Training Comments Off on How to fix Heel Pain? |

How to fix Heel Pain?

If you have stepped out of bed and experienced a sharp pain in your heels, then you need to learn these remedies, writes Nandini Reddy.

Painful soles and a feeling like a million needles are pricking your heels is the hallmark symptom of heel pain. This is also the first symptom that tells you that the connective tissue in your sole is strained and inflammed and you could be seeing an onset of plantar fasciitis.

Once you experience this heel pain, the recovery period is long and slow. If you are in pain already or if you wish to avoid the injury then there are few cautionary tips for you to follow:

Re-think you training program

If you are experiencing heel pain then you need to inform your running coach or work with a physiotherapist who can alter your program. You will need to make changes in your speed, distance, gear and running terrains. Hilly and uneven terrain should be completely avoided as long as you have the heel pain. Work on getting different footwear that will support your foot.

Balance Rest and Stress

Opt for a running shoe that is a better fit. You will need to find a shoe with better arch support and cushioning on the heel. This will be less stressful on your foot. Get used to the new shoes by walking in them first. Strengthen and repair your damaged tissue and the surrounding muscles that offer support to the foot. Calf strengthening exercises are extremely important and your core stability is also paramount.

Relieve your Symptoms

Use a foot roller or a tennis ball and move your foot over it to relieve the muscle pain. You can also use a frozen water bottle to relieve the pain. These are for temporary relief of symptoms only. There are massage therapies available to manage the pain as well. These may not resolve the problem but are useful for temporary relief.

Don’t stop moving

Resting and not moving will not improve your problem. Aerobic exercise is the best way to take care of an inflammation. If you find it difficult to run then opt for an elliptical machine or running in a swimming pool. Essentially opt for a low-impact exercise that doesn’t put pressure on your foot.

Suggested Exercises

Calf raises are the best exercise to do to repair your heels. This exercise improves tissue quality and stretches out the stressed tissue bringing relief. This also works on the surrounding muscles and strengthens them as well. This can be done several times through the day.

The most important thing to remember is that recovering from heel pain needs patience.

ABOUT THE AUTHOR

 

An irregular runner who has run in dry, wet, high altitude and humid conditions. Loves to write a little more than run so now is the managing editor of Finisher Magazine.

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Training Comments Off on The First 2 hours after a Marathon |

The First 2 hours after a Marathon

What to do and not to do right after finishing a marathon, writes Nandini Reddy.

Celebrate because you just finished a marathon, one of the best endurance challenges. Once you cross the finish line there are a few essential things you need to do in order to ensure that you do not hate yourself for running the marathon. It is best to have a game plan for recovery ready so that you are not regretting running the race tomorrow.

Don’t collapse to the floor

It might seem like an appealing idea to just drop to ground once you are across the finish line because legs must already be feeling like lead. But if you do not do that you will be doing yourself an enormous favour. When you just sit down or lie down once the race finishes you risk stiffening or pulling your muscle. As tempting as it might be, try and resist the urge until you have finished stretching. The best way to recover is slowly waking around the finisher’s holding area as it helps clear the excessive lactic acid that has build up in your muscles during the race.

Also since your body was working in the maximum heart rate zone, its never a good idea to abruptly stop because this will cause blood pooling in your legs and your blood pressure is also likely to drop. You will most likely feel dizzy or light-headed.

Drink, Drink, Drink – only Water

The moment you finish the race, your top priority should be to re-hydrate yourself. You can use running salts tablets also an active way to recover along with water. The amount of fluid you need depends on the length of the race, the weather conditions and how much fluid you drank during the race. If you want to know if you are hydrated well then just go for the old urine colour test. If your urine is dark yellow then you are dehydrated.

Stretch it out

Do static stretches that focus on your quads, hamstrings and calf muscles. Hold the stretches for 6 long inhales and exhales. These stretches will promote better blood flow and help recover your muscles quickly. You are less likely to experience DOMS (delayed onset muscle soreness) if you stretch well.

Get rid of the sweaty clothes

Your clothes will be soaked in sweat post the race. If you have someone meeting you at the finish line, ask them to carry a t-shirt for you. The cold sweat evapourating off your body might reduce your body temperature quickly and cause you to catch chill. Apart from that you might not make for great company in your sweaty clothes.

Use compression socks

Compression socks might look dorky but they are great for preventing blood pooling in your legs. Wear the socks up to the knees and you can keep them on for the rest of the day. Take them off while going to bed at night.  They are great to prevent swelling and reduce lactic acid built-up.

Don’t load the fats

While you run your stomach is the last place that gets blood supply as its not working at the time, so avoid fatty food that needs more effort to digest right after the race. The key for recovery is to get carbs into your body within 60 mins of finishing the race. You can try liquid carbs like a chocolate milkshake or a fruit juice instead of trying to chow down a sandwich. Also within two hours of finishing the race you need to have protein. It may be in the form of a whey protein drink instead of a steak.

Ice Bath

Once you are back home, give yourself a cold or ice water bath depending on the weather you were running in. You can add epsom salts and soak you feet to relieve the stress. This will help relax your muscles and prevent any further damage.

Listen to your body over the next few days and do not stress or strain it. Take light walks to ensure that you keep moving and don’t dedicate yourself to the couch but high intensity exercises can be avoided.

ABOUT THE AUTHOR

 

An irregular runner who has run in dry, wet, high altitude and humid conditions. Loves to write a little more than run so now is the managing editor of Finisher Magazine.

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Training, Uncategorized Comments Off on Take a Hiatus from Running |

Take a Hiatus from Running

Taking a hiatus from running can seem tough but it might be the best thing you can do for yourself, writes Nandini Reddy. 

Runners tend to get consumed by their passion. The frustration from not reaching peak performance can cause a runner to train in an extreme manner that might lead to injury. Instead if you ever feel that you are slipping then it might make more sense to take a break from running. While this suggestion might sound counter-intuitive to a runner in training, it is probably the best thing you can do for yourself.

Here are a few reasons why you should consider taking a break from running.

When should you take a break? – Once racing season is done, plan at least a 4 week break. Your body needs to rest from the constant pounding it has received during the marathons. Also there is less guilt about missing a big race. Pick you racing season for the year and once it wraps up, ensure that you put away your running shoes. It is also a good idea to take a break when running becomes too monotonous for you. Running without enthusiasm won’t lift your spirits and the break will do more good for your mood than running would at that time.

How long should your hiatus last? – Remember that muscles tend to recover during the break period. You can stay fit by doing other activities like strength training and yoga which are beneficial to build muscle strength. Ensure you take a minimum of 4 weeks off. You can extend this to more if required but don’t reduce the amount to lesser than 3 weeks if you want to enjoy the full benefits of recovery.

Most runners feel that a break from training means they will run lesser miles or that it will affect their pace. But in reality a run after a period of recovery is stronger than one where there is no proper recovery for the body. A few of the benefits of taking a hiatus include:

  1. Injuries can be dealt with and given the right amount of rest and treatment
  2. It can cure a runners burnout
  3. Mentally you will be recharged and more excited to run again
  4. It will help you refocus your goals.
  5. Work out a training plan based on experience and with a clear mind

Once you are back in training, don’t stress on pace and mileage immediately. Build up to it and you will notice that you can reach your goals faster and with less fatigue.

By no means am I suggesting that taking a break would be a joyful experience for a runner, but if you want to keep running strong for many years then it is inevitable. When you take a break you come back with a stronger performance, a more fit body and higher enthusiasm.

ABOUT THE AUTHOR

 

An irregular runner who has run in dry, wet, high altitude and humid conditions. Loves to write a little more than run so now is the managing editor of Finisher Magazine.

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Training Comments Off on Rest & Recovery during Marathon Training |

Rest & Recovery during Marathon Training

Runners need to understand the need to rest and recover between training runs. Nandini Reddy talks about the need to rest to avoid injury and over-training syndrome.

There are many different kinds of runners. Everyone has their own schedule of training for marathons. But while most experienced runners do understand the importance of recovery and rest, many of them need to be forced to rest as they tend to be over-enthusiastic to keep training without a break.

Scheduling Rest

When charting out a training plan it is important to have rest days, recovery days, light workout days and heavy workout days. This will help take care of several issues that most runners face including fatigue and injury. Rest should be a scheduled day in a week. Regular and healthy runners need just one day rest in order to recover. New runners might need extra time to recover as their body gets acquainted to the stress of running. Recovery days are different from rest days. Rest days mean doing absolutely no physical workout. Recovery days are days we do alternative workouts that will help stretch and relax the muscles that we have been working. They can include activities like swimming, yoga, static stretches or even a leisure cycle ride. Strength training cannot be counted as recovery day as it required immense effort and does strain the body. But it can be part of your heavy workout day schedule once a week at least.

Refueling on Rest Days

Nutrition is a huge part of training for a marathon. It generally get overlooked by amateur and professional athletes but it should be part of your training plan. Nutrition plays an important role in helping muscles recover faster. Recovery and rest days try an reduce the amount of carbs you have and go for more light meals with fresh food like salads and soups. Hydrate well on rest days also. Don’t leave hydration only for running days. On those days increase your hydration but make it a habit to hydrate well on rest and recovery days as well.

Ice is your friend

Muscle soreness can be recovered to a large extent with ice packs and cold compress treatments. Running can cause inflammation your joints such as ankles, knees, hips and feet. Using ice packs helps in reducing the inflammation and helps in faster recovery.

Massages can be effective

Pro-athletes and newbies all support that massages are a good way to recover. On your rest day you can plan a massage if you are feel you are not able to adequately recover with other methods of rest. There are special muscle relieving massages and it is important to brief your therapist about your reason for it to be more effective.

Following such simple plans can make a huge difference to your endurance as a runner. Whether you choose all or a few rest and recovery methods, you are likely to see the difference. These small changes will have a big effect on your running performance.

ABOUT THE AUTHOR

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An irregular runner who has run in dry, wet, high altitude and humid conditions. Loves to write a little more than run so now is the managing editor of Finisher Magazine.

Read more