Tag Archives: Runner’s World

Steeplechase What?!

FullSizeRenderLast week, I drove up to Orlando with the Spanish River track team for the Disney Relays. The meet was a little hot (and sunny) but fun…but the highlight had to be the 2,000 Steeplechase event for high school boys. Two members of our team competed (jumping hurdles and steeplechases for the very first time), didn’t get injured and had a great time in the process.

I have to be honest…I questioned the idea at first…concerned that these runners would fall, slip, get trampled, etc. while trying out this “different” event…but my fellow Coach Doug Horn pushed for it, saying it would be fun for the boys…and he was right. They had a good time trying out an event…you rarely get the chance to compete in (especially in high school) and they did okay!

So, I figured I’d share some of the pictures from the race here…and also share some tips from steeplechase experts…

Also, check out this Runner’s World article on the subject.

Enjoy!

1. Don’t wear socks.

2. Have a strong core! The race requires you to get your legs up and over the barriers multiple times. Also, you don’t always land smooth. A strong core will help you keep your body in control and prevent a side stitch.

3. Run big. Running in any distance race where you are in a pack is tough. Now throw in some barriers to leap over and you have a disastrous mix if you aren’t careful. Find some space by staying outside, or being on the inside, but edge away from the first lane line a little to give yourself some space on one side. If people try to crowd you, lean towards them to make your presence know.

4. Don’t go out too fast. It is nice to be out in front and out of traffic, but if the pace is too fast at the start for you, the later stages of the race will be a death march. This race is unforgiving and just imagine being extremely fatigued with countless water jumps and barriers to make it over. Every hurdle is another momentum killer, so don’t burn up your energy too soon.

5. Learn to use hurdle with either leg. Out of all the steeplechase tips, this one is the most difficult to follow. You have to keep your momentum going, and you aren’t going to be counting steps between hurdles. Don’t do that choppy step routine or the long leg strides right before the barrier. Practice hurdling with your opposite leg. It makes a huge difference to be able to leap and not mess up your stride.

Save Your Skin, As Featured in Runner’s World

The other day I was in my robe, relaxing and preparing for an enjoyable (yet probably painful) facial when the esthetician came in and asked me if I was ready. I responded yes. Her next question: “Wow, you’ve been in the sun a lot!” I immediately sank down into the table wondering what my poor young 31-year-old skin must look like for her to say that. I immediately responded: “Is it that bad?” Which she quickly answered with: “Your tan lines? They are pretty funny.” Phew…I thought inside my head. She was referring to my swimsuit and sports bra tan lines as signs I had been in the sun, and not the skin on my face!

While at that moment I was out of the clear, it’s important to pay attention to your skin – especially if you are an athlete spending a lot of time exercising, running, biking and/or swimming in the sun. Here is a good article from Runner’s World that talks about how to not only protect your skin but your feet from calluses; your inner thighs from chafing; your face from acne; and more! When you are talking about skin, there’s a lot to keep up on! Please read on!

saveyourskinjun500_3Runner’s World: Save Your Skin

Running is both your skin’s best friend (that rosy sheen) and its worst enemy (sun damage, sweat-induced acne). And need we even mention a runner’s camera-unready feet, with unsightly calluses and lurking fungi? Since you’re not going to hang up your running shoes as a skin-saving strategy, take these steps to keep your epidermis—from tender toes to the tips of your ears—safe, healthy, and well cared for. This includes:

  • Be Sun Smart;
  • Protect Your Feet;
  • Prevent Acne; and
  • Avoid Chafing!

Read details as to how and more here.

While we are on the subject of skin protection, I wanted to refer you to this past Palm Beach Post article about a young woman with melanoma.

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?!

New “Golf Ball” Inspired Track Suits

High-Speed Nike Running Suit Inspired By The Golf Ball 

Nike just unveiled the TurboSpeed suit that can supposedly shave off 0.023 seconds from an athlete’s time in a 100-meter sprint. With the world record for men in the 100-meter currently 9.58 seconds, 0.023 seconds can make quite the difference! The “superhero-like” full body suit has small dimples covering the arms and and along the shoulders and back. These holes are inspired by the texture of golf balls that provide more aerodynamic movement and speed. This is much different than the current speed suits that fit athletes very tightly and leave a lot of skin showing!

According to an article in Runner’s World, the new suit will be worn by runners from USA, Germany, Russia, and China at the London Olympics. And Nike is predicting that the high-tech sportswear could break personal best and world records.

See more photos of the track speed suits here and here.

So what are your thoughts? Will this be like the swimsuits from a few Olympics ago that were banned from competition fin 2009?

If you recall, Jan 1 of 2010, record-setting bodysuits or swimsuits were banned. Before being banned, the swimsuits had led to 108 world records in 2008 and many more in 2009. According to experts, some suits were suspected of creating “air trapping” effects that enhance speed. Read an article on the banning here. Not to worry, the USA swim team at the Olympics (the women at least) will be wearing a new design by an Iowan – the same guy that designed the banned ones four years back…Read up on it here.

Runner’s World Article: “The Reanimation of Alison”

Alison Delgado, a runner, was nearly killed while riding her bicycle; her own husband (a fellow doctor) was part of the rescue effort. Despite her injuries she came back and is running (and winning) again. Amazing story in the June 2012 issue of Runner’s World Magazine

It’s late afternoon, early last October, and runners and their families and friends have gathered in Cincinnati’s Ault Park for the popular 5K known as the Reggae Run. The brisk air carries the scent of grilled meat and the metallic twang of steel drums. Vendors set up tents, adding to the party-like atmosphere of the race in which runners often sport fake dreadlocks tucked into red, yellow, and green Rasta tams and call out a spirited “Ya, mon!” to cheering spectators.

Near the starting line, where a dozen or so top runners stretch and jog in place, Alison Delgado scans the crowd of spectators. She’s a slight, 28-year-old local runner with auburn hair and a smattering of freckles. Spotting her husband, she waves him over.

“Tim, I gotta run fast,” she tells him, her hazel-colored eyes darting back and forth.

A year ago, Tim might have just nodded in agreement, but these days encouraging his wife’s competitive nature is not his priority. “Ali,” he tells her. “Remember, relax, have fun.” Then they exchange a quick kiss, and Tim steps back into the crowd.

Moments later, the starting gun fires, sending nearly 4,000 runners off through the undulating park. Tim, slim but athletic, quickly turns away from the bubbling scene and hurries toward the park’s summit, which offers a panoramic view of the city. He wants to be in position near the finish line before Alison arrives.

On paper Alison should be a contender in the women’s race. Two months earlier, in another 5-K, she PR’ed with a time of 18:39. Even more impressive is that at the 2005 Cincinnati Flying Pig Marathon, when she was just 22 and a recent college graduate about to enter medical school, she won her debut marathon. She crushed a field of 1,467 women in 3:03:52, three minutes, 40 seconds faster than the second-place finisher. “When I crossed the finish line,” Alison would say later, “I thought, Oh my God. I did it. I really did it. Without a doubt it was one of the best days of my life.”

And yet, while memories of that victorious run remain fresh, they can’t obscure all that’s happened in Alison and Tim’s lives over the past year, events Alison is reminded of each time she looks into a mirror—or hears, as she does now, the anxious tone in her husband’s voice. When Tim finally spies a tiny bobbing blob of pink and black beginning an ascent up the quarter-mile hill, he calls out, a bit more relieved than excited, “It’s Ali! It’s Ali! She’s in first!”

Read the full feature story here.