Science on the Run: Drills, What Are They Good For?

Linking current research to running

By Nikki Reiter

It’s likely you’ve heard that running drills will improve your technique to make you a more efficient runner. Some coaches claim that running drills are effective by way of simulating individual running phases, seeking to correct technique. However, research has shown that the method of performing those classic ‘As, Bs and Cs’ do not mimic the same muscular activation patterns as in running.

Personally, I see a lot of value in performing drills that gets the athlete practicing quick feet, explosiveness and maintaining good posture. They’re also a great way to warm up for a speed workout after a light jog – along with strides they prepare the body for quick movement and increase dynamic range of motion that would not be achievable through static stretching.

Science On The Run: Ultrarunning Spotlight, Part I

Linking current research to running

By Nikki Reiter

In this first post of a four-part series on ultra-running, I’ll address some of the physical deterioration associated with ultra-running. While physical activity by way of running is a very healthy endeavor, with extreme exertion comes health risks. A growing number of researchers are investigating whether these risks outweigh the benefits.

Science on the Run: Get Up and Glute!

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Linking current research to running

By Nikki Reiter

We all know we could work more on our glutes. But who actually commits to it? While I know its importance, I’ve easily lost motivation in my attempts at prehab for many self-proclaimed ‘good’ reasons – change in schedule, fatigue, sickness, or no longer being injured! A physio-runner-friend of mine even setup a three-week challenge, complete with filmed exercises posted on Facebook to make it convenient for her and her peers to stay on track. I think 90% of us failed to do the exercises every day.

Science on the Run: Breakfast, A Recipe For Performance Success!

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By Nikki Reiter

We know that a reduced body mass leads to improved endurance performance (of course, to a certain degree) as it takes less energy to fuel and transport a lighter body. However, athletes must balance their weight loss goals with maintaining strong workouts and race performances.

Science on the Run: Pesky Ankle or Knee Issues? Consider Your Midsole.

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By Nikki Reiter

With all the different types of running shoes on the market, have you ever stopped to wonder whether a softer or harder shoe truly affects how you run? Do they prevent injuries? I’ve previously discussed the importance of perceived comfort when choosing a shoe. Here I present how the qualities of the shoe midsole can relate to injury potential.

Science on the Run: Carbohydrates For A Kick!

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By Nikki Reiter

Pacing is our body’s way of preserving energy and it is suggested to occur both consciously and subconsciously from our brain and local muscles. Pacing requires a complex integration of brain and muscle signals that is highly debated as the Central Governor theory (the brain) vs. the Peripheral Fatigue model (read more here) with the purpose of keeping our bodies from harming themselves through excessive exertion.

Science on the Run: “Better Short Than Never!”

By Nikki Reiter

Do you plan your workout intensity? Does this ever deter you from your workout effort, or maybe deter you from starting the workout altogether?

Research has been published comparing rating of perceived exertion (RPE) responses before, during and after continuous and ‘high-intensity interval training’ (HIIT) exercise trials.

Apparently, RPE has been shown to change in relation to the same session, depending on ‘when’ it is asked.

Science on the Run: The Maximal Footwear Debate

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By Nikki Reiter

I couldn’t figure out how to respond in only 140 characters to a Run SMART reader’s tweet, ‘Say no to Hokas?’ in response to my last post about the ‘foot core system’. While I’m not an expert on Hoka shoes, I do have some reservations about it’s thick midsole. Thanks to @SaltyRuns for the tweet!

Science on the Run: What Are We Without Our Feet?

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Linking current research to running

By Nikki Reiter

Being injured sucks. I recently hit a setback to my post-maternity training due to some ‘stop-me-dead-in-my-tracks’ arch pain. From this stems a reminder for ‘prehab, prehab, prehab!’ This personal incident comes along with an aptly timed publication about a new paradigm concerning foot health – the ‘foot core system.’

While we traditionally associate our ‘core’ with our pelvic region (and all the muscles that insert into it), this new publication highlights that the foot also has its own core, comprising of ‘intrinsic muscles’ (meaning the muscles fully contained within the foot) that are largely ignored when it comes to the typical muscles we associate with running.

Science on the Run: All Is Good In Moderation

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By Nikki Reiter

You often hear that it’s important to warm up for a variety of reasons surrounding injury prevention and optimal performance. Have you ever wondered if your warmup is helping or hindering your performance?  Are you doing too much that you’re wasting valuable energy? Or too little that you haven’t warmed up enough?