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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 email@example.com 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
Thanks for reading! For more content follow me on IG: redheadrunner_hpc or facebook at redhearunner
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
Thanks for reading! Feel Free to subscribe to my newsletter and follow me on my IG page Redheadrunner_hpc for more running related tips and ways to stay motivated!
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!
Follow me on IG : redheadrunner_hpc and Vent Runners on Facebook to see amazing changes clients have made after their sessions.
Check out VentRunner's newest youtube post!
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.
I recently attended a workshop that discussed the turn of the new year and the mindset we should have to approaching it
We all seem to understand the term goal setting, some of the more common New Year Resolutions being:
"I want to lose weight"
" I want to travel more in 2019"
"I MUST find love in 2019"
Those are all wonderful ...but are the goals more so of a reflection?....WHY..Why do we set goals? Of course they give us a sense of purpose and are ways to make us do things..but isn't the objective of the goal to create the sense of success? We set a goal to achieve something....but once we have it? then what? ARE we truly happy?
One enlightenment...or that "ah-ha" moment I received was that it's not the goal we should be focused on...it's the idea BEHIND the goal, the why...
How will achieving that goal MAKE..US...FEEL? AND! if we like that feeling why not think of MORE things that ALSO achieve that same feeling?
SO instead of focusing SO much on the goal why not take a step back and focus on certain categories in our lives and how we want to feel within them?
STEP 1- RE-DECONSTRUCT OUT MINDSET
Let's go back to that first goal, one of the most common we see in the new year :
"I want to get healthier"...Ok So one step back, "Why do you want to get healthier?"
"Well if i was a little bit lighter I could run faster, it would be easier to move quicker"..
So, "how would running faster make you feel?" ...Stronger....Faster...uncatchable, happy, like a unicorn.
STEP 2- OUTCOME VS GOAL
Ah-ha, SO instead of putting so much emphasis on the work, look at the outcome first...
I Want to feel STRONG
I want to feel HAPPY
STEP 3- HOW DOES THAT MAKE YOU FEEL
...Next, ask yourself "what do you do that makes you FEEL that way?"
- Running, Lifting, Sprinting, riding my bike, swimming (well sort of haaha)
For health and wellness my focus word is Strong/Happy and I know for next year I can now set SPECIFIC goals around those activities that will end up giving me the satisfaction of strength and happiness. This is MUCH MORE personable than "getting healthier" or "losing 5lbs of fat". By having the specific goal that will in turn GIVE me the feelings I want, the outcome of losing 5lbs, or being healthier should come as a byproduct of what will make me feel great.
Specific goals to focus on then?
Placing Top 3 Age Group at both local sprint tri's
Setting a New PR at my 70.3
AND Qualifying for Boston 2020 are all goals that will make me feel like that mythical unicorn
Those goals were easily discovered but, not all are that quickly defined.
As we covered the remaining categories that outlined my home life, finances, work, and spirituality I discovered some buzz words I'd never used before:
Successful, Respect, Relaxed, Peace, and Free
My next step is to create goals under each word that will help me achieve all these feelings within their categories.
My challenge for you is to think emotionally first instead of physically. How can you express yourself at your fullest next year by setting goals in place to create the best situation for yourself, physically, mentally, and spiritually?
Thanks for reading!
For daily fitness inspiration follow me on IG at Redheadrunner_Hpc
I'm passionate about running, fitness, nutrition and all things that make me and everyone else a better version of ourselves.