Sunday, October 24, 2010


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Motivation Tips
  • Sign up for a race as soon as you feel up to it. 
  • Find a committed running partner. It is much harder to skip a run when you have someone else depending on you. 
  • Remember that you will have plateaus in your progress and tough days along the way. 
  • It gets easier. 
  • Accept and appreciate the fact that not every single run can be a good one. 
  • Be prepared to remove the words “can’t” and “never” from your vocabulary. 
  • “Do not compare yourself to others. Run within yourself and for yourself first. 
  •  Don’t expect every run to be better than the last one; some of them will hurt. 
  • Don’t think too much about it or you won’t do it. 
  • Even a bad run is better then no run at all. 
  • If you normally run with music try skipping it and listening to your feet to hear your pace and your gait. 
  • Don’t be discouraged if you don’t experience weight loss immediately. 
  • Start a running blog and read other running blogs regularly. 
  • Running is not an excuse to triple your intake of doughnuts because runners gain weight too.

Nutrition Tips 
  • Buy the powdered sports drink mix instead of premixed. It’s cheaper and more similar to race drink mixes. 
  • Each pound you lose makes running a little easier. 
  • Hydrate. Make it a habit to drink water throughout the day. 
  • If you are running very long distance drink enough electrolytes (e.g. Gatorade). 
  • On long runs eat something every hour—whether you feel like it or not. 
  • During longer runs if you don’t like to carry water take some cash in your pocket pouch or a shoe wallet. Run a route where there’s a corner store that you can use as a pit stop to pick up your water and maybe use the bathroom. 
  • Avoid eating spicy foods before running and the night before your long runs. 
  • To aid recovery the most crucial time to eat and drink is in the hour immediately after you run.

Prevention Tips
  • Wear compression socks. I prefer CEP Compression Socks. (
  • Use Vaseline or BodyGlide wherever things rub. They will help prevent blisters and chafing (guys don’t forget the nipples). 
  • Do not increase your mileage more than 10 percent per week. 
  • Guys: Band-Aids before the long runs. Your nipples will thank you in the shower afterwards. 
  • Log your mileage for your legs and your Shoes. Too much on either will cause you injury. 
  • If you are prone to shin splints and lower leg pain try running soft trails for your Training runs and save the asphalt for race day. 
  • Do not run two hard days back-to-back. 
  • Ice aches and pains immediately. 
  • Pay attention to your form. Try to run lightly to minimize impact that could lead to injury. 
  • Cut your Training by at least 30 percent to 50 percent every 4th or 5th week for recovery. 
  • When trail running don’t forget the bug spray. 
  • Neosporin (or another antibiotic cream) is good for chafed areas (if you didn’t use your BodyGlide!). 
  • Make sure you cut your toenails short enough so they don’t jam into your Shoes! 
  • Put some BodyGlide between your toes on long runs. 
  • Be careful about running on paths that force you to run consistently on a slant. It’s hard on the hips knees and IT bands. 
  • Don’t stretch before a run. Warm up by walking briskly or jogging slowly for several minutes. 
  • Do not ice for more than 20 minutes at a time. 
  • Do not use the hot tub after a race. It will increase inflammation and hinder healing. 
  • Frozen peas make a great ice pack for aches and pains. A thin t-towel wrapped around them makes the cold more comfortable.
  • Wear compression socks. I prefer CEP Compression Socks (

Tuesday, October 12, 2010

Achilles Injury Help

Aims of rehabilitation

* Decrease initial pain and inflammation.
* Improve flexibility.
* Improve the strength of the joint.
* Re-establish neural control and co-ordination.
* Return to full fitness.

Decreasing pain and swelling

* This is the first stage of treatment, which can last for anywhere from 3 days to several weeks, depending on the severity of your condition.
* Ice - apply for 15 minutes at least three times a day. Every two hours if possible for the first day.
* Identify the cause of the injury. Training too much too soon, training on hard surfaces, wearing the wrong shoes or shoes that are too old and not warming up are possible reasons for the injury occurring. Also, if you overpronate, the Achilles is twisted putting more strain on it.
* Rest - use crutches if needed. A good taping method is available which supports the tendon.
* Place a heel lift of about 1cm into both your shoes to help take the stress off the tendon. Do not leave it there for ever! If the calf muscles adaptively shorten, an increased strain will be placed on the achilles tendon in the future.
* Anti-inflammatory medication can be taken (under Doctors advice of course).
* Maintain fitness by non weight bearing exercise such as cycling if pain allows.

Improving flexibility

* Once you can perform daily activities pain-free, move on to this stage.
* Concentrate on improving the flexibility of the calf muscles (Gastrocnemius and Soleus). This will reduce the strain on the achilles tendon.
* Two stretches in particular are important, one with a straight leg for the Gastrocnemius muscle and one with the leg bent to target the Soleus muscle. Click here stretches.
* Stretching should be done regularly, three times a day initially and should be maintained long after the injury has healed to prevent the injury returning.
* Use sports massage techniques. This will help prevent adhesions forming within the tendon. These adhesions stop the tendon sliding smoothly in its sheath.
* Sports massage should also be used on the calf muscles themselves to aid in improving the flexibility and general condition of these muscles.


* The aim is to strengthen the calf muscles and the achilles tendon. It is important that you strengthen the tendon in the stretched position. See strengthening exercises.
* There has been a lot of research into strengthening exercises during the rehabilitation of achilles tendinitis. The current concept is based around eccentric conctractions. These are muscle contractions where the muscle lengthens to control a downward movement.
* Heel drops and raises are used in the rehabilitation of achilles tendonitis. Particular emphasis should be placed on the downward phase as this is the eccentric contraction.

Improving proprioception (neural co-ordination)

* It is possible that the neural control or co-ordination of the ankle has been affected, especially if the injury has been severe and required a sustained period of rest.
* Balancing on one leg is a good way of developing proprioception. This will help prevent spraining the ankle in future and is a good all round strengthening exercise for the ankle. Aim for 2 minutes without wobbling. To challenge the ankle even further, a wobble board can be used > Wobble board exercises.

Get back to Running -

I personally found that an ankle brace made by medi was my savior. I picked this up at a local Fleet Feet store after I tried it on. They told me it had a 30 Day Money Back Guarantee and I had nothing to lose. I ran in the brace that night and I have to tell you it was amazing. Not only was my pain basically gone but I felt secure in the brace. The brace I have is called ACHIMED. You can go to medi's website and read about it here:

Under the Achimed I wear my CEP Compression Socks! These things are the best and the reason I started blogging. You can buy them at: