All of us here at the home office of Hokey Industries, LLC are pleased as pigeons to continue our partnership with the legendary runner, Olympian, coach, and all-around righteous dude Jeff Galloway by presenting the third in our ongoing series of Jeff Galloway’s Training and Motivation Tips! The hope is that you — our epic readers who epitomize wicked awesomeness at every aetheric frequency — will find these tips helpful, inspiring, perhaps even elucidating?
‘Elucidating’ is a fantastic word. It’s another way of saying ‘illuminating’, which we used last time and I’m never one to repeat myself. And I also just got me a new Thesaurus. Can you tell?
As always, Jeff’s tips will be in bold, followed by my own thoughts in… not bold. So whaddaya say? Let’s roll the bones!
Training and Motivation Tips
by Olympian Jeff Galloway
Most injuries experienced by my runners are due to 1) pacing long runs too fast, 2) increasing the weekly mileage too quickly, 3) lengthening stride and 4) stretching.
Solid. People seem to forget that those long runs are LONG for a reason; they’re when you develop stamina and endurance, rather than setting land-speed records. If you try to tackle too much mileage too quickly, prepare yourself for a long time spent off of your feet dealing with all kinds of sidelining injuries. Instead alternate weekend long runs with weekend base runs, and increase your mileage slowly. Long strides are a recipe for disaster as well, so keep that cadence count up (at least 160 pm, probably higher) and your stride quick and light… unless you want to blow out a hamstring or something. And never, ever do cold, static stretches before a run. You could hobble yourself before you even start. I find that the first mile of a long run provides more than enough adequate warm-up. Stretching afterward is at your discretion; some swear by it, others don’t need it. Find what works for you.
The principle in staying injury free is to balance gentle stress with the right recovery periods-allowing for rebuilding. (For more information, see my book RUNNING INJURIES)
You ever meet someone who claims they run 6-7 days a week? You can usually find them on crutches. In his Run/Walk/Run method, Jeff advocates three days a week of running, which is more than enough to get you across that Finish Line. I generally do 4 days a week, but I cross-train as well to exercise other muscle groups and maintain my level of fitness. No matter how you train, always take advantage of recovery time away from each exercise. And for Odin’s sake, have (at least) one day a week where you don’t exercise anything at all. Give your body the time it needs to catch its breath. It’ll thank you for it… with less AGONIZING WOE!
Finding the right Run Walk Run strategy from the beginning of a run has been the best way I’ve found to stay injury free, come back from an injury and in some cases, continue to run while the injury heals. (See my book RUN WALK RUN)
I’ve been using Run/Walk/Run for nearly four years now, and the worst injuries I’ve ever had to deal with were a case of the shin splints (which came from running 21 miles in a brand new pair of shoes) and an IT-band inflammation that lasted for a few weeks. Neither injury knocked me off my feet for too long; the shin splints went away on their own with some rest and compression calf sleeves, while targeted stretching relieved the IT-band issue. Using RWR has definitely helped me remain otherwise injury-free over the last four years. And trust me; I’m a Big Guy. All that force coming down on my skeletal structure and supporting tendons, joints, and musculature would normally be nothing less than deleterious, if I had been running in a way that didn’t minimize wear-and-tear on my body.
Let’s group the next several points together, because they make a connected thesis:
Are you concerned that running will damage joints, and other body parts ? I was told this regularly, from my first week of running over 50 years ago but the research shows the opposite result: Runners have healthier joints, etc. than non runners as the decades go by.
While researching for my book RUNNING UNTIL YOU’RE 100, I reviewed dozens of studies and could not find one showing that running harms legs, feet, joints, etc.
It may surprise you to know that many studies show that runners have fewer orthopedic issues compared with non-runners as the years go by.
A respected and large population study out of Stanford following thousands of runners over 50 who had run for more than 20 years concluded that runners had less than 25% of orthopedic issues compared with non runners of the same age.
Other than the time I broke my foot when I was 12, the worst foot injury I’d ever experienced was bursitis in my heel. Bear in mind, this was a year before I ever started running… and I got it from standing at a concert. Not even moving around, moshing, dancing, nothing. Just standing… at a Cinderella concert! Nowadays I can move around for hours without wear or tear on my body, even (or especially) when I’m not running. I definitely feel healthier; infinitely so, as a matter of fact, compared to when I wasn’t running. Running has helped me build a strong support system. We’ll see where I am in another five years, but so far so good.
You know what’s really going to cause you a host of back, knee, and other issues? Lack of energy, lack of activity, and lack of strength. Stay fit, focused, and active.
As long as you stay below the threshold of irritation you can often continue to run while the injury heals.
I found this to be very true, but bear in mind you want to be mindful of your injury and treatment. Certainly more serious injuries require rest and recovery until your doctor tells you otherwise. But let’s take my IT-band inflammation from above; while I was treating it, I could most certainly run on it. However, I had to be very careful, very mindful, and very alert. I didn’t run distances of over 6 miles, I had to use compression straps to stabilize where the band met the knee, I did targeted stretches both before and after the run, and I iced afterward. I continued to heal while running. It most definitely is possible. But you also have to be prepared to stay off your feet for awhile if your recovery demands it.
But an injury doesn’t necessarily mean you have to stop exercising. Depending upon the nature of your injury, you can do strength or resistance training, swimming, yoga, biking… whatever doesn’t interfere with your healing process. Keep that fitness level up and active if you can. If you can’t, know that once you’re cleared for activity, it won’t take long to get back to where you were before your sidelining. I’ll never forget that first run after being knocked off my feet for six-weeks due to a particularly nasty ulcerative colitis flare-up. After a mile and a half at an easy pace with easy intervals, I was winded, sore, and utterly depleted of energy. It was like I had never run before in my life. The next run went a LOT better, and by the run after that I was, if not back to where I was before at my best, certainly close enough that I knew I’d be back to optimal within weeks. And I was.
Well that’s it for our Jeff Galloway Training and Motivation Tips for today. If you had half as much fun reading them as I did relaying and commenting upon them, I had twice as much fun as you, and that’s not entirely fair. So here’s a video. It’s Cinderella. I just might dance to it: