Saturday, May 27, 2023

Understanding and Preventing Shin Splints


If you're a runner, you're probably familiar with the term shin splints. It's a common injury that affects many runners, especially those who are just starting out or increasing their mileage. Shin splints are caused by the overuse of the muscles in the lower leg, which leads to inflammation and pain along the shin bone.

To prevent shin splints, it's essential to incorporate strength and flexibility exercises into your training routine. Here are a few tips:

  • Walk for 5-10 minutes to warm up & then stretch your calves and shins. Stretch them again after your runs. 
  • Gradually increase your mileage and intensity. The rule of thumb is no more than 10% each week. As a running coach, I usually bump up mileage 5-10% per week for three weeks and then back off for a week. I think start increasing again. There are so many variables and every runner is different, hence the range. 
  • Wear shoes that provide adequate support and cushioning. If you follow me, you know I actually run in "barefoot" shoes with no support. This has helped me but everyone is different. The important thing is to find shoes that work for you and stick with them. 
  • Cross-train with low-impact activities, such as swimming or cycling, to give your lower legs a break. It's also a great way to improve your running in general. 

If you do experience shin splints, the usual course of action is to rest, ice, and elevate your legs. Over-the-counter pain medication is also recommended to reduce inflammation and pain. One thing you won't see too often is switching from ice to heat after the pain subsides in a couple of days. 

If you're struggling with shin splints or any other running-related injuries, I can help. As a running coach, I specialize in helping runners prevent and recover from injuries, so they can continue to enjoy their runs. Please reach out if you have any questions or would like to learn more about my coaching services.



Saturday, May 20, 2023

How to Set Running Goals

In this post, I'd like to provide you with some tips for setting running goals. Goal setting is an important aspect of improving performance and staying motivated. Here are a few of my recommendations:

Make your goals specific

Set clear and specific running goals rather than vague ones. For example, instead of saying, "I want to run faster," specify a target time or distance you want to achieve. Specific goals provide focus and direction.

Set realistic and achievable goals

While it's essential to challenge yourself, make sure your goals are realistic and attainable. Setting overly ambitious goals can lead to frustration and demotivation. Consider your current fitness level, previous running experience, and available time for training when setting your goals.

I actually like to set 3 goals. One that I'd be happy with. One I'd be excited to get. One I'd be totally jazzed if I got it. All within reason, naturally. For example, I'd be happy with an 8 minute mile. Really happy with a 7:45. Totally pumped if I ran a 7:30. All would be very reasonable given the amount of time you have to train.

Use the SMART framework

Apply the SMART (Specific, Measurable, Attainable, Relevant, Time-bound) framework to your running goals. Make sure they are specific, measurable, within reach, relevant to your overall objectives, and set a deadline for achieving them. For example, "I will run a 10K race in under 50 minutes within the next three months."

Break goals into smaller milestones

Divide your long-term running goals into smaller, manageable milestones. Achieving these milestones along the way provides a sense of accomplishment and helps maintain motivation. For instance, if your goal is to run a marathon, set smaller goals of completing a 10K, a half marathon, and so on.

By doing this, you get that sense of accomplishment along the way which keeps you motivated.

Focus on process-oriented goals

While outcome goals (such as winning a race) are important, it's crucial to also set process-oriented goals. These goals focus on the actions and behaviors that lead to success. For example, committing to a specific number of training sessions per week or improving your running form can be process-oriented goals.

Monitor and track progress 

Keep a record of your running sessions, times, distances, and any other relevant data. Regularly review your progress to stay motivated and assess whether adjustments are needed. Tracking your progress can also help identify patterns, strengths, and areas for improvement.

I used to use a journal book. Then I switched to excel. My Fitbit now captures everything and I'm sure you've heard of Strava! Click here for some great journals at

Be flexible and adapt 

Recognize that circumstances may change, and it's okay to modify your goals when necessary. Life events, injuries, or unexpected setbacks can impact your progress. Adaptation and flexibility are key to maintaining motivation and continuing to make progress.

Share your goals

Consider sharing your running goals with a supportive friend, running group, or coach. Verbalizing your goals to others can increase accountability and provide a support system. Others can offer encouragement, guidance, and motivation along the way. Social media is a great way to do this too. You can't let your followers down. Plus, it gives you content to post. 

Remember, goal setting is a dynamic process. Regularly reassess your goals, make adjustments as needed, and celebrate your achievements along the way. Enjoy the journey and focus on the progress you're making in your running endeavors.

Saturday, May 13, 2023

Running for Longevity

Did you know that running can help you live longer? According to a study published in the British Journal of Sports Medicine, running can help reduce your risk of premature death by up to 27%.

Running can also help improve your overall health, which can contribute to a longer, healthier life. In addition, running has been shown to reduce your risk of many chronic diseases, including diabetes, cancer, and heart disease.

As a running coach, I can help you develop a training plan that is designed to help you improve your overall health and longevity. Let's work together to help you achieve your goals and live a longer, healthier life.

Sunday, May 7, 2023

The Benefits of Running for Weight Loss

The Benefits of Running for Weight Loss

Are you looking to lose weight? Running can be a great way to achieve your weight loss goals. According to the American Council on Exercise, running burns more calories per minute than many other forms of exercise, making it a great way to burn fat and lose weight.

Running can also help increase your metabolism, which can help you burn more calories even when you're not exercising. Plus, running can help you build lean muscle, which can further improve your body composition. But, here's the thing...not all running is the same. This is where I probably upset a lot of runners and even some fitness coaches...

Going out for a long run, or an easy run like most people do will help you lose weight. To a point. Eventually, you'll plateau.However, if you really want to see that afterburn effect mentioned above you really need to add speedwork to your training plan. 

Speedwork is running's version of a HIIT workout (High Intensity Intervals).  In addition to speedwork, hill sprints will build muscle giving you that afterburn effect as well. Look at your average 5K runner and even average marathoners. You see a lot of people with some extra weight. Please don't get me wrong. They are exercising and doing great. I don't want to take anything away from them or their efforts. With that said, I would be willing to bet, that the runners that are slimmer are the ones that have speedwork and hill sprints as part of their training plan. 

As a running coach, I can help you develop a personalized running plan that is designed to help you achieve your weight loss goals. Let's work together to create a plan that works for you.

Next week, we’ll wrap up our series by examining how running can help you live longer.

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