ASK the Running Coach! 

We'll try to answer your running related questions and provide some nuggets of wisdom.  Keep in mind that diagnosis is the responsibility of your physician.  Comments posted here should not be misconstrued as medical advice!  

Friday, Dec 19th 2014

Resuming training after an ankle fracture - Jean

How would you approach training for a track & field event in August 2015 after a fractured ankle? Injured early October 2014, currently in physical therapy 2 x week to strengthen and regain mobility. Elite level masters runner.

Reply - Coach Janet

First step is to get the mobility and strength back - not only in the ankle but in the entire foot/ankle complex.  Often after an ankle fracture, the immobilization that's needed to heal the broken bone tends to result in lost mobility in other joints of the foot and this can affect biomechanics of running -- especially sprinting or jumping! Work closely with your PT and make sure that your mobility and strength are maximized.  It's also important to work on regaining balance and proprioception as these neuromotor functions are critical to insuring ideal biomechanics.  If your strength/mobility/proprioception are not balanced between your two legs it sets the stage for a compensatory injury above (think knee, hip, low back).  When you're cleared to resume some running - work at easy paces first and rebuild your tissue stamina, then when you've established your base you can ease back into the higher intensity stuff.  All of this is relative -- to the event you're training for and to the type of fracture you had!   Hopefully you'll be back on track (literally) soon! Good luck.  It's a process and you can't skip stages -- be patient and diligent with the exercises and get your body back to balance -- you'll save yourself a lot of future grief if you do that.  Coach Janet Hamilton, MA, RCEP, CSCS

Tuesday, Dec 2 2014

10k performance not improving as expected - Mary

Dear Coach,
I would like to have an advice or opinion on the following "problem" - I have been running for several years and last year I decided to find out how quick I could get in 10K distance. Training on my own, I managed to improve my 10K time from 50min down to 42:40 just in 3 months! After that, I was invited to a local running club and started to train by schedule created by a running coach. Now, after 1 year of training, I have improved my 10K time just by 7 seconds... I don't know am I just being impatient or am I doing something wrong. After reading lots of information about running and training plans, the plan created by my coach seems quite correct - I am doing easy runs, long runs, interval training each week and a tempo run every other week. I am running 150-200 km each month, 30-70km each week (depending on race schedule). Adittionally 1-2 times per week I am doing strength training. My times for shorter distances have improved during this 1 year (1000m from 3:38 to 3:28, 3000m from 11:46 to 11:03, 5000m from 20:57 to 19:01 (on track)), but the 10K results are not improving. My aim was to run 10K in ~40 minutes this year, but it looks like it will not happen. What could be the reason why I have stopped progressing? I have had no injuries whatsoever, I have a healthy diet and lifestyle and following the coache's plan very accurately.
Is it normal that last year I managed to drop my 10K time from 50min to 42:40 in 3 month, but now it's been a whole year of training and no improvement? Thanks very much in advance.

Reply - Coach Janet

Your 15% improvement in 10k time from 50 min to 42:40 in just 3 short months is quite remarkable.  Improvements in performance are rarely linear though, and subsequent improvements are much harder to come by as you've found out.  When I look at the data you provided, your 3k and 5k times line up nicely and both predict a faster 10k - something in the 39:42 range is possible.  Since your 3k and 5k times line up pretty well, but your 10k seems to be falling off, this usually makes me look into issues related to endurance and stamina. In other words you don't appear to have the endurance base to sustain a comparable effort in the 10k. Usually the best way to address this is to work on long run and total weekly  mileage for a bit, then return to the intensity stuff and fill in the missing pieces there.  Your total weekly distance of 30-70km per week might be a little conservative on the lower end - perhaps keeping it in the 55 to 70km range would help?  At the upper end of that, you'd be doing long runs of about 21-23 km.  Some athletes tolerate high mileage better than others, so it's hard to say what's right for you without knowing more about you - but that's some food for thought.  Also important is making sure that you respect the purpose of each workout and run the paces that are appropriate for the workout.  I think you have a faster 10k in you -- no doubt there -- just need to address your missing links!  Once your mileage is well established at higher levels (55-70km or more), you should be able to tolerate more aggressive intensity workouts like progression runs, longer pace runs, and sustained segments at/above threshold.   If you ever decide to try a different coach - get in touch with me, I think you definitely have unrealized potential!  Best of luck to you.  Hope this has given you some food for thought.  Coach Janet Hamilton, MA, RCEP, CSCS

Monday, Nov 10 2014

Avoiding injury with treadmill training - Janet

Hi Coach,
Do you have any suggestions for minimizing the risk of injuries from treadmill running during the winter? I live in a part of the country where running outside, regardless of the quality of my apparel, isn't safe for weeks at a time during the winter months. I don't want to go for weeks at a time without running, but I also don't want to experience the usual injuries I seem to get from a lot of winter treadmill time.

Reply - Coach Janet - Really the best thing is to think about what you do with your normal running outdoors and try to mimic that as well as possible during the runs on the treadmill.  If you usually run a fairly flat course most days and do hills once a week, then that is a good place to start with the treadmill.  I generally do NOT like to encourage people to put the treadmill on an incline and leave it there to "make it more like outdoor running" - because it really doesn't make it more like outdoor running and it places additional loads on your legs and back that may not be well tolerated.  It's fine to put the incline up -- but don't leave it there.  You wouldn't walk out the door and look for the longest uphill you could find and say "I'll go that way!" -- you'd look for a course that had some inclines and some flat stuff.   Similarly, pacing on the treadmill should be similar to what you do over land.  You may be able to tweak the pace up very slightly since you're not having to cut a path through the air (you're running in place, remember?) but don't go overboard with it.  If you use a HR monitor you may be able to get a sense of pacing/effort by trying to run at a similar HR to what you usually have with your outdoor running.  Hope this helps - feel free to reach out via email if this didn't answer your question!  Coach Janet Hamilton, MA, RCEP, CSCS

Thursday, October 23, 2014

Meniscal Regneration - James

Hi Janet, I am wondering if you knew much about regenerative medicine being used to treat meniscus tears. I tore mine six months ago and haven't run since but I can bike. I was unaware of the seriousness of the injury and though it was a mcl tear. Anyhow I am having surgery to remove a portion of my medial meniscus. I'm worried that this is the end my running career or at least it will compromise the level of intensity at which I can run and hasten the onset of osteoarthritis? Do you think that this type of injury will be 100 fixable with the advent of stemcell technologies? Example growing a new meniscus inside the knee? Thanks James

Reply - Coach Janet - I know there are a lot of researchers working on this but I don't know the status of the procedure at this point.  There are many runners who are able to return to running after menisectomy - it sort of depends on how much had to be removed. The best thing you can do is be diligent with your rehabilitation, get your hips and core as strong as you can since that helps alleviate some loads on the knee.  As you return to activity post-op, work your way through a walking program before you transition carefully back into running and make sure the paces you're runnig are appropriate.  Listen to your body - make your progressions very gradual.  Talk to your surgeon about getting a referral for some post-op Physical Therapy to make sure you get started off on the right foot.  Hopefully the amount of meniscus removed is small, your strength and flexibility are optimum and you're back running before too long.  

Wednesday, October 8, 2014
Running NYC Marathon injured - Julie

I started training for the New York marathon in few this year, I ran my first 1/2 marthon on the 24 August, after completing I was struck down with shin splints that I could not settle (I had experienced them in my training but managed them by dropping mileage etc) however, this time I was limiping. Uktra sound and X-Ray showed no fractures, I stopped running for five weeks, and trained in the gym. For the last three weeks I have managed to build up to running 10 kms a week, with the longest run 10km. I have managed three PT sessions a week, one strength, 2 interval training, and train 6 days a weeks. I have transfered every run onto the elliptical, up to 25kms in one sitting. I foam roll daily, stretch, calm raise, clam, gluten strengthing, massage.. The marathon is in 4 weeks! Resigning to the reality that I will it run the entire marathon, I will be running a 10km run and walking 20kms, with the hope I get to the stage I can run 30kms and walk the rest..... Is tehre any stories of successful running with shin splints? I'm feeling mentally strong and fit, but nervous.

Reply - Coach Janet -- I wish I could give you some solid encouragement here but the fact is that it is usually a bad idea to race injured. The best case scenario has you completing the event, doing some form of run/walk and surviving without making things worse. That is proabably not going to be the outcome though... more often those who try to race injured end up with a very poor outcome, and their injury is far worse at the end -- forcing them to take extended periods of time off running and in some cases they never get back to where they were before. I just don't think the risk to reward is worth it. Perhaps you could contact the race director and see about deferring your entry to next year? If that's not an option and you're determined to go through with this, the smart move is to go in with a plan to run and walk at set intervals rather than trying to run as much as you can and then "just walk" the rest of the way in -- that's a pretty uncomfortable feeling. Better to go in conservatively, with the idea that you'll walk X minutes and run X minutes... then stick with it. Although your current diagnostic imaging didn't show stress fracture, keep in mind that "shin splints" are on the same continuum of injury as stress fractures and if you continue to beat your legs up you very well may end up with stress fractures. I wish you the best of luck with this, but my guidance would be to not race injured. Defer if you can -- then spend 2015 training up and if you can identify training errors (pace, mileage, etc) correct them this time around. This is where a good coach can be a big help -- we can look at your training plan and identify things that likely contributed, and then devise a more appropriate plan moving forward. You're certainly strong mentally -- but trying to do 42 km on a base of only 10k a week is not going to be fun. Janet Hamilton, MA, RCEP, CSCS

10:54 am edt

Tuesday, September 16, 2014
Knee issues and shoe changes - Malika

Hi. I was recently diagnosed with grade 2 patellar chondromaliasis. i've been running for about 2 months now. i gradually learned running 5k, started with walk/run sessions then i was able to run longer distances. after about (probably) 6-7 runs, i changed my shoes, i was wearing Skechers running shoes (with elastic sole) and switched to Mizuno Wave Creation. while running 5k everyday on concrete pavement (not now because my doctor told me to stop for a couple of weeks), my feet was feeling pretty stiff but i didn't care at all. (maybe i should've, maybe that was sign of a problem.) could this injury be caused by shoe change? i thought my new shoes weren't able to absorb the shock properly like how it's supposed to, because the cushioning wasn't fine for my feet and leg anatomy and passed the shock waves directly to my knees. Is it possible? What do you think? I really want to go back to running. But i'm so scared now and don't know which shoe to choose or what to do. and more importantly, i don't know what i did wrong, i thought i was running properly. what are your advices? Thanks in advance...

Reply - Coach Janet - Hi Malika, sorry to hear about the knee issues. Shoe choices are about more than just cushioning -- the shoe needs to support your foot in a way that compliments it's natural structure. And, you can't expect the shoe to absorb all the shock/forces... that's the job of the muscles! I always say - the knee has two best friends: a strong butt and a well supported foot. In other words, the shoes need to be doing their job, but the hips are a key element as well. Most people with knee issues benefit from working on getting stronger hips (some simple strength exercises can be really helpful in this regard) and working on improving flexibility in the calves and hamstring muscles. The previous foot discomfort likely was an indication that things weren't as they should be. It's not just the shoes though -- you have to consider other training errors like adding mileage too quickly, doing all your runs at the same distance, (no recovery time), training at inappropriate paces (doing all your runs at/near target race pace), running on concrete for every run, etc. Running is a natural activity and as such it sometimes seems like it should be pretty simple to just lace up and start training... but there are things to consider that might make the difference between running well and getting an injury. Start now with some flexiblity exercises and some strength work for your hips, ease up a little on pace and take the approach that not all days need to be 5k. Transition off the concrete and onto some dirt paths from time to time.... If you'd like more detailed help, check out the "services" page of this website and drop me an email and I can get you started right away. Best of luck -- Don't just look to the shoe for solutions... remember that flexibilty, strength and training errors also have a role to play. Hope this helps. Janet Hamilton, MA, RCEP, CSCS 

1:14 pm edt

Monday, September 8, 2014
Torn meniscus - Robin

I recently had a MRI and the doctor said he could see a partial tear in the menicus. I read on line that sometimes it will heal itself. my dr. wants to do surgery to remove the part that is torn so it won't tear more. I haven't ran in 2 weeks. It tried to run yesterday and I was limping the whole 3 miles. It doesn't hurt like it did when I was a long distant running who runs about 50 miles a week normally. Thank you for your help.

Reply - Coach Janet - Sorry to hear about the meniscal tear! The surgery to remove the torn portion is usually relatively uneventful - done through an arthroscope and the rehabilitation is usually really pretty quick. I think you might be more confident going into the surgery if you get a second opinion though. It makes no sense to continue to run when you're hurting - and running 3 miles with a limp not only makes the initial injury worse (the meniscal tear) but it also sets you up for a whole host of compensatory injuries because of your wonky gait pattern! You can easily take one simple injury (the torn mensicus) and turn it into three injuries! The questions I'd have are -- how did this meniscal tear come about? Was it a sudden trauma or wear and tear? If it was a wear and tear kind of injury - then it will be really important to work through a rehabilitation process that deals with the underlying imbalances or deficiencies that lead to the original injury. If it was a sudden trauma, then the rehab can simply be to get you back to where you were before. Either way -- get that second opinion and then make sure your orthopedist refers you to a good PT for some rehab guidance. The PT's will give you a whole bunch of home exercises to rebuild you as quickly as possible. You might find this article helpful - it's one I wrote many years ago about communicating with your medical professional.  Good luck - hopefully you'll be on the other side of this very soon. As for the meniscus healing on it's own - that's not usually the case but certainly a question to ask your surgeon. Janet Hamilton, MA, RCEP, CSCS 

11:23 am edt

Monday, August 25, 2014
Maintaining fitness through the winter - Jan

Hi Coach, This summer I focused on the 5k distance, and made great progress bringing my times down and learning to push into the "pain" zone. Do you have any tips for maintaining my gains over the winter? I run through the winter, and luckily own a treadmill, so I don't plan to stop training. Yet I know I won't be racing much (if at all) for about 6 mos. Any suggestions would be appreciated. Thanks!

Reply - Coach Janet Although you mention a treadmill, I'll recommend that you continue to run outside as much as you possibly can. The treadmilll is a reasonable option if the weather is horrid, but it's not the same training load as running through the air over mother earth! Ideally training should run in cycles so that perhaps the cycle you'll focus on through the winter months is one of base-maintentance or base-building. In that case the focus is primarily on easy paces for most runs, with some occasional (once a week?) runs that focus on hills (build strength) and perhaps some fartlek (maintains some of your running economy at faster paces). The paces you use for these strength and economy workouts is based on the event you're trying to stay sharp for -- it would be different for runners focused on a half or full marathon versus those focused on 5k. The most important part of this phase of training is that you focus on maintaing your overall fitness level so that when the "racing season" comes around you're ready to resume hard training. Look ahead at your planned race season and back up perhaps 2-3 months... that's when you would likely start back into more focused interval-type training. The benefit of cycling your training like this is that you give your body some time to recover and build strength in the "non-racing" phases and this sets the stage for improved performance because you enter the "pre-racing" phase stronger than you were before! Good luck. If you'd like more detailed help with this, check out the "services" page on this website or drop me an email at: janet at runningstrong dot com. Best of luck in your next race season. Janet Hamilton, MA, RCEP, CSCS

5:36 pm edt

Monday, August 11, 2014
Increased mucous production - David

Why do I produce mucus every time I run or cycle? I do not get colds or blow my nose normally but as soon as I start working out (running or cycling) I start produce mucus.

Reply - Coach Janet That's a great question, and I'm not sure I have an answer for you! Perhaps a wise pulmonologist doctor or respiratory therapist will read this and weigh in? I can only surmise that since one role of mucous is to moisten and protect the airways that the increase in production is due to the increased air flow and this is a way to keep things from drying out and getting irritated. I think it's pretty normal. I certainly experience this and based on the number of runner's I've seen on long runs blowing their noses at regular intervals... it seems pretty normal for most people. Unless it seems excessive to you, I'd say chalk it up to normal physiology! Coach Janet Hamilton, MA, RCEP, CSCS

9:45 am edt

Saturday, August 9, 2014
Young runner with leg tightness - Melanie

My 14 yr old has begun training g for her first yr running high school track (2nd yr as a runner). She is complaining of leg cramps and a feeling of "not being able to stretch out her thighs enough" She is 5'6" and 100 pounds. What can you suggest to help her with this.

Reply - Coach Janet - at that height and weight she appears to be a bit thinner than would be ideal -- her body mass index is sginificantly under weight. So with that tidbit of info I'd want to check into her nutritional status and make sure she's consuming adequate calories and also make sure that she's taking in good quality nutrients and not overly restricting. Electrolyte imbalance, dehydration, fatigue, etc can all play into the issue of "cramping" so start with the nutrition and hydration end of it. She should be training at "easy" paces on most runs, with key workouts designed to work her a bit harder -- some running at faster paces is good, but if she's trying to do all her runs at a hard/fast effort she'll only succeed in breaking herself down and gettng injured. There are lots of stretches, but the trick here is to not only maintain/improve general flexibility but also to deal with the underlying cause for the cramping/tightness. I'd start with checking her training paces, and nutrition/hydration status and then move into a phase of working on strength and flexibility. Perhaps she has a school coach that she works with that will give her some specifics? Hope this helps -- feel free to reach out via email if you have more questions (janet at runningstrong dot com). Janet Hamilton, MA, RCEP, CSCS 

7:46 am edt

Friday, August 1, 2014

Building mileage - Bethany

I am a highschool runner and it's my first year doing cross-country. Next week, I'll be gone for church camp, so I'm missing practice. I am trying to improve by a mile a week. So by the end of the week, I want to run 5 miles without stopping. I am very limited there. I basically just have a road I can run. I'll be there Mon-Fri. What would be a good training plan if I can currently run 4.5 miles?

Reply - Coach Janet In my opinion it won't hurt you a bit to hold steady for a week and not build. Run what you're able to run - even if it's limited - and just take this coming week at camp as a "hold steady" week rather than a build week. Your body may actually perform better the following week because it had a little more time to adapt! Good luck with your first year of Cross Country! Best wishes - Janet Hamilton, MA, RCEP, CSCS

4:11 pm edt

Thursday, July 3, 2014

Coming back to running after 5th MT fracture - Richie

67 male running for 30 years (5-8 miles). This was to be my first marathon year (NYC 11/14)Broke right 5th metatarsal on 5/29 and should be off boot/crutches by 7/18. I know marathon is probably out this year and that's OK. Once I'm cleared for running how far should I go and what frequency? Thanks

Reply - Coach Janet

Your long history of running will do you well as you come back. The type of tissue strength that you get from that many years of running is a wonderful gift! I recommend that when you're cleared to be off crutches and the boot that you spend a couple of weeks (at least) transitioning through a walking program and make sure your foot feels 100% symptom free. I like to have people accomplish about 10 miles a week of walking with no symptoms before they transition into running again. The transition phase also should start conservatively - perhaps only including 1 minute of running every 4 minutes of walking at first. As your body consistently proves it's tolerating the run segments (symptom-free during the workout as well as afterwards) then you can gradually bring the run segments up in duration and gradually shorten the walk breaks. How quickly you move from one stage to the next really depends on your body's response. No two training plans are created equal and this is especially true when we're talking about a return to running program. When in doubt - hold stead and don't increase the run segments -- you'll never hurt yourself by giving your body a little moe time to adapt to the training load. Good luck -- please let me know if I can be of assistance - you can always reach out to me via email at janet at runningstrong dot com. Janet Hamilton, MA, RCEP, CSCS
11:12 am edt

Sunday, June 29, 2014
Sharp knee pain, training for first half - Melody

I just started training for my first half marathon ..up to only 41/2 miles but I am having sharp stabbing pain on the inside of each knee. I thought I could just shuffle but even that I can't do without pain. I what can I do? I've had my running mapped and have had shoes fitted to me. Help! And thank you :-)

Reply - coach Janet There are a few things to think about here -- first of all, how long have you been running? Were you already running some solid mileage before increasing your training? Second thought - are you training at the proper pace for your current fitness level? It's important to realize that training is training and racing is racing -- and you shouldn't do all your training at race pace. Third thought - what terrain are you traning on? If you've added hills or perhaps transitioned from a treadmill to out door running then that may be factoring into it. It's important to listen to the symptoms and not force things. If you can walk without pain, then perhaps you can use walking as an interim activity while things settle back down. Typically knee pain like you describe is related to the following: lack of adequate hip strength, lack of adequate core strength, inadequate flexibility in the calf and hamstring muscles, lack of adequate support from your current footwear (even if it's been fit to you -- perhaps it's still not the right match?), adding mileage too quickly, adding hills too quickly, training at the wrong pace. Look over that list and see if there's anything that rings a bell with you. If you're not already doing it, get consistent with calf and hamstring stretches and also with some strength work for your hips and legs. Work in a pain-free range of motion on all exercises and gradually increase that range as your symptoms permit. I'll be happy to help with more specific details but I'd need to know a lot more about your specific injury and training history as well as a whole host of other things. If you're interested in that, check out the "services" page of this website or simply drop me an email to janet at runningstrong dot com. Hope this helps! Janet Hamilton, MA, RCEP, CSCS, RRCA certified coach 

6:30 pm edt

Monday, June 16, 2014
Follow up to hip flexor question - Jan

Hi Coach, Thank you so much for insights about my hip flexor issue. When you mentioned the low back, I remembered that I hurt my SI joint this winter doing forward bends in yoga - perhaps it isn't completely resolved. I also remember doing the clam shell exercise and feeling a sudden painful pull in my inner thigh on one leg. Maybe that's partly to blame as well. I've incorporated calf stretches and the reaching lunge exercise into my routine, and am searching for a PT to check out my low back. Thanks again!

Reply - coach Janet Glad to help! Use the links in the information above to get to a couple of search engines that might help you locate a good skilled orthopedic PT. The APTA search directory will let you narrow it by location (state and city) as well as certification -- you'll want to narrow it to "OCS" (orthopedic certified specialist) and then look at the stated practice focus of the therapist. If you can find one that's focused on manual therapy and lower back issues, you may find you get a much better result with their expertise. Good luck! Janet Hamilton, MA, RCEP, CSCS
3:43 pm edt

Friday, June 13, 2014
Sore Hip Flexors - Jan

Hi Coach, For the past month or so, my hip flexors on both legs have been very sore after I run. When I do squats or lunges, I feel them in my quads rather than my glutes. I do isolated glute exercises (bridges, band walks, clams, leg lifts). It seems like I just can't get my glutes to take up their share of the work, even though I do the recommended strengthening exercises. Any suggestions? Thanks!

Reply - Coach Janet

There could be a couple of things going on but the first thought I had was - I wonder if something is going on in her lower back? One of the two dominant hip flexor muscles attaches to your spine - and so if there's any dysfunction going on there it can certainly contribute to a sense of tightness there. In addition it's not unusual for people with low back dysfunction to have inhibition of the gluteal muscles. Even if your back doesn't hurt, it might be worth checking in with a good PT to have an evaluation. Another thought -- do you stretch your calves on a routine basis? If not, that might be something to work on. It seems unrelated but it's not -- when your hip flexors are being stretched to their longest length in your gait pattern is the same time that your calves are being stretched to their longest length (the push off phase of gait) so tightness in one often results in tightness in the other. Final thought I had was: Are you training at the right pace? If you're running at a pace that's a bit too fast for your current fitness level, you may be taxing your muscles a bit too much. I think you're doing a lot of good isolated gluteal exercises but you might try to incorporate some balance and reach exercises. See this page for a picture of a diagonal backward balance & reach exercise that targets the gluteals. Good luck, hope this helps! Janet Hamilton, MA, RCEP, CSCS
7:24 pm edt

Wednesday, May 28, 2014
Competitive racewalker with Left side issues - Karl

As background, I am a semi-competitive racewalker (8 half marathons since May 2012, plus a lot of 5K, 8K, 10K, 15K races, etc. I try to train, race, or work out 5 days a week, unless I am tapering for a long race (or recovering). MY PROBLEMS: I have noticed that my left leg (and the left side of my body, generally) doesn't even seem to be "engaging" at all when I walk. My right side seems to be doing all the work. I don't know if these other symptoms are relevant, but I have battled with an elevated right hip, plantar fasciitis in the right foot, a fallen left arch, and shin splints in both shins. Any ideas - either from a posture/alignment standpoint or a stretching standpoint? (Or any other "standpoint" you think might be helpful!)

Reply - Coach Janet If you have an elevated right hip, perhaps you have a leg length discrepancy? In my experience, the long-leg side (in your case perhaps that's the right leg?) tends to be more likley to get plantar fasciitis. There are two types of leg length discrepancy: Structural and Functional. Structural leg length discrepancy is when one set of leg bones (femur and tibia) is longer than the other side. In cases like this, the only "solution" is to use a small lift in the shoe of the short leg. What's more likely the case is a Functional Leg length discrepancy caused by a spinal/pelvic misalignment. This can be resolved with spinal mobilization and then follow up with exercises to strengthen the area so that the proper alignment is held. If it's an issue that's been going on a long time, it may take awhile to realign and to get your strength back. I'm thinking with your sense of "lack of engagement" on your left side that this is what you're dealing with because if your back is out of alignment it can cause nerve root impingement which would result in a decrease in strength on the involved side. If you have any symptoms in your butt or down your left leg, this would be even more likely to support the spinal alignment theory. If you can get in with a good orthopedic PT that has manual therapy skills, or perhaps a Chiropractor who has skills in not only manipulation but also exercise prescription -- you should be able to get this resolved. Good luck, hope this helps! Coach Janet Hamilton, MA, RCEP, CSCS
9:36 am edt

Saturday, May 24, 2014
Help for a 100m sprinter - Juliette

My daughter is a spinter and runs flat footed her feet ankles lean inwards. She rounds a fast 50 m and than last 50 slower. Can you help?

Reply - Coach Janet

There's a lot going on in that short distance of 100 meters but the quick answer is that the stronger your daughter becomes the faster she'll be in that last 50 meters. Sprinting success comes from being able to produce a lot of power, so perhaps you could consult her track coach about helping her with some strength training exercises. The second piece of the puzzle is stamina. That comes with aerobic training -- which comes from training distances much longer than the 100m. Hope this helps? Coach Janet Hamilton, MA, RCEP, CSCS
8:24 am edt