Saturday, December 28

Houston Marathon: Week 11

Week 11 Primary Focus:         Build
Longest Run To-Date:             12mi

This was a tough week as I continued to build. I knocked out another set of Yasso's as well. I'm feeling stronger and stronger. Last week I mentioned I'm now in the Build phase of Houston Marathon training. As I continue to ramp up the intensity and volume, it is critical I stay healthy. The strength I've developed throughout the past 70+ days will certainly help protect against injury, but there are other components I need to stay on top of as well...

Sports Chiropractic

For the longest time, I've thought of chiropractors as pseudo-doctors that make money by not really helping anyone. They rack and crack your body, making you think they've done something, but no real treatment occurred. Whether they're dangerously manipulating one's joints or one's insurance policy, I'm sure we've all heard a horror story. There's certainly a stigma associated with chiropractors. But then again, there's a stigma associated with dietary fat, and that doesn't keep me from eating it. Like most things in life, there's always two sides to a coin.

Because chiropractors have a such unique skill and specialization, they're actually seen as an integral part of the core of sports medicine by many elite athletes and coaching staff. I'm certainly not an elite athlete, but I've been seeing a chiropractor for a couple of years now. I seldom used to visit one (resisting my coach's advice) as I just couldn't get past that stigma, let alone pay money for no noticeable benefit. 

And then I got injured.

Running, especially marathon training, is the epitome of repetitive stress. Repetitive stress that can accumulate in the form of "minor trauma and overload, which finally leads to breakdown and injury." In other words, small tweaks are easy to ignore at first, but can snowball out of control with constant stress. Training for the Newport Marathon, I was a mess. I had plantar fasciitis, iliotibial band syndrome and likely some form of runner's knee. I did all that I could to address the symptoms: anti-inflammatory foods and medication, foam-rolling, massage, ice baths, KT tape -- you name it. But as we know all too well: suppressing symptoms only takes you so far, at some point, you must get to the root cause of an issue.

Enter: chiropractors. Let's rephrase... Enter: Good chiropractors. Effective sports chiropractic, much like functional medicine, takes aim at the underlying cause of an issue. It's not (or shouldn't be) a touch-and-go, patch you up and send you on your way. Temporarily mitigating symptoms doesn't work for longevity and success. 

For me, here's what was happening in a general sense during Newport training...

My right foot hurt (plantar fasciitis).
This was caused by over-pronating.
My right knee hurt (runner's knee).
This was caused by an inflamed IT band rubbing on my knee (iliotibial band syndrome).
All of this was a downstream effect of hip misalignment. Hips not aligned led to over-pronation which put stress on my IT band, knee and foot.

For Newport, consistent trips to the chiropractor complemented with strength training, proper rest, and massage therapy, helped get me back on track. Lately, as I train for Houston, I've been regularly seeing a chiropractor for general maintenance. So far (fingers crossed), I've had no issues with injury or nagging pain. I don't credit chiropractic with 100% of the reason why, but I certainly owe it a good amount in the larger equation of staying healthy.

I've been lucky enough to find a well-respected Chiropractic Facility in the Dallas-area called Reagan ChiroSport Center. They're reputable, experienced, state of the art, and most importantly, I've come to trust them (see: "Cutting Through the Clutter").

December 15, 2013: Yasso 800s (#4)

My last set of Yasso 800s was back in Week 7 where I completed five sets. Remember, my goal is 10 before the Houston Marathon. When I first started training, my baseline -- the first set of Yasso 800s I completed three. On Sunday, December 15th, I completed seven. I'm encouraged by my progress, but humbled by where I need to be.

Back to the Houston Marathon home page.

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