Category Archives: runners
Saturday, October 12, 2013
Athletes Helping Athletes 5K
If you are an animal lover and have a special affinity for beautiful Greyhouds, this event is for you. All the proceeds from this race go to the Southern Greyhound Adoption to help transport, vet, and upkeep retired Greyhound racers until they find their forever homes. For more information about this race visit Southern Greyhound Adoption website.
Saturday, October 19th, 2013
Superheroes vs. Villains 5K
Are you looking for a fun way to spend a Saturday? Come out and run this fun, family friendly, easy, and flat 5K. There will be lots of prizes, on course entertainment, incredible goodies, medals will be given to all finishers, and did I mention that you can drop your kids of for a fun, safe, and supervised play time while you run the race? The 5K takes place Required Fitness in Marietta. There will be plenty of parking. For more information visit Superheroes vs. Villains 5K website.
Saturday, October 26th, 2013
5th Annual Monster Dash
5th Annual Monster Dash is a race for a great cause. All the proceeds from this race will benefit Grant Park Cooperative Preschool (GPCP) in Atlanta. The race is conveniently located in Grant Park on the corner of Boulevard and Confederate. Arrive early as parking might be a challenge. All pre-registered participants will receive a t-shirt. Race day registration starts 7:30 am, the race starts at 8:30 am. There will also be a 5$ discount offered on race day to all college students with student ID. For more information visit 5th Annual Monster Dash website.
Saturday, November 2nd, 2013
Romp and Stomp 5K
Chomp and Stomp is a wonderful festival and chili cook-off that starts with an easy, flat 5k. This is the 11th year of the festival that is thrown every year to benefit the historic Atlanta neighborhood of Cabbagetown. As part of the race package all of the participants will receive a free admission to the chili cook-off, and an awesome long sleeve shirt. Arrive early as parking is challenging in this part of the city. Register now as the race sells out pretty quickly! For more information about the festival and the race visits their website.
Thursday, November 28th, 2013
Atlanta Turkey Day 5K 1 Mile & Tot Trot
This is a great way to preemptively burn off some calories this Thanksgiving. This event is conveniently located in at The Forum on Peachtree Pkwy with plenty of parking. A great, long sleeve, performance t-shirt will be given to all 5k finishers. Participants can pick up their registration packet at The Forum on November 27th from 2pm-6pm and on November 28th from 6:30am- 8:00am. Participants are encouraged to arrive at 7am on race day morning. The race will begin at 8 am sharp. This event is a rain or shine event, so come prepared. For more information visit Atlanta Turkey Day 5K website.
In preparation for the fall running season, I have been doing a lot of track and hill drills to build speed and endurance. When I plan my workouts I keep one simple rule in mind: hard training leads to easy races. I train very hard, I constantly demand more of myself so when I get to race day I know that I can do anything! Below is one of my track workouts that I find to be very effective in building mental and physical endurance. Give it a shot and let me know what you think.
I would recommend that you take breaks as needed and make sure that your heart rate doesn’t drop too much during your rest periods. Always remember to hydrate properly before and after exercise. This particular workout can take a lot out of you especially if you push through it without breaks. Good luck, have fun, and be safe!
It is no secret that the key to a successful, injury free running season starts with training all those areas that generally go neglected during the run because our body prefers to rely on larger muscle groups to do most of the work. This imbalance could lead to improper biomechanics and subsequently annoying injuries that derail our progress and potentially take a mental toll. Below is a workout that is designed to target muscle groups in both upper and lower body for proper balance.
Depending on your ability, I would recommend doing this workout AMRAP (As Many Rounds As Possible) for 35-40 with a proper warmup and cool down periods. If you are feeling especially great, workout on the track and add a sprint at the end of each round. Alternatively, you could also add weight to the lunges, squats, and step-ups. Be sure that you are ready before you modify your workout. After all, you are training to prevent running injury not to get hurt during your workout and end up missing all the running fun. Have fun, be safe, and let me know what you think!
Rest days. Some of us love them, some of us can’t wait until they are over and our normal week begins. I fall in the latter category. Imagine my disappointment when my doctor told me to stay away from running and other impact exercises until my shin splints heal. I was devastated. No, it doesn’t sound like the end of the world, but for a run addict it is worse than the end of the world. What do you mean I can’t run? Are you insane? Cross training? Do you want to kill me with a teaser of an exercise without proper release of all this beast mode, pint up energy? No, no, no, no, no! Let me at it! Let me run! But alas, I had to listen to the doctor. There I spent 9 weeks in physical therapy, doing my exercises, not running or jumping or doing anything else that would aggravate my aliment. If being away from the road wasn’t hard enough, the prescribed amount of running after the awful, long break was laughable. Start with a mile and build up by a mile every week. That is for a person who began her half marathon prep! I was going nuts! Running that one mile for the first week was equivalent of eating just one Hershey Kiss — frustrating. You just get a taste of how awesome this run is going to be and then you have to stop and go home, it wasn’t even a warm up! Regardless of my frustrations, I did as the doctor told me. I built up slowly, continued my therapy exercises, stretched, rolled, iced, took anti-inflammatory medication, invested in new shoes and insoles, took my calcium and vitamin D and up until recently was enjoying a fairly pain free running existence. The key words here are “until recently”. On Tuesday of this week I came home after my metabolic workout, took off my compression calf sleeves, and found a large, purple bruise set a few inches above my ankle. The first thought that went through my mind was: “Oh, no! Not a shin fracture!” The second was: “I have to get to the bottom of this! I can’t keep having my running goals derailed by my body.” I immediately went to go look for a highly rated podiatrist in my area and made an appointment for Monday afternoon. In the mean time, I decided to do extensive research on my incredibly frustrating, shin splint condition.
What are Shin Splints?
Medial Tibial Stress Syndrome (MTSS) is commonly known as “shin splints” and is one of the most common lower leg injuries among athletes and dancers. Shin Splints occur when the tibia and the surrounding muscles undergo repeated stress and do not have time to properly heal and recover from repeated muscle contraction and strain. MTSS usually presents as a dull, wide spread pain along the inside of the lower leg (middle-distal tibia) during impact exercise. In the early stages of MTSS the pain is worse at the beginning of exercise and subsides as the exercise progresses. I know some runners out there are saying to themselves right now: “pssht, I’m a runner! Pain is part of our existence especially if it dissipates as I warm up!” Don’t be fooled! Although the pain might temporarily subside, continued aggravation of an overuse injury can lead to serious consequences like stress fractures and mild to severe pain that does not subside with cessation of exercise at sometimes persists even at rest.
How did I get Shin Splints?
In short, I don’t know. MTSS is a very personalized injury that can be caused virtually by anything from improper form to your genetics. In most cases MTSS is caused by improper form, an unusual increase in exercise or a sudden change in exercise surface (i.e. changing your running surface from trail to pavement). Inadequate nutrition can also be a contributing factor to MTSS especially in the cases where shin splints are a reoccurring injury. Bio-mechanical abnormalities such as: knee abnormalities, tibial torsion, ankle abnormalities, foot arch abnormalities, femoral anteversion can all put a person at risk for MTSS. Your doctor should perform a plethora of necessary tests to determine what the contributing factors of MTSS are in your case.
So, What Do I Do Now?
Regardless of the cause, shin splints are an overuse injury and should be treated with rest. Most doctors will recommend that you decrease or stop all impact exercises for a period of 2 to 8 weeks. Other treatment methods like anti inflammatory medication, ice, physical therapy, or dry needling might be recommended.
Is There a Cure for Shin Splints?
Yes, there is a cure. Rest and retraining. If your doctor and PT (physical therapist) have determined that you have bio-mechanical imbalances, you need to fix them as soon as possible. For example: most runners seem to have weak glutes. If that is indeed the reason you seem to overuse your lower leg, then you need to train your glute and hip complex to offset the load and so on. The most successful way to prevent MTSS is to address the reasons why it happened in the first place. So, if your form and muscular development is the problem, you need to get a running coach or a trainer and make sure that you learn the proper way to run/ train in order to prevent further flare-ups.
But if I can’t Run I’ll Wither Away and Die!
I use to think that too. I use to hate every hour that went by when I couldn’t go out there and run. I whined, I cried, and I was a very unpleasant person to be around when I was not logging regular miles. However, I did find an alternative to running that was not as good as the real thing, but in a pinch…. The day I found pool running I became a nicer person. No, it is not the same as going out there and feeling like a total badass while leaving hill after hill in your rare view, but it is something. Pool running works the same muscles as regular running but without all the impact. So, if your doctor and PT tell you not to run, ask them about pool running.
Shin Splints can be extremely annoying and inconvenient but only if you let them. Just like dealing with any other sports injury, you need to look on the bright side, take the time to develop in other areas that you might want to use in the future. For example, if you know that you might want to do a triathlon in the near future, pick up biking and swimming. If lifting weights is your secondary passion challenge yourself to beat your max. Under no circumstances remain unoccupied. Forced inactivity can hurt more than the injury and lead to devastating results. So, if you are stuck with shin splints, concentrate on getting yourself better, do not skip PT sessions, do not push yourself to run through the pain, and most importantly get off the couch and go to the gym/ pool/ bike trail.
National Running Day is coming up on June 5th and there are plenty of great running communities and causes that need your help. Donate to a cause or volunteer at a race and spread the word about this wonderful sport.
The One Fund was formed to help those affected by the Boston Marathon bombing and their families. If you have $10 you can make a difference. Remember, every little bit counts.
Atlanta Track Club is a wonderful community of runners in Atlanta Georgia. Visit their website and sign up for on of the races or volunteer at a race and help spread the love and good cheer of running in your community.
Run Now is an organization that promotes the wonderful sport of running. So, if you run, know anyone who runs, go and pledge miles or buy their “run now” bracelet and they will make a donation to The One Fund.