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Posts Tagged ‘running 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.

Summer HEAT: How to Run, Train, and Race!

Summer Heat: How to Run, Train, and Race!

Ambassador Blogger: Meghan Kennihan

MeghanKennihan-bio_pic

 

Medi-Dyne Ambassador: Meghan Kennihan

@TrainWithMeghan

It’s that time again. The hottest part of the summer.  Heat is probably one of the worst uncontrollable elements runners face. The effects of heat and humidity on your training and racing not only cause suffering in the moment but also hinder your recovery.

The Problems with HEAT:

Sweat and Fluid Loss:

Running in the heat causes your core body temperature to rise which means you start to feel worse and worse just like when you have a fever. Heat impacts runners at a physiological level through dehydration, increased heart rate, and reduced blood flow/oxygen to the muscles used for running. Your body cools itself and maintains balance through sweat. Sweat has a cooling effect on the body because it removes excess heat through evaporation. However, the rate of evaporation and how well the body is cooled depends on the humidity. When humidity is low, evaporation increases and you will be able to cool yourself better but you will be losing fluid quickly. When humidity is high, evaporation decreases, less cooling occurs and you suffer even more. The fluid loss and dehydration from fluid loss also effects running performance, a loss of 2% of body weight leads to about 4-6% drop in performance.

Heart Rate and Blood Flow:

Another problem is that temperature and humidity increase your heart rate and amplify these effects. At 60-75 degrees your heart rate increases by 2-4 beats per minute. From 75-90 degrees it can increase up to 10 beats per minute and the humidity will make it increase even more. Rate of perceived exertion are much greater as temperature and humidity rise too. Making matters worse is that when you sweat your blood volume decreases which means  less blood returns to your heart, less reaches your hard working muscles and  you produce less energy. This will cause you to run slower at a given effort level.  For every 10 degree increase in air temperature above 55 degrees there is a 1.5-3% increase in average finishing time for a marathon. (i.e. An extra 3-6 minutes for a 3:30 marathon with every 10 degree increase).  Another issue is that when the heat needs to be dissipated, a lot of the blood also gets diverted to the skin.  Again, the oxygen is redirected via blood flow to your skin instead of your muscles, thus you have less energy for running and your heart and lungs have to work harder to make up for the loss. Higher heart rate at a set pace and higher perceived exertion are the result.

Slow Recovery:

Heat and humidity effect your recovery too! After you exercise in hot conditions, your body needs to spend more energy on cooling itself rather than delivering nutrients to your muscles who need the repair. The muscles have been damaged by the workout but  can’t get the nutrients they need to repair  and recovery is slower. Slower recovery can mean that you might not be ready for  your next hard workout or race.

Enough of the BAD NEWS! Let’s figure out what to do about it!

Train in the Heat:

Training alone provides a bit of an adaption because a side effect of running is an increase in total plasma volume and blood which plays an important role in the cooling process, so the fittest athletes typically have the highest plasma volume and can therefore adapt more easily to heat. Running in hot conditions can result in making it easier to maintain a faster pace, reduce rate of perceived exertion, higher blood plasma volume, increased sweat rate, decrease in salt in sweat, reduced heart rate at a given pace and temperature, and a quicker onset of sweating.  How about that for some great changes just from training? And bonus! it only about 2 weeks of heat exposure. Still, heat acclimatization can only take you so far…

Adjust Your Pace Expectations:

It is smart to adjust expectations when running in the heat… learn to adjust the level of effort or intensity based on what your body is signaling to you.  It’s important that you find ways to adjust your workout times and race paces to reflect how you’ll perform in hot conditions. There are plenty of “temperature” calculators for running where you enter your race times and the temperature and they will adjust your expectations for you. Thank you technology!

Hydrate Properly:

Staying hydrated is essential to your run performance and training.  Dehydration in athletes leads to fatigue, headaches, decreased coordination, and muscle cramping. In extreme cases heat exhaustion and heatstroke, can occur. Runners need to pay attention to what and how much they’re drinking before, during and after exercise especially in the hot summer months.

 Before Your Runs:

If you are training or racing for an hour or more it’s important to make sure you are well hydrated for a few days before. How do you know you are well-hydrated? You should eliminate pale urine at least six times a day. In days leading up to your long run, race, or hard training day make sure you drink plenty of water and nonalcoholic beverages. Alcohol Before your run drink about 16 ounces of water or electrolyte drink like Nuun or coconut water.

During Your Runs:

Drinking on the Run is EASY just drink to thirst. Scientific evidence says that drinking when you’re thirsty can help prevent underhydrating or overhydrating.

Research has shown that sports drinks enhance performance significantly more than plain water in high-intensity and long-duration runs and races.
Some good sports drinks are Nuun, Osmo, Skratch Labs, and Hammer Nutrition.

Your Unique Sweat Rate:

Everyone’s fluid needs are different. The above guidelines are general but some sweat more than others. If you want to get scientific about your hydration needs. You can determine your sweat rate by weighing yourself naked before one of your training runs, and then again after. One pound of weight loss equals 1 pint of water loss. Calculate your sweat rate and use this to determine your fluid needs during a run or race. For example, if you lose 3 pounds during an hour run, that’s 3 pints or 48 ounces. So having about 8 ounces of water every 20 minutes would be helpful to your performance. Weather conditions will also affect your sweat rate and hydration needs so doing this test in different temperatures will provide you with even more accurate results.

After Your Run:

Drink 20 to 24 fl oz. of water for every pound lost after your run. If your urine is dark yellow, you need to keep rehydrating. It should be a light lemonade color.

Dress the Part:

 Dress appropriately for the weather. Your running clothes including your socks should be light in color and made of a wicking technical fiber. Technical fabrics pull moisture away from your body, keeping you cooler. Try to avoid 100% cotton, these fabrics absorb sweat and do not dry quickly which weighs down the clothing and can cause chafing. Make sure you apply 2Toms to all possible chafing areas like toes, heels, nipples, between the legs to ensure a comfortable run.

Pre-Cooling:

Another technique is pre-cooling. Pre-cooling is a technique that is used to lower your core body temperature before running. This ideally extends the amount of time you can run before your core temperature raises so high that it hurts your performance. Recent studies have shown that pre-cooling can significantly improve performance in hot and humid conditions. One study reported that pre-cooling can boost performance by 16%.  The best way to pre-cool is with a cooling vest that you wear 10-20 minutes before your run or race. However, if you don’t have the money for a vest you can eat a freeze pop or frozen sports drink slushy 10-20 minutes before your run. Another option is using frozen towels on your head and neck on your way to the track or trailhead.

You can do EVERYTHING I have mentioned above but when it comes down to the bottom line. It’s YOUR ATTITUDE. Instead of getting discouraged because you have to train, run, or race in the heat realize that everyone is dealing with the same conditions and have faith in yourself and have FUN! Be grateful you are running!

 

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.

Aches and Pains of a Beginner Biker

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

The word beginner in the title is important, because that is what I am.   Of course I have ridden a bicycle almost my entire life, but not for very long stretches of time at a constant speed.   I have recently taken up more serious cycling, both to help improve my running and to allow me to possibly compete in some triathlons.    Quite frankly, I have really enjoyed the process of getting out and riding more.   There is something very therapeutic about riding a bike, in addition to some great exercise.    Based on some research, it also is supposed to enhance my running times.

What I didn’t fully expect when I started biking was that the muscles I used would be quite different than those I used while running or swimming.    After running the OKC Memorial Marathon, my quads were by far the sorest muscles post-race. Cue the need for biking, which helps to build up the quad muscles.  However, my quads weren’t the muscles that ached the most following my first long bike rides.    The muscles that ached the most were in my upper and lower back.  Big surprise?   Not really.   Being bent over handles bars for a couple of hours is sure to put a strain on your lower back and even my upper back, right between my shoulder blades.

The reoccurring back pain and lower back muscle tightness I experienced quickly brought on a need for some back stretches.   The good news here is that I have access to one of the premier back stretching devices available, the CoreStretch. The CoreStretch’s simple but unique design easily targeted the stiff areas including my upper and lower back.   There have been some great reviews from cyclists about the CoreStretch, but now I really get it.   Not only do I see the additional need for core strengthening when it comes to cycling, but also for core stretching as an integral part of biking.

There were a few stretches that really helped me get rid of my post-cycling back pain. These included; the crossed hands stretch and also the lower back/hamstring stretch.   Those two in particular seem to give me the most relief for the areas that take the most stress while I cycle.   My future biking plans will definitely include pre and post ride stretching with the CoreStretch to make sure I get the most out of each ride both physically and mentally!

For more information on the CoreStretch or for instructional videos or brochures visit www.medi-dyne.com.

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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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.

The Pains of Trail 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.

Part 2: The Pains of Trail Running

Kabri uses ProStretch Plus and RangeRoller for trail running pain prevention.

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

If you’re just tuning in I’m Kabri, newly self-professed trail runner! For the next year I challenged myself, running and hiking distances from 10k to 50k on the trails in the Bay Area. It took quite a while for my body to adapt to the trails and I believe that many of my challenges would have been resolved or largely alleviated if I had had a ProStretch Plus back then. My lower calves would become so tight during and after my runs that they would cramp. My feet would feel “asleep” with the loss of blood flow through my calves. It was very painful. The ProStretchPlus is ideal for maintaining and restoring flexibility to these tight muscles, and is especially good at focusing the stretch along your inner or outer calf muscles, as needed.

Whether you are a strong road runner, or are completely new to running, running on trails places stresses on the ankle, leg and knee muscles that are not often used. These stabilizer muscles allow your feet to spring over rocks and avoid unearthed roots while streaming down a single-track trail system under your favorite tree canopy. After your first trail run you’re likely to be very tight in your calf muscles and hamstrings as these muscles will have been highly engaged as you picked the most stable path along river beds and steep inclines.

Along with the increased flexibility that I would have achieved by properly stretching my calves and hamstrings, I realize how helpful the RangeRoller would have been to post-run recovery. The RangeRoller provides a deep tissue massage that allows my muscles to repair themselves by breaking up the knotted muscle fibers and allowing fresh blood back into the damaged space.

Climbing and descending hills and mountains goes hand-in-hand with trail running; both the uphill and downhill portions of a run, especially, take a toll on your quads. After my long training runs, I would make an appointment with a masseuse, knowing that large knots would form in my quad muscles that could not be released with stretching alone.  The RangeRoller essentially provides the same service, but is much more convenient. I’ll warn you now – whether by masseuse or RangeRoller – tackling knotted muscles by compressing and stretching the damaged fibers is a painful but rewarding process!

 

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

A Beginning Runner’s Story

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 2 and Part 3.

Part 1: A Beginning Runner’s Story

How Kabri choose running…or how running choose her!

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.

As an active child and young adult, I participated in many forms of team sports. The love I had for sporting success, namely in competitive soccer, softball and rugby, could not scrub out my disdain for running when not chasing a ball. After college and a couple of years in a very active job, I earned both a promotion and a transfer. I was brought in from the field and placed in front of a desk, as well as moved from the east coast to San Francisco. With the beautiful Bay Area’s outdoor opportunities around me, I was determined to be the exception to my coworkers and I called “the office 35”– the 35 pounds everyone seems to gain after coming in from field positions.

When I started to tally my options, I found that there was only one activity that was realistically within my budget and time constraints. My tally went something like this:

  1. Cycling: need a bike – parts, maintenance and gear are expensive
  2. Swimming: need a pool – work hours limit activity to before-6am or after-6pm
  3. Local team sport: work hours limit availability and prohibit consistent attendance.
  4. Running? Gear—not too expensive, time—flexible, area— boundless

Only problem— I hate running.  I was determined to make running work. I figured that if I could somehow learn to love running now, then I would be in a great position for the rest of my life: able to get up and run wherever I was in the country or world. So, in order to facilitate a semi-enjoyable entry into the world of running, I decided to combine my goal with another love I had found since moving to California – hiking. I was going to be a trail runner, it was settled!

To read more about Kabri’s running experience; how she overcame new running aches and pains,  read Part 2 in the series.

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”?

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.