So RunDoc weighs in on the question: "Does Running in the Rain Make You Sick?"
You asked for more video blogging, so here is the newest segment!
Run Happy! And feel free to jump in puddles!!
Are you a member of the Mile High Club? No, not the one that involves airplanes and yoga poses! I’m talking about running at elevations of 5,280 feet and higher.
I’m on my way to Colorado to spend a week with my kids at Keystone. Of course, I’m excited to get in some trail runs, but a little worried about the altitude. I called a few of my friends who live in the Mile High State and got some tips on running at altitude that I figured I would share.
Running at a higher altitude can make you feel like a slug, and an asthmatic slow one at that. However, if you’re careful, and keep some of the following tips in mind, high altitude running can be very enjoyable and great for racing at lower altitudes!
Bottom line: Take it slow and easy and enjoy your runs!
I received a really neat package in the mail that included two pairs of “Invisible Shoes”, sent to me by the folks at Invisibleshoe.com to try out. My first thought was, “This is crazy!”, but as most of my readers know, I will try anything once! I have in the last few years embraced minimalism and have transitioned many of my more elite patients to a more midfoot striking natural running style in minimalist shoes. This is only about 15% of my patients, while the rest still need the control of an orthotic due to foot abnormalities and old injuries. (Yes, I know the debate continues on these issues, stop sending hate mail!)
I currently run in the Saucony Kinvara and wear the Saucony Hattori for walking and gym workouts. I am curious to see how the “Invisible Shoe” compares to the Hattori. I am still not a fan of totally barefoot due to the concrete jungle we live in and I have never liked the Vibram Five Fingers; but mostly because so many of my patients have hurt themselves in them and the shoving my toes apart thing I personally find totally annoying. I use my pair of Vibrams for open water swimming. They protect my feet from rocks in the lake!
A little over view for those trying to figure out what I am talking about. There is no other shoe in the minimalist footwear industry as truly minimalist as the huarache. Think a piece of rubber on your foot is as close to barefoot as it gets. Your feet are free to move in the most natural way with no fabric upper to impede or constrict foot movement in any way. Yes, on the surface I still was thinking this is nuts!
The “How to Make Your Invisible Shoes” directions on the website were easy to understand, but took a little longer than expected to put together. A punch tool was needed but I didn’t have one so we improvised.
All my sarcasm and initial reservations about comfort, fit, or suitability for running were muted after my first few walks and my first run in them, which was interesting. They give you a truly free feeling while running, but the thicker ones were better on the pavement.
My verdict on the “Invisible Shoes” is this. They are a great tool to mix into your running training to strengthen your feet, but definitely not an every day shoe for me. I like the little more cushion of the Hattori better and feel more stable in them. As I sprinkle the “Invisible Shoes” into my training just a little more I will update my thoughts going forward.
Best advice is to sprinkle them in your training. Start with walking for a half mile or so then increase by about 10% each time you wear them. Walk around in them for at least 2 weeks prior to even trying to run in them. Take is easy! No more than 200 yards running the first day and, again, increase by no more than 10% each time.
If it hurts or feels overly tired, STOP! Take it back a notch. Overuse injuries can still occur with minimalist shoes if you progress too quickly. Just like every minimalist shoe, it takes time to strengthen your feet and get used to them. Do the exercises I prescribe to strengthen your feet for barefoot running. Focus on your form and build up SLOWLY.
Thumbs up to the “Invisible Shoes” but they should carry a warning label that warns against “too much, too soon, too fast” syndrome!
1. Simplicity trumps everything for race nutrition plans. The simpler it is, the more likely you'll stick to it. For example, consider having all your bike calories in a single water bottle.
2. Pack all your bags and race stuff on Thursday afternoon so you have all Thursday and Friday to think through it, make sure you have everything, and aren't rushed. In general, do things early. No rushing equals no stress.
3. Consider taking melatonin or another sleep aid (assuming you've used it before) on race night. Even without the anticipation, it's hard to go to sleep at 9.
4. Bring some spray on 50+ SPF sunscreen. AFTER you get body-marked, put this on every square inch of skin that might be exposed. Enough of it will stay on to save you in case you miss sunscreen later. (Good tip for me since I have been known to look like an ahi tuna after a race)
5. Try to get to transition right when it opens. An extra 15 or 20 minutes of sleep isn't worth rushing. You want plenty of time to deal with anything unexpected (flat tire on bike, long toilet lines, etc.).
6. Make as much of your pre-race breakfast as you can the night before and start eating as soon as you can when you get up. Better not to be hurried and then having to force-feed yourself or, worse yet, skipping cals. It's darn early and eating isn't what your body wants to do, so get it done early.
7. Stay relaxed and enjoy the experience. Don't let race anxiety rule you before race day. It's wasted energy. Remember how much you SACRIFICED to get there, the TOUGH part is behind you, have FUN! It’s all about the finish line, time is irrelevant!
8. THANK the volunteers at every chance you get, from registration through the finish chute.
1. The far outside/inside sound like the best place, but they may not be, because everyone else is thinking the same thing.
2. Wear your goggles under your swim cap or double cap so they won't get kicked off. It can be hard to get them sealed like this though, so have someone check to make sure the cap isn't interfering with the seal.
3. Sight regularly. After you get out of the scrum it's tempting to put your head down and swim. Keep sighting or you'll swim extra yards.
4. You will likely be very lightheaded and loopy coming out of the swim. Be ready for it and ask volunteers to help with your wetsuit if you are wearing one. Don't get into a wresting match with it. (IM TX is probably speedsuit not wetsuit so practice getting out of it!)
1. Don't forget sunscreen in T1. Trust me. Again the tuna thing!
2. Be steady with your cals. Just do water for the first 30-60 minutes out. A good nutritional system on the bike is using the “super fuel” system. Take one or two water bottles and super concentrate it with salt tablets and mix so when getting a “hand up” the only thing needed is water. Poor the water into the front aero bottle and mix in a small ratio of “super fuel” to make a drink until the next “hand up”. This is handy in that if you get caught in between aide stations in a dehydrated state you have a highly concentrated mix that can help you out fast if you need it. This also keeps you away from having to drink something provided by the race that you are unfamiliar with and may upset your stomach.
Winter has decided to visit North Texas today. Two inches of ice covered by snow, and just in time for the Super Bowl. Time to think about trying to prevent slip and fall injuries. Lots of people fall on ice and snow every year-without serious injury. Not so fortunate were some 16,000 Americans who die each year from falls, according to the National Safety Council (NSC).
I wonder how many of them were runners? I watched from my window this morning as one of my crazy neighbors fell running on the sidewalk in front of my house. The snow had not even stopped coming down yet! Crazy! Even I ran on the treadmill this morning, and most of my peeps will tell you: I Hate Treadmill Running! Better the treadmill than the emergency room!
Falls rival poisoning as the number one home accident in the U.S. The number of injuries or deaths from falls due to winter conditions is not recorded by the NSC. But, safety experts agree that many injuries result from falls on ice-covered surfaces.
It's important that individuals recognize the hazards of slippery surfaces. Here are helpful hints from winter-safety experts that will reduce the risk of falling when slippery conditions exist:
Wear boots or overshoes with soles. Avoid walking in shoes that have smooth surfaces, which increase the risk of slipping. Trail running shoes are better than your regular road shoes.
Run or walk consciously. Be alert to the possibility that you could quickly slip on an unseen patch of ice. Avoid the temptation to run quickly. Run in high alert!
Run or walk cautiously. Your arms help keep you balanced, so keep hands out of pockets and avoid carrying anything that may cause you to become off balance. This even means leaving your precious water bottle at home.
Run or walk "small." Practice your "Chi" running and throw your center of gravity forward. Avoid an erect, marching posture. Look to see ahead of where you step.
When you step on icy areas, take short, shuffling steps, curl your toes under and run or walk as flatfooted as possible.
Run where the path has been cleared. Even in your own yard, remove snow immediately before it becomes packed or turns to ice. Keep your porch stoops, steps, walks and driveways free of ice by frequently applying ice melter granules. This is the best way to prevent formation of dangerous ice patches. Don't be stupid like my neighbor and try to run while snow is still flying!
Even when you practice safe running and walking habits, slipping on ice is sometimes unavoidable. It takes, on average, less than two seconds from the moment you slip until you hit the ground. That's precious little time to react. In that instant, the risk is an injury to your head, a wrist, hip, ankle or shoulder.
When falling, it is best to use a tuck-and-roll principle. It's important to tuck your body, lift your head and avoid trying to break the fall with a hand, which can cause a wrist injury. Ask Dr Karpati about her broken wrist from skiing the next time you are in the office. The idea is to make yourself as small as possible by rolling up into a ball.
People in North Texas hardly ever think about falling on ice and snow, but serious injuries can occur. If you are a klutz or are planning to spend a lot of time in the cold; following these guidelines may help protect you from serious injury this winter. If it is not a choice to hit the treadmill, practice caution while running in the snow and ice. If you do happen to fall and sprain your ankle or foot, call the office. Help is just a phone call away! And remember, just because you can walk on it doesn’t mean it is not broken.
Run Happy and Be Careful! Don't Be a Statistic!
The most common New Year’s resolution in the United States is to lose weight or improve your fitness. Let’s face it, even for the veteran marathoner or triathlete, the New Year gives us an excuse to refocus or give us just a little kick in the butt we need. We all need a plan to achieve our fitness goals or race success. I woke up on January first and realized it was 21 weeks until Ironman Texas. Wow! That crept up on me! Janet has been blogging for months about the road to Ironman Texas. I’ve been so busy working my butt off and being Mom, it crept up on me. Now it is time to refocus on my fitness goals, so I don’t perish on the streets of Houston on May 21st.
Maybe you are like me, a race is creeping up on you, or maybe you have just gained a few extra pounds from the holidays, or maybe you are like some of my friends who realized running up their stairs they get out of breath. This is a great time of year to refocus on your fitness goals. We all have obstacles; time, energy, financial, and our own self-defeating voice in our heads! Here are some tips that will help you focus and reach your fitness goals in 2011!
If you follow these few tips, I promise you will reach your fitness goals in 2011! You will thank me! And I will live though Ironman Texas this year! Run happy and towards your goals!
‘Tis the Season to Have a Bunionectomy Fa-la-la-la-la-la-la-la!
Seriously! The holidays are upon us and it seems like everyone in Grapevine, Texas, is on my operating schedule or is having some kind of elective surgery with one of my surgeon friends. My family always wonders why my schedule gets completely crazy just when the rest of the world is taking a vacation? Why is it that we do more bunionectomies in November and December than the first two quarters on the year? You may think it is because they have family around to help them, but that’s really not the main reason. It is a little invention of the insurance companies called the deductible.
It used to be that no one wanted surgery over the holiday season. That was when deductibles didn’t exist. Now, policies are written with high deductibles and co-pays. Imagine that if you have met your deductible and your out-of-pocket for your health insurance, any elective procedure is free until the end of the year. January 1, you have to pay again! This has caused the mad rush to the podiatric surgeon as well as any other surgeon in town. Even the plastic surgeons are affected, because people have money in their flex spending or health savings accounts that they lose if they don’t use it before the end of the calendar year. Crazy!
So, you decide to join the masses and have your foot fixed that has been annoying you or out-right crippling you for years. What should you do to survive the holidays and not end up with a bad outcome?
Listen to your doctor. Non-weight bearing or partial-weight bearing means just that. Stay off your foot! A short trip to the mall or football game is not a good idea.
Ice, ice and more ice! Ice and elevation are your friends. They will decrease your swelling and ultimately keep your pain under control.
Limit holiday parties. Just because you are invited to a billion parties does not mean you have to go. Pick one or two small parties and send regrets to the rest. People will understand, even your boss!
Shop before surgery or embrace the internet. I did all of my holiday shopping in one night on the internet last year. A quick side tip is that if you do binge shop, don’t be surprised if you get a call from your credit card company. They just want to make sure it’s not fraud. Using Pay-pal will avoid this.
Order a catered holiday meal or teach your children to cook. Almost every nice grocery store can cater a meal your family will love. As for cooking classes, do it from the couch and turn off the smoke alarm!
Don’t over eat! You are resting, so your portions should be smaller. Most people gain 2-5 pounds over the holidays. Inactivity makes this worse, so be diligent about what goes in your mouth!
Rest and relax. You have taken care of your family for years. Pull out the tiara and a little bell. It’s time some one waited on you. If you live alone, invite a friend to stay for a few days after surgery so you have some help.
And last tip, listen to you doctor! Patients who follow their post-operative instructions are much more likely to have good to excellent outcomes!
Like many people in Southlake, Texas this afternoon, I was reading the new edition of Southlake Style magazine that came in the mail today. After the usual local nonsense, I came across an article by Harold Wilson of Multisport Coaching Systems about weight loss exercise programs for truly obese people. He talked about the fact that most articles spend so much time talking about the overwhelming numbers associated with obesity and of course the associated health risks, but almost never spend much time on how an obese person can actually lose the obese tag.
Harold spent some time talking about the people in the news that have successfully lost the weight (Think “The Biggest Loser” or Jared of Subway…heck, he is even going to try to run the New York City Marathon next month!).
The meat of the article discussed the keys to successful weight loss: strategy + execution = success! Wow! Isn’t that the key to just about everything? But wait, maybe Harold is on to something. I have runners that get so caught up in planning their training program that they have little energy left to execute it. Same goes for weight loss programs. Many people spend all their available energy in the planning, so they never get around to executing it!
So, I will reiterate to you Harold’s tips for weight loss and you will see that they hold truth in all exercise programs!
Discipline is necessary
Recently, at a runners forum at Luke's Locker in Colleyville, TX, Dr Crane answered questions about running topics. This is the first in a series of questions and answers. There is a general video of advice already posted. If you have a question you would like Dr Crane to discuss, contact her and she will include in the next series.
Dr Crane advises the new training program at Luke's last Thursday night. A good time was had by all, but if you missed it we have provided the highlights. The video is broken into two parts because YouTube will only allow 10 minute videos and it is 18 minutes before the Q&A!
We are unique individuals, and one formula will not be right for everyone. It takes time to figure out what works best for us, but the important thing is that you learn from experience, and enjoy the process of becoming a better, stronger runner.
Run Happy! And Injury Free!
The jury is still out when it comes to stretching in the running community. I have been running for almost 30 years with multiple coaches on numerous competitive levels, all of them told us to stretch daily to get faster and avoid injury. Yet many incredibly competitive runners never stretch and never seem to get injured. Is there any proof that this common recommendation is actually valid? What do the studies say about stretching? Does it really prevent injury? Will it make me faster? Again, the experts really don’t agree on much! In most arguments between stretchers and non-stretchers, it inevitably comes down to "stretching helps prevent injuries" and "stretching is a leading cause of injuries in runners".
The motion of running, repeated over many years, strengthens and shortens several posterior muscles. The most affected are the calves, the hamstrings and the lower back muscles. These muscles play a primary role in lifting the feet and moving the runner forward. Exercise physiologists blame shortened muscles for a reduced range of motion, decreased athletic performance and increased risk of injury. To add insult to injury, the aging process contributes to further loss of joint and muscle flexibility.
The majority of runners and coaches believe stretching improves performance and reduces the risk of injury. In the meantime, experts disagree on the benefits and dangers of stretching. While many experts credit stretching with numerous benefits, improper stretching remains the second leading cause of running injuries! So, if we believe in stretching; what is the most effective method?
First and Foremost; the warm up and cool down should never be optional in your running routine. Cold muscles are at the highest risk for injury; by warming up and increasing the temperature of your muscles they will be more flexible and have an increased speed of motion. Warming up can loosen your muscles and soft tissue as much as 20 percent. The cool down allows blood to continue flowing through your muscles, working its way more slowly from a high level of exertion to its normal resting condition. Build stretching into your regular schedule, both before and after your daily run; after warm up and as part of your cool down. Take the time, it’s worth it!
Bottom line: Most experts agree that stretching reduces muscle soreness after running and results in better athletic performance. Gentle stretching after a race or intense workout can also promote healing and lactic acid removal from the muscles. Stretching is most effective when performed several times each week; a minimum of one stretching session per week is sufficient to maintain flexibility. Most coaches and runners believe in stretching before and after every workout. The experts never agree on much, but the majority seems to feel that stretching is beneficial to runners if done properly. So follow the precautions outlines and always warm up prior to stretching. Your body will thank you and who knows, you may even get a little faster!
Run Happy! And warm up and stretch before!
Home • About Dr. Crane • Runner’s First Aid Kit • Running Shoes List • Blog • Links • Online Store • Contact Dr. Crane • Site Map
Copyright © 2008 Foot and Ankle Associates of North Texas, LLP. Created and maintained by I5 Web Works.