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Tips for Training for a Marathon

Expert Panel Question???

“I’m a 62 year old male runner, have run many half marathons but never a full marathon. I run 3 – 4 times a week averaging 25 to 35 miles. I play golf and weight train moderately. I’m training for a marathon and would like to feel more energized – suggestions?”


Realize that training for a marathon at any age is an energy draining pursuit, but to help you feel as good as possible try the following:

1. Keep your run days to 3-4 times a week
2. Keep your weekday runs to no more than an hour.
3. Do long runs every other Saturday and start them about 16 weeks out(assuming you already can run 90 minutes for a long run)
4. Do your longest training run at 22 miles and do it 3 weeks out from your race.
5. Focus on eating really well after all your runs. Drink a recovery drink IMMEDIATELY upon finishing a run and then eat a whole food meal within 45-60 minutes following that has a lot of carbohydrates, lean protein and healthy fat.
6. Drink lots of water each day.
7. Sleep really well.
8. Use a sports massage therapist twice a month
9. Take a solid vitamin/mineral/ antioxidant supplement day and night.
10. Take an ice bath after each long run.

by Debbie Perry

Certified Sports Nutrition Advisor

USA Triathlon Certified Coach

Colgan Power Program Strength Trainer

Local Elite Runner/Triathlete

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IT Band Syndrome

As an L.M.T at this time of year I see many clients with multiple running over use injuries (plantar fasciitis, shin splints, patellar tendinitis, IT band syndrome, SI pain/ dysfunction). As runners increase mileage and intensity to reach performance goals it is common to create myofascial irritation leading to compensation pain patterns that inhibits bio-mechanical function. Pain in a single workout that heals with rest and change of training tends to be a simple acute strain and a normal effect of being a hard training athlete. But continued or increasing discomfort with training may lead to a substantial soft tissue injury and should be evaluated by a health care professional.

Sports specific massage therapy can be a good tool to help recover from or even prevent an over use myo-fascial pain or guarding response. Myo-fascial manipulation breaks up adhesions and areas of congestion in muscle bellies and along tendon and ligament attachments. Soft tissue work opens pathways of circulation to help with ischemia (lack of oxygenated blood) and allow drainage of chemicals of inflammation (a byproduct of muscle metabolism) and the stretching of connective tissues to decompress pressure and pain receptors in the nervous system. A skilled sports massage therapist can sculpt myo-fascia along muscle compartments to improve bio mechanical function, increase range of motion at joints, free adhesions of scar tissue and improve tracking of muscles as they contract and expand.

When I work with athletes, I evaluate posture, alignment, passive and active movement, tissue health and areas of tenderness on palpation. Even with a specific diagnosed injury I will treat the whole structure to prevent secondary compensations that form with favoring the injured area.

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Seven Shin Splints Secrets: Ken’s Secrets to Happy Shins

A few of you have asked questions about what to do for shin splints. Over the years, I have found that “shin splints” is something people use to describe pain in their lower leg. There is specific medical terminology and other technical gobbledygook which clarifies what exactly the pain in the lower leg is, but what I’d like to focus on in this article is what has worked for me and people I have trained with and coached. Here are a few secrets:

Secret #1: Typically, shin splints are an “overuse injury”, so my first recommendation would be to read the article on overuse injuries written by Dr. Scharmann and Dr. Blackham. Okay, now that you’ve read that, let’s move on to the other secrets on my list.

Secret #2: Keep a log and evaluate any recent changes you made in your training. I always take a look at my log when I start feeling any aches and pains. Did I change something a little too quickly? What surfaces have I been running on lately? If I realize I made a mistake, I adjust and make sure that I don’t repeat it. If it doesn’t look like I made a drastic quantity or intensity change, then I move on to the next item on my shin splints secrets list to see if I can isolate the problem.

Secret #3: Take a look at your shoe situation. You guessed it – I look at my log. If you don’t track your shoe mileage in your log, you should start now. Usually you can get anywhere between 300 and 500 miles on a pair of shoes. Obviously, that is just a general estimate and your weight, running style and other factors could impact how many miles you’ll get out of a pair of shoes. When I get toward the tail end of what a pair of shoes can take, I start feeling things like shin splints. You may just need a new pair of shoes. And since we’re talking about shoes… you really should go to a specialty running store and make sure you’re in the right kind of shoe depending on your level of pronation or supination.

You’ll notice that those first three really deal with prevention. Educate yourself on injury issues, make sure you’re in the right shoes and don’t make poor training decisions and you’ll be able to avoid dealing with shin splints (and other injuries) most of the time. If you weren’t able to prevent them this go around, you’ll definitely want to keep reading.

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Sports Massage Philosophy

by Nate Graven LMT

Benefits and Effects of Sports Massage

Primary Effects:

Improved circulation of blood, lymph, and cellular fluid
Muscular relaxation
Functional separation of muscle and connective tissue
Formation and alignment of strong mobile scar tissue
Increased mental alertness and clarity
Deactivation of trigger points and nerve irritation/ muscle guarding

Secondary Effects:

Greater energy
Greater flexibility and functional range of motion
Faster recovery
Pain reduction
Improved body awareness and proprioceptive education

Application of Bodywork in Sports:

Recovery-to enhance the athlete’s physical and mental recovery from strenuous sports activity.
Remedial-to improve a debilitating muscle/skeletal condition
Rehabilitation-to facilitate healing after a injury with bodywork modalities complementing physical therapy and medical treatments.
Maintenance-to speed recovery from workout exercises and to help the athlete maintaining optimal health
Performance Gains-proprioceptive education and myofascial alignment work for mechanical advantage.

What is ultimately gained from an effective bodywork session is not just relaxed muscles. Improved function and enhanced recovery/performance through tactile stimulation and soft tissue manipulation can have consistent therapeutic outcomes and compliment other health therapies and overall wellness.

Bodywork with myofascial organization brings the muscle/skeletal system closer to normal, optimal function and makes it more efficient in its use of energy. When the tone of the soft tissues are balanced, there is a sensation of “lightness” in the body.

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by on Feb.18, 2010, under Expert Answers, Sports Massage

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