SCIENCE TALK: warm-up, do we need it?

First, lace your shoes and then start running, maybe slower at the beginning so the body will have time to warm-up, that’s enough? Right?

Warm-up…What? Why it’s essentials for runners?

Continue reading “SCIENCE TALK: warm-up, do we need it?”

SCIENCE TALK: The consist of distance running performance

Roughly speaking running performance can be divided into three sections; psychological factors, biomechanics and physiological factors. Each of these section contains several sub-concepts, let’s see some of these factors. Continue reading “SCIENCE TALK: The consist of distance running performance”

SCIENCE TALK: Energy systems and strength training

There are three energy systems in human body. I’m not going to explain how they break down, to avoid making this post extra long. I’m going to briefly introduce them and explain their relationship to strength training especially for distance runners and why runners should vary strength training types. Continue reading “SCIENCE TALK: Energy systems and strength training”

How massage affects the body?

Relaxation and opening muscles knots, are maybe two the most common reason why people seek massage therapist help. But, if we eliminate relaxation and tight muscles, is there are any other reasons to for the massage. Often people wait until something is wrong and they suffer pain, should you wait that long? No!

We don’t always feel muscles knots, or tight muscles, especially if we have suffered them a long time, our body is getting familiar with them and doesn’t complain as it thought it’s the normal state to be. Our body still might send us signals to tell that Continue reading “How massage affects the body?”

Foam rolling tips

Foam roller that painful, but so wonderful tool, it can help to ease knots and relax sore muscles, but do you take all benefits from it or do you use it right?

1. Don’t only roll. If you have knots, place roll under these and put pressure on, once these knots starts to loosening, you can start rolling.

2. Roll one muscle (muscles group) 30-90 sec. There are no point to roll several minutes on one area as it can increase injuries. If you feel to need more rolling take a break and Continue reading “Foam rolling tips”

Should runners do strength training?

Just run, that’s enough? Or is it?
Becoming the better and faster runner, doesn’t only mean tons of running alone. Runners should also do the strength training to improve their running form, endurance, speed and other physiological factors. M. Chatara et al. (2005) show that strength training improve VO2max, whereas Støren et al. (2008) proved that strength training improved time of exhaustion level in maximal aerobic speed. There are tons of studies which show similar results, and no wonder why most of the elite athlete do some strength training. Even though there are variable between training group, for example Nike Oregon project runners hit some heavy weight training once in the while when most of the Kenyan runners Continue reading “Should runners do strength training?”

How to cure shin splints

Shin splints or Medial Tibial Stress Syndrome (MTSS) is a common injury among runners. It is usually the result of overuse of tibia muscles, especially the tibial anterior. When the muscle undergoes heavy stress, it swells, but the fascias around the muscle it is not able to stretch fast enough to provide space for muscle to grow, and it starts to cause pain and inflammation. In shin splints, the pain is directed at the internal parts of the thigh, sometimes to the external parts. Pain appear usually at the beginning of the run, it may disappear during the run, but the more advanced shin splints cause pain throughout the running. There are several theories how shin splints develop, many of which are related to running, such as a sudden increase in amount of exercise, running on a hard surface, running technique, or certain muscle weakness. Continue reading “How to cure shin splints”

DOMS – what it really is?

One of my client asked me another day, why her muscles feel sore day or couple day after training, why not immediately? Simple answer is because it DOMS, but in the reality what is DOMS or what cause it?

DOMS means Delayed onset muscle soreness, it normally appears 24 to 72 hours after exercise. You might notice how your muscles feel sore, and sitting down or climbing the stairs feel difficult, day after the exercise. This basically DOMS.

My muscles are sore, so they are building more muscles, right? Actually no, DOMS can improve muscle growth, but not to a large extent. Muscle hypertrophy mechanism increases muscle, its most central mechanisms are mechanical tension, metabolic stress and muscle damage. Although DOMS causes muscle damages, it can also be Continue reading “DOMS – what it really is?”

Plyometric training for runners

What is plyometric training?
Plyometric training is often perceived as explosive jumping exercises, even if it means short, mostly of own body weight performed explosive interval style exercises. Training is based on the “stretch-shortening cycle” method. Leg muscles is stored in a large number of human energy stocks, for example, when we jump we are able to take the energy for next jump from the previous ones impact, when landing on the ground. This makes it possible to jump even higher.

Why you should do it?
Quick conclusion is that this type of training must be good for sprinter, but Turner et al. (2003), actually found that it also help improve running economy for longer distance. It’s also prevent injuries as it’s strengthening ligaments and muscles. To have speed and specially able to maintain speed, runner need to train both speed and power. When these features are development not only running speed but also contact time on the ground accelerate. The less feet spent time on the ground while running the less human use energy.

Including plyometric exercise to your training plan
Before you start to do plyometric exercises, you should have a good base condition already. Do not do the exercises year-round. Do exercises on your speed and power development training cycle. It’s not good to do the exercises in the same week when you have running race.

Squat jumps, tuck jumps, lateral squat jump, lunge jumps, side hops, bounding, power skipping and diagonal obstacle jump are just a few examples of plyometric training. Before you start to do plyometric training, you have to warm up. You can do 10-20 repetitions, 10-20 times depending on your fitness level. If you are not familiar with these kinds of training start with lower reps and pay attention to your technique especially when landing on ground to avoid any injuries.

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Running injuries: calf and shin pain

This time we will look common injuries and reasons which can cause pain and irritation to calf and shin area. As always if you feel any uncommon symptoms or have any injuries I recommend consult your doctor or other professional.

Tibial stress fracture
There are two bones in the lower leg, tibia and fibula, of these two tibia is the bigger one and its role is bear weight. Tibia can fracture when it’s under the continues stress, where muscles contract continuously for example during running. Also sudden change of the running terrain, overweight or fast increase of training load can cause stress fracture. It causes pain lower part of the leg and sometimes swelling too. It’s not often can see on the x-ray, that’s why there are often two x-rays, one at the begging and other later on (about 4 weeks later) where can see that bone is start to heal. Rest is the only way the heal the fracture, during that time is possible to do other types of exercise which are not weight bearing, for example water running. Continue reading “Running injuries: calf and shin pain”