Tag Archives: injury

20 Years of Running; First Dog Bite

Dog Bite 1
At Dr. G’s Urgent Care Center in Delray Beach

I’ve been running for about 20 years now and for the first time ever was bit by a dog…Now I wasn’t chased or mauled by the dog…but rather quickly and suddently bit (not a small bite).  So my post is more of a “be aware” note and advice on what to do just in case you are bit as well.

The situtation/what happened: I was running last Wednesday evening with my high school team when about 10 of us decided to veer off to a quiet nature trail in east Boca we sometimes venture off on. It’s basically a one-mile paved sidewalk that goes by bushes, plants and a lake. But a nice change-up. Anyway – the ten of us (all boys, one girl and myself) were running on the sidewalk past the lake when a couple with four dogs approached. We naturally went into our single file line and ran on the right side of the path. We were in the middle of talking about whatever when as I passed the couple (fourth in line for our group), one of the dogs (Australian Shepard) jumped up out of no where and bit me. (Not sure if it was on a leash or not, but it was with the couple and three smaller dogs.)

I immediately dropped to the ground in shock and a little bit of pain and the kids circled me. The couple and dogs were right there as well and seemed shocked as well. I had the kids check out the injury unsure as to how bad it was (a scratch, or more?) and the female owner came over to see as well. We all realized that it wasn’t a scratch at that point. The woman texted me her information so I could keep in touch as I still wasn’t sure how bad it was…or what my next steps would be. I pulled up my shorts to prevent any additional chafing and the kids and I ran back to our cars at Spanish River park.

When I got back, two of the girls (Sydney and Bailey) helped clean up the injury in the bathroom with soap and water before I jumped in the car with the plan to have it checked out by a doctor. It was at this point that the pain escalated and I realized I would have to rush to an ER Clinic/MDNow.

Bruise three days later
Bruise four days later

What the doctor said: My brother and friend met me at the clinic where the doctor cleaned me up, gave me antiobiotics and pain medicine. He mentioned that while only 5% of dog bites get infected (side note: 85% of cat bites get infected), that I should still watch it and come back if the injury turns red, gets inflamed. He also made sure that I had a tetinus shot and asked that I get the Rabies records from the dog owner’s vet.

No inflammation resulted the following day but the bruising has been pretty bad. And kept getting worse the first few days. Now it has calmed down a bit. Running was impossible the two days following the incident (felt super sore) but has been okay the last couple of days. (Sorta running through the pain a tad…)

The dog owner has been very attentive and checked in on me daily. She has agreed to buy me a new pair of shorts (the ones I was wearing were ripped) and pay for my co-pay/prescription (medical bills). We are both very lucky it wasn’t worse!

Lessons Learned: While honestly there was no way for me to have prevented this incident…I have learned a few things that I’ll share here:

  1. Run with a phone…I didn’t have a way to get the dog owner’s contact information. Luckily she had a phone and texted me her correct information.
  2. Don’t just run on the opposite side of the sidewalk…potentially run off on the grass if possible. Even if the dog is on a leash with owners…even if you look strange running so far away – it’s for your safety.
  3. Get the other person’s contact info no matter how bad (or not bad) the bite was. I didn’t think it was that bad at first. The adrenaline was pumping apparently. Get the information just in case.
  4. Be kind. It stinks to be bitten by a dog…but dogs are animals. And it’s not necessarily the fault of the owner (or you obviously). So be kind with each other…and see the situtation for what it is. I was lucky to have an attentive and caring owner that teared up when she saw how I was hurt….and I’m sure she felt lucky that I was understanding and not immediately threatening, yelling, etc. So be fair and kind.

*THANKFUL: Super thankful it was me that was bit and not one of the student-athletes I was running with…

Resources:

Run Eat Repeat Blog: Runner Bit by Dog

Runner’s World: Mean Dogs Bite

Great Fitness Experiment: Dog Attack!

UPDATED: So randomly, I learned that last week was National Dog Bite Prevention Week. Random! Details on the week here.

No Gravity Running?! Testing Out the AlterG Anti-Gravity Treadmill

I’ve been super lucky the past ten years or so…avoiding injury and any major aches and pains. I’ve chalked it up to taking off when I feel the need to, stretching a lot, sleeping even more and keeping my body strong. However, that all changed two weeks ago when I felt a pain in my left knee. Since then, I’ve been spending my days in Acupuncture (Integrated Holistic Medicine in Boca Raton) sessions with Carlos and Su and Physical Therapy (Physical Therapy Institute, Inc.) with Krystal.

IMG_7924Acupuncture is always my go-to…however, I knew while waiting for my knee to heal/feel better, I’d have to look at other alternatives to keep my body in shape and endurance high. A few of my Spanish River High School athletes had tried the AlterG(R) Anti-Gravity Treadmill at the Physical Therapy Insititute in Delray Beach, as had my co-coach Doug Horn….and all spoke highly of the unique experience. So when Krystal offered up the machine during my PT session, I jumped on board. (Besides the fact that the machine looked REALLY cool; I hadn’t run for a few days and was itching to get my legs moving!)

So what is the AlterG Anti-Gravity Treadmill?

Anti-gravity treadmills, like the AlterG, are taking the aches and pains out of cardiovascular training by “unweighting” runners from 20 to 100 percent of their bodyweight, one percent at a time. The benefit? The AlterG can reduce the risk of stress-related / pounding injuries, while allowing athletes to train harder, faster, and smarter in a safe, controlled environment. Learn more here.

Krystal had me put on the tight neoprane spandex-style pants, step into the machine, get zipped up, and begin. After the machine calibrates you and your weight, you can change the speed and the percentage of body weight that you feel (i.e. you can run at 50% body weight and feel like you are literally flying). I quickly turned up the speed and felt my legs turning…FAST. I have to say it’s a pretty unique experience. Like pool running but so much more realistic. I was only on the treadmill for a brief 10 minutes but it felt like far less (two-four minutes at most). I found myself yearning for a lot more time on the treadmill…and wondering how I could make this a part of my daily routine (regardless of whether I had an injury). It turns out, I am not alone, in the yearning…professional athletes and sports teams around the country have their own AlterG treadmills and are changing the way athletes train (in good health or not) every day.

The negative? Really only the cost…The treadmills are expensive – hence going to a physical therapy location to use it. It will be a long time before your neighbors (or me) have an AlterG in their garage / home gym. The treadmills start at around $34K…

Here’s a good video from Runner’s World of the AlterG: “Running on Air.”

 

The Dreaded Shin Splits!

In running and coaching, you hear it a lot. My shins are hurting! In fact this past year my fellow coach and I heard more times than not. Most of the kids experience it because of increasing their distance too fast, not doing enough summer running to build up their bones and muscle in the legs, and so on. Unfortunately there is never much I can say to our athletes…the most common answers being: ice with dixie cups (running up and down the shins) and stretching. Other than that, running on the grass/dirt rather than concrete and/or roads can help. And as a last option if it gets that bad doing cross training. Ideally though we hope the kids can run through it and have the pain/swelling go away and not get any worse.

However, I just came upon this video from a chiropractor that I highly recommend watching. Every runner should! It’s straight from Runner’s World Magazine. Take a view…

WATCH VIDEO

Shinsplints are a common ailment that afflicts many runners. In this video Dr. Jordan D. Metzl, a New York City based sports medicine physician, shows you how to recognize the difference between Medial Tibial Stress Syndrome, Tibial Spine Pain, and Exertional Compartment Syndrome as well as techniques to effectively treat each problem and how to prevent them from returning.

In addition to his medical practice, Dr. Metzl is an accomplished marathoner and triathlete. His newest book, The Athlete’s Book of Home Remedies, has more than 1000 tips to fix all types of injuries and medical conditions.

What have you done to remedy your own shin splints?!

Psoas, what?

Check out my new article appearing on the Examiner.com. And thanks to fellow South Florida Runs runner and friend Andy Zircher for the idea to write about psoas.

Andy Zircher, a West Palm Beach resident and international business professional, admits as of late he’s been spending the majority of his time at work standing rather than sitting. It’s all in an effort to reduce the strain on his back and his psoas. His what?

His psoas. The psoas is a long fusiform muscle located on the side of the lumbar region of the vertebral column and brim of the lesser pelvis. It joins the iliacus muscle to form the iliopsoas, which is known as the body’s most powerful hip flexor. In less than 50 percent of human subjects the psoas major is accompanied by the psoas minor. In mice, it is mostly a fast-twitching, type II muscle, while in human it combines slow and fast-twitching fibers (Wikipedia)…

Read more.

Jobs with benefits

I have to say, I am one lucky girl.

As many of you know, I fell to a foot injury nearly two months ago and have spent the summer dealing with the pain of this issue. I had to take off nearly two months of running…killing my summer training before the high school cross country season. At first I thought it was plantar fasciitis…but soon realized it was more of a mechanical and muscle injury, which was causing the bones in the top of my foot to bump into one another. Realizing that the injury was not getting better – I went into full rehab mode, cutting off all running, replacing with cross training, icing and heating over and over again, and taking my foot to the best in the business.

This is where my jobs with benefits come into play.

1. Chiropractic & Sports Rehabilitation Institute in Boynton Beach. Dr. David Rudnick and team have spent that past month working on my foot with a combination of K-Laser Therapy, Massage Therapy, Ultra-Sound, Rehab and more. Each treatment definitely made the foot feel better – however, the most drastic improvements happened immediately after my Ortho-Bionomy massages. Yes, ortho-bionomy. Let’s be clear – these aren’t regular, feel-good massages…these really work the muscles – and bones. It truly felt like magic how massage therapist Jeannie was able to move the bones around and re-align them where they were supposed to be. This is one therapy I am one hundred percent adding to my training package monthly.

More on this method in a future post. Interested in learning more and having your own treatment, visit www.DrDavidRudnick.com.

2. Integrated Holistic Medicine. I had been getting facial acupuncture treatments for a few weeks at the Integrated Holistic Medicine clinic in Boca Raton…when someone gave me the recommendation and push to try acupuncture on my foot. I figured why not – honestly not even thinking about the option before. I forgot how acupuncture truly treats nearly everything…stress, sweating, aches, tightness, skin issues, stomach and more. Acupuncturist Carlos Restrepo worked on my arch and surrounding muscles where he could feel the tightness. I was in for a total of three sessions. After two, I felt the difference. After three – I was on my way to running twice that weekend – with no issues. We forget how acupuncture can work on sore muscles and tightness…but obviously it works and it’s a great option. Interested? Visit www.ihmhealing.com. I obviously will be recommending this to any runner I run into having an issue – big or small.

Anyway – I lucked out having two amazing clients that were able to work together and solve my issues and get me back to running! Both acknowledge the combination of both probably had the greatest effect possible.

But as I often do (and will continue), I am now sharing their information with you – so you too can benefit! Good luck and let me know how they help you!!! Results are pretty much guaranteed! 🙂

Custom-Fitted Orthotics: Why You Need Them

Last week I picked up my first pair of orthotics ever from Dr. David Rudnick at the Chiropractic & Sports Rehabilitation Institute in Boynton Beach. As I’ve said before, I never had any aches or pains in high school so never really considered using them. However, with a recent string of injuries (knee, foot, etc.), I figured it was a great time to start. And Dr. Rudnick suggested them – having worked on my foot numerous times and seen the results of nearly two decades of running on an extremely high arch.

So with this post, I hope to share my feedback on Week One with my new orthotics and answer some common questions!!

Why custom-fit orthotics? Rather than the store-bought versions? 
This is is a question I have gotten from a few of my students since showing up at practice with my new “feet.” And it’s a question that I found all over the internet. Custom-fit orthotics are exactly that…specifically made, measured, and fit to your feet. In fact, when Dr. Rudnick fit me for the orthotics, questions such as “How much do you run,” “What surfaces do you typically run on,” and “What part of your foot do you typically land on,” are all asked, in addition to the foam box casting. This should answer the question of “which to buy” in itself. The custom-fit orthotics are made for your feet and your feet alone. When you purchase orthotics out of the machine in the store – you can only be fit into the ones stocked – option A, B, C or D.

I asked Dr. Rudnick this question and he explained that while some people can get away with store-bought orthotics, it’s not the norm. “One of the available options stored in the machine may be the right match for you, but they can’t be right for everyone,” Rudnick said. “Unfortunately they can’t stock everyone’s specific foot needs. That’s where custom-fit orthotics come in. They do fit your specific needs.”

Watch the custom-fitted orthotics foam box casting here.

From my research on many websites, the only negatives listed next to custom-fit orthotics were: the time it takes between ordering and receiving the orthotics (for me – it was 10 days) and the cost (they are a few hundred dollars so more expensive than the store-bought version – but you get what you pay for as they say)!

How do they feel?
Since picking my new orthotics up and fitting them into my shoes to wear, I have gotten used to the feeling very quickly. It almost feels as though I have an extra bump in my shoe where the space under my arch used to be. And I like the feeling – the rubbing feels as though I am receiving a massage on the bottom of my foot with each step. Dr. Rudnick suggested I only wear the orthotics for a few hours at a time the first few days – until I get used to them. So while I did this at first, I quickly realized how much I enjoyed wearing them and ironically switched from wearing sandals everywhere to putting on my sneakers (with orthotics fit inside of course).

So with orthotics in, and my training hopefully back to normal over the next few weeks…I will continue to update you on how I feel. Feel free to write in any questions you have for me or Dr. David Rudnick and I will get them answered ASAP.

Learn more a bout Dr. Rudnick’s practice here: Chiropractic & Sports Rehabilitation Institute.

Plantar Fasciitis: What it is and what to do if you get it?

After a strong week of running consistently, long distance and at a good pace, I woke up Sunday morning with severe and uncomfortable pain in the arch of my right foot. My Saturday morning run went fine and nothing seemed to bother the foot the remainder of the day…so I was confused with the sudden pain on the bottom of my foot. Out of fear and because it’s often what us runners do…I ignored it for the remainder of the day…limping while walking, skipping my planned long run and hoping the pain would just go away. Well surprisingly enough – it did. By afternoon, the foot felt fine. I put my foot in an ice bucket filled with water and ice cubes that night and hoped it would all be a distance memory in the morning. Monday morning came and the pain was back. I iced it again and waited until mid-day when it had completely gone away. I attended my team’s evening practice and with all feeling good, went for the five-mile run with no problems. I asked my coach his perspective and upon the suggestion of a San Francisco-based running friend, started to do some research on Plantar Fasciitis.

After a quick read-up on the ailment and its symptoms…it was clear. I am suffering from Plantar Fasciitis.

Plantar fasciitis is inflammation of the thick tissue on the bottom of the foot. This tissue is called the plantar fascia. It connects the heel bone to the toes and creates the arch of the foot. Plantar fasciitis occurs when the thick band of tissue on the bottom of the foot is overstretched or overused. This can be painful and make walking more difficult.

According to experts, you are more likely to get plantar fasciitis if you have:

  • Foot arch problems (both flat feet and high arches). (For those that know me…I have a very high arch. Until now, I never knew there were potential complications that could result from having a high arch. More on that here.)
  • Long-distance running, especially running downhill or on uneven surfaces
  • Sudden weight gain or obesity
  • Tight Achilles tendon (the tendon connecting the calf muscles to the heel)
  • Shoes with poor arch support or soft soles

Plantar fasciitis is seen in both men and women. However, it most often affects active men ages 40 – 70. It is one of the most common orthopedic complaints relating to the foot. Plantar fasciitis is commonly thought of as being caused by a heel spur, but research has found that this is not the case. On x-ray, heel spurs are seen in people with and without plantar fasciitis.

My high arch that I've always been proud of but am now wondering if it is behind some of my recent foot pain.

The most common complaint is pain and stiffness in the bottom of the heel. The heel pain may be dull or sharp. The bottom of the foot may also ache or burn. The pain is usually worse:

  • In the morning when you take your first steps. (In my case – I felt the pain in the morning after a long sleep as well as after sitting for a while.)
  • After standing or sitting for a while
  • When climbing stairs
  • After intense activity

Signs and symptoms:

  • Tenderness on the bottom of your foot
  • Flat feet or high arches
  • Mild foot swelling or redness
  • Stiffness or tightness of the arch in the bottom of your foot.

Treatment: I am in the process of icing and stretching my foot as often as possible. Additionally, I plan on purchasing a new pair of shoes with better arch support – something I’ve been too casual about. According to my research, you health care provider will usually first recommend:

  • Acetaminophen (Tylenol) or ibuprofen (Advil, Motrin) to reduce pain and inflammation
  • Heel and foot stretching exercises
  • Night splints to wear while sleeping to stretch the foot
  • Resting as much as possible for at least a week
  • Wearing shoes with good support and cushions

Other steps to relieve pain include:

  • Apply ice to the painful area. Do this at least twice a day for 10 – 15 minutes, more often in the first couple of days.
  • Try wearing a heel cup, felt pads in the heel area, or shoe inserts.
  • Use night splints to stretch the injured fascia and allow it to heal.
  • If these treatments do not work, your health care provider may recommend:
  • Wearing a boot cast, which looks like a ski boot, for 3-6 weeks. It can be removed for bathing.
  • Custom-made shoe inserts (orthotics)
  • Steroid shots or injections into the heel
  • Sometimes, foot surgery is needed.

Expectations (prognosis): Nonsurgical treatments almost always improve the pain. Treatment can last from several months to 2 years before symptoms get better. Most patients feel better in 9 months. Some people need surgery to relieve the pain.

Complications: Pain may continue despite treatment. Some people may need surgery. Surgery has its own risks. Talk to your doctor about the risks of surgery.

Prevention: Making sure your ankle, Achilles tendon, and calf muscles are flexible can help prevent plantar fasciitis.

Side note: As of late, I have been wearing out the toe area of my running shoes very quickly. It seems my big toe has been moving up and down more often and creating a hole in the top mesh are of my shoes. If you look at your foot when you raise your toe, you will notice that your arch and plantar fascia stretches or flexes. I am now wondering if this is all related…

Wait…You Want Me To Take Time Off?!

Yes! It’s a shocking but truly critical part of training and running. You must take time off! Now, I’m not preaching for anyone to take off every other day or every weekend – and still expect to improve their running…but I am saying that moderation is important and therefore rest is a critical part of improving as a runner and athlete. Your body needs it to heal; and your head needs time off at times as well for a break!

Here are some of the reasons why a runner may need some time off from running:

  • A Planned Break: It’s been a long season with lots of hard training and racing. It may be the end of the school year and therefore end of the track season; it may be the conclusion of winter 5K and marathon racing in South Florida; and/or a full year of back to back to back marathons without sufficient race. All of this leads to the opportune time for a planned break in your training. In high school, Coach Rothman instructed us to take two weeks off from running in between Cross Country and Track. This meant immediately after Cross Country states or regionals, we took exactly two weeks off before beginning our training (low mileage to start) in preparation for Spring track. We did the same in the Summer right after Track and before the long summer of mileage build-up as well. Between High School and College, I personally took off approximately four weeks as instructed by my new college coach. (Looking back…I should have spent some time during those four weeks doing alternative exercise/activities and not just laying on the couch. It may the return to summer training much more difficult! Learn from my example!)
  • Aches & Pains…Or Worse…An Injury: Listening to your body as a runner is so important – potentially more than any other sport. All of us have aches and pains at times and you need to  know when something is hurting more than it should and/or for a longer period of time than it should. You need to know when simply applying ice or going for a massage will do and when you need to visit a trainer and/or doctor. When an injury happens, the doctor or trainer will often tell you to take off upwards of two or four weeks…so do yourself a favor and take off a few days, a week or more on your own when you are feeling a pain that you know isn’t going away. And in the meantime, try out some cross training. (Check out our recommendations/ideas here.)
  • Other Reasons: Taking a break may also be needed if you feel tired, sick, or that your training it in a complete rut and there is no way to get out. Sometimes in this case the running break will help you more mentally than anything!

According to experts, in the hierarchy of training, breaks rank right up there with threshold runs, intervals, reps, and steady running. All have a purpose and when placed in proper sequence can and will ultimately build on one another. Leading to a stronger runner, and a better you!

Remember, breaks from running are also a great opportunity to look into cross training. Take the time to bike, swim, roller blade, ski, etc. This may also be a good opportunity to focus on your strength training exercises and increasing the number of trips you are making to the gym to “just lift.”

The Dreaded (And Too Common) Shin Splints

Wondering what  the most common injury that I see these days on our high school running team? Shin splints! Almost everyone goes through them at some point – some much worse than others and some facing the pain for a much longer time period than others. The “shin splint” has also, a result, become the catch-all term for lower leg pain that occurs below the knee either on the front outside part of the leg (anterior shin splints) or the inside of the leg (medial shin splints).

The question is why and how to prevent/lessen them once they’ve hit.

I’ll start out with the why: 

A primary culprit causing shin splints is a sudden increase in distance or intensity of a workout schedule. This increase in muscle work can be associated with inflammation of the lower leg muscles, those muscles used in lifting the foot (the motion during which the foot pivots toward the tibia). Such a situation can be aggravated by a tendency to pronate the foot (roll it excessively inward onto the arch). Also, a tight Achilles tendon or weak ankle muscles are also often implicated in the development of shin splints. (This is another reason that slow mileage build-up is so important for the body.

So what do do with your shins once you are feeling the pain?

  1. Ice your shins to reduce the inflammation (or pain)! The best way, we’ve found, is getting small dixie cups and filling them with water; putting them in the freezer and once frozen take them out, rip off the lip of the cup and run the frozen cups up and down your shins for 10 minutes each. Take a break and do it again. Some people will say to stop running – but this option is unfortunately not possible for all of us! As an athlete, you need to decide how bad the pain is and whether you can push through or not. Injuring yourself worse is not a good option either.
  2. Gently stretch your Achilles if you have medial shin splints, and your calves if you have anterior shin splints. Also, try this stretch for your shins: Kneel on a carpeted floor, legs and feet together and toes pointed directly back. Then slowly sit back onto your calves and heels, pushing your ankles into the floor until you feel tension in the muscles of your shin. Hold for 10 to 12 seconds, relax and repeat.
  3. In a sitting position, trace the alphabet on the floor with your toes. Do this with each leg. Or alternate walking on your heels for 30 seconds with 30 seconds of regular walking. Repeat four times. These exercises are good for both recovery and prevention. Try to do them three times a day.
  4. If you continue running, wrap your leg before you go out. Use either tape or an Ace bandage, starting just above the ankle and continuing to just below the knee. Keep wrapping your leg until the pain goes away, which usually takes three to six weeks. Other options – if the pain is excruciating – are: cross-training for a while to let your shin heal. Swim, run in the pool or ride a bike. (See my post on pool running.)
  5. When you return to running, increase your mileage slowly. As I said, the cause of shin splints if often increasing your mileage too quickly.
  6. Also, make sure you wear the correct running shoes for your foot type specifically, over pronators should wear motion-control shoes. Severe overpronators may need orthotics.
  7. Have two pairs of shoes and alternate wearing them to vary the stresses on your legs.
  8. Avoid hills and excessively hard surfaces until shin pain goes away completely, then re-introduce them gradually to prevent a recurrence.
  9. If you are prone to developing shin splints, stretch your calves and Achilles regularly as a preventive measure.

Questions? Just ask!

Additional resources: MedicineNet.com

Injured? Try Pool Running!

Unfortunately with running sometimes comes injury. This is probably more prevalent in areas like South Florida where there is little trail (or soft) running and primarily concrete sidewalks – where the pounding on your joints is heavy. It takes a definite toll on the body, the bones, tendons, joints, muscles, etc. I can recall in high school, my mom offering to schedule pedicures and foot massages to ease some of the stress on my very active feet.

With injury, any athlete (but especially a runner) has to take time off, cross train, ice and rest the problem area, etc. For runners, the best cross training of course are those exercises that keep the heart rate up and the endurance high (i.e. swimming, biking). In fact, as I tell my high school runners, there were athletes in college that I knew of that literally did 90% of their training in the pool or on the bike and then competed in meets. Their bodies were either extremely fragile and/or they were coming back from an injury and didn’t want to risk aggravating a sore knee or tendon. But the point being – they did well! They were able to keep their endurance up just with cross training in the pool and/or on the bike.

So, running is always going to be the best form of training for a runner. But biking and swimming aren’t so bad. In order to help those that are wondering what to do on the bike or in the pool, I’ve include some suggestions.

  • Biking: Pretty self explanatory here. Just get on a bike and ride! Don’t pay attention to mileage though. Odds are you will make it much farther than you would running. Stay on the bike for 8 minutes for every mile you intended to run. (For example, if you were supposed to do a 5 mile run, get on the bike for 40 minutes.) Note that this should be strenuous enough biking that it gets your heart rate up and you sweating!
  • Swimming or Pool Running: Swimming is a great alternative to running. Some say it is the best form of exercise. You get nearly every muscle in your body working; it builds endurance; and best of all – there is no impact or pounding on the body. But for us runners, a great alternative is Pool Running. And I’ve spent a lot of time this past Track season with my high school runners in the pool – running. Here’s how to do it: Get in the deep end where your feet are not hitting the bottom of the pool and run. In other words, tread water, but simultaneously keep your farm. Move your arms and legs as if you were running on the street. Keep your back straight and shoulders high. It doesn’t sound bad but I promise you will feel it quickly. It not only works on endurance (I was out of breadth after the warm-up), but you will feel muscles that you didn’t feel before (including your abs). Again, just like biking – 8 minutes for every one mile you planned on running. If you are replacing a hard track workout in the pool, I’d recommend adding a few reps and picking up the speed of your running just like you would on dry land. Sprinting is very possible in the pool! I should mention the aqua belt that many people recommend – if you have one definitely use it…as it will help your form and you can still get in just as good a workout. If you don’t have one, not to worry. Investing in one is optional. Pool Running is interesting though – as good swimmers typically find it easier to float than non-swimmers. But try it out and let me know how you did!

Here is a good article about pool running and ways to make it fun from Runners World Magazine. (Running in the pool – and being in one place for upwards of an hour – can get pretty boring. And bringing an iPod in the water is not such a good idea!)

And here is a pretty good video of what Pool Running should look like. (This guy will have to do until I have a chance to videotape me or someone else running underwater!)