4-way with cheese training for the Flying Pig weekend continues. Two weekends ago I was in Las Vegas (yeah baby!!!) and for “fun” I ran at Red Rock Canyon. That’s right: CANYON. It’s a 13 mile loop I have ran every year for the last 5 years. 6 miles up and 7 miles down. Did I mention the Canyon?? Steep, brutal and at an elevation that these lungs and muscles are not used to. Every year I have been strong, conquering and feeling PUMPED for the Pig. Except this year. I lagged behind my new running partner-for-a-day. She is my size and my age so I had no good excuses to use. It was just a bad training day. Feeling deflated I knew I had 17 miles on my docket for this weekend’s long run. Luckily that training run was AWESOME. I felt good, strong, healthy. So now I feel back on track for the Pig goal. I continue cross training at Fitness 1o1 –there’s a great place for a butt-whoopin’ if you are into that kind of thing!!
During my runs in the Canyon and then a very hilly 17 mile run thru Indian Hill, I got to thinking about how fortunate I am my Achilles tendons and my shins don’t bother me. Running up hills can put tremendous strain on your Achilles (in the back of your ankle) because of how your heel hits the ground so much lower than does the ball of the foot. Running down hills can strain the front of your shins because you have to “brake” repeatedly in order not to fall forward, and because the ball of your foot hits the ground so quickly as your foot comes to the pavement.
Tips for avoiding shin pain and Achilles strain when running hills:
- Stretch the back of your calf, ankle and hamstrings–do some stretches with your knees straight and some with your knees gently bent. Remember when bending over to keep your back straight.
- Stretch the front of your calf by pointing your toes and holding position.
- Use your “foam roller” or “stik” or “ball” to target each of these areas.
- Stretch before you run and after…and remember that the idea is to stretch…not strain.
- Consider wearing a shoe with a greater “drop” especially if your Achilles are an issue for you.
- Remember to hydrate and use your electrolytes to help avoid muscle tearing.
- Protein helps to repair muscle damage.
- Orthotics, physical therapy, anti-inflammatory medication, MLS LASER are all good options, too.
RUN HEALTHY…I hope to see you out there.