Our Achilles tendons don’t often get the praise they deserve. These large tendons on the back of our lower leg are surprisingly strong, and vitally important, especially for runners. The Achilles connects the muscles in our calves to our heel bones. Specifically, they connect the gastrocnemius and soleus muscles to the back of our calcaneus bone. Because of their attachment point, the Achilles tendons help propel us forward when we walk, run, or jump. Through this attachment, our Achilles tendons can withstand up to ten times our normal body weight when we run or jump. Just think about how many strides you took during your last run, and how many times up to ten times your body weight was placed on your Achilles tendon! Luckily you had a tough Achilles tendon to absorb all that force.
Stamina and endurance are often used as interchangeable descriptors in the world of endurance sports. ‘Runners are known for impressive stamina’ or ‘Triathletes train their bodies for maximal endurance’ are synonymous on the surface. However, stamina and endurance do not have the same technical meaning. Stamina relates to an individual’s ability to sustain peak energy output. Endurance relates to the length of time an individual can sustain moderate level activity.
For those that don’t know me, I am nothing like your typical marathon runner. I have the build more so of an offensive lineman, nothing like the marathoners you see in the media. But I am always up for a good challenge. I signed up through a charity in late-2021 for the 2022 Chicago Marathon.
I knew running a marathon wouldn’t be easy. But there are so many unexpected challenges that arise along the way.
Generally speaking, exercise should not be painful. Pain is an alarm system within the body telling you something is not working properly. So, should you keep running when your knee hurts? When do you go to the doctor? Will they ask you to stop running? Can you ignore it? Stop right there.
Everyone knows exercise is a key component to staying healthy. With nicer weather comes more outdoor activities, including running. Running produces a ground reaction force of 2.5 times the runner’s body weight, while walking produces only 1.2 times the runner’s body weight1. With the increased demand from ground reaction forces and the foot being the first to come in contact with the ground, ankle pain can be common in runners. So, what can we do to prevent injury, specifically to the ankle, with the increased demand required during running? Here are five exercises to improve and prevent ankle pain, specifically when running.
Winter is when many of us hibernate inside to watch Netflix and make sweet treats in the kitchen. But if you are someone looking to build your endurance for later in the year – such as for a race or general fitness – you do not want to take these winter months off before resuming activity in the spring. If you are usually active in the other three seasons of the year, it would greatly behoove you to maintain regular activity in the winter months. Winter is the perfect time for endurance athletes to take it a little easier and focus on building and maintaining their base for a more efficient aerobic system. Here are some tips to consider during the cold months:
Congratulations on finishing the marathon – what an accomplishment! 26.2 miles is an incredible feat by the human body and mind. We know that after the race, our body and mind can be in a state of disarray. Not only is 26.2 taxing on our legs, but it takes its toll on our blood flow, digestion, and our ability to function in the coming hours, days, and weeks.
If you’ve ever felt a nagging pain or tingling along the inside of your shinbone (tibia), you may have what’s known as shin splints. The good news is with proper recovery and tips from your physical therapist; this injury doesn’t have to keep you from doing what you love. Read below to learn more about shin splints and how they’re treated.