Tuesday, February 26, 2013

Pain in the Plantar Fasciitass (See what I did there?)

Marathon training mileage is ramping up.  Financial times are tough and people are using their running, walking, and everyday dress/casual shoes a few hundred miles more than they should.  Our feet are abused and overused in general.  There are several reasons why so many people are suffering from Plantar Fasciitis, but the important thing is that none of them are happy about it.

Plantar Fasciitis is pain in the arch or heel of the foot and is generally pretty difficult to kick once you have it.  Doctors may suggest everything from Cortisone shots to time off to specialized orthotics.  If you are suffering from this type of injury, the most important thing is making sure whatever you are doing to get rid of it is also going to keep it from coming back.  For most people, this means establishing a routine of a battery of strengthening and stretching drills.

As part of a Plantar Fasciitis remedy, you really want to focus on stretching your lower calf.  It's all connected, and often this is the cause of a bad case of arch or heel pain.  You can use a foam roller or Trigger Point Therapy tools to get some great deep massage results and loosen up a tight lower calf.  Stop in and we can give you several good exercises to get you started, or you can sign up for one of our free injury screens to speak directly to a physical therapist, orthopaedic surgeon, or chiropractor!

Beyond the exercises, keeping Plantar Fasciitis away is a lifestyle change.  It can mean wearing an insert in your shoes every day or switching to more supportive footwear, even for work and casual use. You will also need to continue strengthening and stretching even when it's not flared up, or it might come back!  We carry tons of products at the store from flip flops with arch support to massage products to supportive socks.  Stop by and let us help you!

If you've had a battle with Plantar Fasciitis (and so many of us have!), feel free to comment and share your words of wisdom about what worked for you with us!

Thursday, February 14, 2013

Be Your Own Valentine Every Day!

Valentine's Day is a day most often spent pampering those we love, giving gifts, and generally showing our friends and family how much we care for them.  This is WONDERFUL.  The problem is, when do we do this for ourselves??

This year, take some time today to love yourself!  Make your health a priority, and you'll have more energy and be around longer to spend time with everyone else.  Focus on healthy habits from nutrition to exercise to sleep, and you will be giving the greatest gift to your "other" Valentines... a fit and happy YOU! :)

If you're new to fitness and healthy living, you're not alone!  It can be super overwhelming to figure out where to start, so don't do it by yourself.  Let us help!  From our free beginners running groups to our cross training classes and nutrition clinics, we want to help you make YOU a priority.  Check out our website at http://tristaterunning.com/training-tri-state-5k.html to learn more about our 5K training groups starting next week.

Happy Valentine's Day! Enjoy your time loving on everyone else today, and start loving on yourself tomorrow.

Friday, February 8, 2013

Race Day Nutrition (Clinic Recap)

We had TONS of interest in our free nutrition clinic this week, so we wanted to do a quick recap of the clinic for anyone who was unable to attend!  We found that lots of people wanted to take care of themselves with proper nutrition when they are training, but many of you simply didn't know where to start.  It truly is the little things that add up to make all the difference in how you feel and how you perform.

Rules of Nutrition:

1. Practice makes perfect!  You need to train your body to process nutrition to fuel your body during distance runs/walks.  You have to experiment with different gels, chews, and drinks to figure out what your stomach can handle and what keeps your energy levels up.  You'll need to plan for how to carry your nutrition products (fuel belt, pockets, aid stations) and how often you need to eat/drink something.
2. There is a big difference in how many calories you will burn if you are running 10:00 minute miles (600 calories per hour) or 6:00 minute miles (1000 calories per hour).  Plan accordingly.  Your body can absorb 240-260 calories per hour.  Make sure you are taking fluids and nutrition before you "hit the wall" or it is already too late.  Most people should plan to take in about 100 calories per 30-60 minutes of exercise.

3. You need to replace your electrolytes (like Sodium and Potassium), as well!

4. NEVER try anything new on race day!  This is a big risk should it not agree with your system.  Stick with what worked during training.

Beyond this, stick with the basics.  Endurance athletes (this includes you, walkers!) need carbohydrates to fuel working muscles.  Protein is also necessary to repair muscle damage after exercise as well as to make red blood cells (which get oxygen to muscles!).  Make sure you always have enough of these nutrients, as well as maintaining a balanced diet rich in vitamins, minerals, and healthy fats.  Above all else, have fun!  Listen to your body and enjoy the experience.  Feel free to stop by the store or comment on this post if you have more specific nutrition questions.  Happy training!

Monday, February 4, 2013

Active Rest: Oxymoron or Novel Concept?

Do you ever think back to an old hobby and wonder why you ever gave it up? Blame it on burn out. Running is one of those activities that people sometimes stop making time for after they overdo it or fail to give their body and mind the necessary time to rest. While the sport requires year-round training and commitment, a body can only train at a high level for so long. If you don’t make time to enjoy cross training and active rest, you may find yourself feeling burnt out on running.

As a college athlete, that’s just what happened to me. After years of high-mileage and intense workouts, I was exhausted and took a year-long hiatus from running shortly after I graduated. During the time that running and I “took a break”, I filled my time with several other active hobbies to recharge my batteries and get back to the fun side of working out. The best thing about taking some time off from running was that I got to miss it for the first time, and I truly enjoyed it again when I started back up. Plus, I found some new activities that I appreciate almost as much!

When the weather warms up, my husband and I love to take our kayaks out to the lake for the day or go water skiing with my family. As you Kentucky folks know, lakes are about as close as we get to a beach around here in the summer. To keep my feet dry and comfortable when I am jumping in and out of the water all day on the boats, I have started wearing Merrell Cambrian Emmes. They are made specifically for water activities, with a waterproof upper, drainage ports, and sticky tread so I don’t slip if I decide to do a little hiking or wade in the water on slick rocks.

I also enjoy hiking. From Sedona to Gatlinburg to trails we have found all around Ohio and Kentucky, my little family spends a lot of time exploring the outdoors by foot. To be comfortable on hikes, you need a moisture wicking shoe with good traction like the Merrell Siren Sport. I even like having these comfortable multi-sport shoes on when I go for casual walks with my dogs in the neighborhood.

The point is that “active rest” simply means taking some time to cross train and do less strenuous exercise than running. These types of activities minimize your loss of fitness during training breaks. Hiking, water sports, strength training, yoga, and other kinds of cross training are also just plain fun, and they keep you feeling young and fit! In my experience, the skills you gain from doing multiple sports usually translate back to running by improving your balance, flexibility, foot speed, endurance, or even mental stamina.

The best part is that there are shoes to fit your lifestyle no matter what it is you decide to do when you’re not running. Talk about a good excuse for a shopping spree! If you are a hiker, lake bum, or even just someone who spends a lot of time on your feet at work, stop by Tri-State Running Company to get some help finding the perfect shoes for your lifestyle. We would love to help you enjoy your active rest just as much as you enjoy your running training.