Sunday, April 15, 2018


Experienced distance runners have learned through trial and error the importance of recovery. Those who test the limits of their body's ability, and who care more about running daily instead of running consistently, are destined for injury. The key to reaching your running or fitness goals is to listen to your body and understand when it is O.K. to push and when it is necessary to take your foot, so to speak, off the accelerator. 

So, what exactly is recovery? Absolute recovery is a passive approach. The strategy is to stop completely all running activities and to raise our legs above our heart. That’s nice, but not practical. Especially for those enthusiasts who use running as a release from our hectic worlds.

I like to use the term “dynamic recovery.” This requires the runner to play an active role, which can incorporate a number of different forms:

  • a long walk or bike ride on off days
  • self massage and foam rolling
  • ice baths
  • nutrition and hydration

Now, I understand that many well-intentioned runners simply do not have enough hours in the schedule to perform all of these tasks. Therefore, I support the use of movement in footgear that decreases the amount of ankle power needed to move. The Oofos recovery line of sandals and shoes is an excellent option for those of us on the go because the footgear has been clinically tested and research-proven to assist in the recovery phase. 

Success is not measured by the medals we wear but by knowing we were able to put out our maximal effort without wearing out. My hope here is that you learn to know yourself and to embrace recovery in order to attain new goals. Good luck!

Wednesday, April 4, 2018

Water Log

Modern-day athletes are well aware of the importance of proper hydration. But those who are involved in an activity for two hours or more on a given day have specific concerns that must be addressed.  

Dr. Mark Cucuzzella, a family-medicine physician from West Virginia, says, “It should not come as a surprise that the right balance of electrolytes is essential for hydration. This is foundational to hydration and rehydration in the medical field.”  

An improper intake of fluids and electrolytes could lead to fatigue, disorientation, and cramping. An often-overlooked complication is the effect this imbalance has on the skin and nails of distance runners. 

John Vonhof, author of Fixing Your Feet, says, “Long periods of physical exercise cause stress to the extremities as fluid accumulates in the hands and feet.  Fingers and toes often swell when they retain fluid because of low blood sodium (hyponatremia). This causes foot problems as the soft, waterlogged tissues become vulnerable to the rubbing and pounding as we continue to run.” The results are hot spots, blisters, and hematomas to the toenails, which can lead to pain and loss of the nails.

Medical professionals no longer preach that runners should drink at every water station but rather only when thirsty. There are algorithms as to what to take in prior to and during a race. I caution all my patients to remember that these are only guidelines, and to remember that we are all an experiment of one. 

Athletes should do their own due diligence and experiment throughout their training so that come race day, they are in control of their own body. The one caveat to this is that hydration is dynamic and can change due to effort, temperature, and humidity.