUPER important that we start each run warming up our tissues and joints (and no I'm not talking about just running or using your first 10 minutes of your run "warming up").
The reason why so many runners get injured, AND STAY injured, is because we neglect the general principles of movement and focus solely on the sport. That's why warming up and performing drills BEFORE you start actually moving IS SO important to the life of your activity. Otherwise your friends will be lapping you while you're on the couch or a doctors office.
Before we perform the actual activity of our workout, we must prepare the tissues and joints to be active through mobility and warm up drills. "Hey get ready to work, we're going to start moving".
It's super important to get our tissues in the correct placement before we move them, ideally the hips, ankles, and hamstrings. If our hips are super tight, from sitting all day, and the first thing we do is run, VIOLENTLY opening and closing them without ANY prior movement, over time they were tear and or not perform to the ability THEY COULD....you could be eliminating your own potential.
After 10-15 minutes of mobility, it's key to perform some sort of dynamic warm up to fire up the muscle elasticity chain, that includes the tendons in our ankles and the tissue and muscle that connects to the 2 lower calf muscles. Think of them as a rubber band, if we've been sitting all day then instantly load them with the impact of running, they could potentially snap...youch.
So, be sure to spend 10-20 minutes performing some sort of NON running dynamic warm up. Below is a short video of a few warm up drills I like to perform BEFORE I begin running.
So what's that red band around my leg? It's called a Voodoo Floss Band, cool name huh?
It adds multiple benefits to your tissues and longevity of your running.
1. It unglues sticky tissues (aka knots or previously injured tissue).
Think of those tight knots that we get, as a dryer sheet, it sticks to everything and it hard to roll it back out. The band tacks down the tissues and through movement, forces them to break up and become unstuck.
2. Compression creates blood flow for faster recovery
The band does add a compression component, like a sleeve that takes your pulse. When we release the band the tissues that's been rubbing together breaks up, releasing the knots and tightness and healthy blood rushes to that area, ushering out the excess scar tissue. AKA RECOVERING FASTER.
The compression also helps with inflammation.
My ankles and calves are always a little tight. Once I do this warmup, with the voodoo band, I feel as if I have brand new legs once I release the band.
These guys are available on amazon/mobility wod and should be in every runners/athletes bag.
Thanks for reading.
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When we run, we must use the help of 2 things, Body weight and gravity, to move forward.
By adding a fall to our run we decrease the amount of work our body has to physically do, and it puts our body in the best position to pull our feet off of the ground AKA no more heel striking = less injury and a more efficient running form.
Check out this drill below to help incorporate falling into your running
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Raise your hand if you've ever had issues with your ankles? Yep, Mine is up. I've never had an injury from my ankles (thank goodness) however there was once a time where I couldn't do a single trail run without feeling severe tightness in my shins and ankles before reaching the top of the climb. THIS should have been my red flag warning that something isn't right, PAIN is NOT normal my friends. Yes, as runners we joke about how stubborn we are. How we can outrun any niggle or pain, yet it's just a time bomb waiting to express itself in the least opportune time (as if an injury has any is appropriate time to happen).
Our Achilles is not a fragile tendon. Look down on the back of your ankle, that tendon that connects to your 2 major calf muscles is your achilles, this guy can suspend a Ford Truck up in the air, it's so strong.
Think about your AT as a bow and arrow. When your foot makes contact with the ground, your AT lengthens to push back with equal force (Newton's 3rd Law- For every action there is an equal and opposite reaction) AKA Ground Reaction Force. It then shortens, releasing the absorbed energy back into your stride, like an arrow releases from a bow. Our AT is the root of this system known as the Muscle-Tendon Elasticity System. It also can be thought of as a spring, or shock absorber that has a chain like reaction. (Nicholas Romanov)
So, if our tendons, more specifically our AT, was designed to be like a spring how does it become injured or inflamed?
1) Excessive hill running (or lack of preparation for the hill running)
2) No warmup, agility practice in your daily running regiment.
1) Excessive hill running-or my 2 cents, lack of preparation for hill running. Before you hit the trail head are you breathing hard? Is your body warm? Have you even spent 5 minutes stretching your lower extremities? Try adding these 3 moves into your daily warm up:
2) Plank-Down Dowg
2)No Agility Practice- We must always prepare our tissues and joints to be active before we require them to move. Running is one of THE highest impact sports we can perform, therefore we should treat our warmup like such. IF we want to improve with our running we must take our tissues and joints along for the ride= preparing our body for impact.
ALWAYS perform 10-15 minutes of agility/warm up drills to the point of either an elevated HR . A good indication is that warm up jacket/hoodie needs to come off.
Some good warm up drills include:
1) Varied Position Squats
2) Toe In/Out Jumps
3) Pony Drills to Pose
4) Bilateral Hops to Pose
5) Jumping Jack- Skier Jumps
6)Heel - Toe Rocks
I hope this gives you a better idea of how to take care of your Achilles! If you have any questions feel free to email me firstname.lastname@example.org and subscribe to my bi-monthly newsletter!
Good Morning Readers!
Phew! I can't believe the weekend is finally here! A few more hours of work and then on to supporting the local Seaside Half Marathon.
I had 2 pretty tough running sessions this week. The first session included retesting my threshold pace. The 2nd included my first marathon pace training. Today is my recovery day! One of my favorite treats on my recovery days, and love for supporting local businesses, is to spend an hour or two at my favorite coffee shop, Cafe Ficelle. Of course, my laptop isn't far as I catch up on a few running analysis or other social media tasks.
When it comes to your recovery day, it's important to avoid any high intensity activity to allow your tissues and muscles to rest. Low impact movement can be done such as a yoga class but make sure you're still focused on restoring that energy for tomorrow's next training session.
Another important aspect to include on your recovery day is also mobility. Resting your tissues and joints is important however, it's crucial to take this day and spend even more time, than the daily 10-20 minutes, performing soft tissue maintenance. I recommend hopping on a foam roller and hitting every muscle group on your legs as well as your feet. Then, take a lacrosse ball and getting even deeper to some of the tighter knots that have formed in your quads and hamstrings. My knots always form around my knees, they're killer! Resist the pain face and breath my friends!
Here's a link to one of my favorite mobility moves. You don't need any fancy equipment, just a wall (or a couch) and go to town for 2 minutes : Couch Stretch
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Wahoo! The weekend is finally here, Sometimes I feel like it takes forever to get here!
For most of us that are training for an event or just have an awesome run, bike, or swim club in their community, the weekend tends to be the time to really put that distance training in.
However, remember my friends quantity always beats quality.
We always seem to get so wrapped up in the mileage ("I gotta get 20 this week!") However we don't seem to put in the homework at home to get ready for these miles.
Before we can build our engine, we must prepare it for activity. The tissues and joints need to warmed up and activated before we can move. Most importantly, our ankles, feet, hamstrings, and hips ALL the major movers for running and cycling.
So put on your favorite playlist (mine is Meghan Trainor) and try these moves the next time before you run:
* Lunges with a pause at the bottom
* Squats (knees out, chest up)
* A few running drills that activate the elasticity in your ankle (hopping, skipping)
* Hip Circles
* Ankle Flexion and Extension
Tell your joints "Get ready to be active" by warming them up efficiently and properly and you will be rewarded with a successful run for weeks to come!
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Or Facebook at Redheadrunner
If you haven't seen this video on Youtube I'd HIGHLY recommend it.
When I tell people I'm a Crossfit coach, I get very similar reactions. Most see it as a easy way to get hurt, but in actuality, if you have GOOD coaches, it's a way to stay out of injury. It's a way to help prepare you for a functional life.
A life where you can be practical in your career, a life where you continually chase your kids around a playground, stay out of the nursing home longer, and out of the doctor's office from pain caused from an inactive lifestyle combined with bad nutrition.
Knowledgeable coaches make the difference when it comes to the actual activity. Good coaches provide instruction, education, guidance and motivation to push you to your truest potential in a safe environment.
Good coaches guide clients through the proper movement along with body awareness and correlation to real life scenarios.
What type of functional training are you including in the your weekly training?
Welcome back guys to RedheadRunner, I've hope you've had a restful weekend thus far. I'm currently sipping my mid-afternoon coffee in my LOVELY Ironman Santa Rosa mug with my unicorn socks on..pretty comfy.
As I write this I can feel the ache of my hips talking to me from my earlier bike ride. I know it's time to do some homework and prepare them for my run tomorrow...The question is, do you do YOUR homework?
Today's Topic? It's all in the hips
To KISS it, (keep it simple silly) having good hip movement basically makes it a lot easier to move from one good position to the other easy, right? Our bodies keep a position that we regularly put them in (they're really smart) How often do you sit during the day? Not that much?
Do you sit at every meal? How about when you drive? When you work ?
The time adds up pretty quick, so imagine if you never taught your hips to be in an extended position (think of a big lunge) it only knows to be in that bent,sitting position. NOW, go for a run without warming it up, or stretching it and I bet down the road you will feel tightness and/or pain.
When we run correctly, our back leg's hip is in extension and our front hip is in flexion. When our range of motion is shortened, due to tight hips, we then compensate that range with other tissues and parts of our body. Lower back pain is expressed when that hip is looking for range and instead of being able to use it's full capacity because of tightness, it begins pulling on the lower back for reinforcement...Ahhh..if you've been dealing with lower back pain have you tried opening up your hips?
Hips provide power with lifting weights as well as running. We are continuously closing and opening our hips as we cycle through Pose-Fall-Pull. When we're not able to fully express that motion our legs have to work HARDER to get to these positions. Our speed suffers as well as a the longevity of our run.
Ok, so I have tight hips what can I do?
1. Stand more during your day
Take walking breaks at work, put your computer on your kitchen counter (my counter is the perfect size for my 5'6 frame, check yours out!)
2. Perform daily mobilizations
Take 10 minutes a day (everyone can find 10 minutes somewhere) and make sure you do some hip opening mobilizations daily as well as before/after your workouts. Couch stretch is a GREAT and DAILY mobilization you should be performing. Check out my improvement over the months.
3. Form Check
Educate yourself on proper running technique ( I know a pretty good coach, if you're in need head on over to my coaching page to contact me for a running analysis). We can mobilize daily and get special massages monthly but until you have the most efficient form, you're only going to put your body in injuries path over and over again. Until we fix the pattern the result will remain the same.
Notice below how in the bottom picture coach Christine was using her legs to get her feet in front of her instead of her hips. There's really no hip flexion or extension at all. By a few cues and quick drills of Pose Method coach now has FULL expression of hip extension/flexion. "It felt like I could fly". Her pull (contact with the ground improved as well)..hooray for hips!
Watch my quick warm up video to get an idea on how to prepare your hips before a run
3 Moves to Perform:
1) World's Greatest Lunge with hip circles, both sides
2) Downward Dog
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Are you tired of dealing with injuries while running, swimming, or biking?
Head over to my friend Anna Robbin's Podcast She Tris Fitness and find out what adding a mobility practice to your routine can do you for your athleticism.
For more tips and motivation follow me on IG: Redheadrunner_hpc
Avoiding Injury While Training Podcast
or click here to listen
*Have you been dealing with a reoccuring running injury?
*Does pain keep you from training?
*Or are you ready to become faster or run more efficiently?
A running analysis slows down your movement and allows me to see what's truly going on with each step you take. By becoming more efficient you can eliminate current and possible injuries by putting less strain and tear on your lower body. You can also increase your speed and midline carriage by perception, awareness, and practice.
Following our session you will receive a personalized assessment with photos depicting your before and after form. You will also receive home videos /drills to keep improving your mechanics.
Regardless if you're local or not let's get you running without pain.
Contact me to set up your first session today!
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Run For It is our newest addition to the Vent Human Performance's schedule. It's a FREE, Weekly class that teaches our community of runners how to get faster, stronger, and more efficient without injuries.
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