If you have injuries, unusual pains, excess or prolonged soreness, cramps, blisters, heavy breathing, nausea, clammy shin or dry mouth during or after your fitness routine this post is for you. This information does not apply to those training to be or are elite athletes but the vast majority training to finish their next race no matter if it’s a 5K or marathon or just running or walking for fitness and weight loss.
Who am I to be sharing this knowledge and why it’s valid information? I’ve logged over 25,000 miles just to finish a race looking good and to get fit. I had many injuries while running although haven’t had one since 2010. While my recovery from my last injury I was being told by many that the human body is not designed to run year after year and the miles I put in. Instinctively I know this could not be true, so I took a look. I’ve also taken the time to observe many of my distant running friends’ have injuries on a regular basis and know the common issue with most.
Most runners and walkers are clueless about many areas that negatively affect their performance. By all means, I’m not in any way stating the following four are the only ones but from personal observation and experience, they are major issues. I’m also not going into the depth each truly needs for a complete understanding of how importance each one is for you to enjoy fewer injuries while logging your miles. Their four main areas. Posture and form. Fitness level for the duration and intensity and frequency of run. Footwear. And, the biggest issue lack of proper hydration during every run.
Posture and forum are important because the effects of the body over time will be significant for you. Look at it like this anything you do repetitively develops you in that way. Like one distance runner, I met that has been running more than 30 years that was carrying a single water bottle. While speaking with her while running the Gasparilla Marathon a few years back, she told me she always carried a single 22-24oz water bottle in her right hand and never ran without water. Her rhythm, gait, and stride were not fluent with her right shoulder visibly lower than her left. Do I know for a fact that her carrying the water bottle for three decades is the cause of the noticeable lack an evenly developed body? No, but it easy to surmise that a repetitive action year after year will have a noticeable effect so is a logical conclusion.
Even if you are carrying just a cell phone, it negatively affects your posture and forum while also hindering your ability to hydrate. So, if you carry water or a cellphone ask your friend to video you from behind to see for yourself how it negatively affects your posture and forum. The act of carrying just a single item in one hand and not the other cause change. This change goes as far as changing the way your feet land and leaves the ground while possibly cause other issues throughout your body.
Duration, intensity, frequency depends on your fitness level. I’ve seen this many times most with beginners and intermediates runners they increase one or more of these way too fast. I’ve ever seen many walkers injure themselves increasing one or more of these too quickly. Many times both runners and walkers I’m speaking about also lack proper hydration.
The muscles have to be strong enough to sustain the impact to keep from hurting the muscles and to protecting the joints. You have to develop your muscles by gradual increases duration, intensity, and frequency over time. Through personal experience and observing many beginners training for the first race use an online program the gradient for many is too steep.
For me, I was training for a race after a few years not running following a training plan, and before I knew it, I had to use a knee brace while running. Why? Like many, I chose a race and found a training plan online. I did this without seeking advice from a seasoned trainer that would have assessed my fitness and endurance levels and put me on a proper training program. I did not make the race I started training for that lead to the knee brace. Thank goodness unlike many that keep pushing themselves to keep training, then cause issues that follow them for years, I scaled my training back. I then went on and completed eight full marathons all without a knee brace since I scaled my training back to a level my body could handle. Except a few injuries leading up to the last one in 2010, I’ve been injury free except one blister 2015.
The most important points I would like to understand concerning your duration, intensity, and frequency during training are the following. Listen to your body. If pain starts in hip, legs, ankles or feet slow down or stop. If staying sore too long or cramping often look at your hydration habits.
Footwear is a big issue because all types of shoes have a multitude of purposes. The wrong shoe will hurt you causing injury slowing over time or quickly depending on what the shoe is supposed to ‘fix’ and your body’s natural mechanical movement.
Once I let shoe salesmen convince me to purchase shoes that changed the way my foot struck, and once the way my foot left, the ground. Both time by my third run my knee started hurting. Needless to say, I took the shoes back. I then happen for go to an Upper Cervical Care Specialist and the issue I was having with one foot hitting the other stopped that day. The real why was not my shoes but my spine aligned. This fixed everything!
There are a lot of things to be considered when choosing the right shoe for you. Make sure your shoes are not too tight, lose, big, small, padded, not padded enough or too heavy. Always try both shoes on and walk and/or run around the store for a minute. Your shoes need to fit properly with no ‘hot spots.’ My first-hand experience is the hot spots always lead to a blister when doing a long run.
I would also like to add when you find a pair that is perfect for you buy 2 or 3 of them because when you need new shoes, these will most likely be out of style. One other thing is trying not get stuck being brand loyal because you may find like I did, it starts becoming a huge process just to find your brand so may end up settling for a pair less than perfects for you like I did. If it fit perfect, who cares what company makes it. Right?
From personal observation and experience hydration or should I say lack thereof seems to be the biggest cause of injury as you build endurance and speed. The sad part is this one area is the most neglected by the majority of runners and walkers. I believe if we start building proper hydration habits from the beginning a new fitness activity we will consciously hydrated as needed.
I’ve personally noticed that poor hydration negatively affected me in the following eight ways before I got it right helping build up my miles. 1) Have injuries due to dehydration
2) Don’t feel as good during and after my workout as I would if I’d stayed properly hydrated
3) Cramped often during and after exercise due to lack of hydration – now I never cramp
4) More lactic acid build up while exercising making me sorer – not enough water in blood to flush out of system
5) Slower recovery due to more lactic acid buildup in muscles
6) Skin along with all internal organs not functioning as efficient as they would if hydrated (some signs are my skin became clammy, heavier breathing and feeling lethargic)
7) It seemed like less oxygenated blood flows throughout my entire – body due to thicker blood
(8) Observation of other runners that don’t hydrate properly – They appear to age more quickly over the years – FYI Internal hydration is considered the 1# beauty aid on the planet.
Let do some hydration math according to the IMMDA Advisory Statement on Guidelines for Fluid Replacement During Marathon Running by Tim Noakes, MBChB, MD, FACSM. Runners and walkers training should drink between 13.5oz to 27oz per hour with the higher fluid amount for slower and less fit.
Let’s say I’m doing a 10-minute mile and run 3 miles. For me to stay properly hydrated during this time, I must consume between 7-13.5oz of preferably electrolyte-infused water. I used to believe that because a run is so short that I would just hydrate before and when I get back. Sounds good right? Too bad that is not the case since we start becoming dehydrated as soon as we start sweating but do not feel the negative effects for about 45 minutes. Moreover, we are developing habits to not hydrate for x amount of time so develop poor hydration habits while running and walking. This, in turn, will slow our progress and can lead to injury as we start building up our endurance and speed.
What every elite athlete knows in any sport is posture and forum are crucial. Intensity and duration depend on your fitness level. Use proper equipment helps. Hydration is an essential factor for them to achieve the fitness goals faster.
There are many opinions about the four areas I just touched on. I will share more detail about each in four follow-up post covering just one topic at a time.
With hydration being so important I do what you to know there is one hydration system, in my opinion, that’s far superior to the rest. Two of the reasons are if you carry a cellphone you can use just one since you can open and close with the hand it were in and designed to use in pairs, so they don’t interfere with your posture, forum, rhythm, gait, and stride. You can learn more by watching the 30-second clip www.apgrocks.com/home-2
About the author:
John Hobbs is an 8-time marathon finisher. He sustained an injury training for what was going to be his 1st Marathon, Walt Disney World 2000 Marathon. Dehydration was the major contributing factor causing the injury. Then over a 3-year period, he gained 100lbs. He then adopted a dog, Keywee, http://bit.ly/keywee1, and started walking his way back to a healthy trim life.
John is a published author, The Secrets of Successful Inventors, Inventor of BHS (Balanced Hydration System) Hydro™, on the market now. He is also the Founder of Athletes Performance Gear, Inc. (APG™). APG™ Provides Beneficial Products for Fitness-Minded Individuals.