Friday, April 3, 2015

Running Strong book review

Runner's World sent me a couple of running books to review recently, and the timing could not have been better. This one is called "Running Strong: The Sports Doctor's Complete Guide to Staying Healthy and Injury-Free for Life" by Dr. Jordan Metzl. Considering I just took seven weeks off of running due to a stress fracture, I was willing to read and try just about anything to prevent injury!

The book is really nice--and by that, I mean that the texture of the paper and the colors are good quality and nice to read. It's organized into different color-coded sections:

The first section talks about how all the different parts of your body work together when running, which explains why it gets injured when something is off. Then there is a huge section about different pains you may feel and can help diagnose an injury. The next section is made up of all the strength, stretching, and foam-rolling exercises you can do to help heal or prevent injury. In the back, there is quite a bit of random tidbits of advice, explaining the differences in men and women and why we may be more prone to injury. And finally, there is an appendix with training plans, from the 5K through the marathon distance.

I found this book to be an interesting read, but a FANTASTIC resource to have sitting on the shelf. If I feel an ache or pain, I can just look it up and read advice for healing it or preventing it from happening again. It's basically all the running injury stuff I've Googled here and there, but put in one nice, neat little package.

This happens every time I have a long run

My biggest takeaway from this book is that I need to strength train--a minimum of once per week, but preferably twice. And the book has a fantastic strength program called the "IronStrength Workout for Runners". The IronStrength Workout is a full body workout with running specific movements. It targets specific muscles, but works the entire body as a whole. It utilizes body weight and a set of dumbbells, but that's it. (Which is good, because I don't want to have to buy a bunch of equipment).

The only thing about the book that I didn't care for was that Dr. Metzl suggested (in several situations) using arch supports. I'm really on-board with Altra's ideas of running with your feet in a natural position, so the idea of arch supports doesn't make much sense to me. But other than that, I found the book to be super helpful, and I will definitely reference it a LOT as needed.

I'm going to start doing the IronStrength Workout, too. I'll write it into my schedule on Wednesdays, starting after Indy. (I know I should probably start now, but when I do strength training, I am so sore for so long that it makes running really difficult. I'd rather wait until next month, when I don't have any other races planned.)

I was going back and forth with whether I should try to aim for a certain time in Indy, and I decided to just run it for fun and take pictures. My sister said she'll run with me, and we're going to go at an easy pace and just enjoy the scenery. It's kind of interesting--she's the one who talked me into signing up to walk that race in the first place, back in 2008. I walked it again in 2009. In 2010, I walked it with her, because I was in decent enough shape to walk quickly. And in 2011, I ran it while she walked. She said she was inspired to try to run it in 2012 (which didn't happen, but she eventually did start running in late 2012). So, to be able to run it with her would be like coming full circle. This will be her first time running it, even though she's done the race five times.

Tomorrow morning, I'm getting together with my friend Stephanie and one of her friends to run 10 miles. Stephanie has to run 20(!), her friend Anne has to run 14, and I "only" have 10 on the schedule ;) Running with company is always so much more fun than running solo! This 10-miler is the final run in the 500 Festival Virtual Training Series.  Darn it! I was just going to write about the training series, but I just realized that the 10-miler is NEXT weekend. I could have sworn it was tomorrow.  Oh, well, I'm still going to run 10 with Steph!

1 comment:

  1. I have been lucky enough to do two of Dr. Metzl's group workouts. Those were *killer* - think half an hour of hill repeats, followed by squat jumps and burpees and various other plyometric-oriented exercises, in absurd numbers of longish sets. Both times, I was barely able to walk for two or three days after. But I firmly believe that if I did this sort of thing regularly (and somehow still managed to run a reasonable amount) I would become Supergirl.


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