With March upon us it’s time to start thinking about training for the Missoula Marathon! But how do you start a run training program while snow is still falling, streets are icy, and ski season is alive and well? Here’s a few tips and tricks we’ve picked up over the years….

  1. Ease into it – whether you’re coming from a winter of skiing or a few months of enjoying dark beer and warm cookies, running will add an extra stressor on your body. Give your muscles and tendons time to adjust! Maybe start by running every other day, or significantly fewer miles than you think you can handle. A run/walk approach is also a good option. Take that transition slow and monitor how your body responds!
  2. Keep that traction handy! – today it’s an easy decision: take those traction devices with you. But in two weeks when the roads may be much less icy you may be tempted to put away your traction for the summer. We encourage you to keep traction devices accessible so your decision to take spikes is never determined by what is easily accessible.
  3. Talk to other people – if you are participating in the Run Wild Missoula marathon training class you have plenty of people sharing the road (and the pain!) with you. If you’re not participating in the training class, find a buddy to share the road (and the pain!) with you. Running with others makes the miles fly by!
  4. Don’t be afraid to ask questions – on the surface running a marathon seems easy: the gun goes off and you run until you cross the finish. But there is more to it! Nutrition, shoes, body glide, hydration, and what color sweatband to wear all come in to play. Not to mention the training! No one runner knows all the answers, or what is best for you. Ask questions, play with different options, and figure out the puzzle to the perfect marathon!

As always, feel free to come by Runner’s Edge and ask any of our knowledgeable staff for their marathon (or other distance) training tips. We love to talk running!

By John Fiore, PT
Sapphire Physical Therapy

Icy and snow-packed roads and trails synonymous with winter in Montana are here. While Missoula runners often trade running shoes for ski boots, January marks the beginning of training for the 2019 running season. Runners have numerous ways to transform running shoes into traction beasts to tame the worst winter running conditions. Traction can be added via sheet metal screws, Due North traction devices, or Kahtoola Microspikes. While all of these options will dramatically improve traction, they also place increased stress on the foot. Protecting your feet from the focal pressure points secondary to running shoe traction devices will increase winter running enjoyment and reduce foot injury.

Ice is as firm as concrete. Add wire and metal traction devices between and icy surface and the foot and the stage is set for metatarsalgia. The term metatarsalgia is used to describe “pain in the metatarsal bone(s) of the foot. The metatarsals are located in the forefoot between the bones of the midfoot and toes. Metatarsals are long, slender bones which function to absorb impact and allow the foot to accommodate to uneven surfaces. When a metatarsal becomes irritated due to high, repetitive impact, a bone inflammatory response occurs. Reducing impact, pressure, and weight bearing will reduce metatarsalgia symptoms. A simple rock plate can be made at home to reduce the risk of developing metatarsalgia secondary to running with winter traction devices. Below are several photos and a description of how to make any pair of running shoes into a pair of metatarsalgia-proof winter running beasts.

Materials:

  • Flexible cutting board (purchased for $4.99 at Ace Hardware)
  • Sharpie pen
  • Scissors
  • Running shoes
  • Traction device (Kahtoola Microspikes used for example)

 

Step One:

  • Remove running shoe insoles and place on flexible cutting board
  • Trace insole on flexible cutting board using Sharpie pen
  • Cut out new rock plate with scissors

                             

 

Step Two:

  • Trim rock plate as needed to fit inside running shoes
  • Insert rock plate in running shoes
  • Place insoles back in running shoes on top of rock plate

 

Step Three:

  • Put running shoes on and attach Kahtoola Microspikes
  • Enjoy winter running without associated metatarsalgia pain

 

                          

This article was created Personal Injury Help (www.personalinjury-law.com), an organization dedicated to providing the public with information about personal injury and safety information. Nothing in this article should be construed as legal advice, and it is intended for informational use only.

While running is one of the healthiest forms of exercise, the fact of the matter is that you’re much smaller and harder to see than a car. If you ever run alongside traffic, staying visible is key to having a safe and incident free run. Here are some top tips you can use to stay seen by cars, cyclists, and pedestrians:

Tip #1: Cater Your Attire to the Time of Day
Some clothing is more visible depending on what time of day you’re running. When you’re running in the daytime you should opt for something that’s fluorescent. Lime green is the most striking color to wear, but bright yellows, oranges, and pink all work very well. If you’re running at night it’s not really important to wear fluorescent clothing because motorists won’t see you anyway. What you should wear is something that’s reflective. This allows you to stand out when a car’s headlights pass over you. When a car is far behind you, its headlights will only reach your torso at best, so consider purchasing sneakers with reflective strips. These will be easily visible for motorists from afar.

Tip #2: Run Against Traffic
Sidewalks were not built for runners. Uneven sidewalk and broken bricks are just as dangerous as motorists, if not more so. If you’re forced to run directly in the road, be sure to run against traffic. This will give you a couple of extra seconds to react to reckless driving if need be. When running in traffic it’s always important to follow all local traffic laws and regulations.

Tip #3: Use a Flashlight
If you’re running at dawn or dusk you should always have some kind of light on you. Flashlights are a great option for keeping your path visible as well as alerting motorists to your position, but you can also clip flashing white or red lights to your clothing if you’d prefer to run hands-free. Headlamps may not be the most fashionable option, but they’re a great way to see any hazards in front of you as well as making yourself stand out from afar to motorists.

Tip #4: Run in a Group!
Two runners are always more visible than one. Running in a group essentially guarantees that everyone on the road will see you and give you ample space while passing. Just keep in mind that you shouldn’t run more than two abreast—otherwise, you run the risk of becoming a road hog. Running in a group also gives you the added benefits of accountability buddies. Many studies have shown that those who exercise with friends will work out longer and run faster than they would on their own.

 

Sources

https://www.personalinjury-law.com/slip-fall/accident-scenarios/broken-pavement

https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/22576339

Inflammation in runners may cause undesired weight gain and overall generalized achiness. Our bodies naturally create inflammation to repair muscular damage which is a healthy healing response however there are also dietary factors that could be causing unnecessary inflammation.

Research has shown that there are 7 common foods that could be causing inflammation in your body. The 7 foods are dairy, gluten, corn, soy, sugar, peanuts and eggs. To uncover if your body is reacting to these foods, I suggest a 3 week diet of eliminating these foods and then gradually introducing 1 of these food groups every 2 days thereafter and monitoring your body for signs of inflammation.

Some signs of inflammation are weight gain and joint pain. In 2013, I found out I had an autoimmune disease called Hashimotos. I experienced extreme malaise, brain fog, weight gain, joint pain and declining running speed. I did some research and discovered how diet can heal autoimmune conditions (and even depression and other mental conditions). I went on the diet as described above and my life and running transformed. I lost 10 pounds of water weight (inflammation) within a week and started feeling energized again. My running speed returned and ran minutes faster in races compared to the year before. I now can consume most of those foods except for dairy and gluten.

If you are experiencing joint achiness or feel like you lost energy or are experiencing other clues that your body is not functioning optimally I suggest eliminating the 7 foods described above. Contrary to common belief, I do not believe joint achiness is related to aging. Science has revealed joint achiness and weight gain could be caused by any of those 7 foods. To reach your highest potential as a runner, I suggest eliminating those 7 foods for 3 weeks and see how much faster you may be and how much more energized you may feel.

Good luck! Please feel free to reach out with questions.

Nicole Murray (formerly Nicole Hunt)

Journey Soul Running: Science Based Holistic Coaching
~Working Together we can turn your Dream into Reality~

*Image from Google search Images