30 December 2009

Running Is Good for Your Back

(DISCLAIMER: I'm reporting a study and my own experience. I'm not a doctor, physical therapist, certified coach, or anything other than an amateur runner.)

I don't have major back trouble. Several times in my life, I've misused or overstressed muscles in my lower back and have been down for a day or two. And, I have a small twinge in my lower back from time to time. Over the last 6+ years of running, though, I have experienced that I have much less trouble with my back when I run than when I don't. In fact, in those 6+ years of running, I have not had a single incident of my back going out. I also know that my twinge is much less likely to appear on the days I run than on days I don't run. A lot of that is probably attributable to the fact that I'm many pounds lighter than in my pre-running days.

Runner's World's Peak Performance reported on a study that showed that running is an efficient exercise for backs. So, there is a study that corroborates my experience. It's good to know that I have been doing something good for my back as well as my heart, lungs, and waist.

Here's the link to the actual study report:

Trunk muscle activation during moderate- and high-... [Appl Physiol Nutr Metab. 2009] - PubMed result

All that being said, though, December has been a wash for me as far as running. I had some upper thigh issues around Thanksgiving and took 8 days off. Then, when I ran again, I was extra sore. Add in the rains, a trip to the US, vacation here, and now a cold -- I could count on one hand the number of runs I've had in this month. That will change -- not only do I like to run but I like to eat. :-D

Run well, y'all,

04 December 2009

Stinky Shoes

Ashland Dave talked about stinky shoes in his podcast of 26 September 2009 -- it was somewhere in the first 15 minutes of the podcast:

Running in the Center of the Universe

Stinky shoes are a real problem for me. I am a profuse sweater, so my shoes are always pretty soggy when I finish a run. They are relegated to a place on the porch when I finish running. They do all right until...

...until I run in the rain. For some reason, that seems to push them over the edge. Even though I take out the insoles and stuff the shoes with newspaper to get them to dry, getting them soaked that way seems to bring out the smell and make it permanent. I can wash them and, while it helps, they still stink. I've tried to spray them with Fabreeze and that works until I run again.

Any ideas would be greatly appreciated. Until I find a solution, though, Shoes, you stay outside!

Run well, y'all,

03 December 2009

Runner-Friendly or Unfriendly?

While I'm sure there's more to the story than this particular take on it, Portsmouth, NH doesn't sound like a runner-friendly place to run RW Daily: Portsmouth to Runner: Drop Dead!

As I read the story, I was reminded of how fortunate I was to have lived in the Far West End of Richmond, VA for 4.5 years. Not only are there a lot of friendly runners there, it's definitely a runner-friendly place -- wide streets and courteous drivers. I only recall two aggressive drivers and they had probably just had a bad day. I did have to dodge a couple of school buses. Nothing like Portsmouth, NH.

Run well, y'all,