What happens to you when running a marathon?

Marathons are fun, right? We all know that after marathon muscles are quite sore for a couple of days. But, there are happening a lot more than muscles fatigue and soreness. Following things might sound crazy and scary, especially if you are a beginner or just planning to run a marathon. Remember, everything is temporary and overall feelings during the marathon and after crossing the finish line beats everything else.

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Review: Master Your Core – Dr. Bohdanna Zazulak + Giveaway

I got to chance to read Master Your Core: A Science-Based Guide to Achieve Peak Performance and Resilience to Injury by Dr Bohdanna Zazulak. I also have an opportunity to give one paperback copy to some of you, so keep reading.

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Body composition methods – how can benefit?

The scale doesn’t tell everything. What do you need to know about body composition methods? Are they reliable? Who can benefit them and who not? There are several different ways to measure your body composition. They all tell us much more than just a scale number.

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Interview: sports massage therapist Juha Hautakorpi

I have a great opportunity to get an interview with Juha Hautakorpi, sports massage therapist. Who also do endurance sports. He provided a lot of information about massage therapy and when it’s good for us and what to take into account when timing the visit.

CAN YOU TELL SOMETHING ABOUT YOURSELF AND YOUR BACKGROUND? WHY massage therapy?

I’m Juha Hautakorpi sports masseuse and VoiceWell therapist.
I graduated as a masseur in 2015 and a year later I attended a sports masseur course. I graduated as a Voicewell therapist in 2019.
Immediately after graduating from massage school, I started my own business, since that this is being my full-time job. Formerly, I’m a professional electrician, but that jobs were never my own thing. It was very difficult for the electricians to jump on the school bench. But the decision was right and I have not regretted it for a day!
Well-being, as well as exercise, have always been of interest and you could easily access this world through massage. The possibilities for further education are also completely limitless.

What is a sports massage and who can benefit from it?

The slightly outdated idea is that sports massages are always better and harder than traditional classical massages. However, they do not differ in their massage technique in any way.
The professionalism of a sports masseur comes more through the right technique, strengths and various mobilizations that are adapted to the client’s possible sport.
For example, completely different treatment must be performed if the client has a marathon the next day or if he has run it the day before.

What are the benefits of sports massage?

The greatest significance of massage is the improved recovery from exercise. Which in itself reduces the risk of injury and it also has a great effect on the psyche and general endurance. With a massage, you can also get rid of small jams quickly before they become big problems.

How often people should have a massage?

In massage, the frequency of visits is influenced by many things. It is difficult to say any rule suitable for everyone. In general, I recommend to everyone that you should visit for a massage as needed, but regularly! The more and harder you training, the more important body care becomes.

Can I go to a workout right after the massage? Is it worth scheduling a massage visit?

Training directly after a massage is rarely recommended. Unless the massage is done specifically as a pre-exercise.
Massage can be considered a kind of exercise for the muscles and nervous system, which, like training, requires its own recovery time. The stronger and deeper the treatment, the longer it is recommended to take a break from training.
In general, the next day training is okay, as long as you remember to do a good warm-up. Ideally, massages should be scheduled for a week that does not have maximum performance and is generally a lighter week. So that there are no technically demanding performances on the same or the next day. Because massage can momentarily interfere with muscle nerve.

How can the benefits of massage be maximized?

After the massage, it is good to keep the small movement and a light walk is an excellent option. On the same day, it is also good to do light static as well as dynamic stretches at least an area that has been treated. Stretching after a massage allows the muscle to be better stretched to its own maximum muscle length, but no deep stretching should be done on the same day as it is often too hard a strain on the nerve in the muscle.

“Sports massage hurts, I don’t want/dare to go…” “Massage should hurt or it doesn’t work…” How is this really?

It’s a slightly old idea that sports massage is always more intense and it should hurt. There may be unpleasant moments during a massage, but pain alone is not the right measure of successful treatment. Communication between the client and the masseur is vital. However, pain is a personal thing for everyone and everyone experiences it differently.
Sometimes a hard massage is even worse than a lighter treatment, after a hard massage recovery takes longer through the micro-rupture of the muscles and the next performance is not as effective as after a lighter treatment.

What would you say to a person who has never been to a masseuse (fear, shyness…) but would like to?

I would say there is no reason to miss a massage, many have uncertainties about their own body and the idea of one criticizing is very understandable. When it comes to a professional, it doesn’t matter what your appearance is, or how poor condition you are. It may be that you are the masseuse’s seventh client on the same day, and she/he is not at work judging anyone but helping in the best way possible.

Why do masseurs always tell you to drink lots of water?

This question is encountered almost daily, I also advised to drink plenty of water at the end of each massage.
The general argument I hear is “massage removes toxins from the body,” but I have not found any justification for this. The muscles do not accumulate “waste” which the massage release and remove from the body.
During treatment, muscle tension is reduced, blood circulation is improved, fluid metabolism is accelerated which moves fluid from the muscles towards the kidneys and thereby dries out the body. For this reason, you can often visit the toilet immediately after the massage.
So it is important to get plenty of fluids back into the body, which will also ease the post-massage headaches that many experience.

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Should women train differently than men?

In a physical perspective, there is some difference between women and men. Women are often described slower and weaker, because of the physical factors, but that’s not necessarily the thing. Women can be stronger and faster than men, like the same way some men are stronger and faster than other men. It depends on the training background and many other things. But in the scientific perspective, there are many differences between men and women. So should they train the same way?

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Hamstring movements for runners

In the case of runners, there is often talk of little tension, which is expected to improve economic running and thus performance. The mobility and flexibility of the core and lower limbs are in a special position. The tension of the core, which limits the rotation and thus the rotation of the leg from the hip, improves economic running. Similarly, lower back, hip, and ankle tensions shift running biomechanics in a more economical direction. So, while a certain degree of tension may be beneficial from a running performance perspective, consideration must be given to how to determine the appropriate tension.

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Running with narrow stride width or toe-out?

Each of us has individual running style and foot pattern, but sometimes they can cause more harm than good. Runners often observe their foot stride length and cadence but forget stride width or feet position. We have spoken cadence earlier, you can find it here. Are you running like a duck or like more hit the catwalk?

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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?”

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”

Running injuries: ankle and foot pain

Pain in the ankle or foot is common symptom for runners. Here’s some of the most common injuries, if you suffer any kind of pain I recommend rest and consult your doctor.

Ankle sprain
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Ankle sprain happen when ankle ligaments which are connected to the ankle bone torn or stretch suddenly. For example land the foot in the wrong position. This often causes swelling and bruises and need R.I.C.E treatment (rest, ice, compression and elevation), it’s recommended see doctor that there is not any other damage and as they often put Continue reading “Running injuries: ankle and foot pain”

Knee pain – exercise and prevention

Last post we looked couple most common knee injuries and what cause them, now we will take closer look how to prevent them.

Strength training:
Side-lying leg lift

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Lay down on your other side, keep straight line from head to ankle. Lift your upper leg and bring it back down. Do 15 reps. Repeat 3 times. Remember do both sides. Continue reading “Knee pain – exercise and prevention”

Running injuries: knee pain

Knees are one of the most often injured part of the runner. There are tons of the reasons which can lead knee pain/injuries, such as shoes, running terrain, posture, technique, etc. I’m always recommending take any abnormal feelings and pain seriously, denying it or lack of treatment (prevention) may cause long symptom and/or recovery period. Here are some most common “muscles” related pain producers.

Patellofemoral pain syndore- also known as runner’s knee

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Runner’s knee is a repetitive stress injury, where the pain located in the under the kneecap (patella) or front of the knee. It occurs when pressure between patella and femur increases, as the knee flexes and extents patella glides trochlear groove, end of the femur. Normally the bursitis which are the lateral side of the knee reduce the friction, but if Continue reading “Running injuries: knee pain”

What is pronation?

You might have heard flat foot; other word pronation, where foot rolls inwards while standing. It’s normal to foot pronate or supinate (opposite to pronate) in certain points during gait cycle. But when pronation happens during stance phase where most of the body weight is right above the foot, problems might occur. Pronation is foot’s triplanar movement, so this means if pronation occurs it affect three cardinal plane; subtalar eversion, dorsiflexion of the angle and forefoot abduction. Also as the foot is rolled inwards it increases rotation of the tibia, when it causes pressure to joint and ligament which can lead many other problems.

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Pronation often cause knee pain, medial tibial stress syndrome know as shin splints, calf, shin and foot muscles soreness and pain as the muscles are pulled wrong position. When muscle is pulled wrong position long period of time it shortened while its opposite muscles lengthened. Often the lengthened side start to show symptom of pain as it Continue reading “What is pronation?”

Tight hips – exercises and prevention

Does your legs feeling like they weighting tons while running? Is your running posture more like sitting in the chair than upward? Do you have knee or other leg pains? If you answered yes even one question, you MIGHT have tight hip muscles or/and muscle weakness. If you don’t suffer any of these I still recommend to you take care of your hips to prevent any problems to the future, for example those that we spoke at running injuries: hip and thigh pain post.

In hips area we have many muscles and muscles’ insertion and origin which rotate, flex and extend our legs. These muscles are also one of the basis for our running. If these muscles are tight or weak they pull our body down when space between our upper body and legs shortened as muscles are short too. This of course lead that our legs don’t have Continue reading “Tight hips – exercises and prevention”

Running Injuries: Hip and thigh pain

When runners experience more pain than just sore muscles, there can be some kinds of injuries in the background. Running injuries series we will go through some of the most common injuries different parts of body, what factors are behind them and how to cure them. First we will look hip and thigh areas injuries. Remember always consult your doctor if you doubt you might suffer any of these.

Groin pull

groin
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A groin pull, groin strain or groin tears are common for runners, it appears when too much stress and force put to the thigh and groin they can torn or over-stretched. Also quick change of direction in the fast speed can cause groin pull. It can be graded 1,2 or 3 depending on extent of strain. Symptoms are swelling, pain and tenderness inside the thigh especially the adductors, struggle to bring legs together or raise the knee up. Doctor can make physical examination such as x-rays or MRIs. For a treatment used P.R.I.C.E protocol (protection, rest, ice, compression and elevation) during the first 72 hours of injury. There are five adductors muscles; pectineus, gracilis, adductor brevis, adductor longus and adductor magnus, their weakness or tightness, biomechanical factors like Continue reading “Running Injuries: Hip and thigh pain”