Frostbite is nasty stuff. Once you have been frostbitten, you can be scarred for life and you can have permanent circulation problems in the affected areas.

You get frostbite when you have skin exposed to severe cold temperatures for a period of time (the amount of time depends on body type, size and other factors). Your body stops sending blood to that area to save the rest of the body. Once this happens, freezing is not long off. Continue reading “Frostbite”

The Science of Muscle Strengthening

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

Dating back to 2005, research from our laboratory and others from around the world has focused on how improving muscle strength can help runners. For example, we published a study on runners with patellofemoral pain (PFP), often called “runner’s knee” and identified by pain under the kneecap. The runners in the study performed two simple hip-muscle strengthening exercises every day for three weeks. At the end of the three-week program, runners had a 43% reduction in pain and a 30% increase in muscle strength. In such a short period of time, improvements in strength are largely attributable to changes in neuromuscular activation of muscles and not to changes in muscle fibre composition. In other words, the nervous system was better activated and caused more muscle fibres to contract, but there were no changes to the muscle composition itself. Continue reading “The Science of Muscle Strengthening”

Walking in a Winter Wonderland

by John Stanton

There’s “snow” doubt about it—running and walking are healthy activities that can be enjoyed year-round. If you’re a runner who is recovering from injury or seeking an alternative to running during the winter months, consider walking. Walking is a gentle and safe option for many athletes, since the impact force is little more than the body weight you carry when standing upright. Here are some of the benefits.
Continue reading “Walking in a Winter Wonderland”

The Science of Massage Therapy

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

Massage therapists have been a part of the sports medicine team for decades, and there’s some solid research out there that demonstrates how massage can help prevent injuries and aid post-run recovery. The fundamental theory behind massage therapy is that the manipulation of different layers of muscle and connective tissue has two main effects: first, improving muscle function; and second, assisting with muscle recovery and rehabilitation. Continue reading “The Science of Massage Therapy”

Pre-Race Jitters

by Nicholas Larade

Stepping up to the start line can be a nerve-wracking experience, whether it’s your first 5K or your tenth marathon. Learning to overcome your pre-race jitters can be one of the factors separating you from your best performance.

Pre-race jitters can manifest in many different ways. Some runners may not be able to sleep the night before the race, while other runners may forget important items like their race bib, nutrition products or shoes. Pre-race jitters are one subset of a greater range of issues that fall under performance anxiety. Continue reading “Pre-Race Jitters”

Running with Dogs

Dogs make excellent running partners. They will never miss a run, make excuses, whine about an injury, make fun of your form, brag about their personal best or scoff at your jokes.

Before you begin, be proactive to ensure you and your dog are both cleared to run. Talk to your doctor about your running plans, and take your dog to the vet for a check-up. Make sure your dog’s inoculations are up to date and you have a valid license in accordance with the local laws. The vet may also be able to provide advice on how much exertion your dog can handle. Hounds and hunting dogs are enthusiastic runners, but other breeds (such as pugs) are not built for long distances. Continue reading “Running with Dogs”

The Science of Hamstring Injuries

by Dr. Reed Ferber, Ph.D. CAT(C)

The hamstring injuries of high-profile athletes received a lot of attention at last year’s World Track and Field Championships in London. While these injuries were related to sprinting, the mechanics of the injury itself are quite similar to distance running. Moreover, hamstring strains are one of the top 10 injuries for distance runners, especially for recreational runners.

At the Worlds, Andre De Grasse was aiming for a chance to dethrone Jamaica’s Usain Bolt as the fastest man in the world. But the day before the start of the 100-metre competition, the Canadian sprinter announced that a hamstring tear was forcing him to withdraw. A few days later, Bolt had his own dramatic hamstring injury in what was likely his final race. During his leg of the 4×100-metre relay, the Olympic champion pulled his hamstring muscle. So, what is science behind a hamstring strain? Continue reading “The Science of Hamstring Injuries”

Our Method

Whether you’re about to begin running with the start of the New Year or your goal is to work your way up to a marathon, a mix of walk intervals will be good for you. For beginners, walking before running is a gentle and progressive way to start. Depending on your age, overall health and current level of fitness, walking is a safe and productive activity choice. Think of a regular walking routine as pre-conditioning before embarking on a running program. For someone who has been sedentary, it is much less intimidating to walk than to jump straight to a continuous running program. Start with walking every other day for 20 minutes at a time. Continue reading “Our Method”

Choosing the Right Shoe

by Dr. Reed Ferber, Ph.D. CAT(C)

You may already be aware that there are three categories of running footwear: neutral, stability, and motion control. A neutral running shoe is designed to provide cushioning and less foot control as compared to its motion control counterpart. A stability shoe has some component of pronation control material, which is generally placed near the middle or arch of the shoe. A motion control shoe typically provides a significant amount of pronation control and often has some type of non-deformable material, such as a plastic plug, placed on the outer rear edge of the shoe. This is all good to know, but what is the science behind fitting a runner with the proper shoe? Continue reading “Choosing the Right Shoe”

The Ultimate Guide to Shoulder Pain for Runners: So You Can Swing your Arms Like Nobody’s Business

by Mitchell Starkman, Registered Physiotherapist

We’re so excited to talk shoulders with you! The idea of shoulder pain as a whole is a huge topic so we’ve decided to focus in on the two most common causes of shoulder pain in runners. These are the most common reasons people have to visit their healthcare provider: Shoulder Impingement and Rotator Strain. The good news is that both of these conditions are greatly related and so, for simplicity’s sake, we will refer to both of them as Shoulder Impingement throughout this guide.

In this Ultimate Guide to Shoulder Pain I will review the following:

  1. Who gets Shoulder Impingement?
  2. What is Shoulder Impingement?
  3. Where do people feel Shoulder Impingement?
  4. When do people feel Shoulder Impingement pain?
  5. Why do people get Shoulder Impingement in the first place?
  6. How do I fix my Shoulder Impingement?

Continue reading “The Ultimate Guide to Shoulder Pain for Runners: So You Can Swing your Arms Like Nobody’s Business”