Thursday, December 31, 2009


I had a really good run today. It was hard, particularly getting started. It was foggy and a little chilly, even at 10:00. I left with the goal of running 2:30 and then walking 2:30, but I had to shorten the runs at first and as I got near the end. I also shortened the walk intervals too though. I wore the heart rate monitor strap on the Garmin Forerunner 305, I wanted to take a look at the data... yeah, that's the engineer in me! LOL

To make use of the data, I made program where the length of my intervals are controlled by my heart rate. Run until HR gets above 160, walk until it gets below 135. That should be some interesting torture for next time!

Anyway, the results! I ran 4:04 miles with an average pace of 13:34, records for me in both time and distance! :) I had a peak pace of 8:17, I am sure that was for a very short burst. I tried to kick it in hard up my street on the way home. :)


Friday, December 11, 2009

Muscle fascia

Everything You Know About Muscle is Wrong

I find this fascia-nating! I think there is a lot to be said for this kind of thing. My chiropractor (Dr. Thea Taylor at Taylor Sport Chiropractic) does a lot with A.R.T. and the Graston technique, which have done wonders for my problem areas. This article on muscle fasica helps explain how that stuff works in my mind. Check it out!


Wednesday, December 9, 2009

What are YOU training for

What are YOU training for: "Uncle Sam

With the New Year right around the corner, the question begs to be asked:

What are YOU training for?

Are you in a fat loss mode?

Do you need some corrective exercise to help clean up your posture and movement?

Are you trying to get bigger or stronger?

Do you even know what you're currently training for?

I'm shocked at how many people contact me either via the Internet (or at IFAST), with a laundry list of assorted goals.

They want to fix injuries.

They want to lose body fat.

They want to lift like a powerlifter, but look like a bodybuilder.

Quite simply, they're all over the place with their goals, and it shows.

The first thing you need to ask yourself is - "What am I training for?" This simple, yet elusive, question can really make desiging your next training program infinitely easier.

And one more tip - try NOT to achieve everything at once. Prioritize your goals and program accordingly.

Good luck!


(To read and post comments for this entry, visit

Tuesday, December 8, 2009

Reduce Stride Length to Prevent Tibial Stress Fractures

From Innersport Chiropractic blog...

Reduce Stride Length to Prevent Tibial Stress Fractures: "

A recent research article in the Medicine & Science in Sports & Exercise, December 2009 studied the effects of increased stride length and the incidence of tibial stress fractures in runners. The authors of “Effects of Stride Length and Running Mileage on a Probabilistic Stress Fracture Model” found that by reducing stride length by 3%-6% decreased the probability of stress fracture. Increasing the running mileage increased the probability of stress fracture by 4%-6%. They also concluded that if a runner decreases their stride length by 10%, he or she can run an additional 2 miles/day and maintain the same probability of stress fracture.

It is very important to understand the difference between stride length and stride angle as we do not advise runners to reduce their stride angle.  Stride length is the distance from initial contact of one foot to the subsequent contact of the same foot.  There are stride calculators on the web to determine your stride length such as

Stride angle measures the greatest angle your legs create during the running stride.

An example of stride angle

An example of stride angle

We would like to see the stride angle increase without the stride length increasing as we do not want the runner to land too far out in front of her body.

Example of overstriding

Heel strike far in front of body

To increase stride angle, we would do ART (Active Release Techniques) to the hip flexor group and hamstring group as well as other related structures inhibiting range of motion as well as prescribe various stretches and exercises.  To reduce over striding, we work on technique and running drills.  To receive a video analysis of your stride angle and running gait, please email


To Stretch or not to Stretch

To Stretch or not to Stretch: "

That is the BIG question. It’s hard to find the right answer since research has opened up a whole new can of worms. Certain types of stretching (dynamic/static) seem to be appropriate at certain times (pre/post training), for certain reasons (injury prevention/recovery).

What we know:

Types of stretching (abbreviated list): Dynamic, Ballistic, Static, PNF, AIS.

Reasoning behind stretching:

Injury Prevention

Injury Recovery

Increase Flexibility

Increase Performance

Reduce Pain

So, how do you know what to do when? Based on research and clinical experience, here’s a very brief synopsis. I have only chosen 2 main forms of stretching.

Dynamic Stretching: Use dynamic stretching before your workout. Dynamic Stretching gets your muscles ready for activity and is usually sport specific. It’s also another way to “warm-up”. Dynamic stretching involves repetitive movements to the end ranges of motion. For example: leg swings forwards and backwards for 30 seconds to “work” the hip flexors and extensors to gear up for running.

Static Stretching: Use static stretching after you workout and at any time during the day ONLY when you are warm (after showers, a brief walk, etc.) Static stretching is recommended to increase flexibility and aid in injury rehabilitation (only when closely monitored by a sports practitioner). If doing static stretching to increase flexibility, it is advised to only stretch those areas that are tight and joints that are hypomobile (decreased range of motion.) Also, to have permanent results, one must stretch a particular muscle for more than 30 seconds 4-5 times a day. Results will plateau at around 6-7 weeks of consistent stretching. Static stretching involves lengthening a muscle for an extended period of time. An example is bending down to touch your toes for 30 seconds.

When NOT to stretch:

Static stretching before a workout has been shown to decrease explosive performance. A prolonged stretch on a tendon can initiate a reflex mechanism to inhibit the muscle you are stretching. Therefore, static stretching before an event which requires explosiveness or power is not recommended. However, dynamic stretching has been shown to increase performance as it is hypothesized that dynamic stretching helps to coordinate sport specific movements.

What we still don’t know:

More research is needed to determine if stretching prevents injuries. The current research is contradictory, probably because there are so many variables.

In addition, research is contradictory in stretching for pain as well. Pain can be caused by just DOMS (delayed onset muscle soreness) or an inflammatory response to an injury. Research has shown that stretching DOES NOT reduce DOMS. Stretching for pain may be beneficial if the injury or pain has been caused by restricted range of moiton. However, stretching for pain, if done incorrectly or inappropriately, can actually cause more inflammation and injury and should be prescribed by a sports practitioner.

In summary, obviously more research is needed to specifically test WHICH stretching protocol is appropriate WHEN and for WHAT purpose. However, we have a good idea that dynamic stretching is appropriate for pre activity and static stretching is more appropriate for post activity.


New Run Record!

Wow, the new running adjustments are making a huge difference, I RAN a 5-minute interval on the treadmill this morning after 24 mins of run/walk!!!


Sunday, December 6, 2009

2010 miles in 2010

C'mon join the challenge!!!


Running Help

I have been trying to start running. That has proven to be much more difficult for me than I thought. I guess 40 years of not running is not an easy thing to overcome! I started having foot issues, so I went to a podiatrist and got custom orthodics. That helped the foot issue but it seems my shins just will not get stronger. They tire out quickly as I start to run. I am ~210 lbs, still a far cry from the 270 I was at one point but still pretty heavy. It just seemed like something was not right. I partially blamed the knee surgeries I had a couple of years ago, my left leg atrophied a bit and I can still tell it.

Enter Youtube! My chiropractor suggested I try a different running form, and to check out the Crossfit site for videos on the Pose technique. She also suggested to look at Chi running. I looked those up the other night and found a lot of great info on what might be going on. I think I am extending my leg too far in front of my center of balance and basicly stopping myself with every stride! This video was the best I found about that:

Since I started adjusting to keeping my stride short and landing midfoot I am sseing a lot of improvement immediately!

My overall time is not faster yet, but my shins dont feel like someone has been driving nails in them at least!

Videos to check out: