Sunday, March 28, 2010

More on recovery....

I am happy to be easing back into triathlon training. After a few months of working on my aerobic base with lots of running I am ready to work on the bike and swim. I pumped up for a bike time trial but it may be a week or two to get back to the lake. This weekend was a good one. here is how it went:

Saturday-had to scrap the first brick of the season secondary to 30 mph winds. Ran instead. Do the words BABY GIRAFFE mean anything to you? My first run in the last 6 days and my legs felt like rubber. Good times, good
Sunday-I drove my wife, sister/brother in law to the lake for a brick. Their first brick ever and my first of the season. I had a blast. Got my wetsuit...wet. We swam 500 yards. Water was a chilly 54 degrees. Followed shortly by a 12 mile bike ride. 6 miles out and back. 1 hour out and 12 min back. Yes hills up and hills back. It was my sisters first cycling experience on the highways or to climb. Fun to watch these newbies get into it.

So I havent mentioned my up coming races. I have the "Virginia 10-miler"in Charlottesville, VA. I am going to back to the same course I went to last year. "Running Medicine: Running Throughout the Ages." It is at the University of Virginia. It is becoming my dream job to have a place like UVA has. The Nevada Center for Endurance has a nice ring to it. They have a place called the Virginia Center for endurance. Runners, cyclists, swimmers, triathletes, etc., where a team approach allows these athletes to have all of their needs met whether it is performance or if they are injured. This will be my 5th or 6th running continuing education course. This race is very popular in VA and is quite picturesque. Followed shortly by RAGE. Olympic distance triathlon. I want to crush last years time. The San Diego Marathon as a relay. I run with 4 couples and the dudes are one team, the ladies are another. Then I have Wasatch. The Salt Lake Ragnar relay. That should be interesting. Lots of hills on my leg. I am hoping for the Independence Day 5K. Las Vegas Triathlon, the Olympic again. I have a bone to pick with this race. Then between August and Silverman (November) Half Iron again. I would like to mix in a few other races, may be even a bike race. I would like to get my bike miles way up. I need to get faster on the bike too. What should I do this week? Strength training, kettle bells, swim intervals, hill repeats on the bike, softball, and a run too? Lets do this!

“Nothing is secure but life, transition, the energizing spirit.”
Ralph Waldo Emerson

ahhh the transition....I am starting to get energized again.

Friday, March 26, 2010

Funny week...I am nuts

The week following my first marathon has been strange. Runners think I am nuts and non-runners think I am nuts. I am nuts because I ran a marathon and I have the blues. Why aren't I screaming from the roof tops? I have wondered all week how to word this post but I am just going to get it out there. I am very proud I ran a marathon, YEP the full. But I am not happy with how it went down. Runners think I shouldn't beat myself up (I am not comment chasing believe me) and non-runners think I should be proud. I don't feel gleaming like I did after the Half iron but I had the blues after that race too. I finished in 5:31. Thats what I am bummed about. REALLY? Its not very fast but it isn't too shabby for the following reasons:

-IT WAS HOT. Just about everyone was slow. The other bloggers who ran had trouble with the heat too. The only guys who weren't affected by the heat were done before it was hot.
-There was a ton of runners. I just realized a few days ago that the whole race was spent weaving. Did I actually run more miles then, since I went side-to-side? I never felt a rhythm.
-I have only been running seriously for the last 2 years. I have significantly less experience and miles underneath me than the people I am comparing myself to. From miles 13-26.2 it was a PR in distance for me. My cardiovascular system has never operated at that level for that long. OF COURSE That will be a challenge. Why do we always look up?
-I am sore of course but I did it injury free. My conditioning was good. My body composition is changing at an alarming rate. I am proud of my results. I was prepared for demand of a marathon. I am training smart and I am improving at an alarming rate. My half marathon has improved by 30 minutes since the beginning. I set my marathon PR and low enough that next time I will crush it. I did the same thing for the half IM. 2010 is going be spent making PR's. I just wish I didn't set them too low to start out
-I ran it with my wife. She had some serious tendon issues that we were able to suppress enough to have her race. She did amazing. I am lucky to have such a good running partner. We did it together. I thought for the last few months I was going to have to pull her. She pulled me. Funny how things happen. Cramping sucks.

I had foreseen a post right after the race about how I go about signing up for an IM. I now wonder if that is in my cards. I have not ruled it out, I just need more time. I need some more miles under me. Running, biking, and swimming. To see if I want to make that commitment. I need some more time. I need to get faster. May be do like Karl said. Get faster on my shorter distance type stuff and continue to build my aerobic base. My cardiovascular system will get the most attention. My musculoskeletal system needs some tweaking. I want to be stronger. The last month of running I thought was affected by trading leg strength training for recovery from running. My new bike will require more core strength. I need some time to get used to the aero position. here is how the week went:
Wednesday-A glorious 1500 meter time trial. felt good to swim fast. 37:36. I did the same time trial on this day last year, 35 and change. NICE. only2-3 min slower today than a year ago when I swam 2-3 days a week for the last few months. Today was my 3rd swim of the season. I gonna crush last years time at RAGE. I would say I swam comfortably hard. I easily could have kept going.
Thursday-bike maintenance. I fixed a flat. I am ready for my first brick on Saturday. A recovery brick, helping my wife and her sister to swim open water and ride on the highway. Good to be back in triathlon mode.
Friday (today)-REST.

I am happy, not content. I am a competitor and I will do better. When? Where? TBD. Pics still to come.

Do everything. Love as much as you can. it may hurt but it helps us grow. Give all you may be poor but you will be content. Always forgive....your heart can not afford not to. Teach what you know and learn what you don't. Stay open to all

Tuesday, March 23, 2010

The LA Marathon: A Diary entry

The LA Marathon had 25,000 runners. That sounds like a lot and then you actually see them. WOW. 50,000 people at the expo at one of the my most favorite places on the planet. Dodger stadium. I walked around the stadium and walked around the concourse. Right before the race some got to "warm-up" for the marathon on the outfield grass. I didnt find that out until it was too late. I have been on the grass and I dont warm-up for a really long run like this. So I passed.

The non-race stuff:
Had an issue getting a room close to the finish line. The race started at Dodger stadium and ended at Santa Monica Pier. I found a place that was cheap and close to the finish. One word Skeeve. Yeah after my wife and I left for the race my sister found a roach in my bed. We got our money back and found a new room that ended up having ants in the bathroom. 2 rooms at half-price what a deal! Spring time in California, wohoo! Traffic did not disappoint it was LA style, but the people were a buzz with the marathon. That made it fun. Found a couple trishops where my sister got a wetsuit at 40% off and I found some jerseys half off. SCORE!

The Expo:
There must have been 50,000 people there. Lots and lots of free stuff and interesting booths. Got some answers at the garmin tent finally. I may need to get the tri watch. Lots of recovery socks and new juice products. USTF was there in force. The race poster was awesome. It is the 25th anniversary of LA Marathon and I cannot wait to frame it and put it up in my house. I will pst pics later this week.

The Race:
We parked in the participants garage and walked to a bus that took us to dodger stadium. A normally 20-30 min ride turned into an hour. REALLY LA TRAFFIC? shock. What was interesting is people running on the freeway to get to the start of the race. They actually post-poned the start of the race to allow for the people to get there who were stuck in traffic. CRAZY. I loved it. It was a bit chilly yet I was warm on the bus. people walked an extra few miles yet I was sitting on the bus. I arrived with plenty of time and no stress. A good start so far.

I was through my morning routine before a long run with no issues. This is going to be a good day, I thought. No issues. My wife and I arrived at the start line and the closest we could get was the 13 min per mile corral. OK so there is A TON of people here we are going to have to weave a bit. Lets just say that bob and weave was something I did ALL DAY LONG. Interestingly enough it was LA when sean austin is a few feet in front of us. My wifes favorite movie is RUDY and she wouldnt yell RUUUUUUUDDDDDY. He ended up finishing 15 min ahead of us.

The race begins with a lap around dodger stadium. Hilly. Actually the first 8 miles were very hilly. Ups and downs. LOTS OF PEOPLE. A sea of people in front and behind. It was crazy. My wifes ankle begins to hurt at the 3 mile mark. After some encouragement and some tweaking we are back to running. Characters along the way were awesome. Elvis, marylyn monroe, blue haired guy, banana guy, cross carrying guy, mexican flag outfit, and there were a ton of kids. The LA area used the race as a way to get kids more active and there was a lot of kids who ran. That was awesome.

It was hot. 80 degrees or so. I havent had a single run here in Las Vegas where I wore shorts or a short sleeve shirt. I wasnt ready for it. I never felt a groove. Id say 15 degrees hotter than my hottest run here. I began to cramp at 13. My first big cramp at 15. Survival mode until I finished. It was crazy. I marveled at the people on the side of the road stretching, laying, throwing up, eating, drinking, peeing, etc. I had a small cramping issue on my first 20 miler but the second was no issue. I feel strong about my nourishment plan, I just dont think I was ready for the heat. I am proud I finished. It was a battle. My wife ended up pushing me like a star. She was amazing. Cardiovascularly I felt strong, My brain was intact, my training was on point, my muscles did not cooperate.

The aftermath:
I earned every bit of that medal. I wore the HELL out of my finisher shirt on monday. It took us 45 min to get out of the garage. It took us over an hour to get to the skeeve motel once we left the garage. Absolutely frustrating. Just is what it is about LA/Santa Monica.

I do not have any injuries. Am I sore as hell, yeah. Everything is sore. My neck, scapular stabilzers, lower back, hips add/abd, gluts, quads, hamstrings, calves, and especially the 5th metatarsel on my left foot. Julie is very sore and her ankle is not any worse than usual after a long run. We pieced her back together well.

I am still processing my 1st marathon. I will post more as the week goes on and I will get some pics posted ASAP.

"The difference between the mile and the marathon is the difference between burning your fingers with a match and being slowly roasted over hot coals."

LOL. Yeah 2 days of walking like I raked over the coals!

Sunday, March 14, 2010


The joys of taper. Boring, slow, tired, miserable, etc. I am pumped for the LA marathon. Bring it on!

Saturday-Had a run planned but canned it on account of the HUUGE winds around here.
Sunday-Still windy, did 6 anyway....slow, difficult, and miserable. I am slowly getting my legs back....cancelled the bike ride too.

I am hoping my last post did not step on any toes. This is the way I see training.

Science (book stuff) + Experience = Performance

I am heavy on the science stuff. I have gained personal experience in the last few years as an endurance athlete and I have experience working with injured athletes. I do not have a lot of first hand training experience of higher level training and that is why I blog. To learn and interact with faster and more conditioned athletes than I get to interact with in person on a daily basis. If I have the opportunity to help someone out there and prevent injury or improve performance that is what I want to do. I was hoping for some discussion or questions that spawn healthier habits. Even if it is I who sees things differently.

“The end is never as satisfying as the journey. To have achieved everything but to have done so without integrity and excitement is to have achieved nothing.”

Dodger stadium here we come!!!

Thursday, March 11, 2010

A little training and finally: A LITERATURE REVIEW

Ok this one is going to be somewhat long. I haven't felt passionate about something to research until my buddy Karl posted on his blog his biggest pet peeve. People who think that running elicits arthritis. If that topic interests you his blog is very informative. You see him and I are on the same crusade. We have dedicated our life to health and wellness. One patient at a time educating them on the benefits of exercise and a more physical life. I often tell them that an injury usually is a wake-up call to the lifestyle they live. This post is NOT geared towards anyone in particular nor is it bash on any other professions. The goal of this post is to educate.

In my experience with endurance athletes I have found something very unorthodox. They seem to be drawn to the strangest things, to me anyway. They seem to believe that pain is normal. That training in pain is normal. The faster and the longer the event the more pain you should endure. WRONG. If the body is capable of doing the activity, the body will not hurt. Do not change the activity, CHANGE THE BODY. If you have pain on the body and it is attached to a brain that is capable of pushing beyond limits, it doesn't stop you. For the sedentary patient, they will not make the decision to do more. I give them permission to push into it and it goes away. Athletes are the opposite. We do things like foam roll, massage (various myofascial release protocols), and stretching. They learn how to maintain it. Symptom maintenance. This is my pet peeve. What would it be like to train without pain? Obviously soreness after a 20 miler or 100 mile bike you will have some pain some acute and some DOMS. I am talking about nagging injury pain. I decided to get onto PUBMED the place where all respectable literature goes to sit and wait for interested readers. I pulled up abstracts on the first articles that discuss myofacial release/foam rolling/massage. For some of you this will be a paradigm shift for you. Here is what I found (the blue is how I interpret that):

....the belief that massage has benefits for athletes, the effects of different types of massage (e.g. petrissage, effleurage, friction) or the appropriate timing of massage (pre-exercise vs post-exercise) on performance, recovery from injury, or as an injury prevention method are not clear. - Sports medicine, 2005. CANNOT PROVE IT HELPS
.....No measurable physiological effects of leg massage compared with passive recovery were observed on recovery from high intensity exercise- "British journal of sports medicine."2004 MASSAGE IS JUST AS GOOD AS LAYING THERE THE SAME TIME YOU WERE GETTING MASSAGED
.....Massage (myofascial release) may induce a transient loss of muscle strength or a change in the muscle fiber tension-length relationship, influenced by alterations of muscle function and a psychological state of relaxation.- "Journal of alternative and complementary medicine." 2008 THOSE TECHNIQUES ACTUALLY CONTRIBUTE TO LOSS OF STRENGTH
...Tradition foam roll does not produce the same force as the isolated hand held massager (the one with the little rolly things). FOAM ROLL CANNOT CHANGE TISSUE LENGTH

SO then I directed my attention to common problems we these kinds of treatment for:

IT BAND (ITB) SYNDROME. First of all did you know that the ITB is made of the kind of connective tissue that can tolerate the force of tying one end to 1 car and the other end to another car and allow for the second car to be towed. REALLY? you think you can stretch that with the weight of your body? A CAR CANT STRETCH IT! Here is some literature:

...Iliotibial band syndrome (ITBS) is the most common cause of lateral knee pain in runners. It is an overuse injury that results from repetitive friction of the iliotibial band (ITB) over the lateral femoral epicondyle, with biomechanics studies demonstrating a maximal zone of impingement at approximately 30 degrees of knee flexion. Training factors related to this injury include excessive running in the same direction on a track, greater-than-normal weekly mileage and downhill running. Studies have also demonstrated that weakness or inhibition of the lateral gluteal muscles is a causative factor in this injury. When these muscles do not fire properly throughout the support phase of the running cycle, there is a decreased ability to stabilize the pelvis and eccentrically control femoral abduction. As a result, other muscles must compensate, often leading to excessive soft tissue tightness and myofascial restrictions. Initial treatment should focus on activity modification, therapeutic modalities to decrease local inflammation, non-steroidal anti-inflammatory medication, and in severe cases, a corticosteroid injection. Stretching exercises can be started once acute inflammation is under control. Identifying and eliminating myofascial restrictions complement the therapy programme and should precede strengthening and muscle re-education. Strengthening exercises should emphasise eccentric muscle contractions, triplanar motions and integrated movement patterns. With this comprehensive treatment approach, most patients will fully recover by 6 weeks. Interestingly, biomechanics studies have shown that faster-paced running is less likely to aggravate ITBS and faster strides are initially recommended over a slower jogging pace. Over time, gradual increases in distance and frequency are permitted. In the rare refractory case, surgery may be required. The most common procedure is releasing or lengthening the posterior aspect of the ITB at the location of peak tension over the lateral femoral condyle.-- "Sports medicine." 2005 SOME MAY USE MYOFACIAL TECHNIQUES IN THE BEGINNING AS THIS POINTS OUT BUT I DO NOT. I FIND THAT IF YOU HAVING A MECHANICAL ISSUE RESULTING IN THIS PAIN, IF WE COUNTERACT THAT PROBLEM THE PAIN STOPS. BIOMECHANICS INFLUENCE EVERYTHING. WHY WOULD SHOES CAUSE A NEW PAIN? YOU CHANGE THE BIOMECHANICS.

...A long-term successful outcome and prevention of re-injury are more likely if the focus of rehabilitation is on the restoration of the functional kinetic chain, rather than on a specific injured tissue. For example, the typical treatment of "iliotibial band syndrome" is a stretching protocol that frequently is unsuccessful in the long-term improvement of symptoms. A functional biomechanics approach might identify that the injured runner has lack of calcanea eversion and a structurally rigid supinated foot. These functional biomechanics deficits would lead to inadequate internal rotation of the tibia and femur and result in inhibition or decreased recruitment of the gluteal muscles, in particular the gluteus medius. Restoring pronation throughout the lower extremity would require joint play techniques or functional joint mobilizations for the foot and ankle..................STRETCHING DOESNT WORK, STRENGTH AND STABILITY DO.........(same article)...........Exercises that integrate foot and hip function, including balance reaches, lunges and step-downs, are prescribed to stimulate the gluteus medius and other gluteals in positions that simulate running. Activities that are done in this manner activate the entire functional kinetic chain of muscles and joints. The non-operative sports medicine specialist, in particular the physiatrist and physical therapist, are in an excellent position to integrate treatment of the entire functional kinetic chain through a thorough biomechanics evaluation and comprehensive rehabilitation of the injured runner........USE STABILITY WORK TO GET THE WHOLE LEG TO DO THE JOB IN FRONT OF IT, RUN! Did you know that running requires your body to tolerate 3-5 times your body weight. So why would I do something that takes away from strength? I NEED FORCE. Strength and stability allow for injury free training AND make you faster!!!
....Our view is that ITB syndrome is related to impaired function of the hip musculature and that its resolution can only be properly achieved when the biomechanics of hip muscle function are properly addressed. SINCE THE PROPERTIES OF THE CONNECTIVE WILL NOT ALLOW IT TO STRETCH IS IT EVEN FRICTION THAT CAUSES IT? no....HIP STRENGTH AND STABILITY.

That is only ITB too. If you have heard of a common "running injury" there is a body of evidence to support biomechanics training. That training is about teaching the body to tolerate force. Build stability. If you have a chronic problem you HAVE NOT identified its mechanical problem. If you get to someone to help you with a chronic problem , if they do not address the biomechanics, it will persist. When you reach out for help. You are in the driver seat. Informed consumers get what are looking for. Show up at the clinic you have been referred to. Ask them questions. If you have a running problem, they should say we watch you run and teach you how to fix it! We have a saying in our clinic: All that palliative stuff is just as good as rubbing chicken bones over your head to fix it! LOL.

Performs syndrome. Now I didn't look at any articles but I do have some experience with this problem. ITS ALWAYS BACK PAIN. I have never delegated a performs stretch. When you feel pain in that area it is almost always referred pain from the lumbar spine. MOVE THE BACK and the pain stops. Then you never have to stretch the muscle! IT IS ALWAYS JOINT PROBLEMS NOT MUSCLE PROBLEMS. If the muscle cannot overcome the stiffness in the joint then the muscle will be in dysfunction and spasm. JOINT STRETCH GOOD, muscle stretch=CHICKEN BONES!

Even this month running times has an article on static stretching. IT HINDERS PERFORMANCE WHILE MAKING YOU PRONE TO INJURY. Stretching can be a whole other post. Tendon "priming" (or dynamic stretching) is better than static stretching. Now I would never take something away that a person 'Needs.' But every single one of them gets education and what they decide to do with it, is up to them!

Wednesday-5 mile run. My legs still don't belong to me.
Tonight-3 mile run. Felt very good.

Was his helpful? QUOTE:

“If you don't create change, change will create you”

please don't let that change be to quit. Its not the activity, its the body. Lets fix the body.

Sunday, March 7, 2010

Recovery is boring....

As I review this week (sorry for no mid-week post, I have been thinking of a review topic, more on that later) I am reminded at how much I didn't do this week. I just felt distracted. I cannot wait to get back into triathlon. I realize now that I am more of a triathlete than just runner. I am enjoying my running but on my bike ride today I realized I love the bike. I had a swim this week too and it was a lot of fun too. Unfortunately I cannot say anything about puking but big ups to tridiesel anyway. Here is how my week went:

Monday-30 min swim. went very well. I also bought a used tribike. K2 Red Zone. It has Vision aero bars, carbon forks and seat post, and Shimano 105 components all around. I got it for A LOT cheaper than it retails or any other used price I saw. I will get some pictures posted soon. It was a scary ride today. I have some core strength to work on, as well as, some balance. I was a shaky ride. It was shaky and fast. I will take some getting used to but I am excited.
Tuesday-Softball only
Wednesday-6 mile run that turned into a 3 mile run.
Thursday-Strength training only
Saturday-Softball tournament 4 games.
Sunday-10 mile run that felt very strong. I ran hills that I normally struggle on. Felt good. I also went for a leisurely 12 mile bike ride with my sister and brother-in-law. It was the first bike ride on their new bikes. So fun to teach them to shift and safety. Joni is going to do Irongirl with my wife and Andi. We are excited for them. Fun day today.

2 weeks to race day. I am already looking forward to training for Ironman. I am very confident in my ability to do this full marathon. I am not looking past it either though. It is quite a feat and the festivities surrounding the LA Marathon will be very memorable. I cant wait.

I am thinking of writing a post somehow touching on the subject of symptom maintenance. In my practice, I do not build the athlete/patient up to need me. I think the athlete/patient should be given the tools to keep themselves pain free and functional without any gimmicks. I also do not want to fire anybody up. I do not want to fire up other professionals or people who require "that thing." I just want to raise awareness about how sound biomechanical training helps people perform better and have no symptoms Any thoughts? Run easy, recover, sprinkle in swim and bike, and enjoy the ride.

“The mediocre teacher tells. The good teacher explains. The superior teacher demonstrates. The great teacher inspires.”
William Arthur Ward

My life's goal is to inspire. To show someone that a little bit more is possible. i am proud to do that for my patient population. I am very proud to help these newbies out, as well. And diesel if you get that mentoring program up, I will help any way I can.