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Running Rambles

Cadence is Key

What is “ideal running form?” Views differ, to put it mildly, and philosophies fall in and out of fashion. Most recently, the minimalist running movement (launched by the publication of Christopher McDougal’s publication of Born to Run in 2009) insisted that the “best” way to run was natural – pursuing a natural and biomechanically easy form with a forefoot strike, in either barefoot or in minimally structured shoes. However, many who jumped on the minimal bandwagon got only half the message; they transitioned too quickly to minimal-style shoes and didn’t change their form to accommodate this change. Therefore, they got...

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Boston's Lesson: Run With Joy

This year’s Boston Marathon marked the fortieth anniversary of Bill Rodgers’ first victory in 1975. Distance running was much different then and the sport was still finding its feet. The American public may have taken notice of distance running every four years when the Olympics rolled around, but the International Olympic Committee’s insistence on amateurism for all athletes made it difficult for U.S. runners to make a living at the sport, even as they made it their profession. What did it mean to be a true amateur? Rodgers won Boston wearing a t-shirt he had rescued from the trash. He...

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Time Wounds All Heels: Getting Acquainted with Plantar Fasciitis

Several weeks ago, I suggested that warmer weather would lead to overuse injuries among runners. Admittedly, it’s difficult to increase mileage slowly when one spends all winter waiting for that all-too-brief moment of Goldilocks weather – not too cold and not too hot. If you neglected to take my advice and added mileage too quickly (as I did), youmay now be experiencing some pain on the bottom of your foot starting at the heel and radiating towards the toes. That’s the classic first symptom of plantar fasciitis, a very common running malady. What am I feeling? The thick bands of...

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What’s In Your Bag?

Last Saturday, I ran the Rabbit Ramble, the annual four miler in Guilderland that I always imagine will celebrate Easter by providing a sunny shirt-sleeve morning and the aroma of blooming spring flowers. None of this is ever true. Hence, why I always have to imagine. I know from experience that the weather on Easter weekend can be changeable and I ignored common sense believing that it would warm up by the start of the race. So, I decided to go light and only wear shorts and a singlet. This was a mistake. Gusting winds dropped the temperature well below...

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Back to Base(ics)

I joined about twenty club members last Saturday for an 8 am club run in Guilderland. Unfortunately, I managed to hit the only patch of black ice on the entire route. As I found myself suddenly looking up at the sky, my thoughts (other than something unprintable) cycled between “man, I hope I haven’t broken anything” and “why me?” Ironically, after running outdoors without incident throughout the winter, I had wiped out on one of the first days of spring. Thanks to equal parts luck and Rock Tape, I recovered in time to run well in the next day’s Delmar...

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