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Posts Tagged ‘Tight Quads’

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!

The Importance of Running Form

Craig’s Corner: Form over function or function over form?

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

Like any moving object, variables change at different speeds. For example, when trying to turn a car, you can turn in a smaller radius at lower speeds than you can at higher speeds. Or, the faster you are going, the longer and farther it takes to stop.  So it is with running; variables change with the increase and decrease of speed.   I have learned this first hand during my training for the OKC Memorial Marathon.

During the week, I have been running my shorter distances at a much faster tempo than during my long runs on the weekend. What I have noticed is that I am experiencing tightness in different parts of my body, based on the speed at which I run.

At the faster speeds my attention is more on my breathing and overall feeling of being tired, and maybe a little on the tightness in my calves. I deal with each of these issues easily, by first stopping my run temporarily so I can catch my breath….I know rocket science, right?  And second, for my tight calves; I use my Tuli’s heel cups to prevent most of the shock that causes the Achilles and then calf tightness, and also I do some simple ProStretch Plus stretching post run and throughout the day. These latter techniques are such simple measures, but within a day or two the tightness goes away.

Running form and the interconnective chain of the legs.

When I run at slower speeds during the longer mileage in my training, my attention seems to switch to the arches of my feet and to my quadriceps. At first this confused me because I wasn’t feeling excessively tired during my long runs, more “heavy” than tired. The more I thought about it though, the more I realized that at slower speeds I was changing the way that I ran.   My running form at slower speeds was putting more pressure on my arches and was also forcing my quadriceps to engage more.   Essentially, my running form was changing the way the tendons and muscles, that make up the interconnective chain of my legs, were working together.  My form was driving function.

The solution to my dilemma was to use more arch support on my slower runs and also roll out and stretch my quads really well after my run.   Once I supported my arches and also built up my quads my “attention” areas all but went away.

So, the next time you start having to pay some attention to a problem area consider all the variables, not only around that area, but also those that are interconnected.   Like me, you might find the pain in one place is caused by a situation in another place.

For more information on techniques and tools that help with those problem areas visit www.medi-dyne.com.