How to train smarter

It’s been three years since I ran my last distance race – The Chicago Marathon. Very soon, I’ll be doing the Rock N’ Roll Half Marathon, since I’ve learned the hard way that anything more than 13 miles is just too much for me! 

I have  hadarthroscopic knee surgery to remove a piece of tissue inside my knee (called a plica) which was chronically irritated and inflamed, and eventually became fibrotic. For nearly two years, I was unable to perform a squat, lunge, or side-to-side movement without a sharp pain inside my knee. Being the stubborn chiropractor that I am, I attempted every conservative effort before realizing that surgery was the only choice for me. Fortunately, I’ve been painfree ever since.

So what do I know now that I didn’t know then? I train smarter. When my body is fatigued, I rest. When my muscles feel tight, I get active release technique treatments. Regular chiropractic adjustments keep my joints moving properly. As a runner, strength training was not a part of my regimen since on a gloriously sunny day, I craved a run outside more than I did a weight session in a dark crowded gym. Runners have a tendency to develop really strong quads as a result of lifting the legs. For this reason, it is very important to strengthen the hamstrings to prevent a muscular imbalance from occurring. We also have a tendency to run through pain, thinking “pain is weakness leaving the body”. When you continually do the same repetitive motion, the muscles begin to develop adhesions that shorten and weaken them, eventually decreasing their ability to effectively contract. Active Release Technique is the only soft tissue treatment I trust on my muscles to get them functioning again when that happens.

From experience, I know that running in pain should not be tolerated.. Our bodies are smarter than we give them credit for; when something hurts, our bodies will do everything they can to change the biomechanics in such a way that we can feel more comfortable. This does not correct the underlying cause even though the pain is decresaed.

 If you are having pain while running, stop in our office and have your problem evaluated and treated.  I would be more than happy to speak with you, to help you,  and to share some more tips about the joys of running pain free.