408K Race to the Row

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It’s Sunday, March 1, a beautiful and sunny California morning and thousands of runners made their way on an 8K run/walk from San Jose’s SAP CENTER (aka Shark Tank), through some of San Jose’s more charming neighborhoods, to the outdoor shopping mecca, Santana Row, as part of the 4th Annual San Jose 408K RACE TO THE ROW.

In addition to being a fun race, the quirky running event features lots of things you won’t find at every race event.  Here’s a quick list of a few highlights from the 2015 event:

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Do I Have Shin Splints?

shinsplintpic“Shin splints” is a general term referring to pain along the shinbone (tibia) — the large bone in the front of your lower leg. The pain can originate on the front of your lower leg (anterior shin splints) or the back (posterior shin splints). Shin splints are very common, mostly in runners of all ages, dancers and servicemen and women.

The medical term for the most common type of shin splints is medial tibial stress syndrome. Shin splints are most often caused by changes in intensity of exercise, changes in training routines, or generally overworked muscles, tendons and bone tissues related to motion (usually running). Lots of people experience them when they change their run to more uneven terrain (up hills for example). You can also get shin splints by doing repetitive activities that require a lot of starting and stopping (like dance or military exercise). Basically, shin splints occur as a result of overloading your shin bones. Different than a muscle cramp, shin splints persist, often over days or weeks if untreated. In general, shin splints are more painful than they are dangerous, but some active treatment is wise. Continue reading “Do I Have Shin Splints?”

Does Music Aid Running?

Some people believe listening to music while they run pushes them harder.  Others believe it’s a distraction. Who’s right? Does music aid running?

In 2014, 15 well-trained male long-distance runners with an average age of 24 participated in a study to investigate the effects of music on performance during a 5km run. They gave each runner a mobile music device and tested five different types of songs:

  1. PM: Motivational songs, applied before 5 km of running;
  2. SM: Slow motivational songs, applied during 5 km;
  3. FM: Fast and motivational songs, applied during 5 km;
  4. CS: Calm songs, applied after 5 km;
  5. CO: Control.

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You Just Ran a 10K, Now What?

If you listen to research, the answer is simple: get a massage. A 2013 study reported in the International Journal of Therapeutic Massage and Bodywork (ISSN1915-257X) polled athletes about their beliefs about and experiences with massage after running a race.

The study included 745 individuals who had completed a 10K running race in under an hour, and tested perceptions about post-race massage. The study showed that 91% of participants who had experienced massage before agreed that massage would benefit muscle recovery following the running race and more than 80% of those who had never had a massage believed it would be beneficial.

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Pre- and Post-event Sports Massage

The role of massage in supporting and enhancing athletic performance is growing. Is there a difference in pre- and post-event massage?

Sports massage is different than the therapeutic or relaxation massage you might be used to. Sports massage is usually performed on a client dressed in loose clothing and involves applying therapeutic massage and stretching to assist an athlete’s performance or speed recovery from an activity. The type of sports massage you receive is based on your goal and when you get your massage in relation to the event.

Pre-Event massage is usually 10-30 minutes long and generally happens the day of and prior to the event. The focus is on preparation for high-intensity activity not to correct dysfunction or reduce stress. Therapists will use compression, kneading, ROM & active stretching, vibration and tapotement–all performed at an “up-tempo” pace. Remember, the goal is get the athlete AMPED UP.  Continue reading “Pre- and Post-event Sports Massage”

Five Springtime Stretches for Runners

stretchingKnow this. Whether you are a casual runner or a full-on triathlete, you need to stretch. Even though the research seems confusing, the results don’t lie.

Running makes your legs strong, toned, and, often, tight. Every step you take forces your quads, hamstrings, calves, and hips to flex and extend over and over to propel you down the road. As they tire, the muscles and tendons can develop imbalances, scar tissue, and tension, slowing you down and increasing the likelihood for common overuse injuries like IT Band syndrome, and Achilles tendonitis.  You’ve probably read many difference opinions about stretching before and after your run.  There are two things that are pretty plain:

1. Ask a runner who stretches and they’ll tell you it helps them be more flexible, have more endurance, and feel better after the run.

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