Recent Posts
The secret sauce
by on Thursday, March 12, 2015

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I bet Deena knows this "trick"

It seems like everyone is looking for it. What's that magical workout that will make you PR at your next race or beat that big rival who you just can't get ahead of? What's that one workout that all successful runners do? What's this or that coach's or athlete's go to workout?

I'll tell you my secret sauce. It's not mile repeats or progression runs or long runs. It's not something we do every week for three months. In fact, ask the runners I coach and they will tell you that I don't even like doing the same workout two weeks in a row.

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Combat boots vs. running shoes, more evidence that more running is good for you
by on Monday, March 9, 2015

One would think asking the following two questions would produce common sense answers. In one case, one might be wrong.

Does running in combat boots make you more likely to sustain an injury than running in running shoes? No. What? Really?

One would expect that running in combat boots would lead to a higher injury rate than running in running shoes, right? Well, the US Army changed from using combat boots to running shoes for PT in 1982. A review of studies was done comparing injury rates during Basic Combat Training (BCT) before and after the 1982 change. The result?

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What shoes do you wear while not running?
by on Thursday, March 5, 2015

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I'm currently reading the book Tread Lightly*. In it, the authors mention the role the shoes you wear while not running play in your foot health and I'd like to bring this point up here because I think runners often overlook this point.

We runners are shoe geeks. At least many of us are. We can tell you all about the structural details of the shoes we have and probably even many shoes we don't have. We think about what these mean to the health of our feet and legs. We rightfully treat the topic as a big deal.

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Increasing stride rate
by on Monday, March 2, 2015

Can increasing your stride rate help you become a more injury resistant runner? Can you actually train yourself to increase your stride rate? It appears the answers just might be yes and yes.

I've been sitting on this study on increasing stride rate for a while because it never really seemed to fit but I wanted to write about it at some point because it did have interesting results.

In short, runners were given cues to help them improve stride rate by 7.5% over their natural stride rate. The test was to determine whether impact forces at foot plant and hip adduction (I often call this "hip drop", when the hip on the opposite side of your foot that is currently on the ground drops) could be reduced. Hip adduction is an important factor in things like ITBS and "runner's knee". So reducing this, as well obviously as reducing any forces at the time of foot plant, would be important in injury prevention.

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Results of the 2015 HillRunner.com Visitors Survey
by on Thursday, February 26, 2015

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First, I want to thank those of you who took the time to fill out the survey. I'm going to leave it open through the end of February if anyone else wants to take it yet and I will check in again once I close it to see if new responses have arrived. However, once I took the link off the site, responses have pretty quickly diminished so I'm ready to review the initial results and report what I see and what I'm going to do about it.

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Running more IS good for you, mindfulness
by on Monday, February 23, 2015

I can't even believe I have to post about the fact that running more isn't bad for your health but people who don't like running, of course, grab on to poor explanations of inconclusive studies and try to drag runners down. I just want to do all I can to make sure anyone reading this knows there's no basis in what they are saying.

Also something interesting on being mindful during your workouts.

Running more IS good for you

I recently posted about poor reporting on an inconclusive study. The study said we didn't have enough evidence to determine whether or not running every day or nearly every day was good for you, basically because they didn't have enough people in the study who did run every day or nearly every day. The media spun that into running too much is just as bad for your health as being a couch potato. Bad reporting on an inconclusive study.

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A couple new additions to the blogs this weekend
by on Sunday, February 22, 2015

I just wanted to point out a couple new additions I made this weekend to the blogs.

The most significant is the new addition of Categories. You'll see available categories listed near the top of the right sidebar, as well as under the "Blogs" section of the navigation menu at the top of every page on HillRunner.com. I categorized some recent posts and will continue going back through history to get posts into their proper categories.

Parallel to this change, I also updated what you will see in the preview screen when you're writing a new post (remember, I'm not the only one who can start new blog posts - anyone who is registered is welcome to post). As you're making your post, you can schedule your post to appear "Now" (as soon as you click the "Publish Post" button) or "Later" (at a date and time of your choosing). Also, you can select one or more categories for your post to appear under.

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Finally, The New York Times is catching up
by on Friday, February 20, 2015

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Reported on this shoe back in 2013

Back in 2013, I posted twice about the pendulum swinging from "minimal" shoes to "maximal" shoes.

In 2014, The Washington Post caught up.

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Obstacles to honesty
by on Thursday, February 19, 2015

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Last week, I posted about the importance of being honest with yourself. The runner I mentioned at the end of that post emailed me a few thoughts on that post. I think they were very good points and I'd like to address them here.

[S]ome runners won't want to admit to the start of an injury if they think their coach will severely curtail their workout.
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Things that make you faster: bacteria and cursing
by on Monday, February 16, 2015

What? Yep, it's true.

Bacteria

Alex Hutchinson has another good blog. This time on how your body's "friendly" bacteria appears to make you faster.

A little of what was seen in mice:

So in this case, having "normal" gut bacteria is the best option; having all your gut bacteria wiped out is the worst option; and having at least one gut bacteria is better than nothing. Why? The researchers focus on the possible role of gut bacteria in enhancing the body's antioxidant response, and they do indeed show that antioxidant activity was reduced in the germ-free mice.
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