Archive for Runner Health
This post is for the human in your running partnership and has been written because I’m injured, I was getting better and I didn’t rest enough and now I’m sore again. It’s my own fault, and I’m frustrated.
Everything is going great; running is like breathing, training becomes the most freeing part of the day, miles fly under your feet rather than passing slowly, and then all of the sudden: ouch! Sometimes, the pain of being told not to run is greater than the actual pain of the injury. But this is the most dangerous time for runners.
When the will to run becomes strong and the injury stops hurting after a couple of days, health professionals can seem ridiculous in saying to wait weeks to get back out there. After all, you know your own body. It feels fine, and surely a short jog wouldn’t hurt? Doctors, podiatrists and physiotherapists tend to be over-conservative in their prescriptions for rest time, right? When we want something, rationalisation becomes easy and the years of training and experience that our medical team have under their belts seem irrelevant. They aren’t.
We use all sorts of muscles when we run. Leg muscles are the obvious ones but we need a strong midsection (you may hear people refer to your core when talking about muscles in this area) to maintain good running form or posture. These muscles act as a corset around your entire abdomen, carefully holding in place your internal organs. Our core muscles and our back muscles support our spine and we need good spinal alignment in running as well as day to day life to avoid referred injury and/or back problems. And finally we need good upper body strength. We use our arms in synergy with our legs as we run; we pump them to generate leg lift.
There are plenty of ways to strengthen these groups of muscles and being a personal trainer, I have a lot of experience in working with people to develop optimum muscle function. In this post I will be discussing how to hit all of the muscles you need to improve your running form, capacity and times whilst out running with your dog.
Plan your run so that you know what exercises you are going to perform at each stop and how many stops you are going to make. Perform a brief full body stretch and then try the following:
I’ve often thought that my dog seems to feel just as good as I do after a run, but I’ve been unable to find any scientific proof, until now.
Researchers at the University of Arizona put dogs, humans and ferrets on a treadmill, and measured the amount of endocannabinoids that were produced after exercise. Endo – produced inside the body, cannabinoids – chemicals that activate cannabinoid receptors in the brain that cause a euphoric feeling.
Ferrets aren’t a species that evolved to run, so it’s not too surprising that they didn’t show any response to running. However, both dogs and humans showed much higher levels of endocannabinoids after a session on the treadmill. This means that our dogs do indeed get that runner’s high.
No, I’m not talking about my past life as a contract killer…
If you get injured, the acronym you use to remember the treatment regime is R.I.C.E.R. This stands for Rest, Ice, Compression, Elevation, and Refer. They’re all pretty obvious, maybe except for refer – it means to see a doctor if it is serious, debilitating, or fails to resolve within a day or so. Anyway, ice is sometimes inconvenient to use – it gets wet as it melts, you have to remember to fill the ice cube tray, and your children steal all of the ice cubes to make slushies when you’re not looking. Well, not any more! I’ve created the perfect ice pack to treat injuries. This ice pack doesn’t make a puddle, it doesn’t have lumps of ice, and no-one is going to steal it to make cold drinks.
Firstly, the R stands for Rest. That means, from the moment you notice the onset of an injury, immediately cease strenuous exercise, as much as you can. Resting allows your body to form scar tissue to patch up an injury whether it’s a scrape or a graze up to a muscle tear. Continuing running will only aggravate the injury in its acute phase.