Education & Wellness

Performance Running

RUNNING RESOURCES:

↓ Dynamic Stretching Routine (PDF)
↓ Foam Roller Activies (videos)
↓ Flexibility Routines
↓ Common Running Injuries


INFOGRAPHIC:


(click to enlarge)

This site was created to help educate runners and walkers about injury prevention, and to provide training tips to help avoid injury. Designed by physical therapists who are passionate about running, our program is designed to serve the running community through the promotion of healthy running and improved performance.

Performance Running Articles/Topics – Jump to:

↓ The Oregon Project Stability Routine (published in Running Times)
↓ Injury Prevention – How to avoid injury?
↓ Dynamic Stretching – The Proper Way to Warm Up


The Oregon Project Stability Routine

Key exercises that keep some of the world’s best runners healthy

Published in Running Times (Feb/Mar 2013)

As the head strength and conditioning coach for the Oregon Project, physical therapist David McHenry is tasked with keeping 2012 Olympians Mo Farah, Galen Rupp, Dathan Ritzenhein and Matthew Centrowitz healthy.

Every week, McHenry puts each of them through three individual sessions targeting their deep rotator muscles in their core, hips and glutes that running often neglects. McHenry has adapted the most common exercises he puts his Olympians through, into exercises that runners of all levels can do and benefit from.

For more information about physical therapist, David McHenry, running programs offered at Portland P.A.C.E., or other great runner/coach resources click here to visit his website >
 

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Running Injury Prevention

How to avoid injury?

Establishing a BALANCE between your strength, flexibility, biomechanics and training is the key to success in any sporting activity or running/walking regime as well as the path to injury prevention.

BIOMECHANICS

Biomechanics refers to how the motion of our bones come together to create a movement pattern. As related to running/walking and the lower extremities, we often speak in terms of pronation and supination. Pronation involves shock absorption and unlocking the foot during the initial to mid stance phase of the gait cycle. It allows us to know if we are running on a trail or pavement and occurs from just after the heel hits the ground until the leg is vertical. Supination is the unloading and locking phase for stability, allowing for propulsion and explosive motion. It occurs through late stance and push off until the heel strikes the ground. As you can see, we need both of these for balanced biomechanics. Everyone should pronate and supinate. Excess of one or the other can lead to injuries or overuse syndromes.

Injury prevention tip number ONE: Make sure you are running in the correct shoe for your foot type and biomechanical presentation.

STRENGTH & FLEXIBILITY

The strength of our muscles coupled with adequate flexibility allows us to produce the motion or action we desire. If one area is weak, another part may try to do too much causing an overuse syndrome. For example, weakness at the hip or knee may allow excessive rotation of the leg, resulting in excessive lower extremity pronation (internal rotation) and irritation of the Iliotibial Band. Likewise, if any muscles are too tight, the body will compensate and try to find another way to create the motion it wants, again leading to tissue break down. If the calf muscles (gastrocnemius/soleus) are too tight there is not enough range of motion to go forward directly over your foot. Thus you will start to increase your pronation moment by rolling your foot inward and then twisting your toes outward, to get around the tight calf. This can lead to achilles, posterior tibialis or plantar fascia issues.

Injury prevention tip number TWO: Listen to your body. Small aches or twinges could turn into pain. If a few days of RICE (Rest, Ice, Compression, Elevation) do not fully alleviate the symptoms, see a professional to have your strength and flexibility screened. Nip problems in the bud.

TRAINING

Following your training plan is very important. It was designed specifically for you based on your fitness level, running/walking experience and goals. Pushing your body too hard, too far or too fast may back fire, leading to injuries. Your muscles and cardiovascular system will increase their level of condition as you systematically increase the load. Your first hill or trail run may lead to sore shins or hips, but followed by a day of rest or an easy run and you are good to go. However if you don’t follow your plan, and do second hard hill run on fatigued and irritated tissues you may begin the cycle of shin splints or IT Band syndrome.

Injury prevention tip number THREE: Follow your plan. Train smarter, not harder. As you embark on this stage of your fitness journey, remember the key to successful training lies in the balance. No one thing is more important than the other. When you give equal and adequate attention to your biomechanics, strength, flexibility and training your goal is more easily and successfully attained.

 

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Dynamic Stretching

The Proper Way to Warm Up

Dynamic stretching is becoming more commonplace in professional and collegiate athletics and a trickle down has been seen into high school and youth athletics as well. It is based on repetitive completion of whole body movement patterns in order to increase blood flow to the muscles. This aids in raising core and muscle temperature creating improved flexibility and decreased risk of injury. These repetitive movements aid in warming up not only the muscles, but the nervous system as well, allowing the nerves to fire more efficiently and improve recruitment of your muscles for balance and stability.

The strength of our muscles coupled with adequate flexibility allows us to produce the motion or action we desire. If one area is weak, another part may try to do too much causing an overuse syndrome. For example, weakness at the hip or knee may allow excessive rotation of the leg, resulting in excessive lower extremity pronation (internal rotation) and irritation of the Iliotibial Band. Likewise, if any muscles are too tight, the body will compensate and try to find another way to create the motion it wants, again leading to tissue break down. If the calf muscles (gastrocnemius/soleus) are too tight there is not enough range of motion to go forward directly over your foot. Thus you will start to increase your pronation moment by rolling your foot inward and then twisting your toes outward, to get around the tight calf. This can lead to achilles, posterior tibialis or plantar fascia issues.

For a thorough dynamic warm-up routine, click here >
 

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Performance Running

 


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