Every month, I’m going to try and capture and share top running-related links that you may have missed, specifically focusing on the topics of training, injury prevention and recovery, race strategies, making it all work, and how running makes us better people. I hope you find it useful, and please feel free to point out others that I might have missed.
There are two solid posts on the dailymile blog from coach Caleb Masland. The first gives a great warm-up routine to use for any race up to a marathon, incorporating drills, dynamic stretching, and strides to get you ready to go from step one. And another post on marathon-specific workouts offers some good race-specific speed work to incorporate near the peak of your training, particularly if you are tired of the standard mix of straight-up intervals, tempo runs, or marathon pace miles in the Higdon and Pfitzinger-type plans. And, given that Caleb won the HAT 50K this month, his first ultra event, he has mondo credibility.
Everything Achilles Tendon – and I thought I had Achilles issues. My approach in (hopefully successfully) dealing with Achilles tendinitis was far short of what Dean has gone through. I don’t agree with all of his suggestions, and am particularly concerned about the injection suggestions. But there are a lot of ideas in this post and, more importantly, the lengthy series of previous posts he lists that it is worth spending some time soaking up the ideas if you are suffering from chronic Achilles issues.
How Far Was That Marathon? While I took a more sarcastic and limited approach in criticizing specifically complaints about races being too long based on GPS watch results, Laura at Salty Running (a blog worth adding to your must-read list, though she’ll be moving it to a new site shortly) looks more holistically at how to determine whether the race distance is accurate (and whether you should consider your race a PR). She also shares some good background on how such race distances are measured.
50 Body Weight Exercises You Can Do Anywhere – This is definitely a link worth bookmarking and sharing, and can come in quite handy when you need to develop a routine to target your weaknesses or come up with some new exercises for variety’s sake.
How to Prevent Running’s Overuse Injuries: 8 Simple “Little Things” That Work – Jason Fitzgerald at Strength Running is always good for several helpful posts each month, and while he’s been a bit tied up lately in creating the Run Your BQ site with Matt Frazier of No Meat Athlete, he still managed to squeeze in the time for this gem. While I don’t agree with every point raised (for example, I don’t think form comes through thinking about the types of things listed, but rather through the right strength-training and working on form a step at a time), the advice is still generally solid.
Running Injuries Hurt – the Pocket! – Running is generally considered a pretty cheap hobby – it’s mostly shoes and clothing that drives the cost (unless you are a heavy-duty or road-warrior racer). But, when you get injured, does that idea still hold true? Maybe not, as Mark Kennedy points out on Healthynomics. This was particularly timely for me, as it came out the day I finally broke down and scheduled a PT appointment for my Achilles tendinitis.
The Great (or Not-So) Running Shoe Debate – Brian Martin at Running Technique Tips offers a preamble and recap of a running shoe debate held among various experts from both sides of the traditional versus minimalist spectrum, and a healthy dose of those (like Brian) in the middle. Worth reading if only to remind ourselves of the confusion that still exists over this topic.
Along the same lines, it appears that Vibram has been named in a lawsuit, claiming that they make deceptive statements about the benefits of barefoot running. While a lawsuit seems extreme, this is stating (in a lot more words), what I stated in my previous post – the message of barefoot running risks being muddled by oversimplification. Tread carefully when you decide to enter – there are a lot of potential benefits, but also some risks to understand.
The Top 10 (American) Cities for Runners – any top 10 list is bound to be controversial, and this one from Forbes (of all sources) is no different. However, I’d have to say I agree with many of their choices, having had the opportunity to run in six of them (and have profiled Portland and San Francisco previously). How many have you run in?
In a bit of cross-self-promotion, please visit my post on Matt Frazier’s No Meat Athlete on getting your run done before the world wakes up. Obviously, if you’re a long-time reader here, this is preaching to the choir, but feel free to add any suggestions I might have missed for making predawn running a routine.
And, one year ago on Predawn Runner, the top posts included a review of the 100 Push Ups, 200 Sit Ups, and 200 Squats program (the most visited page on this blog) and a discussion on how running gets better as you age, something I’ll be hitting more on next February as I enter the realm of the Masters. Let’s hope I’m healthy enough to execute the special plans for that weekend.
Feel free to add any links you found valuable in the comments, and send any you see in April that you think should be included to strosaker (at) gmail.com. Have a great month!