Wednesday, April 17, 2013

Injuries, diets and shoes

Hi friends,

Let me just start by saying that on Monday morning I jumped out of bed and was so excited. I made coffee, had breakfast and turned on the tv to watch the pre Boston Marathon shows. I had been looking forward to this race for months and months, and all I was going to be able to do was watch on tv. At one point Paul and I were trying to plan a vacation to be in Boston for the marathon just to watch, but it didn't work out. For those of you not in the running community, you might not understand how big of a deal Boston is for runners. You have to qualify to run the Boston Marathon by running another marathon in a certain amount of time depending on your age and gender. And even then you aren't guaranteed a spot. People work so hard to get to Boston and it's such a celebration for them when they make it. I was mostly super excited to see all of our olympic marathoners compete again, sadly only 2 of the 6 ended up running it though. I stopped watching after they finished and was shocked and so, so sad to hear what had happened later in the day. I'm going to do my run for Boston later today, my body finally feels recovered from my race over the weekend. My heart is very heavy though.

In an attempt to distract myself I've been blazing through the new running mags that were waiting for me when I got home. Thought I'd share some info about common mistakes runners make regarding injuries that I read in the May issue of Women's Running. And also add some of my own unprofessional, unqualified to have an opinion, opinions to it.

1. Increasing your mileage too quickly. We all know they recommend only increasing your mileage by 10% a week, right? Well if you didn't before, you do now.

2. You don't eat enough. This is one thing that really bugs me, ladies on starvation diets. It bugs me even more when they eat nearly nothing and then run on top of that. Also, can I just tell you how much I hate the idea of a "diet". You don't need a "diet", you need a lifestyle change! Diets are short term, you'll just gain the weight back when you stop dieting. You need to change the way you live in order to have lasting weight loss. If you're running just for the purpose of weight loss you don't need to do a crazy number of miles, just a few here and there will suffice. You can't really expect your body to do more then that on a low calorie diet. If you're running lots of miles and training for things, please eat! And eat enough! Not eating enough makes your bones weak, add the stress of running to weak bones and you get stress fractures. I'm not saying you should pig out on junk, but if you eat healthy foods there's no reason you can't eat lots of them. I'm also not saying that you shouldn't cut some calories if you need to lose weight, but be smart. I'm not a calorie counter or dieter, I just try to make good choices most of the time. And remember, it's healthier to be a little overweight and active than to be skinny but not fit.

3. You don't rest. You need rest days to recover. I know that taking rest days can be hard at times but you need them. End of story.

4. You don't cross train. I'm guilty of this. I don't cross train much. I do some yoga on occasion, and some strength training sometimes. They recommend cross training and strength training once a week.

5. Your running shoes need to be replaced or are the wrong fit. Try to keep track of the mileage on your shoes, they don't really last more than 500 miles. Most don't even last that long. Do yourself a favor and go to a specialty running store, not a department store or big sports store, and have them fit you for shoes. At least do this the first time. I would also suggest that you do a little research before you go so you can tell them what kinds of shoes you might be interested in. Lots of running stores will just put you in a traditional trainer of some kind, that's not my preference. I prefer a more minimalist shoe. Get what you like, but I will say that I do tend to buy into the idea that traditional shoes do contribute to some of the common running injuries. Putting a big wedge of shoe under your heel screws your posture all up and puts extra stress on your knees and back. Hello, runners knee. Obviously plenty of people will disagree with this, but like I said, DO YOUR RESEARCH.

6. You live in flip flops and flats. Also guilty of this. I don't really like shoes, the less shoe the better. They say that hard soled shoes can lead to planter fasciitis, I've never had this problem though. If you do, try a more cushioned shoe for everyday wear.

Like I said, I'm not an expert. Do what you want, at your own risk.

On another note, it's finally a beautiful sunny day. I plan on enjoying it. And being thankful for things like still having all my limbs, and my life.

Happy running!

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