Run Smarter – by Podiatrist Phillip de Mestre

How to look after your body and your feet.

Running is great to clear your mind, and challenge your body. As the weather gets warmer, more and more people will take up running and many of them will hurt themselves. Here are some tips to help you run and exercise pain free.

Load – Did you know that over a 12 month period 50% of runners suffer an injury? 50-75% of these are due to overuse. You can avoid this by allowing time for your body to adapt. Don’t push yourself too fast, too soon. “Feeling fit” doesn’t translate to being a well adapted runner – it can and does take time. Cardiovascular fitness is actually the easy part. Building muscle tendon adaptation is relatively slow and even slower the older we get! Build up your running (time, not distance) by 10% per week to reduce your risk of overuse injuries.

Footwear – Our feet and ankles can strengthen, our shoes can only weaken. The correct shoe can significantly reduce injury risk. Try them on and if worried see a professional for advice.  Manufacturers suggest 600-800 km before the midsole of your runners will start to breakdown. This means they will need replacing after 12 months if you use your shoes a few time a week, or every 6 months if you are a heavy user.

Cadence – Still running? Let’s talk about Cadence. That is step rate- or the number of steps in a minute. There is a strong correlation between cadence, ground reaction forces and injury risk. Did you know that increasing your cadence by 5-10% can reduce knee and hip load by 20%?  How good is that! Protect your joints by checking your cadence. There is no ‘perfect’ number, but between 170-190 will be ideal for most. This can vary greatly depending on you height, speed, shoes and other factors.

If you have any other queries – or need more running advice – please contact our Podiatry Team at Pinnacle Health Group.

How to Choose your Next Pair of Shoes – By Podiatrist Chris McCormick

With the increase in running as a recreational activity in the 1970s, so too came the increase in the athletic running shoe market. The global running shoe market is now valued at over USD$75 billion and growing, with popular brands like Asics, Brooks, New Balance producing large varieties of running shoe models. What does this mean to you as a runner? Go into your local retailer and there will be close to a hundred different running shoes on the wall; how do you decide? A running shoe can help or hinder you, and it’s important that you get the selection right each time. Below are 4 tips to help you when selecting your next running shoes.

Fit: The shape of the shoe is critical to ensuring you get the best performance out of your shoe; it should closely match the shape of your foot. If your foot is narrow and shallow, then the shoe should match accordingly. If your foot looks more like Frodo’s foot, then the shoe needs to accommodate this feature. Helpful tip: Take the sock liner (innersole) out of the shoe, stand on it and see how your foot sits on it. If your foot hangs over the edge, then your foot is too wide for this shoe!

Style: The explosion of barefoot running in the early 2010s led to a significant shift in running shoe designs. Traditional shoes became lighter and less chunky. There are three distinct categories of running shoes: traditional, lightweight, and minimalist or barefoot. Traditional shoes, like an Asics Kayano or Brooks Adrenaline, are the most common shoes and work well for a vast majority. Lightweight shoes, like the Asics DS Trainer or Mizuno Sayonara, are excellent for speed-based training or as a primary shoe for the efficient runner. Minimalist shoes have very little material and are designed to give the runner a greater contact with the ground. Helpful tip: Did you know that every 100g of weight = 1% oxygen efficiency? Will this alter your selection of shoe?

Support: Each model of running shoe will offer a slightly different level of support internally. Broadly speaking, traditional running shoes can be broken down into two further sub-categories in terms of support: those that have medial support and those that don’t. A shoe with medial or “arch” support will have a hard piece of rubber on the inside of the shoe, through the midsole. Helpful tip: A shoe with medial support with wear out more quickly on the outside than the inside, altering the function of the shoe.

Pitch: This refers to the difference in the height of the midsole, between the heel and the forefoot. Each of the main running shoe brands will use a different pitch height in their key models. It is important to know what the pitch of your shoes has been previously, as a drastic change in this when changing shoes could lead to injury. Helpful tip: A high pitch (12 or 14mm) will be helpful in reducing some heel and Achilles pain.

Above all, your running shoes should be immediately comfortable when wearing them for the first time; you should never need to “wear in” a pair of running shoes. If in doubt regarding the best shoe for you, book an appointment to seek the advice of your expert Podiatry team at Pinnacle Health Group.

Ten Minutes with the Iron Man

Our therapists are very active people and many of them spend their spare time competing and training in athletic events. Our Podiatrist, Tim Deveson, has been a busy man competing in Triathalons, his latest being over the weekend in the sweltering heat. We caught up with him after the event and here is what he had to say!

Is this your first triathalon? How many have you done so far?

Sundays half ironman distance was just my second triathlon. I completed an Olympic distance triathlon covering 1.5k swim, 40k bike and 10k run three weekends ago then stepped up to the 1.9k swim 90k bike and 21.1k run half ironman distance. My aim is to complete a full ironman early next year.

What is your preparation like? What do you do to get race ready?

My preparation for the whole racing season started six months ago. I had aspirations to complete small races in the lead up across all three disciplines of triathlon. I suffered a stress fracture in my left leg in the lead up to melbourne marathon and had to take six weeks off. Post this injury I have trained twice a day consistently for four months along with a few lead up events.

To get race ready, I have ensured my volume of training has been specific enough to get a large number of kilometres done in the last three months, generally training twice a day. I worked a plan for my nutrition and hydration which is very important for long distance events like ironman, maintained a stable sleeping pattern and ate stable food for the last three weeks in particular.

 

We know you love your equipment! What do you look for in the perfect riding set?

The perfect riding setup for me is one that is comfortable (riding 90k on your own is a long way) and makes me feel fast. I have had great advice from CBD cycles on setup and used their expertise regularly for servicing and maintenance. I ensure my bike is comfortable in that coming out of the swim on to the bike you want to feel most natural and relaxed so you only use your legs on the bike and therefore don’t utilise other muscle groups, which could get sore for no reason.

 

What was it like during the race? What thoughts were you having?

During the race I was very aware and concerned about hydration. Given the temperature was due to rise to 40 degrees, ensuring fluid levels were maintained especially during the bike course was paramount. The swim was steady for me, I stayed out of trouble and given the swim is my weakest leg, I got through the course with minimal stress and tried to stay relaxed.

On to the bike for three laps, the bike conditions were fast so it was easy to maintain a high cadence (spinning) and not worry about wind or heat at that stage. During the bike I kept thinking about riding steady and keeping fluids up. I had some speed numbers worked out pre race to pace myself and I was happy to be able to ride slightly faster than those times given conditions and my general feel! I averaged about 36k an hour on the bike for the 90k but got off the bike feeling fresh and well hydrated.

Once I hit transition on to the run course I wanted to feel light and fast on the first of three run legs. Given I had never raced the distance before, I got stuck into my nutrition (energy gels, water) and most importantly a wet sponge and ice blocks to cool my body core temperature and feel refreshed on lap 1. Through the end of the first run lap I felt strong which is how I had planned my race. With fatigue and heat gradually building the second run leg was all about maintaining steady run pace, good posture and keeping cool. Halfway through the run leg I started to feel quite heavy in my legs but started to tell myself to think of the finish!! Luckily my family and some close friends were cheering me on as the last 7k as the run got really hot! My own core temperature rose another five degrees and everyone was running and trying to survive. I ran a 1.38 run leg which works out to be average 32.30 7k splits and mine were pretty consistent all through which I was super happy about. When I crossed the finish line I was in slight disbelief to have achieved the half ironman distance and to do it under 5 hours was unbelievable!!

Total time 4hours 56 mins!

Swim 42mins,

Bike 2.26mins

Run 1.38mins

 

What do you do for recovery and injury prevention?

Recovery wise, post race I drank a lot of fluids (beers included!) but also tried to keep walking around through the finish area so as not to stiffen up. On Monday I spent a fair bit of time watching the Super Bowl but trying to walk for small ten minute periods through the day. Two days post I am back on the bike to get my legs moving again and by Thursday or Friday will recomence light running and swimming.

To avoid injury I keep my training specific to my needs, never over exerting in all facets and listening to my body, especially my previously fractured shin, to ensure I don’t train too hard too continuously and end up injured. I take extra care with my amount of running

on hard surfaces so as to limit excessive loading especially on sore muscles.

I will be back into normal training 1 week post the half but will get back to long slow steady training in all three disciplines.

 

When’s your next Tri? What’s the plan for the future?

My next triathlon will probably be this November in Noosa for an Olympic distance, then a half Ironman in Shepparton the same month. I will spend the winter building my training in an effort to get my volume ready for an ironman in March 2015.

In between this time I will compete in small running and swimming events to maintain my race speed.

I plan to compete in the Melbourne Ironman 2015 and then stop doing the long distance triathlons! I would hope that by then my aspirations have been achieved and I can go back to normal life without having to train once or twice a day!

 

Any quick tips for the readers?

For anyone who wants to get into this type of activity my main tip is to make sure you have fun with it! Doing these types of events, and particularly training your body for these distances has to be enjoyable or you will end up getting injured.

There are plenty of triathlon groups to join if you need extra coaching, and I have found the journey in the lead up to this achievement both fun and exciting. Although as I write this I am very sore and need another few days of recovery!!