A scientific vs a natural approach to your running

Our friend Adam Tinkoff, The Zen Runner, recently published an article in a UK publication entitled Running Free, in a column called Both Sides Of The Track. He was profiled as the Zen side of the argument of running. His opponent is Gary Palmer, a well known UK exercise physiologist and endurance coach. Gary took the scientific side of the debate.

This is not a new discussion topic and one that people come back to more often than not as they progress through their evolution of running, swimming, biking, rowing, kayaking, cross country skiing, triathlon or any other type of endurance activity that becomes more than just a sport, and certainly a significant part of, if not a way of, life.

Both authors raise some very interesting issues although the lead into the debate seems to create the impression that the discussion will be focused on the scientific vs the zen debate over sports nutrition which in my mind it doesn’t really address. That said, there are some really useful take-a-ways for newbies and reminders for veterans, and it’s always great to reflect back on where we are in our own evolution because like most things, the pendulum swings back and forth on fairly regular intervals and knowing where you are in that arc can be really beneficial in finding peace and balance within your life and your training.

Check out Adam Tinkoff’s “Both Sides Of The Track” article and let us know what you think.

Shin splints – Will I ever be pain free?


One of the more frustrating of injuries to endurance athletes, shin splints are just a general term to describe a whole host of issues that create pain and discomfort on the front of the leg and, more importantly, interfere with our ability to properly train. Learn the difference between a temporary annoyance and a season ending injury by reading Shin Splints – 10 Steps to Recovery. As always, sharing your own personal experiences can help others to get past their issues a lot quicker.

Plantar Fasciitis – The what, the why and the how

Plantar Fascia

As promised, this begins a series of articles to help ease the anxiety and accelerate the rehabilitation of some of the most common injuries that besets endurance athletes. It has been my experience that the stress caused by not knowing “How” is much more impactful and detrimental to your overall raining than the “What.”

How long will it be before I can get back to running? How much speed will I lose? How will I ever make up the workouts that I will miss? How will my training partner deal with me not being around? How will I ever be able to do nothing and feel good about it?

With injuries, the how’s definitely have it. Sometimes, knowing the what, however, is a good place to begin. Read the article below and most importantly, if you have personal experience with any of these maladies, please share them by posting a comment to this blog.

Plantar Fasciitis

Tape me up, Coach!

Alabama's Tyrone Protrho

Reject your sense of injury and the injury itself disappears.
Marcus Aurelius

This is a quick post to introduce a new category on my blog, “Tape me up, Coach!”. This category is dedicated to the numerous questions I get on the various boards such as Race with Purpose and TriScoop from novice and veteran endurance athletes who all at some point are likely to become equal members of the unfortunate club of the walking wounded.

There is a ton of information out there that will help you identify, diagnose, treat, prevent, avoid, minimize, mitigate and recover from common and not so common injuries. That said, I have found that the information isn’t necessarily organized in such a way that an already stressed out and anxious athlete can gain confidence and a measure of relief that they will get through this hurdle in a reasonable amount of time. That’s the main point to make here. Aside from extreme acute injuries such as the one pictured above, most injuries that endurance athletes encounter fall into two categories, overuse or due to improper biomechanics and technique. In fact the latter can be said to be a subset of the former because for many the training tends to illuminate the inherent muscular imbalances or biomechanical inefficiencies that were there in the first place.

Over the next few months, I’ll be writing how to guides for some of the most common injuries for our Race with Purpose fall 2007 marathon training program. When completed, I’ll also post them here.

Please don’t take this as some sense that I know any more than anyone else out there. There are a lot of great coaches and athletic trainers who know far more than I do. What I will do, is write these in such a way that they have already been found useful; to the athletes with whom I have worked with and perhaps this structure will be helpful to you as well.

The other advantage of posting this here is that you can comment on your own personal experiences around these common injuries. Think of this as a Wicki on injuries with a little bit of knowledgeable moderation. By sharing your experiences, you may be able to help the next unfortunate soul to get back on the road a bit sooner.

-Coach Adam