“Take-aways” from Running Medicine 2017 at UVA

Once again, there was no shortage of useful medical pearls delivered at this year’s Running Medicine conference at UVA earlier this month. I’d like to share relevant tips to my fellow runners and readers.

Regarding plantar fasciitis: stretching, anti-pronation taping, night splints, orthotics, and manual therapy (joint and soft tissue mobilization delivered by a physical therapist) have strong evidence as treatment choices for this pesky condition of chronic plantar heel pain.

Keynote speaker for the event was legendary running coach, author, and olympian Jack Daniels, PhD, MEd. Jack discussed both training for endurance performance and altitude training. The four elements of running success are: ability, motivation, opportunity, and direction. Only direction (coaching) can have a negative effect on an athlete. Twelve laws of coaching success were presented including:

1. Consistency is the key to success

2. Coach each athlete as an individual

3. Know the purpose of every workout

Seven guiding principles of training were presented including “use the least stress to provided the maximum benefit.” From his book, Jack’s term “VDOT” simply represents a “pseudo VO2 max” value.

Optimal stride rate and breathing pattern were discussed, as well as how to set up a seasonal training schedule.

Strength training is important for runners because it increases “force off the ground.” This is accomplished with plyometric exercises.

Regarding recovery options, use of compression socks after training and foam rolling are both effective for recovery. Cold water immersion (50-60 degrees fahrenheit) and replenishment of fluids and carbohydrate within 30-60 minutes after running are also effective toward recovery. Moderate intensity activity is also effective following long/hard efforts such as marathons versus complete rest.

Feel free to contact me if you for more information regarding these presentations. Happy running!