Finding your Sole-mate!

About a month ago I was asked to contribute to an article on the Running Stats website by sharing my favourite shoes to run in and why. The article compiled the shoe-faves of 20 different super accomplished Insta-runners, whom I was flattered to be amongst, in an attempt to help fellow runners find their sole-mate! I personally wear the Adidas Ultra-boost on the road (and I’m pretty much obsessed) so I shared the features I love about the boost in the article…link below.

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finding your solemate

Of course choosing a shoe is a very personal and important decision and shouldn’t be based  solely (sorry I had to! lol) on what myself, the other grammers in the article or even what your friends wear…BUT it definitely made me think, what if you do decide to take the plunge into a new shoe after reading this? How do you know you need a shoe-change or if your ready? And what’s the best way to make the switch to prevent future injury?

Is it time to make the switch?

We’ve all heard the saying “if it’s not broke don’t fix it” right? Well I would say it only SOMEWHAT applies to running shoes. If you’re happy with your shoes, happy with your performance and don’t have, and haven’t had any foot/achilles/calf injuries then cool your jets and keep rocking your current footwear! However, if you answered NO to any of the following questions then maybe a switch-up could be helpful. Below is a useful tool from a course I took earlier in the year with the running clinic and may be helpful in deciding whether or not a shoe switch is right for you.

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select the shoe for you

Safely making the switch

STOP RIGHT THERE! If you’re like me then as soon as you get something new you want to wear it right away…it’s the best motivation to run right?! Well I’m sorry to be the one to curb your enthusiam, but depending on the shoes your transitioning from and to, making the switch too quickly can lead to injury. This is due to the fact that shoes differ from one to the next in 5 key ways:

  • Weight
  • Stack height= the thickness under your foot
  • Heel-to-toe drop= how much the drop is from the heel to the toe
  • Stability and motion control technologies= such as anti-pronation technology
  • Flexibility= longitudinal and torsional

So when you’re switching from one pair of shoes to another you have to consider the different stress your putting on your body, the different position you’re putting it in and how it’s going to adapt to these changes….this is the key point to take away, ADAPTATION! Our bodies can adapt and change as long as the rate at which we apply that change doesn’t exceed the rate at which our tissues are able to adapt to it…AKA our bodies need time!

So while there are specific formulas to follow if you’re planning on making a bigger jump, the best thing to do is listen to your body… pain means you’re progressing too fast and you need to slow down! I personally like to use the 10% rule with myself and with my clients. This means starting in your new shoes for one of your shorter runs in a week (or looped runs where you can switch them out half-way) and increasing your mileage spent in them by 10% each week. If you have any onset of pain you drop the miles by 5% and continue to progress once the pain has subsided.

Just remember, shoes aren’t magic! They can’t propel us to the top of podiums or correct for training errors; but they are one of the most important pieces of equipment we have as runners and should be chosen wisely. So remember to chose wisely, keep your goals in mind and always, always, always choose function over fashion…but fingers crossed you can satisfy both needs!cinderella-meme

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Running Quiz Answers! How did you score…

Okay, so you completed the quiz, now lets see how you did!

MORE THAN 80% OF RUNNING INJURIES CAN BE EXPLAINED BY OVERLOAD (too much, too fast, too soon).

TRUE. Gradually increasing your volume and intensity has been proven to be the easiest way to prevent injury. By ensuring you don’t increase your weekly mileage by more than 10-20% per week (10% if you’re a beginner), and only include higher intensity training (i.e. speed) in 10-20% of your workouts, you are much less likely to get hurt.image

RUNNING TOO LITTLE (frequency and volume) CAN CAUSE MORE INJURIES.

TRUE. The research has shown that one of the keys to injury prevention is allowing the body to properly adapt. The same way you can overtrain and put too much stress on the body, you can also under-train and not put enough stress to allow for these adaptations to occur. The key is training in your optimal adaptation zone which has been found to be runnning 4-6 times per week with most of the runs at an easy pace.

STRETCHING BEFORE RUNNING HELPS TO PREVENT INJURIES AND DECREASE DELAYED ONSET MUSCLE SORENESS.image

FALSE. This was a bit of a trick question because dynamic or ballistic warm-ups are sometimes referred to as stretching and are beneficial before a workout. However, this question was referring to static stretching (i.e. holding a position for 20-30 seconds) which has been shown to decrease speed, strength, endurance and may even increase your risk of injury! The best time to do static stretching is after a workout or before you go to bed at night.

ONE OF THE BEST STRENGTHENING WORKOUTS FOR A RUNNER IS TO RUN BAREFOOT.image

TRUE. There are many small muscles and tendons in our feet that are responsible for the bodies natural absorption of impact. Therefore these muscles are important to injury prevention and often get missed in a general strengthening program. Barefoot running or walking on a hard surface for a few minutes at the end of your run is one of the best ways to strengthen these muscles!

CUSHIONING AND MOTION CONTROL TECHNOLOGIES (i.e. stability or anti-pronation) IN RUNNING SHOES DECREASE THE RISK OF INJURIES.

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http://www.therunningclinic.com

FALSE. Studies have shown that technologies in running shoes have no prediction on injury. In fact, many studies have shown that while maximalist shoes decrease the load on our feet and calves, they are more likely to increase the load on our knees, hips and lower back.

LONG TIME MARATHON RUNNERS ARE MORE SUSCEPTIBLE TO DEVELOPING EARLY KNEE OSTEOARTHRITIS.

FALSE. This is one of the answers that surprised me the most as people are always talking about how running on the road is bad for your knees. Studies have shown that runners actually have thicker cartilage in their knees and hips than non-runners, and that running may considerably decrease the probability of a total hip replacement by up to 50%! However, this is only the case if the training load does not increase faster than the bodies ability to adapt to the stresses of running.

UNDER-HYDRATION DURING ENDURANCE EVENTS SUCH AS MARATHONS IS THE LEADING CAUSE FOR MEDICAL COMPLICATIONS.

FALSE. This is caused by an imbalance between salt and total water volume and has been found that females running for 4 hours or more are at the greatest risk. The studies recommend that you consume 400-800ml of fluids per hour depending on the weather and always test out your hydration plan prior to race day.image

OPTIMIZING RUNNING CADENCE (steps you take per minute) IS ONE OF THE MOST EFFECTIVE TOOLS FOR IMPROVING RUNNING PERFORMANCE.

TRUE. Rhythm is the key! In order to minimize injuries and the impact of the ground while still maximizing stride efficiency, it is recommended that you keep the amount of steps you take per minute between 170-190.imageRemember, these are the answers based on what we know right now! New research is coming out all the time and things are constantly changing, so make sure you listen to your body and do what’s best for you and your training. Every body and every runner is different, so happy running and remember run smarter not harder😜

Week 2 of SOB 50 miler training!

This week was one of those weeks where you look at the schedule and you think “how the hell am I going to do this?!” Which meant it all came down to squeezing in the training and running to as many appointments, meetings, and places as possible…oh yeah and I also had to stick to my ankle rehab due to last weeks trail bail (this was my face all week➡️image

MONDAY: The week started off pretty unsuspecting with a short run and some strength training at the gym

TUESDAY: Where it started to become reality that a bonkers week was approaching…3k run to physio, 9k run home, physio home visit, followed by imageshovelling my face with food in the car on the way to work, lol!

WEDNESDAY: work, 5k run to a meeting, 7.5k run home…eat all the food!

THURSDAY: This was really the calm before the storm…13k easy before work

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FRIDAY: Work, 2k run to meet Nat, run 20k in the trails followed by a meeting at UBC, 10k run home at 8pm😳

SATURDAY: Trends in Running Injuries Course 8-6 (stay tuned for some posts on this!), pick up a birthday present for a 1 year old (I got him his first pair of runners…come on, I had to!), run 16k…this was supposed to be 20, but since I didn’t start until 8pm it meant that I was still running at 9:30! So I decided I needed dinner more than I needed 4 more km and threw in the towel!image

SUNDAY: A well earned rest day from running…but when I’m not running I’m learning about it😜 Running Course Day 2, followed by volleyball….and week 2 DONE!

TOTAL MILEAGE➡️ 87.25km/54mi

Ankle update

So far, so good! I’ve been sticking to my exercises and doing almost everything I can on one foot. I’m going to stay off the uneven trails for 2 more weeks and add some more strengthening to my balance exercises before I head back to the roots and rocks of the technical North Shore! Operation single leg everything going strong🙌🙌

On to Week 3 and 80km/50miles!

Week 1 run-down of training for SOB 50 miler!!

As you probably already know, I did it, I pulled the trigger and signed up for my first 50 miler on July 23…and if you read my post a few weeks ago, then you know I signed up with my best running buddy Nat! The the best part is that the race is called the SOB, which seems completely appropriate for our first 50 mile race! lol! It’s full name is actually The Sisikyou Out n’ Back, but SOB seems like a much better name for that distance😜

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so excited to have signed up!lol!

It starts in Ashland, Oregon and follows the Pacific Coast trail into California…and yes I know what you’re thinking “Cali in July, it’s going to be hot!!” Yes, yes it is and I’m having a mini freak out about that😳 But we’re going to prepare the best we can and make sure we have all the precautions in place for running in the heat (i.e. lots of water, salt, hats etc.) to make sure we’re as safe as possible!

Now onto the most important part, the training! When we first signed signed up, we thought we had 16 weeks to train before race day, BUT we counted wrong #oops and it turns out we only have 12 (now 11)! Normally I would NEVER recommend this short of a training cycle, but given that I just came off of a marathon, it’s not too crazy of an increase in mileage over the next 12 weeks. However, having said, that the numbers are big and the back-to-back days are scaring the bee-jesus out of me!!! But I just keep reminding myself that I probably said the same thing when I looked at my training schedule for my first marathon and first 50k. Let’s face it, tackling a new distance is scary!

So here’s the plan👇imageAs you can see we jumped right into our first week! Here’s the run-down on how week 1 went:
– The mid-week runs went well, they’re pretty much the same as my mid-week runsimage during marathon training, but with less speed! And bonus, Nat and I met up with our Instagram friend Richard who was visiting from Toronto!
– The weekend long run was a bit scattered as we didn’t really know the plan until Nat picked me up at 7am on Saturday to head to the trails. We decided on the way to hit up Squamish and figured out a route on the drive up (sort of).
– I ended up twisting my ankle at the half-way mark coming down a technical downhill and we ended up having to slow down to let it settle. Thankfully it was only mild and we managed to get in 33k/20.5mi.

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– It didn’t swell but I iced it on the way home just to make sure and nursed my sorrows with an ice cream sandwich! lol!
– It felt okay that night and Nat and I planned to run 20k on Sunday, but when I woke up in the morning it felt stiff and sore across the top and didn’t feel 100% steady so I decided rest was more valuable.

There you have it, week 1 done! Overall not the best start to training, but now 5 days post-roll it’s feeling way better and I can run pain-free on even ground. Now I just need to do all the ankle exercises and cross my fingers that carries me through the next 12..I mean 11 weeks of training!!! I’ll keep you posted😘