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From the Intrepid Vault: Running Diagnosis

By admin | In Running | on May 21, 2013


With the Intrepid Running Class well underway, we’ve been stoked to see each class fill to near capacity.  It’s awesome to see a group form within an already strong community and we’re excited to see Intrepid represented in local running events!   For those who are curious about the running class, the hour is spent partially on mobility and recovery, optimizing running form, and of course, going out to run.  The running WOD varies from sprint intervals, to tempo runs, longer runs, and time trials.

With increased volume sometimes comes increased injury, especially when working on proper technique.  Here are some of the common aches and injuries caused by less than optimum running form and the faults that can cause them:

Plantar Fasciitis: One of the most common causes of heel pain which involves pain inflammation of a thick band of tissue, called the plantar fascia, which runs across the bottom of your foot — connecting your heel bone to your toes. It’s often worst in the morning when you get out of bed.

  • Causes: Pushing with feet (instead of pulling), heel striking leading to pronation (rolling inwards).
  • Fix: Wall pulls, wall runs, lunge drill, strengthen glutes.

Shin Splints: Most common running injury, it is caused by inflammation of the sheath surrounding your tibia (shin bone). Left untreated (or unrested), it can lead to hairline fractures that are incredibly painful and can take weeks to recover from.

  • Causes: Pushing with feet, landing with flexed ankles, landing on balls of feet and not letting the heels kiss the ground.
  • Fix: Bunny hop drill, wall pulls, wall runs, lunge drill, draw the ABC’s with your toes, ice/rest, roll calves with roller/lacrosse ball.

Calf pain/tightness: Same cause/fix as shin splints.
Patellar Tendonitis Syndrome (PTS): Keeping in mind that the force you create when you land while running is 2.4x your body weight, the excessive stress on your patellar tendon caused by heel striking will lead to potentially chronic inflammation.

  • Causes: Striking with heel, leading to pronation.
  • Fix: Wall pulls, wall runs, lunge drill

Hamstring Pulls: Most people report hammy pulls during sprinting. Conventional wisdom had been telling runners for years to reach and push to generate speed. Unfortunately, the more you reach back with your leg, the longer the lever you create with your hammy. When the poor thing is stretched at its limit as you contract it to reach even further, a strain, pull, or tear is inevitable.

  • Causes: Mostly caused by pushing and reaching back with your leg as you run.
  • Fix: Hammy stretches, wall runs, lunge drill, hamstring stretches

IT Band Syndrome: Unfortunately most of your problems with your IT Band has been decades in the making since the average urban human spends much of his life in a seated position. This creates a tight immobile IT Band instead of a pliable one. Its job is to stabilize the knee, especially when the hips are below the knee. The quad should running smoothly over the band, but scar tissue between the muscle and the band (and a weak glute) can add to the problem.

  • Causes: sitting all day at work
  • Fix: Roll your IT band. Yes, even if it makes you cry or curse. Roll it every day.

Lower Back Pain: When people first learn about the POSE method and the “fall” position needed to generate forward momentum, they often misinterpret this as a bending forward at the hips (Think the beginning of a stripper stretch or RDL). This is mostly caused by our self preservation instinct and counterbalancing so that we won’t fall forward. Ironically, the fall position necessitates us getting leaning so that we almost do fall, whereupon our foot lands on the ground directly underneath us. The lean is from the ankles and not the hips.

  • Causes: bending over at the hips while running.
  • Fix: Wall run, partner assisted lean starts.

Since most of the above injuries involve inflammation, let me take a moment to plug our friendly fish oils. Get in the habit of prevention rather than ignoring the problem and then masking the eventual pain with NSAIDS(advil/tylenol/etc) instead. You can’t “pop a couple of fish oils” and expect instant results, however. Reread Marcus‘ and Sean’s post on your Rx’d fish oil for athletes.

In short, there’s good swelling and bad swelling that occurs when you exercise. The good swelling is necessary for recovery. The bad leads to injury. NSAIDS only alleviate the good swelling and not the bad. Fish oils only treat the bad swelling. Which one do you want to take?

WOD 05.21.13

*Nutrition Challenge bencharks will take place Wednesday and Friday (and included yesterday’s workout)*

Hang Power Clean 3×3

100m Sprint
12 Kettlebell Snatches
8 Toes to Bar

3 Comments to "From the Intrepid Vault: Running Diagnosis"

  • Renee says:

    May 21, 2013 at 7:38 AM -

    Great Post! I was bummed I couldn’t make the class this morning but I was able to get 6 good miles in. All the while I was thinking, “Butt tight. Rib cage down. Shoulders back.” Ha Ha

  • Mathew says:

    May 21, 2013 at 12:10 PM -

    Don’t forget your chin position!

    I just want everyone to know I bought 36 delicious cupcakes from Marcus… well not really. I just handed him the check. I think he just finished having one when I walked up himself…

  • James says:

    May 21, 2013 at 2:07 PM -

    Plantas Fasciitis =(

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