Your Race Day Questions–Answered

by John Stanton

At race expos, I frequently field questions from first-time marathoners and half marathoners. I look forward to these interactions and I’m always happy to provide answers and encouragement. Prior to a race, it is completely normal to feel a combination of excitement and nervousness. Asking questions is a great way to ease any concerns and get helpful tips from experienced racers. Here’s my best advice for your next race.

Continue reading “Your Race Day Questions–Answered”

How Yoga Will Make You a Better Runner

by Allie Cooper

While runners have some serious stamina, they are often lacking in other areas which could improve their performance. Upper body strength, range of motion, and proper form are just some of the problems that runners experience, while others struggle with the right mindset during long running sessions. Incorporating yoga into your training schedule can help address some of these issues. Here are some of the ways that runners can benefit from adding yoga to their weekly workouts. Continue reading “How Yoga Will Make You a Better Runner”

The Science of Stride Rate

by Dr. Reed Ferber, Ph.D. CAT(C)

Recently, there has been a recent surge in research, magazine articles, and blogs about stride rate. Let’s take a look at the science behind this commonly misunderstood biomechanical factor.

How fast you run is a function of two factors: (1) the length of your stride and (2) the frequency at which you take those strides—known as your stride rate. To run faster, either factor has to increase. For the past 30 years, the magic number of 180 steps (beats) per minute (bpm) has been discussed as the goal. This arbitrary target number has been seen as a method to increase running economy and potentially reduce joint loading during running. Continue reading “The Science of Stride Rate”

Summer Running FAQ

by John Stanton

It’s summertime, and the living is easy—but a casual approach isn’t wise when it comes to exercising in hot weather conditions. To help you stay safe in the heat, here are my responses to common questions about summer running.

How much water do I need to drink?
As summer temperatures soar, proper hydration becomes a top priority. You need to drink frequently before, during and after exercise. Plan to drink at least two cups (500 mL) of water in the hour prior to your run. During your workout, sip (don’t gulp) water every 15 to 20 minutes, and be sure to re-hydrate once your run has concluded. Don’t wait until you feel thirsty, because at that point you may already be dehydrated. For normal fitness activities, plain water is your most effective drink. For workouts or races over three hours, a sports drink can help replace lost electrolytes. Continue reading “Summer Running FAQ”

Ready to Race

by John Stanton

If you’re intimidated by the idea of entering a race, don’t be. Race weekends are designed to offer something for everyone: runners and walkers, young and old, beginner and experienced, elite and back-of-the-pack.

Registering for a race will boost your motivation and provide you with a tangible, time-sensitive goal. Your training runs will have a renewed sense of purpose. Racing improves your form and helps you learn to run more efficiently in an uncomfortable zone. Think of it as speed work in disguise! Continue reading “Ready to Race”

Everything You Ever Wanted to Know About Running…But Were Afraid to Ask

In running, there are plenty of unexpected little things that can pop up on a training run or in a race. If you’re wondering about something, ask—no matter how silly or embarrassing it may seem. I enjoy meeting runners at race expos and answering quirky running questions, such as:

How do I get rid of a side stitch?
Typically, the dreaded side cramp or “stitch” is an indicator that you’re running too fast or too far for your current level of fitness, causing your diaphragm to work too hard. To alleviate some of the discomfort, ease up on your pace, stay relaxed, and concentrate on pursing your lips and exhaling fully with each breath. Continue reading “Everything You Ever Wanted to Know About Running…But Were Afraid to Ask”

The Science of Injury Invariability

by Dr. Reed Ferber, Ph.D. CAT(C)

In my last article, I described how rotating multiple shoes and engaging in cross-training activities are both strategies that reduce your risk of injury, based on increasing the variability in the loads being applied to your body. Here, we’ll continue this discussion and give you some strategies to help reduce your injury risk based on biomechanical research.

My research group first introduced the concept of stride-to-stride variability as an indicator of a running injury nearly 10 years ago. We showed that when a runner has reduced gluteus medius muscle strength (the muscles on the side of your hip), your knee is not properly controlled when you run. Subsequently, the weakness leads to increased variability and an unpredictable running pattern. For example, the knee might slightly collapse outwards during one footfall and inwards for the next. However, once those muscles get stronger, a more predictable pattern and reduction in stride-to-stride variability occurs, so your body knows what to expect during the next footfall. Continue reading “The Science of Injury Invariability”

4 Functional Movements to Help Develop and Strengthen Your Lower Body for Running

by Liz Naccarato

As a runner, I never implemented cross training until about five years ago. Once I began adding that functional training into my workout schedule, I found myself becoming a more efficient runner.

Pairing a running regimen with proper functional fitness is equally as important as finding those next best Brooks to run your race in. As runners, we can overload our running schedule without pairing it with strength training. Below are a few of my favorite leg day exercises which can be done at home or in a fitness facilities, and I’ve included the reasoning behind why I believe in them. Continue reading “4 Functional Movements to Help Develop and Strengthen Your Lower Body for Running”