Tag: Marathon running

November 30, 2018

Trying to motivate yourself to run throughout the winter months can be a struggle, but trying to stay injury free while you run throughout the winter months can be even more of a challenge! Check out these winter running tips that should help keep you running consistently all year long without pesky injuries slowing you down!

 

Temporarily reduce your weekly mileage with the first snowfall.

When you are running on snow as opposed to a hard, slip free surface you are using stabilizing muscles you haven’t used in a long time. This places you at increased risk of injury. Week 1 run 50% of your normal weekly mileage. Week 2 increase to 75%. By week 3 you should be able to return to your normal weekly mileage.

Avoid switching to the treadmill for 100% of your winter running.

First of all running on a flat uniform surface involves repeating the exact same movement over and over again which increases your risk of repetitive strain injuries like achilles tendonitis and plantar fasciitis.  Second of all when the snow melts and you switch back to running outdoors you will have to drastically decrease your mileage or you’ll risk injury. Running on the treadmill does not mimic running outside! The impact force from running outside is much greater than on the treadmill. Also on the treadmill you are trying to keep up with the track as it glides under your feet, whereas outside you actually have to propel yourself forward. It’s very different therefore your body needs to be allowed the time to adjust!

Make sure your important stabilizing muscles are strong!

Running on the snow and ice demands more muscle effort than running on the treadmill or outdoors on dry pavement. Especially from the glutes and core. (See previous glute strengthening blog!)

Wear the proper footwear!

Yaktrax

Either wear sneakers that are meant for winter running and have soles with studs or spikes, or purchase an ice traction device such as Yaktrax that fit over your sneakers.

Warm up!

Warming up is more important during the cold winter months. If you are standing in a parking lot waiting for others in your group to show and you are shivering and chilly, your muscles are tight and cold as you start to run which can put you at increased risk of injury. Jog on the spot, do high knees or bum kicks, or wait in your car with your heat blasting!

Ignore the pace on your watch!

Focus on effort level as opposed to pace if you are used to running with a running watch. You will run slower in the winter months. If you try to maintain the same pace you did on the clear dry pavement you could end up with an injury. Use the rate of perceived exertion scale. Perceived exertion is how hard you feel your body is working. These feelings are not objective like monitoring your heart rate, but they can give an estimate of your heart rate and your exercise intensity zone.

 

 

 

Try snowshoe running!

It’s a great way to get outdoors and enjoy the snow covered trails. You have to make some small technique adjustments such as running with a slightly wider stance and lifting your feet higher. This will challenge your hip abductors such as your glute med and min and your hip flexors so make sure you ease into snowshoe running gradually. It is much slower than road/trail running so don’t focus on pace. Again use the rate of perceived exertion scale above! Also, purchasing snowshoes that are designed for running such as the Atlas snowshoes shown below can definitely improve your comfort level and speed while snowshoe running.

 

November 8, 2018

2 months ago my husband and I made a very big move. We sold our home in Labrador, packed up our truck and our camper and hit the dirt road (literally) to move to Ottawa. I worked as a physiotherapist for 9 years at the hospital in Goose Bay, so accepting a job with Whole Therapy was a huge change for me. I was very nervous and excited and obviously was wondering if I had made the right decision.

Fast forward 2 months and I can say with absolute certainty that yes we made the right choice. My husband and I, along with our 14 month old daughter Emily, absolutely love Ottawa. We love to run, hike, cycle, canoe, and camp, so Ottawa has been a fantastic fit for us. But even more important is I love my new job. My coworkers are fantastic and have taught me so much in just a few weeks. I have met a lot of really cool clients and I love working with the team here to help people reach their goals as fast as possible.

One huge benefit to working at Whole Therapy is that the staff here not only work together to help each other’s clients but they also work together to help each other. I have been running competitively since I was in high school. Over the years I have completed 9 half marathons, 2 full marathons and a bunch of 5 and 10km races. Back home in Labrador I was a member of the Trappers’ Running Club Executive where I helped organize the annual Trapline Marathon (it’s a Boston qualifier and a fantastic race if anyone wants to experience a run in the rural north!) I helped organize and lead the running clinics for the Trapline and I offered education sessions on running form, injury prevention, stretching, etc.

So needless to say I am a runner and am very passionate about the sport. After moving to Ottawa I joined Run Ottawa and I immediately started exploring different running routes and trails around the city. I was having some persistent issues that seemed to start while I was running pregnant with my daughter in 2017. These issues particularly occurred during/after tempo runs, interval training or races:

  • Stitches under my ribs during my higher intensity training sessions that were just completely ruining my runs. Everything I did to stop them failed. I tried to eat at least 2-3 hours before running, do a good warm up, breathe deeply through the stitch. Nothing seemed to work.
  • My hamstrings were just destroyed after speed work. They were so tight, sore and stiff.
  • The area around my C-section scar just felt, for lack of a better word, ugly! Very achy and empty if that makes sense.

My first race in Ottawa was the 5km RBC Run for the Kids in the middle of September. I had a great race but again all 3 of the above issues definitely limited my pace. When I came to work that Monday and chatted to my co-workers about how the race went, I became the client instead of the therapist and it was awesome!

Jamie took me into the gym and focused on why my hamstrings were working so hard. Turns out my glute max was extremely weak especially on the left which meant my hamstrings had to work overtime to compensate. He gave me some homework which included single leg bridge reps, step downs and reverse plank on the stability ball with knee extension. He also worked on my breathing technique which he figured was the cause of my frequent running stitches.

Mel got her hands on me to work around my C-section scar. Emily is 14 months old so it has definitely healed, but I learned after that session that it was not so much the scar tissue causing the “ugly” sensation but the very tight hip musculature surrounding it.

My second race in Ottawa was the 10km Ottawa Fall Colors Run. I ran stitch free, I felt my glute max was definitely working harder than it had been a month ago which meant my hamstrings weren’t totally exhausted following, and I didn’t have the ugly C—section scar feeling!

I still have a lot of work to do over the winter months but I can say with confidence that I think I will be able to run some personal best times next year with the help of my fantastic coworkers!

If you are a runner and you want to run as efficiently as possible, the off season is coming up and it’s a great time to book an appointment and be assessed for any muscle imbalances you may have!

Posted in Physiotherapy by Pat Moore | Tags: , , ,
April 8, 2015
lovin' the new kicks.

lovin’ the new kicks.

Last night, I laced up my new sneakers and went for my first run of the season.  Here’s a snippet of my inner monologue:

Oh wow. Amazing. These shoes feel so comfy; I can’t wait to tackle this run!

Ugh. Definitely not moving as well as I did the last time I ran. It’s ok. Keep on trucking. It’ll improve.

Ok I have a cramp. It’s probably time to take a br- what? It’s only been 3 minutes?  Gah…

The cramp is gone but I can feel my belly shaking. This is both motivating and extremely depressing.  Go away, flab! Go away!  I’ll bet my butt is jiggling too…

Oh I love running.  It’s been 12 minutes and I’m starting to settle in. I’m getting that good running feeling! I can still feel that cramp.  Shut up, head, enjoy this. Oh I love running!

…and on it went for 30 minutes until I was a sweaty, happy, smiling mess.

Although it may not seem like it from my inner monologue, running has been my mental health savior these past few years.  I’ve had anxiety for as long as I can  remember, and when I discovered running, I opened the door to a remedy that could never be found in a pill bottle.

As a kid and teenager I was a total running failure. I would be the one walking around the track as the others sprinted effortlessly.  I would hide behind the portables on track and field day.  I avoided team sports and gym.  I wasn’t built to be a runner: at 5’ tall and 25 lbs overweight, I was stocky, pear-shaped, and completely unsuited to the activity.

Fast-forward a few years. I’m about to turn 21, living on my own for the first time, in a sucky relationship, and have a new job as a Personal Trainer. I’m still overweight (although strong and generally healthy), and I’m feeling self-conscious about being unable to run in my current position as a health role-model.

I decided to train for a sprint triathlon.

While the odds were against me, I toiled and sweated and inner-monologued myself to the edge over three months of intense training.  I learned that running was a place to sort out my problems.  I learned about my body’s language, and began to appreciate how my body worked for me when I fed it running fuel and stretched after my runs.

I lost weight. The months leading up to that initial triathlon saw me drop 10 % body fat.  I no longer felt like a fat Personal Trainer. I felt like a good, healthy role model for my clients.

My first triathlon.  I did it!

My first triathlon. I did it!

Fast forward another few years.  Running has given rise to peace from anxiety attacks, quality time for self-reflection, and accomplishment from achievements.  I started with 5k and progressed to half marathons.  I got my Mum involved in running, too (she now puts me to shame and runs at least two full marathons a year).

I use running to both escape and connect.  When I had a miscarriage a few years ago, running helped me get through it.  Running has allowed me to evolve as a businesswoman and make better, more solid decisions for my team.

I will lace up my sneakers again tomorrow, and venture out again.  Eventually, I know that my inner monologue will quiet down and let me enjoy a peaceful silence in my mind.

Until then, I’m embracing the journey.

Jen Wright is an RMT and the owner of Whole Therapy. She is an avid gym-goer and loves to lift heavy stuff.  She sees clients of all ages and stages, especially those who are engaged in bettering themselves.  She believes that pain-free is possible.  For more about Jen, click here.

Jen