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Running Rambles

Racing's Rewards

Why race? The flippant answer is: “Why not?” But seriously…why not? For some runners, it is a natural progression to the starting line and an outgrowth of the process through which they’re getting fit, relieving stress, enjoying the outdoors, and socializing with friends. For other runners, racing represents the next phase of a philosophical or spiritual journey to a better self. Every person who steps on the starting line will have a different path that brought them there and different individual goals for the experience. Collectively, though, races are moments when we can all come together to celebrate running as...

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Drink, But Not Too Much: Hydration and Hot Weather Running

In the words of Ron Burgundy, “Well, that escalated quickly.” Spring appears to be over and we’ve passed the five days of ideal running weather in upstate New York. Therefore, it is time to think about running in the heat, which means thinking about hydration. The simple science of hydration Hydration helps you run better. Your total blood volume decreases when you sweat. As your blood volume reduces, your body loses its ability to transfer heat, and as a result the heart muscle needs to work harder. Your heart also has to work harder to get oxygen to your muscles....

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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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