Fitness Blog

Perfect Running Shoe

Chatting about The Perfect Running Shoe with the Team of Physiotherapist at Body Leadership

Perfect Running Shoe.

I have been in tears after 1/2 Marathons with the worst blisters of my life that hang around for a week from wearing incorrect running shoes. The Perfect Running Shoe for you is out there it can be tricky to find. I am always asked what is The Perfect Running Shoe at the moment. I was asked to speak to the amazing team at Body Leadership about my experience with injuries with my clients and the relationship with their shoes.

Do I see a trend in injuries that pop up with certain brands, shapes, weight,  width, toe box shape, support verses neutral, ease of foot movement within the shoes and of course heel drops and chronic receptive strain injuries?

Here are my Top 10 Tips to picking the Perfect Running Shoe.

Top Ten Tips 

  1. Look for a shoe that is wide enough when picking The Perfect Running Shoe. As Australian’s we have spent most of our lives walking around in Thongs ( Jandles ) or Barefoot so we generally have a wider foot than the European and the British. The most common mistake when buying shoes is that the nice sales assistant measures your foot in the store and goes and grabs you a shoe. Usually is it just the stock standard width “B” even though you may have a wider foot than the “Common” Shoe width. But genially Australian have a much wider foot than the “B”. How do you know if the shoe is too narrow? If any part of your foot over hangs the sole of the shoe the shoe is too narrow for you. There must be enough room for your feet to spread and your muscles in the balls of your feet and toes to fully engage. Injuries associated with too narrow Shoe Ankle Sprains, Calf, Plantar, Bunions and Hamstring Strains.

2) Look for a The Perfect Running Shoe with a “straight toe box on the inside of the shoe “ on the inside of the shoe. Meaning make sure the shoe continues in a straight line from the arch all the way up to the front of the shoe. This is to allow for your “Big Toe” to sit nice and straight in your shoe. If your Big Toe can sit straight and free in your shoe it can function correctly by “engaging”, pushing down in the front of your shoe. Injuries associated with too narrow a “Toe Box”, Posterior Tibialis Tendonitis, Calf, Hamstring, Plantar.

3) Look for a The Perfect Running Shoe with “Minimal Heal Drop”. Reducing your heal drop will take the impact out of your quads and into your body’s own shock absorbers your Calfs. I like to put clients in a 8mm Drop to start with and work them down to 4mm drop after they have proven to have no calf problems from changing the heal from on their shoes.

Some of my clients with achilles tendonitis injuries may need to be in a 12mm drop but I will try and transition then into an 8mm, then into a 4mm drop when they show signs that they are strong and flexible enough to reduce their heel drop in their shoe.

Injuries associated with shoes with too much heal to forefoot differentiation are Knee Pain, Hip Flexor Injuries, ITB Injuries, Shin Splints, Groin Strains, Weak Glutes, Hip Bursars.

4) Look for The Perfect Running Shoe with “Adequate Flex”. Shoes with adequate flexibility with encourage you to get up on your toes and kick out the back when running. Our foot is designed to flex, engage with the ground allowing your foot and calf muscles to instantly switch on with every touch of the ground. A shoe that allows for ease of movement will encourage you to run with better form. If we don’t have enough flexibility in our shoes we will start to have injuries that strain the Calf or Achilles Tendons, Plantar.

5) Look for The Perfect Running Shoe that is a“Lite Weight”. Shoes that are about 250-270g size 10 male are great for training and shoes that are 190-225 grams are great for racing. Why train in a heavier shoe? You will get more Ks out of your heavier pair thinking that they have been designed as a training shoe and you will run like the wind when switching to your lite weight racing shoe for race day as just that little 25-50 gram difference will make your feet feel lighter and more free like running barefoot. Injuries associated with running in a heavy shoe, Achilles Tendonitis.

6) Look for a The Perfect Running Shoe with “Minimal Details”.  Usually the best shoes on the market are the cheapest of the branded shoe range. I encourage my clients to pick a shoe with NO details around the balls of their feet. Only picking shoes with support around the arch and heal of the foot to secure the foot to the shoe. Injuries Associated with too many details or an over-engineered shoe is Blisters.

Minimal details also lead to less weight in the shoe too which will mean your shoe will be lighter and faster.

7) Look for  The Perfect Running Shoe That You Can “Lock Lace”. Most of the good brands will have “Lock Lacing” holes in the shoe and extra loop hole at the ankle fastening of the shoe. Using the “Lock Lacing” hole will help secure your foot into the shoe and prevent the foot from slipping forward in the shoe and your toes smashing against the end of the shoe when descending hills. It will also help prevent blisters and loss of toe nails. Injuries associated with non-Lock lacing Shoes. Blisters, Toe Nail Loss, Ankle Sprains.

8) Look for The Perfect Running  “Shoe That is Big Enough”. The best way to check and see if the shoe is big enough for you is to stand up and push your toes to the front of your shoe and then put your index finger down the heel of the shoe. If you can get your index finger down the back of your shoe then you have enough room in your shoe for your toes to move and grip. This with the “Lock Lacing” will ensure that you won’t smash your toes into the end of your shoes when training or racing.

9) Look for as The Perfect Running Shoe “Neutral as Possible”. If all the above tips are followed and your big toe can engage then it will be possible to have your big toe to lift your arch, you will land on your forefoot and you won’t roll in or pronate. Heal Strikers Pronate, Fore Foot Strikers Don’t Pronate so there is no need for excessive arch support. If you are flat foot. Foot exercises can be done to help strengthen your arch muscles. This should be done anyway to help prevent other injuries that will come from having flat or weak feet. Shoes with excessive arches may lead to sprained ankles and limited foot activation meaning that you will never build up the muscles in our feet. 

10) Look For a The Perfect Running Shoe with Ankle Stability. Ankle stability is crucial for proper fit, increased efficiency, injury reduction and fit. Choosing a shoe that locks your ankle into position when running is essential. This is different to arch stability. The shoe must fit the ankle correctly and have minimal lateral movement. Injuries associated with lack of ankle stability are Posterior Tibialis Tendonitis, Shin Splints, Calf Strains.

The Perfect Running Shoe That I love;

Trail

Inov8 Trail Talon (Training and Racing Shoe I no longer have to tape my ankles these shoes have amazing ankle stability for such a minimalist shoe Hard Surface and will cross over to the road for training )

Inov8 X-Talon (Racing Shoe and wet weather shoe best on soft ground, sand, mud, thick leaves)

Inov8 Roclite (Entry Level Shoe great grip, ankle stability and will tolerate the road great cross training shoe. )

I’m Sponsored by Inov8 but there is a reason why I’ve chosen to run in their shoes they meet the check list above and I have really taken advantage of 6 years of injury free running.

Road

New Balance Fresh Foam 1080 (Training Shoe Entry Level Shoe 8mm Drop )

Brooks Hyperion (slightly narrower more a racing Shoe made for a narrow foot )

Magnesium Salt Scrubs

Magnesium Salt Scrubs will help you recover faster

Magnesium Salt Scrubs (Epsom Salt) 

This is my number 1 tip for muscle soreness and detoxification of the body is having a Magnesium Salt Scrub every day.

Magnesium is the biggest deficiency in humans.

It is essential for muscle, nerve function, sleep regularity and even your digestion.

It is best absorbed through your skin which is why Salt Scrubs are so effective.

Use a handful of Magnesium Sulphate in the shower every day after washing your body with your usual wheat free shower wash.

Yes they put gluten in everything so check your bottle, I noticed my “Organic Shampoo” had gluten in it and was making my scalp itchy..another story. Check your Body Wash, Shampoo, Conditioners, and all facial creams.

Just grab a handful of your Magnesium Salt Scrub and rub it into your chest first then all over your body. It will also work as a exfoliant and your skin will feel amazing afterwards.

Keep working the scrub over the body until it all dissolves and keep it on for just a minute or so is all thats needed. Yo can leave it on for longer if you have a really effected or injured muscle.

Rise as usual.

There you have it amazing skin, smooth skin texture, muscle conditioning and pure relaxation all in a humble Salt Scrub.

WARNING- If you have any cuts or abrasions you the effected area will sting.

I’ve found the Salt Scrubs great for mossie bites!

 

Marathon Running Group

Marathon Running Group
Meet our Friendly Marathon Running Group

Marathon Running Group

Our 2017 Marathon Running Group has started. We are already into week 2 of our 10 week program. Our Runners are training for the Gold Coast Marathon, Twilight Brisbane 1/2 Marathon, Brisbane Mountain Marathon and many other fun events throughout the year.

The group is varied with many different fitness levels in amongst the group so there will be someone to run with or you get to run with your Marathon Running Group Coach.

Our Marathon Running Group is open to all Outdoor PT Clients and is a great way to get an extra weekly free session in to compliment your training program.

Every week in our Marathon Running Group we rotate from Road, Trail and Time Trials so there is something different and challenging for you every week and it is designed to build a better body balance and prevent injuries.

We give sports race and training nutritional, hydration advice in the Marathon Running Group to help prepare you for your big day and to also care for you whilst out training.

Orange Fat Bombs

Orange Fat Bombs

Orange Fat Bombs

Orange Fat Bombs is an easy variation on my Orange and Almond Fat Bombs and the orange can be swapped for Lemon for more a Lemon Cheese Cake taste. Orange Fat Bombs are a great snack for going DF, SF, GF and Vegan. Here is my recipe below;

Recipe

200g      Organic Desiccated Coconut ( You will make this into Coconut Butter )

1/4 Cup  Organic Coconut Oil ( Have the Coconut Oil Handy when making the Coconut butter as you may need at add a Teaspoon to the Coconut)

1 Zest     Orange

1/2          Orange Juice

Method

In a blender add desiccated Coconut and blend until it turns into a Coconut Butter, you may need to add 1 teaspoon of coconut oil to help with the binding of the coconut. This may take about 5  minutes.

When the Coconut Butter has been made add the Coconut oil, Orange Zest and Orange Juice and blend further until fully mixed together.

Pour into a 10cm x 10cm plastic freezer safe container and freeze until the mixture is hard. This will take a few hours. I usually leave it over night.

Orange Fat Bombs

Orange and Almond Fat Bombs

Orange and Almond Fat Bombs

Orange and Almond Fat Bombs GF DF V

Orange and Almond Fat Bombs are an amazing snack that will give you all the fat you need for optimal brain function from the coconut oil and a little bit of protein from the almonds for a bit of protein. This recipes take the best of Orange and Almond Cakes but has no added sugar. Orange and Almond Fat Bombs are great for weight loss and will help you hit those Keto targets for the day. Here is the recipe below;

250 g            Organic Desiccated Coconut ( You will turn this into Coconut Butter)

1/4 -1/2 Cup Organic Coconut Oil

1 Cup           Raw Almonds ( You will turn this into Almond Butter )

1                    Zest of Orange

1/2                Orange Juice

Method

In a Blender, add Desiccated Coconut and a teaspoon of Coconut Oil. Blend until it forms a butter. This may take about 3-5minutes. Add in Almonds to the Coconut Butter and again blend until it forms a butter. You may again need to add in a little more coconut oil, depending on how dry the Almonds are. Add in 1/4 a cup of Coconut Oil, Orange Zest and the Orange Juice.

Pour into a plastic container about 10 x 10cm in diameter or into individual sweet moulds. Place into the Freezer and leave until hard. I usually freeze over night.

Orange and Almond Fat Bombs

Keto Cacao Coconut Chia Pudding

Keto Cacao Coconut Cinnamon Chia Breakfast Pudding
Keto Cacao Coconut Cinnamon Chia Breakfast Pudding

Keto Cacao Coconut Chia Breakfast Pudding

Try my Keto Cacao Coconut Chia Breakfast Pudding. I switched from my trusty Oats to Chia about a year ago and I have not looked back. I have noticed that my moods have been stable the who day, I am less depressed. I don’t the 3pm dip in energy. My mind is focused for the entire day. Apart from all these amazing positives I lost weight from my stomach too. Another massive positive outcome from switching to a Keto Breakfast. Here is my super easy recipe below;

Recipe

2 Tablespoons of Organic Chia Seeds ( I like the black ones the best )

2 Cups of Organic Coconut Milk ( Coco Quench is what I use )

1 Tablespoon of Organic Cacao

1 Teaspoon of Cinnamon

In a saucepan add Chia Seeds, Cinnamon, Cacao and Coconut Milk. Bring to the boil on a medium heat and then turn down to low and simmer for 10-15 minutes until the Chia Seeds coat becomes translucent . I’ve suggested 2 cups of coconut milk, sometimes I add a bit more towards the end of cooking if needed. Pour into a bowl and enjoy with a teaspoon of honey if you have a big day of exercise.

Keto Cacao Coconut Chia Breakfast Pudding

 

45 Minute Lunch PT Sessions Brisbane

personal trainer brisbane
personal trainer brisbane

45 Minute Lunch PT Sessions Brisbane are a great way to fit in a high intensity cardio interval and strength conditioning program into your weekly routine. You will return back to work high on endorphins and ready to take on what work is left in your day.

Here is an example of a 45 Minute Lunch PT Session in Brisbane;

Warm Up Walking or Running to the Park to meet me your PT.

Jog for a further 5 minutes.
100 Jab Crosses
100 High Knees
5 Squat Jumps
Run for 500m
Repeat 5 times

20 Two Handed Rows
Kettle Bell Swings 8-12 Kilos 20 Reps
20 Sumo Squats
Squat with over head shoulder press 10-20 kilos 10-20 Depending on strength.
If we have time a 500m Run between sets.

Core Plank
Reverse Crunches
Back Extensions

Cool down on your run/walk back to the office and stretch in the shower.

Done a nice efficient 500cal burning 45 Min Lunch Time Session.

Shoe Choice and Injury Prevention

Shoe Choice and Injury Prevention
Shoe Choice and Injury Prevention

Runners Shoe Choice, Injury Prevention and Rehabilitation.

 

Picking your shoes for training and racing can be one of the most important gear choices you can make. It can make the difference between enjoying your running or just being constantly injured. As a Personal Trainer and Running Coach I’ve noticed a few trends with my clients injuries and their choice of shoes yet more significantly I have witnessed that shoe choice can alas help elevate chronic pain from runners and allowing them to training whilst making their injured muscle stronger and more flexible.  I am sponsored by inov-8, I am on the inov-8 International Trail Running Team inov-8 shoes really work for me and yet I have noticed that my clients, every day runners have gained the same benefits as I have and avoided injury from following the below guidelines.

 

How many Ks Should I put into my shoes?

 

The amount of ks to be put into a shoe will vary depending on the brand and model of the shoe. As we run our natural or not so natural Bio-mechanics will determine the strike point and wear pattern that the clients running action will build up on the sole of the shoe.

This problem always must be in the back of your mind when a client whom body is sound, strong and with a good range of motion, thus injury free for a period of time suddenly starts to experience pain. Their shoe choice should be taken into consideration. Their pain could just be due to they may just need a new pair of shoes. Their wear pattern may have made the sole of the shoe more compressed on a point of the sole thus sending extra pressure through the ankle, knee, calf, hip, back, the list can go on.

 

I like to limit my clients to 500km per shoe for Long Distance Slow and High Intensity Running Sessions. After that the shoe can be their 30 min easy session shoe, gardening, walking etc.

 

The Importance of Shoe Rotation can not be emphasised enough.

 

On the plus side Shoe Rotation is also a great way to improve the longevity of your shoe. If the shoe is not rotated frequently the foam will compress faster than a highly rotated shoe.

 

I recommend 2-4 pairs of shoes to be used in the week and 1 pair of shoes to be used on the weekend for your long runs.

 

The reason for this is that the foam in the sole of the shoe will compress when training. It will compress more on hard surfaces like road or concrete. So I recommend the following;

 

  • Shoe A Wear on Monday and Tuesday
  • Shoe B Wear on Wednesday, Thursday (Old pair of Shoes)
  • Shoe C New pair of Shoe to be worn for light sessions in the 2 weeks -1 month before the event. The shoe stiffness and structure will determine the amount of wear in time that is needed before the event.
  • Shoe D Wear on Saturday or your Long Run day. Newest Pair.

 

Trail Running and its benefit to injury prevention and rehabilitation;

 

I’ve watched so many of my clients whilst training for a marathon, building up the kilometers on the road be crippled with Runners Knee (ITB) , Calf , Stress Fracture injuries. It is usually after building up ks over 30km on the road. The muscles in the body has to work extremely hard to cushion the impact of receptive force of running on the road. The amount of force on the body is 3 X Greater than running on Grass or Dirt. When the muscle become fatigued the bio-mechanics can alter in the running action, loss of form and increasing the risk of injury on the joints.

 

If a Road Running Client becomes injured from receptivity over use injury from road running I would recommend that all training should be completed on a trail, grass and dirt where ever possible.

 

In my programs for my clients I recommend that all Long Runs, Speed and Intervals are to be completed on grass, dirt or trail.

Trail running also forces your body to move in different directions. As the trail changes direction, the runners must too. Dodging, weaving, jumping using ones core to maintain balance, perfect form whilst clearing longs, steps, roots etc. The ascents and descents are usually bigger on a trail forcing the runner to become fore efficient with every step, adopting a shorter stride and increasing their cadence. The outcome is that the runner becomes more balanced bio-mechanically, stronger,  lighter and faster on their feet.

 

Barefoot Running

I like to have my clients running for 10 minutes in a cool down which equates for about 3 laps around an oval every week with NO SHOES ON. This will improve the strength and flexibility in the feet and their entire leg. It will also help encourage a more lighter running technique thus preventing impact injuries. If the athlete is a novice, I will walk and run with the client 20 steps running, 20 steps walking before running, 50 then 100 steps at a time. Encourage the client to walk around in Barefoot whenever possible.

 

Here are some common Injuries and how we can suggest a shoe choice to help prevent rehabilitate this injury;

 

Metatarsal Stress Fractures

Overuse injury usually in runners building up kilometers and NOT CHANGING THEIR SHOES OFTEN ENOUGH.

Check out the below link for my Stress Fracture Rehab in 2010-2011in which I had stress fractures in BOTH of my 2, 3 and on my left foot 4 and 5th Metatarsals.

http://www.shonastephenson.com/2011/12/stress-fracture-re-hab-program.html

After cross training and heaps of Ice Foot Baths and ultrasound I managed to rehab my feet.

I recommend

 

  • HIGH ROTATION of shoes should be adopted for a YEAR after running again and forever more.
  • Take note of how the shoe sole compresses and avoid shoes that compress in the ball of the foot too early in their lifespan.
  • Running Action should be checked and a lift rather than push action should be adopted. The client should be encourage to run lighter on their feet with a high cadence rate aiming at 200 steps per 60 seconds. 
  • Getting your client to ride a bike and to check their cadence rate on the bike will help them develop this higher cadence technique of 100 Revolutions/Min
  • I’d also recommend AVOIDING the road when ever possible. They will find that they will not be able to run fast on the road for more than 10km however be able to run 100km on the trail.

 

Whilst the client is injured the Hoka One One, Cloud Tech shoes are a way to get them running a bit more safely on the road. Inov-8 F-Lite 215’s will help perfect their running action to prevent them from injuring themselves in the future. The sole on the F-Lite is a rubber compound that will not compress like Foam base Soles will.

For the Trail I really like the Inov-8 Trailroc 255’s they are lite weight and have a rock protection plate in the sole to prevent rock protrusion bruising on the ball of your feet. The rubber sole does not compress and the longevity of the sole upper and lower is really high easily plus 500ks.

 

Shoes to Look for

  • Inov-8 f-lite 215’s
  • Inov-8 f-Lite 195
  • Inov-8 Trailroc’s 255, 235, 
  • Hoka One One
  • Cloudtec.

 

Runners Knee-ITB Band

Runners knee is caused by a lack of Glute Medial Strength and/ Or  Flexibility. Or an imbalance in the structure of the muscles around the knee.

If after strength and stretching exercised are not helping I’d suggest switching to a pair of shoes with less heal to help encage the Glutes to switch on and become more active whilst running. Again the Inov-8 F-Lite 215, Inov-8 F-Lite 195, New Balance Minimus. I like my clients to walk around daily in these type of shoes too to again teach the body to switch on the glutes to help gain more strength.

I’d also encourage my clients to complete all “Long Runs” and “High Intensity” Training on dirt, trail or grass. The impact is much softer on the body and as mentioned above the entire body is used whilst trail running and greater strength throughout the glutes and hamstrings is achieved.

 

Knee Strength Exercises;

  • Single Leg Squats
  • Running Man
  • Sumo Squats
  • Supine Hip Extensions
  • Walking Lunges
  • Bonus these exercise will usually fix a back injury too!

 

Shoes to Look For- Minimal Heal Drop 6min from front to back

  • Inov-8 F-Lite 190
  • Inov-8 F-Lite 215
  • Inov-8 X-Talon 212
  • Inov-8 X-Talon 195
  • New Balance Minimus
  • Nike Free
  • Adidas Zeros

 

Achilles Tendonitis and Calf Injuries

I’ve lumped these into on category but can be very different in their lead up. Achilles Tendonitis is an overuse injury of client who are usually carrying too much weight on their body whilst running over hilly terrain. This is a perfect storm for trail runners who are running massive climbs with a pack on their backs or in new clients who have lack of strength and flexibility in their calves and might be carrying too much weight on their body. Or can be cause by poor warm up then a sudden fast sprint.

Recommendations to clients would be to try and reduce the weight on their body and improve strength and flexibility, extend warm up period and introduce ROM into their warm up.

Calf usually injuries pop up in runners who are running FAST on hard surfaces and are using their calf muscles to soften the impact of running on their joints.

Both of the above injuries can also be made WORSE by wearing shoes with not enough Flexibility in the sole.

 

  • Shoes that are HEAVY and with NOT ENOUGH FLEXIBILITY in the sole will bring on an injury in a flash. 
  • NEW NOT WORN IN SHOES can be a perfect recipe for disaster for an athlete! 
  • So wear in shoes properly if they are stiff better still PICK light weight flexible shoes to begin with and hopefully the above injury can be avoided.
  • I have also noticed that shoes that are TOO NARROW in fit for the ball of the athletes’ foot can also lead to calf and Achilles injuries.
  • Make sure your shoe is the correct fit and wide enough for your foot and remember that your foot can swell up an extra size, in hot condition 2 extra sizes so it is important that the shoe is wide enough for your foot.

 

Again not enough flexibility and width in the sole can prevent the foot muscles from working properly.  This is because the foot does not have enough room to switch the muscles in the feet on to start the reduction of impact in the body from the balls of the feet up through the ankle and into the calf, hamstring, glute and so on. I’d encourage the client to check their shoes and make sure their feet are able to switch on and fully function whilst running. Foot activation can really help prevent most injuries.

The below shoes will increase the strength and flexibility of the athlete. Dropping the heal drop ands wearing more flexible shoes and can lead to initial calf soreness however the outcome is that the athlete will have a strengthen and great Range of Motion in their calf, feet, hamstrings and glutes. So strength and flexibility exercises must be improved to switch on and strengthen the muscles in your feet.

A Slow build up into dropping the heal drop must also be completed to prevent re-injuring the calf. After the calf is functioning properly Plyometrics should be added into the weekly routine to strengthen the calf and prevent the injury from reoccurring.

A heal insert can be won in the injured legs’ shoe to help with the transition also.

 

Examples of Light Weight Flexible Shoes;

  • Inov-8 F-Lite 190
  • Inov-8 F-Lite 215
  • Inov-8 X-Talon 212
  • Inov-8 X-Talon 195
  • Inov-8 Trailroc 235
  • New Balance Minimus
  • Nike Free
  • Adidas Zeros-Can be a bit stiff so be careful.

 

Calf Strength Exercises;

  • Calf Raises Single Leg with KNEE STRAIGHT! EVERY DAY!
  • Single Leg Squat to Calf Raise.
  • Point and Flex just like a ballerina 
  • When strong enough hopping and jumping.

 

In 2013 I tore my Achilles tendon from wearing a new pair of shoes with not enough flexibility in the sole of the shoe compared to what my body was use to whilst doing speed work on the road. I added an insert to my most light weight and flexible shoes, avoided the road like the plague, made sure my shoes I was wearing were wide enough for my foot, completed all my high intensity training on a stationary bike and in 6 weeks was able to race the Mt Blanc Marathon in Chamonix France and win a 9th Place in the Inov-8 X-Talons 190.

 

Hamstring Injuries

This injury is found in runners who have been running for about a 2 years and they have had the ITB Band, Calf/Achilles now it is the hamstrings turn become sore and tight. Or in people, mainly men who just don’t stretch and live a sedentary lifestyle.

The reason for this is that it could be that their glutes again are not firing and their hamstrings are taking up too much of the slack. They could also be doing NOT ENOUGH VARIED RUNNING Training and avoiding speed work in endurance athletes, thus the shortening of the hamstrings and less range of motion throughout each stride. Avoid the bike if cross training and get those glutes working again.

I’d have a look at the shoes and if they are in a pair of shoes with more than a 6mil Drop I’d be encouraging them to hop into a minimal running shoe to help lengthen and improve the range of motion in the hamstring and calf muscle. Hopefully your client with some more stretching and strength in the hamstrings will find relief within a few weeks. The pair of shoes I found had the best impact in my personal experience is the Inov-8 f-Lite 195 for the Trail Inov-8 X-Talon 190 and Inov-8 Trailroc 235.

 

Hamstring Strength Exercises;

  • Supine Hip Extensions
  • Opp-Arm to leg Back Extensions
  • Sumo Squats
  • Walking Lunges
  • Running Man
  • Burpees
  • Squat Jumps
  • Rowing Machine
  • Kettle Bell Swings

 

Examples of Light Weight Flexible Shoes;

  • Inov-8 F-Lite 190
  • Inov-8 F-Lite 215
  • Inov-8 X-Talon 212
  • Inov-8 X-Talon 195
  • Inov-8 Trailroc 245
  • Inov-8 Trailroc 235
  • New Balance Minimus
  • Adidas Zeros

 

Hip Injuries

Hips are the stabiliser of the body whilst running. Again those glutes can really help sure up the bodies defence again a hip injury. Apart from strengthening and stretching check the wear pattern on the sole of your shoe and see if the outside of the shoe has been worn down more quickly compared to the middle and inside of the sole of the shoe. If yes a new pair of shoes must be bought.

Any shoe with less heal drop will engage the glutes and build an armour around your hips thus preventing further injuries.

Becoming lighter on your feet, increasing your cadence, and reducing the impact suffered through your hip joint will also give relief to an athletes symptoms. I’ve found that heal strikers are in more danger of suffering from hip injuries. Again a shorter, high cadence running action should be encouraged.

A tip to help prevent soft tissue hip flexor injuries, driving forward with your knee rather than lifting your knees can also help with this injury. But again check the shoes and make sure a high rotation of the athletes shoes is being met.

 

Exercises for Hip Injuries

  • Lunge with a Row Opp-Arm to Leg 
  • Walking Lunges
  • Sumo Squats
  • Supine Hip Extensions
  • Running Man
  • Kettle Bell Swings

 

Examples of Light Weight Flexible Shoes;

  • Inov-8 F-Lite 190
  • Inov-8 F-Lite 215
  • Inov-8 X-Talon 212
  • Inov-8 X-Talon 195
  • Inov-8 Trailroc 245
  • Inov-8 Trailroc 235
  • New Balance Minimus
  • Adidas Zeros
  • Inov-8 TRI-EXTREME 245

 

Shin Splints

Again the overuse of shoes really does injure the body. I can not stress this enough. Shin Splints and calf injuries can go hand in hand. I found that 5 of my clients wearing one particular brand/model of shoe suffered this injury. I asked them all to switch brands and models and the pain subsided and they were able to run normally again.

Shoes that don’t allow for the normal blood flow to move from the foot up the calf will increase the risk of shin splints also. Shoes with laces done up too tight will also restrict the blood flow to the muscles in the calf thus leading to lack of performance in the muscle, bring on damage to the origin point of the muscle on the Fibular/Tibular.

Shoes that the upper inner sole and foot plate wears out too fast, breaks and compresses can also bring on shin splints, as well as treadmill running. Again rotate the shoes, make sure the shoes do not have more than 500ks in them and choose a pair of shoes with a rubber compound that won’t compress too early in it’s like span.

Wearing Compression Socks can help elevate the pain, increase the blood flow to the calf muscles from the shoe and help with the rehab of the injury. Again switch to a pair of shoes that allows the calf muscle to work efficiently.

Some clients especially older females must be careful when STARTING to RUN for the first time after years of inactivity. I’ve found they are at high risk of a hard tissue injury like a shin splint or full blown stress fracture because they do not have the strength or bone density to prevent a hard tissue injury like a shin splint. So a slow build up on grass is what I’d recommend for this client.

 

In Novice Clients I had them switch to Asics.

 

In more experienced runners I had them switch to

Inov-8 F-Lite 190

Inov-8 F-Lite 215

Inov-8 X-Talon 212

Inov-8 TRI-EXTREME 245

Inov-8 Trailroc 245

Inov-8 Trailroc 235

New Balance Minimus

Adidas Zeros

 

Every Day Novice Runner Shoes that I have found give little or no injuries to my clients are the Asics range and Adidas Range. The Nike Frees are good however the foam compound in the sole does compress and become uneven quite quickly.

 

Tibialis Posterior Tendonitis

I’ve found that clients who are again wearing their shoes for too long will suffer from Tibialis Posterior Tendonitis. It can be a bit like shin splints. The wear medial pattern of the shoe will usually indicate this for you. The runner will have collapsed the medial or inside of the shoe. The sole of the shoe will be too spongey and would have collapsed thus leading to a strain on the Tibialis Posterior Tendon.

In 2013 I banned a Type and Model of Trail Shoes to all my clients that I found was repeatedly injuring my clients

I’d recommend a shoe change to a more ridged heal and with stability in the ankle to let the tendon rest and heal.

 

Shoes that can help with Tibialis Posterior Tendonitis

Inov-8 Roclite 268

Inov-8 Roclite 243

Inov-8 TRI-EXTREME 245

 

 

 

 

Flat Foot Runners

Usually runners who are flat footed wear an orthotic. I’ve found that the Brooks Range are the best for these runners to start in. However I’d encourage your client when ever possible to drop into a lower profile shoe to help prevent any of the above injuries.

Basically when buying the shoe they are limited to what their orthotic fits into. I would still encourage the essence of the above advise on allowing your Foot do its job of being a foot.

A flat foot runner is at a greater risk of Plantar fasciitis. Plantar fasciitis is caused from the arch of the foot collapsing through lack of foot strength and flexibility the fascia tendon becomes hard, painful, inflexible and can even pull on the heal and lead to fragments of bone to be pulled off the heal bone. Ouch.

Again the reduction of weight is highly recommended in runners carrying extra kilos thus putting more stress on the joints. For every BMI point a client is above their healthy weight range they can increase their risk of injury by 14%.

 

An orthotic may be recommended or the client MUST Increase the strength and flax ability in their feet. I like to get my clients to treat their feet like Ballerina’s and advise them;

 

  • “Point and Flex” exercises.
  • Calf Raises
  • Single Leg Squats
  • Hip Extensions
  • Hot epsom Salt Baths
  • Massage will really help to break up the scar tissue in the arch.
  • Rolling the arch of the foot on a Golf Ball every night will help with the healing process.
  • Foot Ice Baths After Every Training Session that Inflammation is felt.

 

With gained foot strength and flexibility along with increasing Calf, Hamstring and Glute strength and flexibility and with a little help from cross training on a bike until the injury has healed the client should be able to return to running and shoe choice should be taken slow and gradually.

 

  • inov-8 Roclite 268
  • Asics

 

Ankle Injuries

A runner can be suffering from a life time of this particular type of injury. Women who have played Netball, Men/Women Football, Gymnasts, Basketball Players all usually would have sprained the ligaments in their ankle at some stage. Trail running is also an ankle killer. I recommend that the ankle/s are tapped if the athlete has suffered from a sprained ankle in the past.

 

What can increase the risk of a sprained ankle?

 

  • Shoes with too much Pronation Support can also increase the risk of an ankle injury, as well as some of the above injuries.
  • Shoes with too narrow a sole, or impact point can flip the ankle over also.
  • Shoes with not firm enough ankle structure 
  • Shoes with a ridged and straight edge to the catch point on the outside of the shoe.

 

  • Look for shoes that fit the ball of your foot correctly.
  • Avoid shoes with pronation support.
  • Check that the shoe fits the ankle snuggly

 

The for road I especially recommend the inov-8 TRI-EXTREME 245’s they are wide at the balls of the foot, fit snugly around the ankle, lock in the ankle at the heal and have a nice ride whilst running. The inov-8 X-Talon and inov-8  Roclite Range are great also as the Sole of the shoe has a clean straight edge.

 

  • Inov-8 F-Lite 190
  • Inov-8 F-Lite 215
  • Inov-8 X-Talon 212
  • Inov-8 X-Talon 195
  • Inov-8 Trailroc 235

 

Key Points to Picking a Shoe

 

  • Flexibility
  • Weight
  • Width at balls of Feet
  • Length for Correct Size
  • Fit around the ankle and arch of foot
  • Minimal Details around the toes
  • Heal Fit

 

The Tread is determined by the surface and terrain.

 

Cushioning

 

I’ve found that in clients who have followed a training program with proper strength and flexibility exercises especially designed to improve the running form and reduce their risk of injury can run in a more minimal style of running shoe to increase their strength and flexibility in their feet thus improving their form and reducing their risk of injury.

 

Entry Level first shoe for my clients are the following;

 

  • inov-8 Roclite 268
  • inov-8 TrailRoc 255/245
  • inov-8 f-Lite 215’s
  • inov-8 TRI-EXTREME 245

 

http://www.barefootinc.com.au

http://www.inov-8.com/New/Global/Index.asp?L=26

For more information on Shoe Choice and Injury Prevention please send us an email.

Rafting Ground Reserve

Training at the Rafting Ground Reserve

I love training my clients at the Rafting Ground Reserve in Brookfield because it is much like the rolling hills, grassy fields of Centennial Park in Sydney. It’s only a small park, yet because of the surrounding farmland it appears more spacious. It is technically a “Dog on Lead Area”, as all of Brisbane City Council is, unlike Sydney City Council, however I often see people exercising their dogs of leash throughout the park and it seems acceptable to have your dog off a lead in the Rafting Ground Reserve as long as you clean up after your animal.

There is a great slightly slopped grassy flat section of grass that is about 200m in length which is great for warm ups, running drills and flat speed work. Beware of the bubbler in this area, it will take off your tonsils if the pressure on the tap is not correct. I’ve inhaled water into my nose many times on this bubbler.

I use this area for straight speed sprints and recovery.

The rafting Ground Reserve also has about 3km of trails that loops around Mogill Creek  which can be connected with Rowena and Melinda Street for a quad killing hill climb.

There is a children’s play ground, undercover picnic areas, and clean public toilets near a adequate carpark close to the entrance of Mogill Rd.

Here is a sample of one of my Rafting Ground Reserve Training Session

Warm Up 10 Min in the Flat Grassy Area just across the Mogill Creek Bridge.

Running Drills Over 10M

  • 5x High Knees
  • 5x Kicking Bums
  • 5xKnee Drive Forward Hot Potato Feet
  • 5x Walking Lunges

Sprints 200m Starting at the Bridge and ending at the last tree up the hill before the dirt track.

  • 3x 200m Sprints at 70% Thinking of Technique and Cadence

After each sprint Jog SLOWLY Back to the bridge for your recovery

  • 3x200m Sprints at 80% Thinking of Cadence

After each sprint Jog SLOWLY Back to the bridge for your recovery

Next it’s time for your strength. Today we did a combination of free weights, resistance bands, ab matt and kettle bells.

  • Two Handed Rows around the Metal Pole at the Picnic Ground 3 sets of 30
  • Single Leg Squat Holding onto the Metal Pole for Balance and Support 3 sets of  10 on each leg

Now that you’ve recovered from your sprints it’s time for some weights

  • Medium-Heavy Squats with Bicep Curl 3 sets of 10
  • Medium to Heavy Sumo Squats 3 sets of 10

Core Now- Use an Ab-Matt and a Yoga Matt.

  • 3 set of 20 Sit ups Touching the ground with your hands and touching your feet legs in butterfly position using the Ab-Matt.
  • 3 sets of 20 Opp-Arm to Leg Back Extensions (I like to get my clients to hover their arms off the floor to make it more challenging)
  • 3 Plank Holds for 1 Min

Stretch Now you’ve earn it.

https://www.google.com.au/maps/place/Rafting+Ground+Reserve/@-27.51996,152.926108,17z/data=!3m1!4b1!4m2!3m1!1s0x0:0xf02a35bd7226ae0

Bowman Park Bardon Bootcamp and Mums and Bubs Sessions

Outdoor PT Brisbane is now running Bootcamp and Mums n Bubs Sessions at Bowman Park BardonBowman Park Bardon Bootcamp and Mums n Bubs session start on the 19th of May.

Mums n Bubs session will be held between 9 and 11am with Flexi start times. Just turn up anytime between 9 and 10am and train for 1 hour. This means you will have a stress free start to your Mums n Bubs Session. Shona a Personal Trainer with Cert 1V  and Sports Nutrition qualifications and a mum of two with over 5 years experience with training mums n bubs sessions will guide you through the session.

Mums n Bubs Bowman Park Bardon Times;

  • 9-11am
  • Mondays and Wednesdays
  • Meet on the Football Field in front of the Lady Gowie Childcare Centre.

Bootcamps will Start up on Wednesday Morning 21st of May at 5:30-6:30am

Bowman Park Bootcamp Session Times;

  • 5:30-6:30am
  • Wednesdays and Fridays
  • Meet on the Football Field in front of the Lady Gowie Childcare Centre.

Parking is available at Bowman Park Bardon in front of the Lady Gowie Childcare centre.

For all group session your first week of training is free. We then sell 10 session Casual Passes for $150.

Your 10 session casual Pass Package includes;

  • 10 Week Cardio Program
  • 10 Week Strength and Conditioning Program
  • 2 Week Meal Planner

Please call or email Shona on 017 693 281 or shonastephenson@me.com to secure your spot as class sizes are limited.