Posts Tagged ‘running’

Book Recommendation – Born to Run

September 19, 2011

It’s been a busy summer and I haven’t been able to post here. But with the summer came a great read. Especially if you’re a runner. If you haven’t already, and you are a runner read Born to Run. Not since George Sheehan’s Running and Being has a book motivated me so much to run.

Born to Run is being credited for starting the “barefoot running” movement. But Born to Run is more than a story of foot anatomy and why we have more injuries the more we cushion our feet. Author Christopher McDougall takes us on a journey into the Copper Canyons of Mexico and a search for the elusive Caballo Blanco and the Tarahumara Indians. This where he finds extraordinary runners. Not only do these natives of Mexico run distances of 100 miles or more but they do this barefoot or with barely anything on their feet.

McDougall takes the reader through the compelling research that discusses how the more cushioned a running shoe is the more we can be susceptible to injury. Listen to the evidence and decide for yourself.

The story continues and culminates as the author joins with Caballo and other world class ultra-trail runners as they race against the Tarahumara in their Copper Canyon (the greatest race the world has never seen). If you love running order your copy today!

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Compression for Increased Running Performance

October 12, 2010

There never seems to be an end to the “latest and greatest”.

Recently compression clothing have been getting some attention in endurance events. Certainly compression stockings have been used to help circulation in medical environments for a long time. In fact graduated compression stockings were initially designed in a clinical environment to increase blood flow. So wouldn’t it make sense that athletes could also use this technology to their advantage?

Sports apparel companies market a variety of compression clothing towards athletes touting a number of performance and recovery benefits.

Could this assist athletes in performance and recovery? Is this real or just a matter of perception? Participants involved in compression studies expressed feelings of support when running.


So what does the research say?

In an article written in the Journal of Sports Science and Medicine. The researchers concluded that data suggests that wearing compression garments in the recovery from exercise may alter the inflammatory response to damage and accelerate the process inside of the muscle.

And what about different grades of compression?

Until recently no studies were done on whether a heavier grade of compression was more beneficial than a lighter grade. In an article published by the Journal of Sports Sciences this past year researchers applied 3 different grades of compression on 15 endurance athletes. Rates of perceived exertion, muscle soreness and time to exhaustion were unaffected by the various grades. Overall there was NO difference in performance.

I’m not sure about you, but when I run I don’t like clothing that feels tight up against my skin. If I were to try these garments out I would try a lower grade one first and if I didn’t get the desired response I would try them again increasing the grade of compression.

So what about you? Have you tried these garments? What did you think? Have you tried any other of the “latest and greatest” products that are on the market? What has been your experience?

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Small Races vs Large Races

September 6, 2009

Today I had the opportunity to run in the Annual Jerome Hill Climb. There might have been 150 runners in attendance. The weather was on the cool side and although the sun was a bit bright, it was a great climate for a race.

I’ve been entering races now for 26 years. I’ve been in races of all sizes. From large ones that have 30,000 participants to others who barely pull together 100. In fact I was in one, in New Jersey where I think that maybe there was 20 of us that lined up at the starting line.

Point being, I really enjoy the smaller runs. The allure that the bigger runs have with their media hype will certainly pique my curiosity in the future. But today when the starter stood in front and yelled GO! And nobody had to worry about nudging anyone out of the way when we started. Or the fact that I could run, right from the start instead of walking for 15 minutes before everyone had a chance to spread out and then run.

Well today reminded me of why I love entering into races, especially the local sponsored, locally organized ones. The races that at the end you’re not inundated with advertisements, your surrounded by people who just want to run, who give you an acknowledging nod or smile, because you are part of a community.

Next time you’re planning to do an event, please consider the ones your local organizers are putting on. Maybe this year instead of doing the Rock n Roll Marathon you look into the Lost Dutchman Marathon. I’ll bet you’ll run just as hard.

Stretching…..Do You???

August 15, 2009

This week I had a conversation with a fellow that I have been training for several years. In the past year he has stepped up his running and in fact is going to join our team for next year’s Ragnar Relay. I was taken back when he told me that he didn’t stretch after his runs. After some thought I realized that this was actually pretty common. Stretching after running should be as automatic as running itself. Not having enough time is not a good enough reason to not stretch. After all it really doesn’t have to take any more than 3 to 4 minutes to complete. After running I religiously put my knees through their full range of motion by doing 10 squats then do a standing quad stretch for 30 seconds each. After this, what is left is to stretch my hamstrings, again for 30 seconds each. This really assists in stopping a lot of the soreness that I would feel had I not gone through this routine. What do you do after running? Do you have a different routine that you follow? What can you share with the rest of us to assist in our recovery?