Archive for August, 2006

Bio-Mechanics Can Solve Many Running Injuries

Running seems like a safe sport, so many people are surprised to learn that it causes frequent injuries to muscles, tendons, bones and joints. During running, your foot strikes the ground with a force equal to three times body weight, a force more than double that of walking. Many common running injuries have bio-mechanical causes. For example, pain in the side of the right knee is often treated just by getting the runner to stop running on the roads. To facilitate drainage, roads slope a few degrees from the middle to the sides. Running on the side of a road, facing traffic, causes the right leg to be higher than the left and a larger proportion of the force of the foot strike to be transmitted up to the lateral part of the knee of the higher leg.

Pain behind the kneecap is often treated with special inserts in shoes. When you run, you land on the outside bottom part of your foot and roll toward the inside. This causes the lower leg to twist inward at the same time that the kneecap is pulled by the quadriceps muscle in the opposite direction. This causes the kneecap to rub against the long bone of the upper leg. Special inserts can be placed in running shoes that limit rolling in of the foot and prevent kneecap pain.

Bio-mechanics can explain injuries in other sports as well. Low back pain in bicycle riders is often treated just by raising the handlebars. Bending over excessively places excessive stress on the lower back muscles. Raising the handlebar stem can decrease the forces on the lower back and cure the pain. If something hurts when you exercise, ask yourself what you can do bio-mechanically to eliminate the excessive stress on that part of your body.

Dr. Gabe Mirkin has been a radio talk show host for 25 years and practicing physician for more than 40 years; he is board certified in four specialties, including sports medicine. Read or listen to hundreds of his fitness and health reports at

Be the first to comment - What do you think?
Posted by The Running Guy - August 30, 2006 at 9:25 pm

Categories: Training   Tags:

Trail Running Shoes

Getting to know different types of trail running shoes before buying is helpful. They are commonly looked at by people who usually know their running style and needs, terrain and terrain conditions. They are becoming a popular running shoe of choice. More people are now searching them out, wondering before buying, are these shoes the right runner to meet their needs?

The rule of thumb or average thought of consideration when buying these runners is to understand that a trail runner is usually used on a path, in an area that has a rougher terrain than the average city or gym runner would experience. So, these trail runners are created to withstand those elements one may come across. The elements that are considered are roots, rocks and dirt trails to name a few.

You’ll find that these runners are not as pliable and are built a little sturdier then the average running shoe. It depends on how much support is needed and the type of fabric and material you choose. There has been extensive study done on trail runners. Not all of these running shoes have that bulky or heavier look to them. There has been a focus on optimizing performance with specific design and materials designed for lightweight. You’ll have no problem buying the right trail running shoes to meet your individual needs.

Niki Aubertin is a successful business woman and is the creative writter of for

Be the first to comment - What do you think?
Posted by The Running Guy - August 23, 2006 at 7:15 pm

Categories: Training   Tags:

Preparing for Cross Country Races

Nerves on edge, mind focused, elbows out. No, there is nothing quite like a cross country race. Anyone who has seen two hundred plus people lined up at the beginning of a race waiting for the gun to sound so they can push their way to the front knows what I am talking about. Most cross country runner will agree that the beginning of the race is the most important, especially since many courses bottle-neck onto a winding trail. This is what creates the tense mood at the start of the race.

But a lot more goes into this sport than performance at an actual race. This includes carb parties the night before, pre-race rituals such as power bars, walking the course, applying icy hot, stretching, and jogging warm-ups, and most importantly, months of training. Serious runners start training for cross country season long before the first race even begins. This is why a good training schedule is essential. Too many top runners peak during the middle of the season and drop off for the important closing races including district, regional, and state. A good workout schedule can prevent early burnout and provide runners with a chance to do their best when it counts.

There are several sources online that can help you develop a good training schedule. When you are developing your schedule remember that you want to push your body to improve to its best, but you do not want to prematurely wear your body out. You should rest your body completely one day a week. During racing season, use the day after the race to relax and let your body recoup. The day before a race you should do a light, short workout so your body has plenty of resources for the next day. During the rest of the week, it is good to vary workouts so you mix long runs with other types of workouts like weight training, sprinting, plyometrics, and intervals.

A young cross country runner should average around 35 to 45 miles per week. More advanced runners such as high school seniors and college athletes should run twice a day and average around 100 miles per week. Do not push your body beyond what it can handle. If you are a young runner trying to train at a schedule that is too advanced, you will only work against your body and wear yourself out.

Use these tips to create a schedule that will work for you. Ask your current or future cross country coach for a schedule you can follow during the summer leading up to cross country season, and work out with the team during the season. Your coach should be able to assess your individual training needs and help you perform at your best level.

Lisa Robbins is a former cross country runner. She is one of the owners of, an online sporting goods and athletic equipment supplier.

Be the first to comment - What do you think?
Posted by The Running Guy - August 15, 2006 at 6:54 pm

Categories: Training   Tags:

Parkour: Free Running

‘Free running’ Parkour is a sport in which contestants try to pass obstacles in their surroundings as quickly and smoothly as possible. Founded by David Belle, its origins are in France and Sébastien Foucan gave it its English name. The game was inspired by the ‘Natural Method of Physical Culture’ developed by George Hébert in the early 20th century. Raymond Belle, a Vietnam soldier, introduced the game to his son David.

A group called Yamakasi was set up to establish the game, but the members fell out with each other because of disagreements. ‘Yamakasi’ is a Lingala word, spoken in the Democratic Republic of Congo and it means ‘strong spirit, strong body, strong man.’ For many, Parkour is an extreme sport while others compare it to martial arts like karate. It is admired as an art of movement or, as the French prefer to call it, “l’art du déplacement”. It has a sense of freedom, the ability to overcome boundaries. You could jump from railings, staircases, jump over walls and any other thing that is in your way. Contestants would move from point A to B in a steady and continuous manner. The movements could be forward, over, under, around and through obstacles. These obstacles could be man-made or natural.

People who practice Parkour are called traceurs or free runners. They could be running, jumping, climbing and using any other complicated techniques. Essentially actions have to be adapted to the given circumstances, so that obstacles may be overcome with human capabilities. David Belle said the “spirit” of free running is directed somewhat by the concept of escaping and reaching. So the contestant has to be quick-thinking and agile to reach the goal, much like hunters of the primitive days. Another well-known traceur Sébastien Foucan remarks on its fluidity and beauty. Jerome Ben Aoues, an experienced traceur speaks about this in a documentary made on Parkour called Jump London. He speaks of the sheer elegance and beauty of the sport.

If one thinks about it, we are, naturally, free runners and have been so since our child hood. Have a look at children – they are always bursting out of their confines. As the commentary in Jump London says, “And really the whole town was there for us; there for free running.” Many purists do not agree with the outlandish techniques associated with free running.

A traceur would need good running and jumping techniques. Rolling to reduce impact and vaulting to clear barriers could be advantages. David Belle says that efficient movement is the key in Parkour, so flips and tricks wouldn’t really be part of the game.

Parkour seems to be getting more and more popular. The British public first saw it in all its beauty in 2002, in the BBC station trailer Rush Hour, as David Belle jumped across rooftops to go from his office to home, to see his favorite BBC program. The James Bond thriller, “Casino Royale” rooftop chase is considered a Parkour sequence. As are certain sequences in the Nike ads. Today the sport seems to be growing commercially and there is training available. But as it is a new concept, it is continuously evolving and changing.

Running provides detailed information on Running, Running Shoes, Running Of The Bulls, Free Running and more.

Be the first to comment - What do you think?
Posted by The Running Guy - August 5, 2006 at 10:13 pm

Categories: Training   Tags: