Shin Splints

Shin Splints

What is it?

“Shin splints” is a commonly used term that describes several specific injuries. The majority of people suffering from “shin splints” have (MTSS) medial tibial stress syndrome. MTSS is characterized by pain on either the medial/inside or anterior/outside of the shin. This post is intended for people struggling with this type of “shin splints.”

Note: Some shin injuries are more serious and likely require consultation from a doctor or physical therapist. Severe pain, pressure and/or swelling on the anterior part of the shin may be a sign of compartment syndrome. Specific medical procedures are required to diagnose this injury. Localized pain on the lower part of the shin could be a stress fracture/reaction. If the area is very painful to the touch, this could be a sign of a stress fracture/reaction.

Causes:

  1. Overpronation/Supination – Excessive rotation or movement can stress the muscles on both the inside and outside of the shin. Medial shin pain is likely caused by overpronation.
  2. Worn out/improper footwear – This is why we are here! We can get you in the right shoes for your stride to help reduce the risk of injury.
  3. Over Training – More specifically, building up too quickly. Shin splints often occur as people are building up mileage and their lower leg muscles have yet to adjust to the increased workload.
  4. Tissue Tightness – Tightness in your calves, Achilles, tibialis posterior and tibialis anterior can cause significant shin pain.
  5. Eccentric Heel/toe offsets – “Barefoot” inspired footwear puts more of an emphasis on these aforementioned lower leg muscles.

Prevention and Treatment:

  1. Rest – Don’t be afraid to take a few days off or to modify your training in order to slow your buildup. Your long-term health is more important than your long run!
  2. Self Massage – Use any sort of massage tool work out the tension and tightness in the muscles surrounding your shins. My personal favorite is the Addaday Type C Roller (addaday.com).
  3. Stretching/dorsiflexion – Work on stretching these same muscles and tendons to increase dorsiflexion and overall mobility. Check out athletestreatingathletes.com for some good suggestions.
  4. Shoes – Stop on by and we will get you outfitted in the best shoes for you and your ailing shins!
  5. Inserts – Superfeet (superfeet.com) are great for overpronators and supinators who could use some additional support to treat and prevent shin splints and other common running related injuries.
  6. Compression – Compression sleeves and socks can help reduce muscle vibration and increase blood flow to the injured area.  I prefer sleeves for running and socks for some much needed post-run recovery.
  7. Ice – Freeze a Styrofoam cup with water. Peel off any excess Styrofoam from the top and rub the frozen water up and down your shin. Do this for 5-10 minutes. Don’t be alarmed if your area temporarily goes numb!
  8. If none of these suggestions seem to help please consult Excel Physical Therapy (excelphysicaltherapy.com)  for some professional medical expertise.

Men’s Running Shorts: Less is More

Men’s Shorts: Less is More

 

Over the last decade running has become increasingly more popular. 5ks, 10ks, Ten-Milers, half-marathons and marathons are all the rage these days. We pride ourselves at Philadelphia Runner in outfitting our customers in the proper running gear. It’s wonderful that people are learning the importance of running shoes, moisture wicking socks, body glide and dry fit clothing. In my humble opinion, we have not educated our customers on proper running shorts. In the rest of this post, I will outline the different types and lengths of running shorts and what they suggest about their wearers. Hopefully, I can convince you to buy only split shorts from this point onwards.

 

Pro-Tip: All running shorts have a built in liner or compression short. This is 100% necessary. Running in boxers is a recipe for disaster. Google “testicular torsion” if you want to know the real reason. Now onto a thorough discussion of shorts.

 

9” inseam

Just look at the NBA or Rafael Nadal; Men’s capris are coming back into style. This length is not ideal for running any distance. More fabric = more weight = slower times. I like my new 9inch J Crew Stanton shorts, but I wouldn’t consider running in them. Let your thighs join the party.

 

7”-9” 2 in 1s

These are for people who played “real sports” in high school. Former soccer, basketball, lacrosse and baseball players are used to feeling extra secure with built in compression. The popular jocks on these teams might have insulted for wearing shorter shorts. I’ve got good news for you; you’re not in high school anymore! You can wear whatever you want without being bullied.

 

4”-5” inseam

Chubbies Shorts * claims that their 5inch inseam shorts are “radical shorts for men.” Maybe they’re “radical” for casual shorts, but for performance shorts, they’re just a tad too long. Maybe if it’s below 50 degrees you can wear these shorts for some extra warmth. But, it’s June and you don’t need that extra weight holding you back from your true potential.

 

2” Split shorts

Though society may think that this is not considered a short but an undergarment, this undoubtedly allows for the freest movement on a run. Don’t worry, these shorts still have a substantial, supportive liner. Still, if you want to focus on what is important (the movement of running) than this is the perfect short for you. There is no speed, nor weight requirements for the length inseams you choose so wear them proudly. Be prepared for both sarcastic and serious compliments. Don’t you worry, the sarcastic commenters are simply jealous of your nearly visible manhood.

 

In conclusion, we at Philadelphia Runner encourage you to run in whatever length of short feels most comfortable. However, we also want you to expand your comfort zone. Come in to one of our stores and check out some splits shorts. We have a buy 2 get 1 free deal on shorts this month. Make sure at least one of those three pairs is a split short. I promise you will love how they look and feel. Watch this clip from Juno for inspiration:

 

* www.chubbiesshorts.com

Reducing Running Injuries: Illiotibial Band Syndrome

Things got a little hectic for us with the Love Run, Hot Chocolate Run, Broad Street and most importantly The Philly 10k. As a result, we did not devote as much attention to our blog as we would like. But, now that most of the spring craziness is over, we will do our best to put up some original content about once a week. We will get the blog started again by continuing our common running injury series. We’ve covered plantar heel pain and achilles tendonitis/tendonosis, now we’re moving on up the leg to Illiotibial Band Syndrome, more commonly known as IT band syndrome or ITBS.

 

Many of you may ask yourselves, and us, a few questions: What is an illiotibial band? I don’t have IT band pain, how is this relevant to me? Is the rest of this post even worth reading or should I instead take a buzzfeed quiz to find out which Harry Potter house I belong in? While it may change your life to learn that you belong in Hufflepuff, I think you may learn just a little more about yourself from reading the rest of this post.

 

ITBS is one of the most common running injuries, especially among women. ITBS is often misidentified as “runner’s knee.” While ITBS often manifests itself in knee pain, it is most definitely not the same as runner’s knee. The IT Band is a thick band of fascia (connective tissue) that runs from the knee to the hip along the outside of the thigh.The most common symptom of ITBS is pain and inflammation on the outside of the knee. This pain is often very sharp. It is most commonly felt upon extension. Consequently, some people suffering from ITBS may feel significant pain while walking downstairs.

 

Now, lets move on to the causes of ITBS. In general, any torqueing inwards of the knee can be a root cause of IT Band problems. Also, a shortening of your leg to the outside can wreck havoc on your IT band as well. Here are a few common root causes:

 

  1. Overpronation/Supination: While supinating the IT band is shortened on each stride. While overpronating the IT band is over extending and retracting with each stride.
  2. Leg Length Discrepancy: Many people, whether they know it or not, have a slight discrepancy in leg length. With one leg shortened and the other overextended you are more likely to suffer from ITBS.
  3. Surfaces: Functionally the same cause as a leg length discrepancy, crowned roads and banked tracks are just two examples of surfaces that shorten one leg and overextend another. Make sure you switch directions on a track or on the roads to even things out. Also, treadmills suck. Any discrepancies and inefficiencies are multiplied if every single step is on exactly the same surface.
  4. Weak Glutes: Glues=Butt muscles. In very specific terms, if your glute medius is not strong enough your trailing hip on your trailing leg will drop on backwards extension. This can put strain on your IT band as well.
  5. Worn out shoes: Any of the above issues will be multiplied if the cushioning in your running shoes in shot.

 

Now that I’ve listed enough causes to make everyone believe that they will have IT band problems, lets go over some potential solutions:

 

  1. Rest: ITBS in an overuse injury. Take a few days off and pound beers and federal doughnuts…Proven recovery supplements.
  2. Foam Rolling: A foam roller is a must have for all runners, but a super duper must have for people with ITBS. Come in to the store, we will show you how to properly use one. It’ll hurt so good when you work that fascia.
  3. Glute Strengthening: Go to the gym, pop some squats, pump out some lunges, go beast mode on some deadlifts and do some glute bridges. This will not only help out your IT bands, but you will look bootylicious at the Jersey Shore.
  4. Surfaces: Run on the hills and trails at the Wissahickon, Valley Forge or even the Boxer’s trail. These trails will not only functionally help your stride, but you will get in better shape.
  5. Stretching: Get a stretching rope, wrap it around your foot and ankle, lie on your back, then bring your leg across your body while trying to keep your back on the ground. Check out some other stretches at www.athletestreatingathletes.com
  6. Proper Footwear: This is why we’re here. We will instruct you if your shoes are worn out or if you need more or less arch support.
  7. Insoles: An added insert can be very helpful for many people. Our go to inserts, www.superfeet.com, can help properly align your arches, ankles, knees etc to insure you’re running with proper, healthy form.
  8. Go to the pros: If these tips to do not do the trick, our friends at www.Philamassages.com and www.ExcelPhysicalTherapy.com are sure to know the proper solutions for your problems.

 

 

I hope this post was helpful. Here’s a buzzfeed article for you guys: http://www.buzzfeed.com/whitneyjefferson/kim-kardashian-crying-on-camera-cryface

 

Hasta luego Americanos!

 

 

 

 

Reducing Running Injuries Part 1: Plantar Fasciitis

 Note: This is the first in a series of information we are providing on running related injuries. For more solutions tailored to your needs, please visit one of our stores and talk to our staff. Disclaimer: All material in this page is provided for educational & reference purposes only. Consult your own physician regarding the applicability of any opinions or recommendations with respect to your symptoms or medical condition.

    

PLANTAR HEEL PAIN

What is it?   Plantar Heel Pain (also referred to as Plantar Fasciitis) is a common running injury where the plantar fascia (a tough band of fibrous tissue between the heel and toes) is strained or torn, causing stiffness, tenderness, and pain in the sole of the foot.

What Causes it?  A combination of factors may be the cause, including:

  1. Over/Underpronation – excessive rotation of the foot can overstretch the plantar fascia
  2. Old or Inappropriate FootwearThis is why we are here! Finding the right shoe for your foot type can help minimize your risks of developing plantar fasciitis
  3. Tissue Tightness – The Achilles tendon is connected to the plantar fascia, and excessive tightness in the Achilles and calf may increase the load during running and related activities.
  4. Overtraining – Most running injuries come from over-use, so be sure to recover between workouts.
  5. Weight Gain – Stay active! An increase in weight puts further stress on your body when you run.

What Can I Do?  While it is important to catch any developing injury early on, there are a lot of treatment options as well as success stories of runner’s who have overcome PF.

  1. REST – Don’t be afraid to take a few days off (or more if necessary) to get your PF under control.
  2. SHOES – Picking out the right footwear can be tough, but we are here to make sure that you have the right shoes so stop in and talk to us!  We can do a gait/video analysis, recommend a few shoes, and get you up on the treadmill.  Don’t worry – we promise not to make you run that far!
  3. ICE – Aim for 2-3 sessions a day of 5-10 minutes while you are still experiencing pain.  A frozen water bottle is great for rolling along the arch of your foot, but an ice pack will work as well.
  4. FOAM ROLLING – Don’t underestimate the power of foam rolling! Try to hit these three areas for a few minutes at minimum: (for specific techniques, check out www.athletestreatingathletes.com)
    1. Bottom of foot: check out the Foot Wheel in our store, or try a tennis or lacrosse ball
    2. Calf muscle: You will need a foam roller or The Stick for this one
    3. Peroneals (outside of each lower leg): Foam roller or The Stick
  5. INSERTS – Superfeet (www.superfeet.com) is our go-to and is great for prevention and treatment. We have try-on pairs of each color insert, and can fit you for the right amount of support and arch.
  6. STRETCHING AND STRENGTHING – This will help you maintain the flexibility attained in foam rolling.  You’ll want to concentrate especially on stretching the fascia and Achilles tendon/calf. For specific stretching and strength exercises, refer to www.athletestreatingathletes.com.
  7. NIGHT SPLINTS – Plantar Fasciitis is often worse in the morning because your feet will plantar flex during the night, shortening the fascia.  A night splint (we carry the Strassburg Sock) can gently stretch your foot during the night, and prevent plantar flexion.
  8. If you have gotten this far you should be well on your way to recovery.  For more treatment options and resources check out: www.Philamassages.com and www.ExcelPhysicalTherapy.com

2014 and Our Quest to Help Reduce Running Injuries

It’s that time of year again – and while I know none of you need to change, here at Philadelphia Runner we are coming up with some running-related goals for 2014.    Some of us will be running our first marathon, other’s shooting for our fastest 5k, and more than a few people are just hoping to make it through a running season without getting injured.

 

In the spirit of the season and an attempt to help us all complete our running goals this year, we are starting a blog series on major running injuries: what they are, what causes them, and what you can do to prevent and treat them. We will be starting with Plantar Heel Pain (also known as Plantar Fasciitis) in the weeks ahead.

 

In the meantime, be sure to come out for our Resolution Run on January 2nd at 6pm – we’ve got a fun night of running, goal-making, and prize-giving planned and its going to be a blast!


Here’s to making this year’s resolutions more than a to-do list for the first week of January.  Bring it on, 2014!

Marathon Tips from the staff at Philadelphia Runner

AzadehIn 6 short days, many runners will participate in the Philadelphia Marathon or Half Marathon. For some, a marathon or half marathon is nothing new. I’ve talked to a number of runners in the store who are looking to build on their performances at the Philadelphia Rock ‘N’ Roll Half in September in either the Half or full Marathon next week. Others have run so many distance races, they can’t even keep track of how many they have done.

 

For many, if not most runners, however, November 17th will mark their first half or full marathon. Any race, let alone one as long as a half or full marathon, can be daunting to a newcomer.

 

At this point, you’ve put in all of your important training; you’re physically ready to kick some butt , but what about the logistics of the event? How do you deal with the crowds? What should you wear on a chilly (or even cold) fall morning? What should you be doing the night before the race or the morning of the race? What’s the best way to stay fueled and hydrated during the long grind of 13.1 or 26.2 miles?

 

All these considerations are important, but often difficult to find answers to. For starters, check out this primer from Philadelphia Runner’s own Ross Martinson on how to prepare yourself for the time of your life next Sunday morning.

 

If you’re like most runners, you still probably have a lot of questions about the race. In search of answers to many of those, I polled members of our staff for advice. Below you will find simple-but-important tips from experienced marathoners on how to make the most of your first (or second, or tenth) foray into a marathon.

 

The Night Before The Race:

 

“In regards to clothing, …make sure you are prepared for all possibilities. I often set out my clothing the night before from my socks to my top. …pack options like shorts or pants/capris, a long and short sleeve and perhaps a light jacket just incase of rain or colder weather than expected so you can layer.”—Jenny Lingford (1 marathon, 2 half-marathons. Running 2013 Philadelphia Half Marathon)

 

Body Glide. This is the exception to the “nothing new rule” (note: this rule “dictates” that you stay in your normal routine—sleep, food, running shoes/clothes—throughout race week.)  Use this anywhere you don’t want to chafe”—Ross Martinson (Philadelphia Runner owner and 2:23 marathoner)

 

The Morning of the Race:

 

“Arrive with more time than you think you need because there will be long lines for the porta-potties.”—Liz Foster (Philadelphia Runner Employee)

 

Eat breakfast. Eat something before the race. It doesn’t need to be a lot, but eating 200-300 calories will help your race. I like to bring a bagel or banana over to the start, along with a bottle of water.”—Ross Martinson

 

During the Race:

 

“Pick your pace. Your goal may be to finish, but pacing yourself will get you there as quickly as possible. Pay attention the first few miles to what your splits are and adjust if needed. Try not to go out to fast.”—Ross Martinson

 

“Stick to your training pace, especially at the start of the race. It is often way too easy to get out of the gate faster than planned. You will pay for it at the end of the race.  A GPS watch set for your current pace is a good way to keep an eye on your speed.”—Jenny Lingford

 

“One mile at a time. At some point, the marathon will feel hard. Focusing on the current mile is easier than contemplating the next 6.”—Ross Martinson

 

“Relax and give yourself a mental high-five for all the training miles. You’re probably a lot more healthy and mentally tough than you were 3 months ago.”—Liz Foster

 

The Most Important Advice

 

“Good luck and remember to have a little fun. You have done the work, now is the time to trust in the work you put in and enjoy the people, experience, and take pride in finishing your first marathon!”—Jenny Lingford

 

“On race day – enjoy the spectators!  They are all out there supporting you and trying to help you finish happy.  So look around, smile, enjoy your success of surviving training!”—Lauren DeRuyter (2 marathons, 1 half-marathon. Running the 2013 Philadelphia Marathon)

 

“If you want to get people to cheer for you to help keep you moving, just write your name on your bib or shirt and you will get the encouragement you need.”—Jenny Lingford

 

 

Use the comments section below if you have any lingering concerns or questions as you head into the Philadelphia Half-Marathon or Marathon or if you have experience at the marathon distance and have some additional tips to give to newer runners.

Essential Fall Running Gear

The past couple weeks, nature has been signaling to us that fall is coming. Is it just us or have the days gotten significantly shorter in the past two weeks? With the shorter days are coming chillier temperatures; all that gear that worked great for the summer weather won’t cut it for 45-degree mornings.

 

For most of us here at Philadelphia Runner, fall is our favorite season for running. But, without the proper gear, the crisp air, falling leaves, and cooler temperatures may feel a little less than ideal.

 

Luckily, we’re here to help you get in gear for the best running months of the year. Here’s what you need to maximize your fall training and racing:

 

New Shoes: How long have you had your current pair of running shoes? If you’ve had them since the spring, you may be due for a new pair. Depending on how much you’re running, you probably want to get a new pair every 3-6 months. An easy way to remember when to change shoes: Get a new pair at the beginning of each season.

 

As always, our staff at Philadelphia Runner is here to help you find the best pair of shoes for your training. Power up your fall training and racing with some fresh sneakers and cushioning on your feet:

 

Womens Dri Fit knit

Women’s Nike Seamless LS

Baselayer:  Over the past few weeks, mornings and evenings have been getting chillier. As we move through October and November, the days will get shorter ,the leaves will begin to fall, and most mornings will be 35-50 degrees. Those temperatures call for upgrades to your running wardrobe. One perfect item for fall mornings and evenings is a light, long-sleeve baselayer. Luckily, we have a variety of perfect options in our stores. Do you need a half-zip or will a technical long-sleeve shirt suit your needs? If you run early in the mornings or late in the evenings, maybe you want some reflective material on your baselayer.

 

Purple Mens Gore

Gore Air 4.0

A good, technical baselayer can be the difference between an enjoyable fall long run an unpleasant shiver-fest. Keep yourself dry, warm, and chafing free with a good technical base layer.

 

Options:

Men: Nike Element Half-Zip,  Asics Thermopolis Half-Zip, Gore Air 4.0 LS (pictured), Nike

Women: Sugoi Speedster 3 Asics Thermopolis Half-Zip, Nike Dri-Fit Knit Long Sleeve Half Zip, Wmns Seamless LS (pictured)

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Tights/Long Pants:  Fall is a tricky season when it comes to deciding what to wear on your legs. On a 50-60-degree day, nothing is better to pair with a long sleeve than shorts. Your legs will warm up as you run and the last thing you want is to overheat on your run.

 

W Infiniti tight IIIHowever, some days demand more than shorts.  Nature willing, we won’t see temperatures in the next two months to break out your fleece-lined or wind-proof pants and tights. Nonetheless, you can make a fall morning run much more pleasant with a thin pair of tights or pants to keep your legs and muscles warm without overheating after a couple miles.

 

Options: Men: Saucony DriLete Tight, Asics Thermopolis LT Pant

Women: New Balance Boylston Capri, Brooks Infiniti Tight (pictured), Asics Thermopolis Pant

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Brooks Men's Essential Run Jacket

Brooks Men’s Essential Run Jacket

Outer Shell—Not all days are sunny and calm; sometimes a little rain and wind threaten to get in the way of training. With one simple fix: a lightweight, water-resistant, and wind-resistant outer shell, you can go out in the rain and enjoy your run in the process. Many shells also contain great reflective materials so you can still be seen on darker, rainy days. Scared of overheating? Fear not as all of our shells have ample venting to keep you cool and dry.

Hi Viz Beacon Jacket

 

Options: Men: New Balance Hi Viz Beacon Jacket, Nike Vapor Jacket, Brooks Essential Run Jacket

Women: New Balance Hi Viz Beacon Jacket (pictured), Sugoi Versa Jacket, Brooks Nightlife LSD Lite Jacket.

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xinglet xingletReflective Vest/Lights—The days are getting shorter and not all of us can be lucky enough to run during daylight. For most people, you may be starting or ending your runs in the dark. Darkness presents obvious safety concerns. If you find yourself running where there are cars, having some lights and reflective material on your body can keep you safe. What’s more is that these things don’t have to be cumbersome or even noticeable when you wear them. A simple, light reflective vest or tail-light should be all you need to get the attention of drivers.

 

Options: Amphipod Xinglet (pictured), Nathan Strobe Light, Nathan Light Spur

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Hydration—Fall is marathon season. If you’re reading this, you are likely participating in one of the races the weekend of the Philadelphia Marathon. If so, you’re probably doing long runs in excess of 90 minutes. Even though the weather is cool, you will still sweat once you get moving and your body heats up. Make sure you are able to replenish what you lose with a handheld water bottle or hydration belt.

speedbelt 2

Options: Nathan Speedbelt (pictured), Amphipod Hydraform Handheld

 

Missing any of the above gear from your closet? We have a great selection of everything you need to get the most out of your fall running. Trust us, October and November are the months that made us fall in love with running (they call it “fall” for a reason). The changing leaves and fall sunrises/sunsets are best experienced (in our humble opinion) on the run With the proper gear, chilly mornings and evenings will never get you down so you can take in the beauty of the season along with us!

Finding a Running Buddy

The weather is getting cooler and it seems like the whole running community is out there on Kelly Drive lately! Fall race training is in full swing. Last week, we talked about a couple of things you could try to conquer your long run. One of those options was to try running with a friend. Everybody has a different running style, so there are a couple of questions to ask when looking for a running buddy.

What pace do you want to run? Different paces can run together if one person is ambitious to push it a little bit and/or the other doesn’t mind slowing down a bit. It’s important to be totally up front and honest about how much you’re capable of changing (in either direction!) your pace. Solution: Run in a small group of similar paces. That way, you can mix and match to find some great partners!

Where do you want to run? As a runner myself, I don’t mind going on a run to new places in the city. It might be worth noting, however, that some people don’t enjoy switching it up as much! For example, a person may stick to the Schuylkill River and absolutely hate running in Center City. Try to gauge where the other wants to run!

Music or no music? I see a lot of people out there on the trail running next to each other, both with headphones in. While this may seem like a small detail, some people absolutely detest running with no music! Having a sense of which way your buddy prefers is always helpful.

Do you know where Philadelphia Runner is? That’s right, it’s a great icebreaker for you and your proposed running partner. Plus, we’ve got free group runs from our store, so it’s a great way to test out the waters of a new running friend! Or maybe you’re just looking for a running buddy? Definitely come on over to one of these runs and meet some awesome runners. Are you looking for something a tad more structured? Check out Team Philly!

Do you have any standby questions when looking for a running partner?

In It For the Long Run

Those Fall races are coming up, and while the days are getting shorter…those long runs are getting longer. For those of us who can go out and run 22 miles without batting an eyelash, gold star! However, there is another camp of runners who have a love-hate relationship with the long run. And for us, we’ve got to have some tricks to get us through! I went over to our Twitter (p.s. are you following us?) to ask our followers what they thought.

  • Long runs are tough, no bones about it. The cool thing about Philadelphia is that other runners are bound to be battling the long run at the same time. When another runner smiles at me on the trail, that’s more time I’m not thinking about my run. Also when you smile back, you naturally feel happier!

Long Run Tips

  • Music helps a huge amount of people get through long, tough runs. Have you ever tried podcasts, though? There are so many on any subject you can think of. Philadelphia Runner employees also like to listen to comedians. It’s like running with a friend, but you don’t have to talk back! (But feel free to if it helps log those miles!)

Long Run Tips 2

  • For those of you training on a treadmill with nobody passing you, try doing a long run outside! The fresh air and the scenery might change things up just enough so that the long run is easier.
  • The mental aspects of a run are just as hard as the physical ones. Having a strong mantra to repeat to yourself is something that many runners swear by. It can be a word, it can be a quote, it can be a swear word it can be anything! The power of positive thinking is a crazy thing.

Long Run Tips 3

  • Nutrition is a big help. If you’re running longer than 45 minutes, you may want to think about Nuun for your water, Gu’s, or Sport Beans. We could have an entirely separate post on nutrition (look out for it soon!), but come on into the store and we can fill your brain with information about refueling on the run!

Long Run Tips 4

  • Try running with a friend. Running with somebody else can be a whole challenge in itself, but it’s definitely something to try. It’s always nice to have someone to talk to (or do all of the talking) when those miles get tough. Do all of your friends think you’re crazy for running? Our store has free group runs. Show up and make a friend/training partner!

Long runs seem to be unavoidable if you want to have a solid training for a longer-distance race. In order to get through them, we have to stick together!

Do any of you readers have any tips to share with us?

How to Cross Train for Running

We’re runners. We are big fans (most of the time) of moving forward in a repetitive manner. That can be a great thing when you’re having a tougher run and need to have a zen mindset to get through it. But today, I’m going to recommend you step outside of your bubble (if you haven’t already!) and cross train.

Why would you want to do that? Like I mentioned before, running requires a very repetitive motion. All of that strain on your muscles can take a toll on your body. By mixing it up, your body will break out of it’s shell and adapt in different ways. And did you know that cross training can also help your running? It’s true! For some people, it even helps with injury prevention. And isn’t that what we all need more of?

Well, now what do I do? I wouldn’t leave you lost and confused, here. Today, I’ve got some different ways to cross train to improve your running. Let us know how you cross train in the comments!

  1. Try another form of cardio. I’m not suggesting you cheat on your running, I’m merely suggesting you complement it! Hop in the pool and do some laps. It’s not a weight bearing activity, so it gives your joints (knees, hips, & ankles…we’re looking at you!) a break and improves your cardiovascular system at the same time! Another great thing to try is the rowing (a.k.a. urg) machine. The movement is driven from your lower body, so it trains those muscles to be power houses. And in a race, those power houses are gold.
  2. Strength Train. Many times, people neglect resistance training as part of their training plan. Strengthening those muscles (especially those legs again!) correctly generally correlates to less chance of injury, so it’s worth a try! However, make sure you’re not forgetting about your upper body. Do your back and shoulders ever get sore after a run? It could be from a tension or weakness in those muscles. Try strengthening those puppies up to reduce pain.
  3. Give yoga a try. I know, I know. We’re all very diligent and we stretch before and after every run. But for those of us who are looking for that extra boost, give yoga a try! It may help loosen those tight muscles. It will help with something else too. Have you ever been on a run and can’t get your mind to stop complaining about how far you have yet wandering? The meditation aspect of yoga might be something you want to check out! Who says you can’t meditate on a run? Just do us a favor and watch where you’re going!
  4. Come to our Unite Fitness cross training run! Alright, you want me to make it super easy for you? Come to our cross training run with Unite Fitness. It’s at 6:00 pm on Thursday, August 15. You can meet up at our Center City store and get a killer workout. There’s even some running (and beer!) involved, so everybody’s happy! Find out more about it here.

Cross training can be a great tool to improve your running performance. It can also help with preventing burnout because you’ll be varying your activities. What more could you ask for?

Tell us, have you gotten your cross-train on? What’s your favorite thing to do?