One Exercise for Better Trail Running

Finishing a challenging trail race is a significant accomplishment but getting through the months of training to get to the starting line healthy and fit is half the battle.

Check out this article from our top tier sponsor, Colorado Physical Therapy Specialists, to learn how the single leg mini-squat exercise can help you identify weakness and poor control in the hip muscles. Improving your hip muscle strength and control can dramatically reduce your risk of running injuries.

http://colpts.com/one-exercise-for-better-trail-running/

Share

Injury Prevention Advice from Colorado Physical Therapy Specialists

This article from our top Blue Sky Marathon and Black Squirrel Half Marathon sponsor, Colorado Physical Therapy Specialists, discusses the key stabilizing muscles for runners and what you can do to strengthen them to help decrease your chance of injury.

Runners commonly suffer from overuse injuries such as knee pain (“runner’s knee”, IT band syndrome, patellar tendinitis), achilles tendinitis, and plantar fasciitis. Despite the variety of injuries that afflict runners, there are a few simple things you can do to reduce your risk and keep your running pain free.

Some of you may already be doing core exercises to help with your running. The back and abdominal muscles commonly strengthened with core exercises are an integral part of any run-strengthening program. However, ensuring adequate strength of the hip abductor and hip external rotator muscles are frequently overlooked. These hip muscles are important for stabilizing your knee each time your foot hits the ground. Too much movement of the knee can result in pain under and around the knee cap, or pain in the IT band or patellar tendon.

The hip abductors and external rotators are also needed for controlling excessive foot pronation (foot rolling inward). Contrary to popular belief, foot pronation is not a bad thing. It is important to assist with shock absorption when your foot hits the ground. However, too much pronation may be a contributing factor to overuse running injuries. Excessive pronation can be controlled by orthotics or a motion controlled/stability shoe. It can also be controlled by strengthening the hip abductors and external rotators as well as muscles of the foot and ankle. If the excessive movement can be controlled by strengthening these muscles, it generally makes more sense to help our body do what it was designed to do and strengthen the muscles as opposed to using an external support.

As you can see, weakness in the hip muscles will result in decreased stability in the hip, knee, ankle and foot. In addition to good strength, you must also have good control. Think of good control like a complex engine that constantly makes minor adjustments to function at peak performance. When your foot strikes the ground, your hip muscles must quickly contract to control your leg motion without you thinking about it. A loss of control can set you up for a multitude of overuse injuries. The good news is you can dramatically reduce your risk of injury by improving your hip muscle strength and control.

So how do you know if you have weakness or poor control of these hip muscles? Performing a single leg mini squat is a simple test that you can do to give you an idea of how much hip control you have.

The following video shows how to perform a single leg mini squat.

Good hip control is demonstrated by maintaining level hips and your knee moving directly over your foot without collapsing inward. If you do not have good control doing the single leg mini squat (a static exercise), you likely have less control with more dynamic exercises such as running.

Your physical therapist or personal trainer can help you determine the best exercises for your hip muscles. Visit ColPTs.com for an example of a good dynamic core and hip exercise to help you continue running injury free.

Drs. Tim Flynn and Terry Gebhardt are physical therapists and owners of Colorado Physical Therapy Specialists.

Share

Injury Prevention Advice from Colorado Physical Therapy Specialists

This article from our top Blue Sky Marathon and Black Squirrel Half Marathon sponsor, Colorado Physical Therapy Specialists discusses the key stabilizing muscles for running and what you can do to strengthen them to help decrease your chance of injury.

Runners commonly suffer from overuse injuries such as knee pain (“runner’s knee”, IT band syndrome, patellar tendinitis), achilles tendinitis, and plantar fasciitis. Despite the variety of injuries that afflict runners, there are a few simple things you can do to reduce your risk and keep your running pain free.

Some of you may already be doing core exercises to help with your running. The back and abdominal muscles commonly strengthened with core exercises are an integral part of any run-strengthening program. However, ensuring adequate strength of the hip abductor and hip external rotator muscles are frequently overlooked. These hip muscles are important for stabilizing your knee each time your foot hits the ground. Too much movement of the knee can result in pain under and around the knee cap, or pain in the IT band or patellar tendon.

The hip abductors and external rotators are also needed for controlling excessive foot pronation (foot rolling inward). Contrary to popular belief, foot pronation is not a bad thing. It is important to assist with shock absorption when your foot hits the ground. However, too much pronation may be a contributing factor to overuse running injuries. Excessive pronation can be controlled by orthotics or a motion controlled/stability shoe. It can also be controlled by strengthening the hip abductors and external rotators as well as muscles of the foot and ankle. If the excessive movement can be controlled by strengthening these muscles, it generally makes more sense to help our body do what it was designed to do and strengthen the muscles as opposed to using an external support.

As you can see, weakness in the hip muscles will result in decreased stability in the hip, knee, ankle and foot. In addition to good strength, you must also have good control. Think of good control like a complex engine that constantly makes minor adjustments to function at peak performance. When your foot strikes the ground, your hip muscles must quickly contract to control your leg motion without you thinking about it. A loss of control can set you up for a multitude of overuse injuries. The good news is you can dramatically reduce your risk of injury by improving your hip muscle strength and control.

So how do you know if you have weakness or poor control of these hip muscles? Performing a single leg mini squat is a simple test that you can do to give you an idea of how much hip control you have.

The following video shows how to perform a single leg mini squat.

Good hip control is demonstrated by maintaining level hips and your knee moving directly over your foot without collapsing inward. If you do not have good control doing the single leg mini squat (a static exercise), you likely have less control with more dynamic exercises such as running.

Your physical therapist or personal trainer can help you determine the best exercises for your hip muscles. Visit ColPTs.com for an example of a good dynamic core and hip exercise to help you continue running injury free.

Drs. Tim Flynn and Terry Gebhardt are physical therapists and owners of Colorado Physical Therapy Specialists.

Share

VFuel to Provide Gel for the 2014 Quad Rock Trail Races

We are happy to announce that VFuel Endurance will supply gel for the 2014 Quad Rock Trail Races.

VFuel Endurance GelAid stations will be stocked with all of the current VFuel flavors: Peach Cobbler, Vanilla, Fudge Brownie, Cool Citrus, and Maple Bacon.

Gel pack samples will be included in the race packets but to cut down on waste and to ensure that we have enough gel for all runners, aid stations will only have bulk containers of gel. Runners will need to bring their own gel flasks to refill or ‘shoot’ gels at the aid stations.

VFuel was founded by local ultra runners from Estes Park, CO. The VFuel formula was developed and tested right in our back yard on the trails of Rocky Mountain National Park. As the first true endurance gel, VFuel is made for tough mountain courses exactly like Quad Rock.

Superior recovery, ease of digestibility, and delicious flavors intended to be consumed for hours and hours, are just a few of the benefits of VFuel Endurance Gel.

We encourage Quad Rock participants to try and train with VFuel before race day. Order online from VFuel.com and enter coupon code QuadRock14 for a 20% discount.

Share

2014 Quad Rock Supporters and Product Giveaways

In addition to the support of our main sponsors for 2014, Pearl Izumi and Cornerstone Mortgage, we feel incredibly fortunate to have the support of some amazing local businesses and gear companies.

Local trail and ultrarunners Cat Speights, Justin Liddle, and Terry Gebhardt have once again stepped up to show their support for the Fort Collins running community with sponsorship of the Quad Rock 25 & 50 mile races through their fantastic businesses.

Colorado Physical Therapy SpecialistsTerry Gebhardt is the owner of Colorado Physical Therapy Specialists, a primary care provider for all your orthopedic needs. COLPTS specializes in sports injuries, neck and back pain, chronic pain, and women’s health. Ask any runner in town who puts them back together, and chances are Terry’s team will be first on the referral list.

Justin K. Liddle DMD, LLCJustin Liddle (DMD) is not only a talented trail runner and keen supporter of the local trail running scene, but he’s also an accredited prosthodontist. Justin’s dental practice can take care of pretty much any of your dental needs, but he specializes in implants and other complex reconstructive procedures. Take a nasty face-first fall and Justin will put your smile back together. Check out the ‘smile gallery‘.

Countryside Animal HospitalDr Catherine Speights is not only a highly accomplished distance runner, but the go-to small animal vet in the running community (and beyond). Her practice, Countryside Animal Hospital, specializes in personalized care of dogs and cats in a home-like setting. Funds from the Countryside sponsorship help support race beneficiary Animal House, which in turn provides volunteer support for the post-race BBQ. It’s a win-win, folks.

Product support for the Quad Rock races come from a range of great companies.

Headquartered in Estes Park, CO, VFuel will be providing on-course support with aid-station gels in a range of flavors. As the first true endurance gel, VFuel was made for tough mountain courses exactly like Quad Rock.

Additional on course fueling needs will be provided by Windsor-based Succeed. They will be providing S!CAPS, the gold standard in electrolyte replacement for endurance athletes.

Overall and age group prizes will come in the form of shoes, packs, sunglasses, running watches and running gift vouchers from five great companies: Pearl IzumiUltraspireSmith Optics, New Balance Watches & Runners Roost Fort Collins.

And it wouldn’t be a celebration of trail and ultrarunning in Fort Collins without a craft brewer helping out with the post-race festivities, so we’re super stoked that Pateros Creek will be back at the BBQ offering up their special batch of “51st Mile English Mild.” We’ll also be offering baked goods from Great Harvest and refreshing rehydration from IZZE Sparkling Juice.

Please support our sponsors – they are all local to Fort Collins or the Mountain West. We couldn’t do this without their kind support.

Share

2014 Quad Rock Presenting Sponsor: Pearl Izumi

We are excited to announce that for the third year in a row, local shoe and apparel company Pearl Izumi is once again showing its support for the local trail running community by stepping up as the Presenting Sponsor for the Quad Rock 25/50 Mile Races.

The M2, offering cushion and moderate mid-foot stability

All entrants will receive a high quality form-fitted Pearl Izumi blended tech T-shirt in both men’s and women’s sizing. Runners will also have the chance to win Pearl Izumi shoes from the wildly popular  E:Motion line and enjoy discount opportunities on Pearl Izumi merchandise at the Runners Roost packet pick-up the Friday before the race.

In addition, there will be opportunities to demo the E:Motion line at the spring training run, at packet pick-up, and also at the start/finish area on race day.

The New Pearl Izumi E:Motion Trail Racer – or – N1

We couldn’t be happier to be working with Pearl Izumi, a local company that shares our ideals of quality in performance, even in the Gnarliest of conditions and in the most demanding of locations.

Locally, the Pearl Izumi line is available through Runners Roost Denver and Fort Collins, in addition to other high quality run specialty stores – or online at Shop Pearl Izumi.

 

Share