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Posts Tagged ‘marathon training blog’

10 Ways to Stay Motivated and Focused on Fitness Goals

runner at sunset

Medi-Dyne’s Athlete Ambassador and Guest Blogger, Meghan Kennihan,

has 10 tips for staying on track with your fitness and health goals!

Did you make a training goal for 2017? Sign up for a spring, summer, or fall race? Have you already lost your motivation? If so, I am here to help. Don’t despair! Here are 10 tips to get your MOJO back and ACHIEVE your goals.

 

  • Get Paid! : Money is the ultimate motivator. The best way to sustain motivation is immediate gratification. Put a dollar in a jar every time you workout for more than 30 minutes.  Use the money at the end of the month to reward yourself with a night on the town, massage, or spa treatment.
  • Get Help! : Enlist the help of a personal trainer or run coach. Not only will they be able to show you the best exercises for you but they also will teach you proper technique to avoid injury and hold you accountable for your goals.
  • Get Happy! : Exercise has a wonderful ability to flood your body and brain with “happy” endorphins but you will counteract this benefit if you are dreading every step. Choose a workout you enjoy. There are so many ways to exercise. If you don’t like running take a cycling class or kickboxing class. If you like to be solo jump on the elliptical machine or stairclimber. The more enjoyable it is, the more likely you’ll be to stick with it.
  • Get Real! : Set realistic goals and write them down. Don’t just say “I resolve to lose 20 lbs” or “I will go to the gym more often”. Make your goals specific. Write down a series of smaller goals leading up to the “big one”. Set a time table to accomplish them (i.e. “I will go to the gym 3 days a week to do 30 minutes of cardiovascular exercise”). Writing your goals down lets you monitor your improvements and is a good review when your motivation is waning.
  • Get Social!: Make an appointment to meet up with a friend or neighbor to exercise. If you have someone relying on you to go to the gym or go for a run you’ll be less likely to cancel. Also, if you like to bike, run, or swim, join a club. The social component makes it fun and the group will provide accountability. Similarly, sign up for a class, if you paid you might as well get your money’s worth and your classmates will notice when you’re gone.
  • Get Techy!: There are so many tools to help you achieve your fitness goals. Heart rate monitors, pedometers, calorie trackers etc. make exercise more exciting because you can see the results of your efforts. For example, make a goal of 10,000+ steps a day and your pedometer will tell you if you have been negligent
  • Get Rest! : You have to allow your muscles to rest and rebuild. Exercising hard everyday is just as detrimental as not exercising at all. One of the biggest reasons people stop exercising is because they go out too fast and push too hard and get injured. Listen to your body and if you are having an off-day, take it easy and rest.
  • Get Loud! : Make a workout playlist with your favorite upbeat songs. Studies have found that men and women who do their workouts to music, workout longer and at a higher intensity than those who workout in silence. Music helps the person working out not to concentrate on the discomforts of the exercises, thus allowing them to exert more or try new things in the working out process.
  • Get Variety!: Cross-training is the key to staying injury free and keeping your body continuously challenged. If you don’t change your workouts your body only trains one set of muscles, your muscles will adapt to the monotony and you will stop seeing results. To avoid a fitness plateau make sure you incorporate different strength training, cardiovascular, balance, and flexibility exercises into your workout.
  • Get Healthy!: All your hard work will go to waste if you eat all the calories you just worked so hard to burn off. It’s a simple equation, in order to lose weight, calories in have to be less than calories out. Try to eat mini meals throughout the day to keep your metabolism going strong. Don’t deprive yourself of your favorite foods just think moderation. So, instead of having your own super-sized French fry, have a few from your child’s Happy Meal.

 

Now …..GET GOING!

MeghanKennihan-bio_pic  About Meghan:

Meghan is a USA Track & Field coach and a RRCA (Road Runners of America) certified distance coach. She is a certified personal trainer through the National Academy   of Sports Medicine and a level 3 USA Cycling Coach. She has over 12 years of experience teaching spin classes, weight-lifting, and group exercise. Meghan is also an   experienced runner, ultrarunner, and triathlete competing, winning, and placing in 5Ks, 10Ks, half-marathons, marathons, ultra distances, and triathlons. She also holds   multiple state Powerlifting records. Learn more about Meghan www.trainwithmeghan.com

Medi-Dyne is proud to have Meghan as an Athlete Ambassador.

Beat the Heat, Run Faster!

Craig DiGiovanni. VP of Sales & Marketing, Medi-Dyne Healthcare Products. Avid Runner. Marathoner. Wannabe Triathlete.

Sound enticing?   Let me assure you, it is.  Now, I am from Texas and beating the heat is something we deal with often.   However, it seems that this is becoming a bigger and bigger issue as more people move into the sun-belt areas, and summers everywhere seem to be hotter than normal.

So what do I do to beat the heat? Well, I have gotten on the quest to lower my marathon time which involves changing my training schedule and routine.   One of the suggested changes is to incorporate other activities to compliment my running.   The purpose of this is to continue working on cardiovascular strength but to also reduce some of the wear and tear that running causes the body to experience, while helping build some of the muscles that get neglected when running.   Some of the recommended activities are biking and swimming. (This is also why Triathlons have become so popular).

First, biking: I love riding bikes.   Riding bikes has been something I have enjoyed all my life, more as a kid than as an adult.   However, that is changing because I have started biking more seriously, and enjoy it just as much as when I was a kid.   The additional benefit now though is I not only get to enjoy it, but I am also making it work as good exercise as well.

The unique thing about riding a bike when it is hot out is that, because you are moving at higher speeds, you are able to keep your body cooler.    So, even though it is hot out, the heat is much less of a factor than when I am running.   The caution here is that fluid replacement is a bit deceiving.   Because you are having more air pass over your skin, the appearance of sweating isn’t as prevalent as running, however, fluid loss can still be significant.   So a word of advice is to be extra cautious about the rate of fluid replacement when riding a bike.  The good news is that drinking and riding aren’t nearly as taxing on my stomach as when I run.

Now swimming: a great way to beat the heat!   In the summer you have the option of indoor and outdoor pools, lakes and oceans can also be good resources.   I have personally joined a Master’s swim program which I highly recommend.  Not only do you get a better workout but you also get some good instruction that can significantly help your form.   By improving your form you improve your efficiency and time as well as your level of enjoyment.   I personally love swimming outdoors with the sun shining.   Something about being in the water on a sunny day makes for a great workout, no matter how hot or hard the workout.   If you do swim outdoors, I would recommend tinted goggles.   Looking into the sun on your breathing can be a bit of a problem!

So, incorporating either or both of these routines in to your running program will help you not only beat the heat, but may also help lower your running times!           

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Race Recovery

Race Recovery: Overcoming post-race aches and pains.

Craig DiGiovanni. VP of Sales & Marketing, Medi-Dyne Healthcare Products. Avid Runner. Newly Accomplished Marathoner.

Ok, it just goes to show: you REALLY don’t know what running a marathon is really about until you’ve run a marathon.   I thought I had a pretty good idea since I have been a runner most of my life, running some 5K’s, completing my first half, building my long runs up, etc.  Little did I know, 26.2 miles will really impact your body.   No matter how you shake it, 26.2 is a long ways and your body takes a beating getting it done.

There is a lot of information out there about what to do when preparing for and running a marathon, but not so much on what you should do following the race.    I heard some people say things here and there, but didn’t give too much attention to their suggestions since I hadn’t been there yet.   Now that I have been there, I certainly have a much better idea.

Here is my Marathon Race Recovery “To-Do List” that I will be using after my next race.  (Yes I said “next one”!  Painful as it was, I plan on doing it again!)

  1. Don’t Stop Moving!   I have heard people “joke” about that before, but now I get it.   If you stop, sit down, lay down, etc., plan on being there a while.   My body tightened up more than Scrooge at Christmas.
  2. Have Tools Handy! With regards to #1 – I will definitely have my ProStretch Plus available for after the race.  Nothing was tighter than my calves.   I couldn’t stretch them enough after the race.   My bet is you could almost make a living renting your ProStretch out after races for people to stretch their calves.  (Not a bad idea…will have to look into that one.)
  3. Roll Out! Muscle rolling is perfect for all the other parts of your body that were hurting. You will want a hand held roller available unless your personal masseuse is there to assist you.  My favorite of course, the RangeRoller, was great for hitting all my other sore areas besides my calves.   My quads were tight and my RangeRoller was ready for the job.   Not sure I would recommend a foam roller at that point; for starters laying on it after the race seems problematic (see #1 again) and not being able to control the intensity due to exhaustion may prove to be painful!
  4. Keep Drinking! Fluids are important during the race, but right after is just as important.
  5. Refuel!  For those people eating cheeseburgers right after the race…..not sure how you did that.   I am certainly not worthy.   Having some light food like bananas and yogurt seemed to get me headed in the right direction though.
  6. Cool Down After! Staying close to the race was nice.   Even my wife thanked me for that one.  A nice hot shower was great.   It got the sweat off and got me feeling normal again.  Bath might have been nice, but I am not sure I could have gotten out. J
  7. Take Some Ibuprofen! I am not a big proponent of medication, but a little ibuprofen after the race helped take the edge off of things.
  8. Be Comfortable! I had a long car rides afterwards, where I had my foot in an awkward position driving home for 3 hours. I paid for that one.  My foot hurt for 2 weeks afterwards from where I was resting on it.

Well, that is my new “To-Do” list for post race recovery.   I hope you find some of my tips useful and pain preventing!   Share with me some of your tips for race recovery by leaving a comment. Whether your training for about to finish a race, good luck!

Once Bitten, Twice Shy.

Craig’s Corner: “Wild” encounters on the running trails.

Craig DiGiovanni. VP of Sales & Marketing, Medi-Dyne Healthcare Products. Avid Runner. Wannabe Marathoner.

The sad story here is that I think I jinxed myself into getting bit.   Just yesterday, I was thinking about all my “wildlife” run-ins during my running and training this year for the OKC Memorial Marathon. I thought to myself, “I haven’t had an encounter with a coyote in a while.”  Well little did I know I would have more than one wildlife encounter in one morning.

Sure enough Sunnie, my running buddy and dog, and I started our run one morning and we weren’t 200 yards in when I hear this yipping and barking. We were close to where we head down to the trails we run on, and it sounded kind of like a dog but a little different.   Then…..the howling starts.  There must have been a pack of them and they were LOUD, PROUD and CLOSE.   Needless to say, our running route quickly changed.  (I was thankful at this point to have my Garmin GPS watch so it didn’t matter – we just forged a new path).

So change we did, and had a great run, although ultimately more than I bargained for.   The temperature was in the mid 50’s, no wind, the change in scenery was nice and ultimately my times were good. Of course, Sunnie managed to find more mud puddles to run in (she really is like a kid in that respect…almost magnetized to them) and post run she grudgingly readied for her bath.  You should see how pathetic she drops her head and tail and slowly walks over to her spot.   You would think she is on the way to her execution or something.  Now you are probably thinking this is where the “bite” comes in.    No, not yet. Sunnie only bites me when we wrestle and play.

After I had Sunnie cleaned up, I did my post run stretching and went inside.  I wasn’t inside but a minute when out of nowhere, Dracula (at least that’s what I named it) bites me on the back of the neck.   I quickly swatted Dracula, and then pulled what appeared to be a little spider (or something).   It fell off my hand onto the floor, keep in mind it is still early AM…and dark everywhere. Thankfully I have my head lamp on to hunt it down. Upon further inspection I realized that it was a tick!  Well that gave me the creeps, especially since it was still alive after being swatted to oblivion.   That didn’t last much longer though because I squashed it to beyond oblivion.

Anyway, I can only assume that my “alternate route” lead me to pick up a passenger—either running under a tree or from puddle-magnet Sunnie.    All day every little itch or prick I felt seemed to catch my attention. That particular spot where I was bit, well, I keep thinking about it and can almost feel it.  In the end, I think I can truly say that I better understand the saying “once bitten, twice shy”.   And shy I will be for some time wondering if I will jinx myself again, if I will soon be the victim of another “Dracula” after a morning training session.

Transitioning to Minimalist Running

This is the story of how Kabri became a runner, and the tricks and tools she used along the way. Read more about her running story in Part 1 and Part 2.

Part 3: Transitioning to Minimalist Running

Using Medi-Dyne during the transition to minimalist running.

Three years ago, I began training for my very first half marathon. Little did I know that my journey of becoming a “runner” was just beginning.

If you’re just tuning in, I am an advocate of stretching and massage for runners. How do I know all of the benefits of stretching and massage now? And why didn’t I incorporate these great Medi-Dyne products into my recovery and maintenance three years ago?

Well besides the fact that hindsight is always 20-20, I was recently able to put my newly-acquired ProStretch Plus and RangeRoller tools to the test while I was transitioning back to minimalist running. You see, the popular “barefoot” trend requires a runner to build up their foot, ankle and knee muscles. You must build up your muscles and expose them to the shock and stresses that a cushioned sneaker may have absorbed in the past. This transition takes time and patience to avoid injury, and is similar in many ways to the muscle development that takes place while trail running.

After moving to San Francisco over a year ago, I transitioned from running on mostly trails to road running. The city’s hills kept my leg muscles strengthened, but I was quickly losing the strong muscular protection I had built up around my knee and ankle joints.  In order to maintain the muscular support my joints had worked so hard to establish, I decided that I would slowly transition into a pair of popular “barefoot” style shoes. On my first runs I found that first, I absolutely loved being able to feel the road under the soles of my feet—my toes having to grab for the road. Secondly, by landing on the forefront of my feet, my calves were tightening up as quickly and as painfully as when I initially started trail running.

To promote healthy muscle growth and alleviate the soreness, I would do a concentrated stretching routine with my ProStretch Plus after each run, focusing on not only my calves, but also my Achilles tendons. I found that this newly experienced “tightness” would travel down my Achilles and into the bottom of my feet. By simply adjusting the angle and wedge on my ProStretch Plus, I was able to increase the flexibility of not only my calves and hamstrings, but also my arches and toes.

In short, I believe that injury prevention and muscle growth can be facilitated by the proper stretching of overly-tight muscles and by “combing” out the knots that develop in damaged muscle fibers, promoting renewed blood flow and muscle repair. I have found the ProStretch Plus and RangeRoller to be my two key tools for ongoing maintenance in my trail and minimalist road running interests. This year I look forward to setting a new road marathon PR at the Oakland and San Francisco Marathons! Finish strong!

For more information on the ProStretch Plus or RangeRoller visit www.medi-dyne.com.

Race Day Reflections

Craig’s Corner: Reflections from my first marathon.

Craig DiGiovanni. VP of Sales & Marketing, Medi-Dyne Healthcare Products. Avid Runner. Wannabe Marathoner.

Well, we did it. My wife, Courtney, and I successfully completed the Oklahoma City Memorial Marathon this past April. We finished our first marathon.

First, I want to congratulate Oklahoma City on a wonderful marathon.   The race had excellent organization and communication, and the overall city-wide support was inspiring.   Not only was this our family’s first Marathon, but I also think it was so special because we were running to honor those 168 people who lost their lives in the OKC bombing. I’d like to give a special “Thank You” to all of those people who have selflessly rallied to help victims and their families.   The people of OKC have turned tragic hatred into a positive celebration of good and community.  They should be proud of that.

The 26.2 miles course was a nice course.   There was plenty of diversity and support along the way.  (Although, I do wish there were a few less hills…I thought OKC was flat!)   As I reflect on the marathon, I realize there are great parallels between life and running a marathon.

Here are my top 10 reflections;

  • Enjoy the journey. The journey of preparing for the race was just as rewarding, if not more, than the race itself.   Of course that is the story of life too isn’t it?   Don’t make the mistake of not enjoying and appreciating the journey.   It is the journey that prepares you and helps you to appreciate the ultimate destination, whether in life or in marathons.
  • Set goals, and see them through. To get the most out of life, it is best to have a goal and a plan to achieve it.  The same goes with running a marathon: have a plan, stick to it both in training and during the race.
  • The more the merrier! The more people you train and do the event with the more enjoyable the experience. Life is meant to be shared, that includes running marathons!  I am so grateful to my wife for training with me and running each step of the marathon with me.  The benefits of that are for another blog.
  • Be flexible, yet determined. You never know what life might throw at you, just like you never know what the marathon day might be like. Be prepared to run in any weather, and know ahead of time that you are running no matter what!
  • Stay hydrated. Water is a key element to our bodies.   During long runs and the race itself it is important to drink fluids…but as in life, be careful not to drink too much!
  • Early bird gets the worm. I think I said this one before but I will say it again, get to the race early.  Get warmed up and prepared, into the right “corral” and give yourself the time to enjoy the atmosphere!
  • Pace yourself. Life is not a sprint and neither is a marathon…at least not for common folk like me.  26.2 miles is truly a long distance to run.   Rely on your training and pace yourself!
  • Just do it, participate. There is so much to life and so many ways to enjoy it.  There are also many ways to enjoy running events besides running the whole 26.2.  There is the half marathon, the marathon relay, the 5K fun run and walk, and also volunteering to help support, cheer, or organize the race.  There is something for everyone at every level.
  • Stay Positive. Positive encouragement cannot be valued enough in life and in running. I really enjoyed reading the fun and encouraging signs of supporters along the race. One read, “Run total stranger, run!” Positivity is contagious. Don’t feel too shy to high five the cheering child, or wave at the supporting spectator along the way. Positivity can go both ways.
  • Overcome to succeed.  Running, like life, has its set-backs.  But just like life, there is always a new day just around the corner. Focusing on many of the following reflections (positivity, goals, flexibility, partners, the journey, etc.) are simple ways to overcome training or race-day set-backs.

There are certainly many more memories and reflections but those are my top 10.   There were some really funny and inspiring moments that I might have to write about later, but for now I hope you can use some of my reflections to get the most out of your next race.

Running in the Wild

Craig’s Corner: “Hooters”

Craig DiGiovanni. VP of Sales & Marketing, Medi-Dyne Healthcare Products. Avid Runner. Wannabe Marathoner.

If you are thinking this is about a restaurant chain or anything related, you are seriously wrong.  I am referring to the original “hooters”—our feathery owl friends!   Yes, this is the next installment of my “wildlife” experience, sightings of critters while training for the OKC Memorial Marathon.

Last week my running buddy, Sunnie (my dog) and I stepped out into the garage, ready to head out for our morning run. Once in the garage, we were met by a very loud “Who, Who, Who, WhOOOOO”.   I looked down at Sunnie, and I think our eyes were probably as big as the owl’s! It sounded like the “hooter” was in the building.

A man’s best running buddy. My dog, Sunnie, runs with me every morning.

Realizing it was an owl, I opened the garage door fully expecting that the act would scare it away because it had to be really close.   To my surprise, no sooner had the door finished opening than we were covered with an even louder, “Who, Who, Who, WhOOOOO”.   This time the first “hooter” was followed by a second and then a third, “Who, Who, Who, WhOOOOO”.   It was a full blown “hooter” convention around my driveway!
I promptly got out my flash light and shined the light at the first and closest “hooter”.   The owl was sitting on top of my neighbor’s house not 20 yards from me.   It turned its head (eerily like owls do) and looked at me and Sunnie.    We didn’t seem to bother it much because it turned back and “Who, Who, Who, WhOOOOO’d” again. We watched the owl and listened to the others respond a few more times and then decided it was time to go run.

Ok ok, this may not be my neighborhood…but you get the picture!

The morning encounter with these “hooters” definitely had me on edge. I was a bit nervous because years ago, my wife was walking on our running trails and was attacked by an owl.   Not a good experience.   Think vice on the head.   Anyway, I turned on my head lamp, kept an eye on “hooter” number one and quickly “exited stage left”.   Thankfully, we didn’t have any other company throughout the rest of our morning. When we got home the “hooters” had left the building, the party was over.

That’s it for now until our next “wildlife” running experience. Seriously, if you don’t get to see enough wildlife, get out and run! What have you encountered while running in the “wild”?

Make the Most of Your 13.1

Craig DiGiovanni. VP of Sales & Marketing, Medi-Dyne Healthcare Products. Avid Runner. Wannabe Marathoner.

I thought I knew what to expect on my first half marathon (13.1 miles), but quickly realized that I was wrong.   In training for the Oklahoma City Memorial Marathon, I had finally reached the half way mark: 13 miles. I decided to celebrate this milestone by running an official half marathon, and signed up for the Fort Worth Cowtown. The good news is the race turned out to be a far better experience than I expected, but I definitely learned some things that I feel are worth sharing.

Here are some before, during and after tips for making the most of your 13.1 half marathon.

Before the race

  1. Get there early: I got to the race early and was glad.  I didn’t stress about parking, had plenty of time to use the restroom and enjoy the atmosphere.
  2. Go to the bathroom: Using the restroom before the race is a must.
  3. Do what is routine: As per my usual morning runs, I drank a little but didn’t eat before the race. I was glad I didn’t, butterflies were enough for my stomach.
  4. Plan ahead or bring a buddy: Depending on weather, having someone to hand your clothes off to before the race starts is a nice bonus.  Otherwise, you are either cold while you’re waiting in the corals (because you don’t have them) or you are warm but then have to leave them at the start, and go on a crusade to find them after the race.

During the race

  1. Let ‘er rip: My adrenaline must have been way up, because my split times were about the same as my 5K and I held steady the whole race.   I was cautious the whole race about that, but next time I won’t be, and I will be more willing to push my times.
    Practice makes perfect: Running and drinking are an art.   I would try that before the race.   How you get the water in your mouth without showering you and everyone around you, and then how you get it down without coughing…well, it took a little practice.   I am sure I provided a laugh or two for those on the sidelines!
  2. Find flat surfaces: Looking for flat parts of the road are a must if you are prone to shin splints.   It took me about 1 mile to realize that an extra step or two to the left or right to get off an angle in the road was worth it.   The crown of the road or closest to the edges seemed to work the best.   13.1 miles at an angle could be problematic.
  3. Send some thanks: There are so many incredible people volunteering and encouraging runners during races, I wish I would have thanked more of them along the way.  If you have the breath, thank them.
  4. Snack smart: Energy gels really seem to work.  I like Gu and Cliff products because they taste good and go down easy.   Also, find a product that doesn’t produce large fluctuations in your energy; big highs then deep lows.

After the race

  1. Enjoy the moment: Give yourself time to take it all in, don’t rush out to leave so you can enjoy the moment.   I had to high tail it out of there for life’s next event, but wish I could have just hung out a few more minutes to enjoy the post race food and activities, and to let the accomplishment sink in.
  2. Run for fun:  I ran the race just to finish and I am glad that I did. I think it is great to measure your time, but if you aren’t enjoying the people, the scenery and the accomplishment, then it won’t last very long and won’t be much fun.
  3. Bring along recovery tools: If you have a roller, make sure you have it because you will surely need it.  Once you are stagnant your muscles will begin to tighten up. Having tools at the race (in your car, etc) to help stretch and loosen your muscles will help decrease future soreness. I of course am a RangeRoller guy, a must for any post race recovery.

That was my race experience.   Hope these tips help to prepare you for your next race. Let us know if there are any race tips that you swear by, leave us a comment. I hope you enjoy your 13.1!

Let the Training (but not the pain) Begin

Welcome to Craig’s Corner: Running, Stretching, and Training Tips from Craig.

Craig DiGiovanni. VP of Sales & Marketing, Medi-Dyne Healthcare Products. Avid Runner. Wannabe Marathoner.

Now that I’m over 40, being healthy is much harder than it used to be.   I used to think it was cliché but now that I’m living it I get it.  There’s no time for pain or injuries, especially if it impacts my “day jobs” (father, husband, repairman, chauffeur, business person…).  You may be able to relate.

That is where my passion for prevention, and taking that pain away comes into play!

I mentioned my New Year’s Resolution of running a marathon in an earlier post.   Did I mention that I’ve dragged my wife along for the ride?  We decided to train for a half marathon first and then continue to build towards running a full marathon this spring.  It has been a lot of fun so far.   I highly recommend a book that my sister-in-law referred us to, The Non-Runner’s Marathon Trainer by David Whitsett, Forrest Dolgener and Tanjala Kole. It’s done a great job of breaking down the whole process of training for a marathon, giving you a plan, and providing encouragement.

Professionally and personally, I understand the many challenges running presents to the body (especially as you get older and as you add more mileage)!  I’ve always appreciated and used the ProStretch Plus, but maybe not as consistently as I should have.  As I continue the journey of marathon training, I am beginning to completely understand just how effective the ProStretch Plus is for not only decreasing pain, but also preventing pain from happening in the first place.

What I personally love about all of the ProStretch products is that they are simple and THEY WORK!  The first time I brought one home, my wife laughed at it, but of course that was short lived.  The laughing stopped and the “oo-ing and ah-ing” started right after she used it for the first time.   The ProStretch is one of those products where you realize the benefits it offers once you use it.   You can feel it working instantly and it feels good!

Lately, I’ve had a lot of “experience” with what we call the interconnective chain of the lower leg.  This interconnective chain starts with the calf, goes down to the Achilles tendon, and connects to the calcaneous (heel) bone and the plantar fasciia.  The calf muscles have to work hard when you’re doing something as simple as walking, but they work even harder when you are running, jumping, stopping and starting.  In fact, I’ve read that the second hardest working group of muscles we have in our whole body is our calves.   Because the calf muscles have to work so hard, they are also susceptible to overuse and injury.

I first started using the ProStretch to combat shin splints and the beginning symptoms of Plantar fasciitis.   After I began experiencing these symptoms, I was doing a long warm up and some basic stretching before I ran, and then pro-longed stretches (for 30 – 60 seconds per repetition) after I ran.   Adding ProStretch exercises into my warm up and cool down gave me immediate results. I experienced immediate relief, and over 4 weeks total healing.

The ProStretch and now the new and improved ProStretch Plus, are simply the best devices for stretching the calf muscles and the entire interconnective chain of the lower leg. Next week, more to come on injuries of the lower leg.

Thanks for your interest in our products.  We love to hear from “users” so please leave us a comment and let us know what pain or injury you are suffering from.

Welcome to Craig’s Corner

Welcome to Craig’s Corner: Running, Stretching, and Training Tips from Craig.

Craig DiGiovanni. VP of Sales & Marketing, Medi-Dyne Healthcare Products. Avid Runner. Wannabe Marathoner.

We would like to introduce a new guest blogger, Craig DiGiovanni— Medi-Dyne’s own VP of Sales and Marketing. As an avid runner currently training for his first full Marathon, Craig wanted to share his training experiences with the Medi-Dyne community. Leave us a comment and tell us what you think, feel free to share with friends, and enjoy!

I’ve never considered myself a “blogger” so this is my first blog entry. My intent is to blog about the practical use of Medi-Dyne products as I use them for my own training.

Our products are born from many different backgrounds, but they all have one mission…to prevent pain, not only for the many medical professionals and professional athletes that use them, but for everyday people like you and me.

Craig DiGiovanni (left) demonstrating the benefits of ProStretch Plus to a Physical Therapist at the American Physical Therapy Association’s Combined Sections Meeting in Chicago 2012.

I am a normal middle age guy, average height, average weight (although that is more and more a battle) and just about average everything else.  I have always been active but as middle age has crept up on me the need to be more disciplined not only in what I eat but how I exercise is becoming increasingly important.   We tend to focus on the obvious (weight & heart health) but the less obvious things seem to be what really catches up to you (energy levels and aches & pains).

My “exercise of choice” is running.  I really enjoy it.  My 2012 New Year’s resolution takes my running beyond exercise to something that I have always wanted to do – run a marathon.  Based on what I’ve learned so far (and the new aches and pains I’m experiencing) I’m sure that more than a few of my blog posts will be about my “running journey”.

Until then, thanks for your interest in our products and feel free to contact us at connect at medi-dyne.com with any input you have on our products, our blog or anything else we can do to help prevent pain in you and me.