Runners Notes
By Heather Cass Erie Times-News staff blogger
If you want to know anything about the local running scene, ask Heather Cass. A member of the Erie Runners Club for 10-plus years, she is immersed in the local fitness culture, and she's taking your questions.   Read more about this blog.
Archive for the ‘Injuries’ category
Posted: March 14th, 2014

Recently saw this posted on FB and found it quite interesting.
for RN blog

Posted: February 11th, 2014

rbs1_22

I recently received this question from a reader:

I just started a jogging program, fast walk for 1.5 minutes and then run/jog for 1 min. It is a total 30 minute workout. My legs feel like dead weights from the knees down. I run every other day. What is causing this and how do I correct it?

I’ve had this problem from time to time and it’s usually the result of overtraining or nutrition (or likely a combination of both), but I reached out to the Erie area running community to see if they had any other ides for our reader.

Here’s what they had to say:

Her questions raise a lot more questions. How long has this person been walking/running? What is their body type, age and what kind of shoes are they wearing? Need the right shoe to for sure. Maybe start there. — Ginny Sackett

Editor’s note: Good point on the shoes! If you’re not wearing proper running shoes, get thee to Achille’s Running Shop in Erie to get professionally fitted.

When is she running? Maybe she should have a banana before she starts. Has she just started? We all know you have to work up to any distance, even a couple city blocks. — Linda Huegel

Honestly, I used to have that problem big time and found out I was anemic. Maybe ask her to get her iron checked. It literally got so bad in high school that I went from running the mile in like 6 minutes to struggling to run 10 minute miles. I had no idea what was wrong but they told me because I went to have surgery but my iron was low. She should def go get checked out. — Jessie Zahner

The beauty of time intervals is we don’t have to go a set distance, but for a beginner sometimes people think 1 minute on means all out. Maybe they could go a little easier in the jogging. — Greg Cooper

I agree with Greg Cooper. He or she may be doing too much too fast. She may want to decrease her training depending on the extent and duration of pain. Ice her legs to reduce any inflammation. She also may want to try an exercise of standing on the edge of curb or slightly elevated place and while holding on to something sturdy, gently lift herself up on her toes and come down far enough where her toes are pointing up (not too far) and do several repetitions a day and gradually increase her training. Leg wraps and compression sleeves may help as well. — Dave Lesher

Posted: August 8th, 2013

Worth Reading

* Protein is key to satiating meals and, therefore, key to weight loss (you eat much less when you eat protein). Here are 9 Portable Protein Sources for Athletes (though I disagree with peanut butter…it’s full of sugar and peanuts are legumes, not nuts).

* Can’t figure out what your next race should be? Take the pop quiz to find out what your next challenge should be.

* Dogs don’t sweat, so be cautious about taking your favorite four-legged partner on a run on a hot, humid day (no matter how much they WANT to go). Heed these 12 safety tips for running with your dog in the heat.

funny

Gear of the week (I’m getting bored with T-shirts)

Check out these cool MantraBands!  Mantras can get you through a tough race. I’ve got several mantras and they’ve changed over the years. The one I relied on in the PA Grand Canyon marathon was “Relentless Forward Progression.” I don’t see that one here, but I’m thinking I won’t need that one again anyway.  “Carpe Diem” or “Enjoy the Journey” might be better choices for me now.

bracelet-set-3_medium

Wanna be a Poser?

Also…don’t forget about Pose-method classes that are now available in Erie. Here are the details:

crossfit

 

 

 

Posted: July 12th, 2013

What’s your number one recovery aid (aids)? ice bath, compression socks, chocolate milk? What’s your go-to to speed recovery?

“Vicodin.” — Dbrew (It’s a joke, people!)

“IPA” — Ross Aresco (It’s a type of beer)

“Easy runs” — Pat Krott

“Diet Dr. Pepper and potato chips!” — Jan Comi

“Lavender Epsom salts in my bath while drinking a beer!” — Karen Groshek

“Chocolate Milk, Compression Socks, Ice Bath…in that order of importance. I see too many runners wait too long for the chocolate milk (or other carb/protein replenishment if they are vegan). The Compression Socks don’t have to come before ice, but they do make a difference. We have had athletes do significant workloads and slide into a pair of compression socks between along with a nice snack and be able to handle everything on a very hard day and not be any more sore than a normal hard run. Ice never hurts (except frostbite) so I do think that it’s critical, and the constriction of the capillaries is really important to reduce the chance of inflammation, and also a good recovery tool if you forgot anything else and are sore the next day.” — Greg Cooper (Editor’s note: Greg is Penn State Behrend’s head running coach…which is to say…a guy who would know about recovery! :0 )

And more from the coach:

“Also, Patrick Krott’s suggestion of easy run is also great. Of particular benefit is running a recovery run at a recovery pace within 24 hours of a hard run. Inside our brain, interleukin-6 is the trigger that causes us to feel we have fatigue, this is also an inhibitor of motor impulses from brain to muscle (this is bad if you’re trying to run fast at the end of the race) Some research from the U of Copenhagen in Denmark says that the easy run w/in 24 hours of the hard run allows your body to learn to run with lower levels of glycogen (one of your primary fuels), so when we run those easy runs, we teach our body to continue to send those motor impulses from brain to muscle when we are tired, fatigued, sore, etc., This is not eliminating soreness, but it’s teaching your body to not feel that pain/soreness nearly as much the next time. This is probably a good thing if you want to progress in your training.”

Posted: June 20th, 2013

Worth Reading

* Are you big on post-recovery aids, such as ice baths and ibuprofen? You may want to rethink that.

* 5 good reasons to add some speed to your  life (and…a few easy ways to do so).

* Irunfar.com: Peak Performance and the Selfish Brain. This is fascinating insight into what’s going on with your brain and body in an endurance event.  Your brain will have the last word as its job is to regulate everything to keep itself..and your body alive, but there are a few ways you can trick it to avoid having it pull the plug on your efforts at the 20th mile (or 40th mile or 60th mile).

Funny stuff

* Runner’s World’s Mark Remy has revealed the scientific reason that some runners are total jackwads don’t wave. Read all about it.

Group runs — for safety

In America, we gather in large running groups for fun, but in Venezuala, they run in large groups for safety.
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T-shirt of the Week

wd114_s

Available here in various styles.

Posted: June 17th, 2013

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istockphoto.com/Erie Times-News

There’s an interesting article in the Erie Times-News’ sport section today. The headline sure caught my eye this morning: Train drain: Stop running yourself into the ground, and get more by doing less.

It’s a thought-provoking read that worth your 10 minutes.

Check it out here.

 

 

Posted in: Advice, Injuries, Training
Posted: June 14th, 2013

sore

www.fitsugar.com

This week’s question addresses something EVERY runner has dealt with — sore muscles!

I asked runners: What’s your favorite/go-to remedy for sore muscles?

* Epson salts/ foam roller and a beer. — Amy Cronk

* Between  golf balls and “the stick,” I rely on massaging to rub out and keep circulation moving. — Christine Vassen

* I like arnica gel for treating inflammation and comfrey ointment for muscle knots and pain. — Debbie DeAngelo

* Ice bath, it’s cold, but it works! After about 7 minutes you really can’t feel anything (but, yes, that first 7 minutes isn’t much fun) — Greg Cooper

* Tonic water (applied internally, not externally!). — Bill Cox

* Rest, massage, wine. — Pat Krott

* Dr. Teals Epsom salts–lavender—not the plain kind in the Pharmacy section of Wal-Mart—the lavender scented are by the nicer bath soaps down a few aisles. Foolproof (for the fools who overuse their muscles…LOL).  — Eloise Hawking

* Foam roller, stretching. Advil if necessary. — Ginny Sackett

 

Posted: June 3rd, 2013

pose

 Me…posing

So I took a 90-minute lesson in the Pose Method of running from Julie Robinson, owner of RunErie and a certified Pose running instructor and wrote about it for yesterday’s Her Times magazine in the Erie Times-News. Here’s my part:

Posed to Run

By Heather Cass

I love my hot pink and black Saucony Cohesion running shoes with their wide toe box and cushy heels, but Julie Robinson, an Erie-based Pose running coach, said they have to go.

“You need to lose the big shoes,” she said.

I’ve been a heel striker for all of my running life, about 15 years now. It’s obvious if you look at my running shoes. The outside edges of both heels are worn off from being scuffed into the ground for hundreds of miles.

Landing on the ground heel first when running is bad. It sends hundreds of pounds of pressure up the legs, through the hips and into the lower back. It can cause a host of running-related injuries from shin splints to Achilles tendinitis to herniated discs.

Robinson and I are in a parking lot at Penn State Behrend where she is giving me a short course in the Pose Method, which encourages the use of lightweight, thin-soled shoes.

“Getting out of the big shoes helps reduce heel striking because it hurts when you do so in a more minimalist shoe, which forces a change in and of itself,” she said. “But it’s learning to correctly ‘fall’ into Pose that gets rid of that nasty habit. Big shoes just get in the way.”

What is Pose?

It’s hard to explain, but according to www.posetech.com, the Pose is a one-legged stance with the head, shoulders and hips aligned over the ball of the foot. The airborne foot is up under the hips, and running becomes a sequence of falling forward from this position, having the airborne leg drop to keep from falling to the ground and using the hamstring to pull the trailing foot into the airborne position, then returning to the Pose on the opposite leg.

Got it? No? That’s OK because Robinson does get it. In the 90 minutes Robinson and I spent together, she was able to demonstrate some of the methods she uses to build a better runner. It’s a gradual process. She doesn’t just take your shoes away and force you to run in a whole new way. You have to build strength and mobility in your ankles and hips first. You have to work your way down to a lesser-cushioned shoe. You have to practice the one-legged stance, master the use of gravity and “falling forward” and learn to pull your leg up, using your hamstring, instead of pushing off the ground with your toes.

“With Pose, you don’t need the ground to get moving,” Robinson said. “You’re pulling your leg up, not pushing off. Pose is perfect for trail runners who run on rocky, uneven terrain.”

Three days after meeting with Robinson, I ran the Cleveland half marathon. I concentrated on applying some of the principles she taught me, constantly reminding myself to pull, stay centered and fall forward. While I didn’t set any personal records that day (it was 80 degrees), I had no soreness, calf cramps or knee twinges during or after the race. That is a victory for this veteran runner.

Veteran Verdict: Even veterans with closets full of medals and awards can benefit from learning the Pose Method and working with Robinson and Run Erie to improve their form.

There’s more to the story — you can read what newbie runner Marnie Mead Oberle thought of the method here and see a video here.

Bottom line is this: Julie knows her stuff. If you’ve been plagued by constant injuries, it’s worth checking out.  Heck, even if you’ve not been plagued with injuries and you’ve been running (and placing) for 15 years, it’s worth checking out.

You can find more info here and learn about some great workshops they are offering with a master pose coach here.

Starting in June, Run Erie will offer a full schedule of classes on Pose basics at the introductory rate of eight classes for $75. Private lessons are also available at individual and package rates.

RunErie will also bring in master Pose coach Valerie Hunt from Austin, Texas, who will teach two eight-hour seminars with personalized video analysis on June 29 and 30 at CrossFit FBO, 1311 Chestnut St. Cost:$150.

The clinics are open to all ages and ability levels. Each clinic includes eight hours of instruction, video analysis, and time for lunch and socialization with new friends. Details for registration are available on Run Erie’s Facebook page under the events tab or e-mail Run Erie at info@runerie.com.

If nothing else, follow Run Erie on Facebook and learn more about the pose method — they frequently post videos and tips.

Posted: May 23rd, 2013

Worth Reading

* Dogs get high, too, but ferrets don’t.

* 10 biggest running mistakes

* Does it seem like it takes longer to recover the older you get? Um, it does. Here’s why.

* For the ladies: Jezebel: If You Must Think About your Weight, Here Are 10 Things to Think About  Warning: there are plenty of f-bombs in this article, but this is probably the greatest thing I’ve read in…well, ever. I’m at that stage where I’m pissed off about this situation we’ve all bought into. I’m sick of women’s magazines and fitness magazines and women’s expos that are full of ways for us to fix ourselves — lose weight, fix your hair, get the whitest teeth, cook better….f@#$ you, I’m fine the way I am.  READ THIS. PRINT IT OUT. GET MAD.

Video of the Week

Hmmm….now this treadmill workout could possibly hold my interest:

Ultra funny

For all my ultra-running friends.  (This is a JOKE…though, you have to admit….it’s funny because most of it is true, right?). LOL.

 

ultra

T-Shirt of the Week

i_run_on_biofuel_unisex_gildan_softstyle_tee_48a8704f42d7b13840956349a7525ab8_266_0_big

Available here for $19.97.

 

Posted: May 17th, 2013

pose-stance-full
Have you always wanted to learn the pose method of running? Perhaps you’ve tried to teach yourself?

If you have absolutely no idea what I’m taking about, read this. If you don’t have time for that, watch this:

OK…..now that were all up to speed, the good news…..drumroll, please…..

You can learn it right here in Erie. Erie runners and trainers Julie Robinson and Sean Donachy have formed a business called RunErie to teach local runners how to improve their form, which will result in better race times and — most importantly — fewer injuries! Yay!

They’ve already taught two classes and they are offering another on Saturday, May 25 at 8 a.m.  CrossFit FBO at 1311 Chestnut Street. Cost is $10 and space is limited.  Details here. Contact them on Facebook or call 450-7786 for more info or to RSVP.

Chi vs. Pose Method

You may have heard of Chi running before, too. It similar, but there are some differences as well. Here’s everything you ever wanted to know about Chi running versus Pose method, but, if you don’t have time for that, here’s the short version:

“Pose running puts more demand on the legs, using muscle control to maintain proper positioning. ChiRunning teaches that the leg below the knee should be relaxed, taxing the muscle very little. The primary focus of ChiRunners is core strength and the belief that energy can be redirected from the trunk to the extremities. Another key difference is that pose running uses a short stride while ChiRunning extends the stride, again to alleviate the effort on leg muscles.

Probably the most distinguishing characteristic between these two approaches is that pose running is primarily focused on the physiological elements of running. ChiRunning on the other hand, is steeped in Eastern philosophies that, while may be perfectly valid, Western runners may have trouble applying.”

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