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Fitter and Faster

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Re: Fitter and Faster

Post  nkrichards on Tue Nov 11, 2014 12:49 am

Hey Kathy...great to hear from you. I like the sounds of your plan and you have lots of support and good advice available here. I plan to eaves drop and listen to the advice that you get from the HR experts. Take care of that cold and make sure you're fully recovered before you push to hard/long.
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Re: Fitter and Faster

Post  Julie on Tue Nov 11, 2014 7:33 pm

Hi Kathy, I'm so not a LHR expert but sounds like you know what you're doing! Congrats on the wt loss so far! I agree I'd be starving at 1200 and not able to sleep but listen to your body and eat a little extra if you need. I agree with finding emotional triggers and working on that being a real key to long term success. Sorry about the annual bad fall cold. I have a bad sinus infection now beating me down.
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Re: Fitter and Faster

Post  Penelope on Tue Nov 11, 2014 9:27 pm

Thanks for stopping in all!
Mark--thank you so much for all the info you've given / answering all my questions and such.  I did read the Hadd article (all of it!) and I have to say, between that, reading Maffetone's website and listening to the 80/20 podcast with Matt Fitzgerald on runner academy, I think Hadd's article helped me most.  By the time I read it, I was hopeful that the approach would be good for me (if I could stand it) but still doubtful on the necessity, because it seems that any training should build mitochondria and capillaries.  Hadd's article, explaining that you're really training your slow-twitch fibers and learning to rely on those, made the most amount of sense to me.  It clicked; of course my slow fibers need to get faster, and that will take time since I probably have been focusing mainly on my fast-twitch ones. 

Tom--I'm glad to hear you're a proponent of the method, too! I did read up on it, as much as I could without actually reading the whole book.  Since I understand why / how it works, I'm much more willing to deal with the unpleasantly slow paces at first, knowing that it will eventually get better in the long run (no pun intended). I'm excited to see what I can do with it!

Nancy--thanks! i'll try to post updates / progress periodically.  Some of the most convincing factors for me to try it was to see other runners' improvements. They really are encouraging!

Julie--thanks! It's been a process.  I've had a very light work schedule recently due to vacation and switching some weeks with others, which has really helped take away the triggers to eat out of negative emotion.  But now I'm back to my more regular working schedule, and it's going to be tough.  I find that when I am tired and have a tough day at work, my willpower to say no to the temptations is much lower, so I need to figure out some way to cope better.

Last night, my damn shins began to get sore again (they got better after this bad cold forced me to rest) and it's bad pain. They hurt all day today and I have ice on them now.  The pain itself is mild, and not enough to actually bother me in and of itself.  It's just that I don't know what the pain will do--will the shinsplints keep getting worse, and bad enough that I have to stop running? Sometimes you can run through a niggle and it just goes away in time. If I knew it would all be okay and they'd go away, I'd just keep running and ignore them.  I had them badly in high school and I ignored them and got a stress fracture once and missed a lot of meets by not being able to run. After high school, I haven't had shinsplints ever again, until this March when I bought this treadmill.  And then this weekend, I ran 2 days in a row on it, not even 2 miles each time, and the shinsplints are back.  And before this treadmill use, I was running 3-6 miles 5x/week outside without any problems.  It's only November so clearly running on the treadmill all winter isn't going to work--I'm going to have to run outside, in the cold and dark sometimes, and limit the treadmill to 1-2 times per week I think.  I'm really pretty frustrated by it and every time I look at the treadmill, I think of how much $ I spent (it took me weeks to allow myself to actually do it) on getting a supposedly nice one that's hardly of any use to me since it keeps causing shin splints.

I'm using Asics 2170s, with inserts.  Upgraded to those from lighter shoes to see if that would help it. The only other thing I can think of to do is try an even more cushioning shoe, like that Hoka brand.  The lesson I learned from this whole thing is that not all treadmills are the same (I ran on my gym's one without any issues) and that before you spend a bunch of money on your own, you should try running on it more than once.  Try it 5-6 times first and see what happens.
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Re: Fitter and Faster

Post  Mark B on Tue Nov 11, 2014 11:52 pm

Glad that I could help (and I agree on the usefulness of Hadd, once you digest all he says), but I'm sorry to hear about your shins. I've noticed that any shin issue I've had has tended to relate to treadmill use... but I don't know why. It might be cushioning, I suppose, but concrete is a lot harder than a treadmill deck. Maybe there's something in the way you run on the treadmill that strains the front of the legs? Like maybe landing more on your toes? Still, if you say you don't have this problem on other treadmills... hm. What makes this one different?
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Re: Fitter and Faster

Post  Michele "1L" Keane on Wed Nov 12, 2014 10:07 am

Hope the shins get better.  I do find interesting though as I tend to wear lighter shoes on the treadmill not more cushioned ones.  As always, we are all an experiment of one.
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Re: Fitter and Faster

Post  Penelope on Thu Nov 13, 2014 8:31 pm

I think the experiment of one idea is particularly true here.  I have no idea why my treadmill causes me problems but the gym models never did.  I decided that I'm going to see a podiatrist.  There's someone nearby who deals with the professional ballet that may be of use.  There's also a practice called The Running Institute, that has a sports medicine physician, 2 podiatrists, and a chiropractor, and I think that may be promising.  Maybe there's something with my gait that I can work on, or maybe different shoes or different arch support / orthotics.

I also asked my doctor for topical anti-inflammatory, which she wasn't crazy about.  (I have a lot of stomach sensitivities, including to advil/motrin, and get ulcers when I take that, otherwise I would just use ibuprofen and not have even told her about the issue.) Ice helps, and I have compression socks that I think help reduce the soreness after.  At work where I can't ice, I put icy-hot on them, and although it doesn't treat the underlying inflammation, it makes them feel cool / less sore so that I don't notice it.  The pain is so mild, but I intend or had intended to run a lot more miles on the treadmill than I am now.  I don't mind running in the cold (don't like it, but I'll do it) but I DO mind running in the cold and the dark, and I leave for work and get home from work when it's dark now.
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Re: Fitter and Faster

Post  Penelope on Wed Nov 19, 2014 3:58 pm

I've done a few more runs at low heart rate.  Now that I'm used to the initial shock of running so slow, I'm finding I don't mind it as much, and I'm definitely not as tired / worn out.  I'm FINALLY over my Terrible Awful Cold of the fall, and the paces at the same heart rate have improved just because of not being sick.  I know it's too soon to see improvements from actual running economy yet, but I'm excited for it.

Due to the shin splints and the slower paces, the miles have been low--I'm averaging 10 or less miles per week.  While I don't like that, it is helpful in terms of weight loss.  So far I've lost 8 lbs since early October, and I find that the more I run, the hungrier I get and the more I need to eat--especially as I build miles. So while I'm trying to lose weight and stay on this 1200-1400 calorie/ day diet, I'm not in any hurry to increase my miles significantly.  In an effort to spare my shins, I've been running every other day instead of 5 days a week.  I'd prefer to run Tues-Wed-Thurs-Sat-Sun to try to stick to a schedule, but my shins hurt more when I run consecutive days.  Next week I'm going to try running 2 days in a row, rest the 3rd, and repeat that.

I have a prescription for a topical anti-inflammatory to use in addition to BioFreeze and IcyHot, and I'm hoping that will help. And compression socks provide some relief.  Today I saw a podiatrist.  He said that running on a treadmill can be less forgiving; you can't alter your stride since you're locked into a pace, and he suggested that I vary the incline a little to simulate running outside.  He also said to make sure I'm not too close to the front / crowding my stride.  He also said my calves are really tight and to stretch them, and that I'm an underpronator / my foot is more rigid and less able to distribute shock. (On the treadmill afterward, I did notice that, that my foot tends to roll outward some.  I've never noticed it on the streets, but I can actually see it on the treadmill at these very slow paces.)  We made a mold of my feet for orthotics, which he says will be more shock-absorbing than the arch support inserts I bought.  Hopefully insurance covers them, because they're $450 otherwise.  I had orthotics in high school for shin splints that were from gross overtraining, and they didn't help.  So if I have to pay for them, I'm not sure I'll get them. We'll see--you can't try them and then return them.  The pain is mild, but it's only November and I need to last until about April before the weather isn't miserable and its still light before and after I leave / get home from work.
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Re: Fitter and Faster

Post  Mark B on Wed Nov 19, 2014 8:29 pm

I'm glad you're settling into the low HR training approach. Not being sick helps a lot.

Good work on the weight loss! I've found that I have the best luck dropping extra pounds when the mileage level is low, but frequent. Just enough to burn extra calories without stimulating my body to replace them, and then some.

Good luck on the shin splints. Supinating on a treadmill would certainly make you more susceptible to something like that. I'd never be as crazy as suggesting trying to go barefoot to see if it helps, but there's an outside chance it could get you to put more pressure on the first and second metatarsal and take the load off the smaller lateral muscles.
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Re: Fitter and Faster

Post  Penelope on Thu Nov 20, 2014 1:04 pm

@Mark B wrote:I'm glad you're settling into the low HR training approach. Not being sick helps a lot.

Good work on the weight loss! I've found that I have the best luck dropping extra pounds when the mileage level is low, but frequent. Just enough to burn extra calories without stimulating my body to replace them, and then some.

Good luck on the shin splints. Supinating on a treadmill would certainly make you more susceptible to something like that. I'd never be as crazy as suggesting trying to go barefoot to see if it helps, but there's an outside chance it could get you to put more pressure on the first and second metatarsal and take the load off the smaller lateral muscles.
Thanks Mark! Yeah, I agree, lower but more frequent miles is definitely easier for me for weight loss.  I'll never forget bonking a long run where I was doing 1200 cal / day. I lasted 8 miles and had to take a cab home.  Given that and the shin splints and the need for the treadmill, I'm planning a pretty low-mileage winter.

I don't have a really really high arch--mine always seemed more medium high.  At least on the mill, I do feel like I'm rolling outward some.  But it's weird because I've also been told (by running store shoe fitters) that I over-pronate….which I don't think is true, at least not right now. I'm seeing a 2nd podiatrist (this one at a clinic called The Running Institute) tomorrow--If they're opinions agree, fantastic, but otherwise I don't know.  I do a fair bit of walking on my treadmill too, and so I could try walking barefoot on it….but I'm a bit weary of running barefoot on it if both podiatrists say I need orthotics to correct the supination.  Today is a planned walking / non-running day so I may try walking barefoot and see how it goes.
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Re: Fitter and Faster

Post  Mark B on Thu Nov 20, 2014 1:37 pm

@Penelope wrote:
@Mark B wrote:I'm glad you're settling into the low HR training approach. Not being sick helps a lot.

Good work on the weight loss! I've found that I have the best luck dropping extra pounds when the mileage level is low, but frequent. Just enough to burn extra calories without stimulating my body to replace them, and then some.

Good luck on the shin splints. Supinating on a treadmill would certainly make you more susceptible to something like that. I'd never be as crazy as suggesting trying to go barefoot to see if it helps, but there's an outside chance it could get you to put more pressure on the first and second metatarsal and take the load off the smaller lateral muscles.
Thanks Mark! Yeah, I agree, lower but more frequent miles is definitely easier for me for weight loss.  I'll never forget bonking a long run where I was doing 1200 cal / day. I lasted 8 miles and had to take a cab home.  Given that and the shin splints and the need for the treadmill, I'm planning a pretty low-mileage winter.

I don't have a really really high arch--mine always seemed more medium high.  At least on the mill, I do feel like I'm rolling outward some.  But it's weird because I've also been told (by running store shoe fitters) that I over-pronate….which I don't think is true, at least not right now. I'm seeing a 2nd podiatrist (this one at a clinic called The Running Institute) tomorrow--If they're opinions agree, fantastic, but otherwise I don't know.  I do a fair bit of walking on my treadmill too, and so I could try walking barefoot on it….but I'm a bit weary of running barefoot on it if both podiatrists say I need orthotics to correct the supination.  Today is a planned walking / non-running day so I may try walking barefoot and see how it goes.

Worth a try, maybe. The great thing about a TM is that you can bail out immediately if it isn't working.

One other thought: If you have access to a PT, he or she may give you a better sense of muscle balance/use that could be leading to your shin splints problem. There may be a reason you're tending to run on the outside edge of your foot, and there may be some strength and/or flexibility work that could remedy it.
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Re: Fitter and Faster

Post  Penelope on Thu Nov 20, 2014 1:58 pm

@Mark B wrote:
@Penelope wrote:
@Mark B wrote:I'm glad you're settling into the low HR training approach. Not being sick helps a lot.

Good work on the weight loss! I've found that I have the best luck dropping extra pounds when the mileage level is low, but frequent. Just enough to burn extra calories without stimulating my body to replace them, and then some.

Good luck on the shin splints. Supinating on a treadmill would certainly make you more susceptible to something like that. I'd never be as crazy as suggesting trying to go barefoot to see if it helps, but there's an outside chance it could get you to put more pressure on the first and second metatarsal and take the load off the smaller lateral muscles.
Thanks Mark! Yeah, I agree, lower but more frequent miles is definitely easier for me for weight loss.  I'll never forget bonking a long run where I was doing 1200 cal / day. I lasted 8 miles and had to take a cab home.  Given that and the shin splints and the need for the treadmill, I'm planning a pretty low-mileage winter.

I don't have a really really high arch--mine always seemed more medium high.  At least on the mill, I do feel like I'm rolling outward some.  But it's weird because I've also been told (by running store shoe fitters) that I over-pronate….which I don't think is true, at least not right now. I'm seeing a 2nd podiatrist (this one at a clinic called The Running Institute) tomorrow--If they're opinions agree, fantastic, but otherwise I don't know.  I do a fair bit of walking on my treadmill too, and so I could try walking barefoot on it….but I'm a bit weary of running barefoot on it if both podiatrists say I need orthotics to correct the supination.  Today is a planned walking / non-running day so I may try walking barefoot and see how it goes.

Worth a try, maybe. The great thing about a TM is that you can bail out immediately if it isn't working.

One other thought: If you have access to a PT, he or she may give you a better sense of muscle balance/use that could be leading to your shin splints problem. There may be a reason you're tending to run on the outside edge of your foot, and there may be some strength and/or flexibility work that could remedy it.

True on the bailing! I'm going to try it for a mile (20 min) on the mill today.  I can't imagine it'll make it worse, honestly.  And if it helps, better yet! 
I agree completely on the idea of the muscle imbalances / PT. The podiatrist said my calves are tight and that could contribute, so I'm on a "plan" now to stretch them 3x/day.  But he also mentioned PT, especially if the orthotics fail.  I think high arches can naturally make people supinate, but if there are weak or tight muscles that are contributing to that, I definitely want to know so I can work on them.
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Re: Fitter and Faster

Post  Mark B on Thu Nov 20, 2014 2:31 pm

@Penelope wrote:I agree completely on the idea of the muscle imbalances / PT. The podiatrist said my calves are tight and that could contribute, so I'm on a "plan" now to stretch them 3x/day.  But he also mentioned PT, especially if the orthotics fail.  I think high arches can naturally make people supinate, but if there are weak or tight muscles that are contributing to that, I definitely want to know so I can work on them.

Absolutely! I'm an odd case (I both pronate and supinate due to foot deformity), but it took years decades before a PT realized that while my soleus was pretty strong, my gastrocnemius was utterly weak - which meant I was using my peroneal tendons as my primary shock absorption and propulsion when they're only supposed to provide support.

That may not be your situation, of course, but the lesson I learned was to never give up trying to figure out why things are happening. The answer is out there; you just need to find it.

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Re: Fitter and Faster

Post  Penelope on Thu Nov 20, 2014 4:36 pm

@Mark B wrote:
@Penelope wrote:I agree completely on the idea of the muscle imbalances / PT. The podiatrist said my calves are tight and that could contribute, so I'm on a "plan" now to stretch them 3x/day.  But he also mentioned PT, especially if the orthotics fail.  I think high arches can naturally make people supinate, but if there are weak or tight muscles that are contributing to that, I definitely want to know so I can work on them.

Absolutely! I'm an odd case (I both pronate and supinate due to foot deformity), but it took years decades before a PT realized that while my soleus was pretty strong, my gastrocnemius was utterly weak - which meant I was using my peroneal tendons as my primary shock absorption and propulsion when they're only supposed to provide support.

That may not be your situation, of course, but the lesson I learned was to never give up trying to figure out why things are happening. The answer is out there; you just need to find it.

Wow, I didn't know it was possible to do both. But that's good that you kept digging until you learned what the problem is.  I've spent too much $ on this treadmill to not do the same! Otherwise I'd just run outside all frozen hell winter and not have shin pain.

The barefoot walking on the mill exacerbated the pain, so I hopped off.  It's weird, I've been walking barefoot or socks only all last night and this morning.  There must be something about the motion on the mill that is really exaggerated.

I do want to do a formal Maf test run--I tried the very first time I ran at LHR, the day I was getting sick, and lasted 2 miles, but I'm mentally ready for it now. I will wait until this Saturday or Sunday though.  I'm planning another 30 min run tomorrow, but I have to work tonight 7p- 7a, a rather painful shift, and I have a feeling pulling an all-nighter may jack up my heart rate artificially.  And not to mention all the coffee needed to endure this type of shift.  Interestingly, I ran the 2 miles in about 12:00/mile pace, and I have not gotten back up there yet.  Now that I'm not sick, I'm running around 12:45-13:00/mile.  I wonder if caffeine made me run faster that first day….
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Re: Fitter and Faster

Post  Mark B on Thu Nov 20, 2014 11:48 pm

@Penelope wrote:
@Mark B wrote:
@Penelope wrote:I agree completely on the idea of the muscle imbalances / PT. The podiatrist said my calves are tight and that could contribute, so I'm on a "plan" now to stretch them 3x/day.  But he also mentioned PT, especially if the orthotics fail.  I think high arches can naturally make people supinate, but if there are weak or tight muscles that are contributing to that, I definitely want to know so I can work on them.

Absolutely! I'm an odd case (I both pronate and supinate due to foot deformity), but it took years decades before a PT realized that while my soleus was pretty strong, my gastrocnemius was utterly weak - which meant I was using my peroneal tendons as my primary shock absorption and propulsion when they're only supposed to provide support.

That may not be your situation, of course, but the lesson I learned was to never give up trying to figure out why things are happening. The answer is out there; you just need to find it.

Wow, I didn't know it was possible to do both. But that's good that you kept digging until you learned what the problem is.  I've spent too much $ on this treadmill to not do the same! Otherwise I'd just run outside all frozen hell winter and not have shin pain.

The barefoot walking on the mill exacerbated the pain, so I hopped off.  It's weird, I've been walking barefoot or socks only all last night and this morning.  There must be something about the motion on the mill that is really exaggerated.

I do want to do a formal Maf test run--I tried the very first time I ran at LHR, the day I was getting sick, and lasted 2 miles, but I'm mentally ready for it now. I will wait until this Saturday or Sunday though.  I'm planning another 30 min run tomorrow, but I have to work tonight 7p- 7a, a rather painful shift, and I have a feeling pulling an all-nighter may jack up my heart rate artificially.  And not to mention all the coffee needed to endure this type of shift.  Interestingly, I ran the 2 miles in about 12:00/mile pace, and I have not gotten back up there yet.  Now that I'm not sick, I'm running around 12:45-13:00/mile.  I wonder if caffeine made me run faster that first day….

Yipes! Good idea stopping the barefoot experiment. I think your treadmill may be trying to kill you. Is there any possibility of getting it inspected/adjusted at this point?

For a MAF test, it's optimal if you can do it while rested (and, of course, healthy) and non-stressed. I've always had a cup of coffee beforehand, so I can't say if it helps or not. I think the lack of caffeine would cause a problem, especially on those early morning runs. Sleep
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Re: Fitter and Faster

Post  nkrichards on Fri Nov 21, 2014 1:14 pm

Good to hear that you're getting good advice both here on the boards and from a podiatrist...and listening...

Hope you're able to resolve this and move ahead with your training.
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Re: Fitter and Faster

Post  Penelope on Fri Nov 21, 2014 3:34 pm

Nancy, thanks for stopping in! Yeah, hopefully I can get this settled--I'm not so desperate to do ANYTHING but I'm trying to be open minded.
Mark, I wonder about the treadmill's evil intentions….I did call the store and tried not to whine, but told them what was happening. They said they've heard that complaint before, and to get a very cushion-y pair of running shoes….I asked about a softer belt and they said it comes with the thickest (orthopedic) belt available.  There's no adjusting of it--the only thing to adjust is me.

That being said, I saw a 2nd podiatrist today.  It's an art, and interestingly they disagreed.  (I'm writing this also for my own notes, so sorry if this is too much details.) The one today said I don't underpronate, and that I'm more neutral, although based on the calluses on my feet, I may overpronate, esp when running higher miles.  (I do feel like at least on the treadmill, my feet are rolling outward and I have a somewhat high arch that predisposes to that.  The only way I can reconcile this difference is that she's looking at my calluses present from years of running outside, and maybe I do overpronate there mildly, but I really do think I'm rolling outward more on the treadmill.)  She agreed that my calves and soleus muscles are extremely tight--and weak Sad Told me to start stretching and foam rolling, and recommended PT for more aggressive massage, strengthening exercises…she also said my glute medius may be weak, causing ITB tightness, which may contribute more to my gait instability.  I'm sure she's right, since my hip surgery I've always had weak glutes and intermittently get IT band pain until I foam roll.  So, to PT I go, although I couldn't get an appointment until 12/3.  She thought orthotics may be unneeded if I can correct the imbalances.  I like her approach better than just jumping to orthotics, especially because when I had shin splints in high school (from horrible overtraining), orthotics were a huge waste.  They did nothing…..and I found out today that my lousy insurance doesn't cover them.  At the other office, they're $450--and I'm not confident they'll work this time around either, so not ready to spend that money until I've tried to fix my calf / soleus issues first.

On another night, night shifts are horrible for dieting.  Instead of sleeping, you're up all night, which means you're awake to sense your hunger instead of sleeping through it.  And I can't drink coffee without stomach trouble--it makes my stomach hurt / churn / be hungry all day.  So it's only lunchtime here and I ate > 1000 of my 1200 calories per day by 7 a.m.  Sad I do plan to run so I'll get a few back from that, but I'm glad to get back be on a regular day schedule.
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Re: Fitter and Faster

Post  Mark B on Fri Nov 21, 2014 4:58 pm

Ugh on the night shifts. I work well into the evenings and have a devil of a time resisting temptation, so I can only imagine how rough it is at 2:43 a.m. Good luck.

I'm not surprised about the podiatrists and their differing thoughts. I've noticed a real break lately in the old "fix it with orthotics" approach and the newer "fix it through strengthening the feet" approach. You can guess which approach I've been following, though I did once have hard shell orthotics. And I've never heard of any insurance company paying for them.

I think PT holds great promise for you. It'll be worth the wait.

(ps If you want to experiment with super-cushioned shoes on the treadmill, there's always Hokas...)
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Re: Fitter and Faster

Post  Tom H on Sat Nov 22, 2014 3:12 pm

I found I had to shop around for a podiatrist that really understood running and runners.  Seems like many of them have a view that running can only be something that causes problems, and the only option is to treat the symptoms.  I do like the fact that the one you just went to went up the musculoskeletal chain looking for root causes - this one may be a keeper!  You may want to look for a sports PT who can do a gait analysis and really identify the areas that need strengthening or need consistent stretching to help you solve this problem.  Again, I've been sent to PTs that seem to have a very formulaic approach to treating a certain type of injury/issue, and not an approach that takes the runner into account enough.
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Re: Fitter and Faster

Post  Penelope on Sat Nov 22, 2014 5:54 pm

Mark, I have thought about the Hoka shoes, and may try them next year.  The ones I have are new enough to not justify the Hokas yet, but I'm definitely considering when it's time for new shoes.

Tom, I agree, I do like the 2nd podiatrist. 
To be fair, the first podiatrist also talked about tightness / imbalance and stretching and PT, too, as well as topical anesthetics, and he is a runner.  But yeah, I was attracted by the "let's not just jump to orthotics and instead, fix the underlying problem" style of the 2nd one.  She did give me a PT referral to a place that she says is great, so I imagine they're used to working with runners.  (If not, I'll find one that is!) Conveniently it's right next to the hospital so I could theoretically go after work.  I did not like that she told me not to run for 3 weeks.  The pain is gone if I don't run for 2 days, so 3 weeks is excessive.  And they're mild right now, and if I stop running, how will I know if any of the stretching / strengthening is helping?  I did break out the foam roller yesterday and found my calves were even tighter than I thought.  Most of the PTs I've met do seem to look at runners and inwardly sigh, and view us all as masochistic, irresponsible, and stubborn, and see running as a problem….so I hope the PT is a runner too.

It was above 40 today and not raining or dark, so ran outside today and was thrilled for the change of pace.  All my runs the past few weeks have been on the treadmill and since that's what's creating the shin splints, it makes sense to run outside some when I can.  I decided to do 60 minutes and record each mile as my first maffetone method test.  My shins felt fine outside today--I started running in compression socks about a week ago, and that may help some too.

Some observations about running at low heart rate outside
1) Every time I got into a groove, I was about 5 beats over target
2) By the time my 60 min was done, my quads were exhausted! I felt the way I felt after a long run.
3) the lake path in Chicago, which I always called flat, is actually really not flat.  You just don't notice it until you start using your slow twitch muscles.  There are some tiny slopes that I usually ignored, that presented moderate challenges to my slow-twitch muscles
4) Other than walking, I'm beginning to think these slow twitch muscles never get any exercise until I started LHR training
5) my cadence was all over the place, but often not that far off from my baseline of 175, esp when I was feeling good.  When the paces felt painfully slow, cadence was in the 160s as well
6) I'm not sure if the wind on the way back had any role in my paces slowing
7) There were no fast walkers out.  I was able to catch / pass the slower walkers at least.
Cool I finished 2 blocks short of where I started (based on time) thanks to slowing down
9) 3 times I had to stop and walk because my HR got too high (these were all after small uphills, like the tunnel underpasses)

In 60:00 min, I got 4.52 miles in.  Not sure how to post a spreadsheet but the splits for each mile were: 
12:24
12:44
13:38 (turned around this mile)
13:49
7:24 for the last .52

So I'm going to keep at it and hopefully see these numbers drop!! And I need to figure out how to put a table in my posts.  Right now I'm keeping track of everything in excel.

Weight loss this week is at a standstill.  I went out to eat 2x so far and have 2 more restaurants before this week is done….I'm just hoping not to gain, and I'll get back on track this coming week.  The night shift really set me back, and I caved and bought a chocolate cupcake with chocolate icing….Also, I need to just not drink coffee--it just makes me eat all day.  The other thing I need to do is cut out the mixed drinks--I don't drink that much, but if I do, wine has the fewest calories (other than light beer).  Moscow Mules and margaritas and such are hard to estimate calories in, but they tend to be bigger / more volume than a glass of wine.  I have about 8 more lbs to go before I'll be happy with my weight.
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Re: Fitter and Faster

Post  Mark B on Sat Nov 22, 2014 8:28 pm

Nicely done! Yeah, I've noticed that my body often wants to run about 5 bpm faster than my MAF rate. Beware of the "groove"! That's the faster-twitches trying to lure you out of the slow-twitch zone. It's so tempting, but it counterproductive.

That fall-off looks pretty familiar, and it's totally normal to have to walk the heart rate down at first. That won't always be the case.

One other thing to consider is that MAF purists do a mile before starting the test, starting with 5 minutes of walking and then slowly working up to the target HR. After that warmup, you start counting miles. The first mile after the warm-up is considered your "MAF" pace for future comparisons, though the rate of decline in subsequent miles can be very informative. I try to do a mile warmup, a 5-mile MAF test, then a 5-minute walking cool down.

As far as the advice against running goes, I've had a PT tell me that, if their goal is to get runners to learn new mechanics with new muscles, returning to running before the new muscles are ready makes it far more likely that the runner will just fall back into old bad habits. We're incorrigible that way. Wink
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Re: Fitter and Faster

Post  Penelope on Sun Nov 23, 2014 9:02 pm

@Mark B wrote:Nicely done! Yeah, I've noticed that my body often wants to run about 5 bpm faster than my MAF rate. Beware of the "groove"! That's the faster-twitches trying to lure you out of the slow-twitch zone. It's so tempting, but it counterproductive.

That fall-off looks pretty familiar, and it's totally normal to have to walk the heart rate down at first. That won't always be the case.

One other thing to consider is that MAF purists do a mile before starting the test, starting with 5 minutes of walking and then slowly working up to the target HR. After that warmup, you start counting miles. The first mile after the warm-up is considered your "MAF" pace for future comparisons, though the rate of decline in subsequent miles can be very informative. I try to do a mile warmup, a 5-mile MAF test, then a 5-minute walking cool down.

As far as the advice against running goes, I've had a PT tell me that, if their goal is to get runners to learn new mechanics with new muscles, returning to running before the new muscles are ready makes it far more likely that the runner will just fall back into old bad habits. We're incorrigible that way. Wink
Hi Mark,
Thanks for all the advice! I walked some to warm up yesterday, and started my watch when my HR got up to target, but I didn't do a formal warmup.  I think I'm not quite in shape enough with my slower muscles because I felt wiped out after 4.5 miles.  I suppose I could have done a full 5, but instead I went for 60 minutes.

I realized that weather (wind, temperature, ice) and location (if I'm traveling) will affect these, so I decided to do it again on my treadmill today, only for 3 miles instead of 60 min.  That way I can periodically do 3 mile runs and see how long it takes me.  I warmed up a little better this time.  Since it was on the treadmill, my shins hurt Sad I'll try the PT, but I may just have to accept defeat to the mill and only run on it twice a week and suck it up in the cold for the rest….

Anyway, for a HR target of 142 (target range 140-144) I ran 3.01 in 39:18, an avg pace of 13:03.  Splits were: 12:51, 13:06, 13:20.

I think maybe once a month I'll do these and hopefully see some improvement!!!!
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Re: Fitter and Faster

Post  nkrichards on Mon Nov 24, 2014 12:35 pm

I'm enjoying the conversation that you and Mark are having and interested to follow your progress. Hope the shin splits settle down.
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Re: Fitter and Faster

Post  Mark B on Mon Nov 24, 2014 5:14 pm

@Penelope wrote:Anyway, for a HR target of 142 (target range 140-144) I ran 3.01 in 39:18, an avg pace of 13:03.  Splits were: 12:51, 13:06, 13:20.

I think maybe once a month I'll do these and hopefully see some improvement!!!!

Good job! And a three-mile MAF test is great. The actual "test" mile is the first one after the warmup. The miles that follow are good for tracking progress, but they're not utterly necessary. Three is great, if that's all you're up to. Eventually, you may want to do more, and that's great, too.

Monthly tests are great. Keep in mind that the real improvements start to kick in six-week increments.
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Re: Fitter and Faster

Post  Penelope on Tue Nov 25, 2014 11:42 pm

Mark and Nancy, thanks for stopping in! 
My running will be kinda boring for the next many months.  I'm hoping to make a spreadsheet like Mark did with my paces at these low heart rates--and hopefully some noteworthy improvements in the next year.  Today I did another 30 min LHR on the treadmill.  My plan is to do 10 runs at 30 min, and then 10 more (2 weeks' worth) at 35, etc.  While that is an extremely slow progression compared to what I've always done in the past, keeping the miles on the treadmill low is advantageous for me since it's bothering my shins, and fewer miles is easier for weight loss for me.

I've been stretching my calves / soleus muscles as instructed and I'll be damned if they are not even more tight than ever now.  I don't normally feel (as in notice) my lower legs but since I've been stretching them, I'm noticing that they feel tight all the time.  Some sort of weird paradoxical reaction? Last night I caved and got them massaged. The masseuse said they were really really tight.  She got them to loosen up some but I think they tightened up again.  She suggested epsom salt, which I used last night in hot water.  Today they don't feel much different.  It's like I need a massage every hour to keep them loose. I do have a foam roller, which is pretty painful, so I guess that should help too.

I decided to create an indoor / outdoor running criteria to not over-use the treadmill.  My 4 criteria to run inside are: 1) dark outside 2) below freezing outside 3) raining or insane winds  4)lots of ice on the ground.  In order to use the treadmill, I should satisfy 2 of the 4 criteria. Because, otherwise, I don't like running in the dark and the cold, and I dislike the cold in general, and it's very easy to just keep making excuses to run on the treadmill and watch TV, even when I could/ should run outside.  On days when I'm home early or off, I should try to run during daylight rather than waiting until dark and then using the treadmill.
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Re: Fitter and Faster

Post  ounce on Wed Nov 26, 2014 6:21 pm

Sounds like a nice plan.  I hope that you resolve the calf issue.
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