RecoveryThere is a ton of opinions out there regarding post-workout recovery. Some pray to compression clothing, some sleep in hyperbaric chambers, and some others nearly bathe in protein drinks. In the recovery section of our blog we try to offer some useful information regarding restoration from both a practical and theoretical point of view. If we don't address your specific question, post us a note on the blog, we'll do the research, and then we'll give you our two cents. Or if you are one of those protein bathers or compression zealots, we want to hear what has worked for you.
At some point in your in your athletic career you have undoubtedly heard these two dreaded words- shine splints. Whether you have personally experienced the stabbing feeling in the front of your...
At some point in your in your athletic career you have undoubtedly heard these two dreaded words- shine splints. Whether you have personally experienced the stabbing feeling in the front of your shins or you've watched others limp home at the end of a painful run, shin splints seem to be accepted as an inevitable burden to the endurance athlete. But as with all physiological abnormalities, there is an identifiable cause and an identifiable course of action that we can take to prevent these run-killers from forming.
Before we go any further, let's define what we are actually talking about. "Shin splints", as the amateur athlete and weekend warrior know them, are generally known in the medical community as medial tibial stress syndrome (MTSS). MTSS can develop in any runner but it is most common in beginner runners, inexperienced runners, and runners that are adding miles to their training plans. The syndrome is caused by vibrational strains put on the soleus and gastrocnemius muscles as a result of improper technique.
Generally the technical flaw is what is referred to in the pose method as an "active landing". This means that the foot slaps down in front of the body's general center of mass (GCM). The majority of runners that do not employ the pose method are to some degree heel strikers. In an attempt to run faster, most athletes make the mistakes of trying to "lengthen their stride" or "push off harder" and as a result they contact the ground, heel first, in front of their GCM. The foot then slaps down to the ground as the GCM passes over the ankle. As the runner's body weight transfers from heel to toe, the soleus and gastroc muscles are forced to bear the burden. The muscles tighten and contract at the insertion points on the front of the shins and you are left with shin splints.
To prevent MTSS and enjoy healthy and pain free running, runner's need only learn and employ the pose technique. It sounds simple and it is. By understanding the fundamentals of pose-proper body angle, GCM positioning, foot placement, "falling", and "pulling"- you will be able to conquer this debilitating pain and focus on your training. For more information visit the pose website or contact TriBy3 coach Greg, a certified pose coach.
Trigger Point Performance Therapy Product Review
If you spend any time with me after a weekend of long riding and running, you'll quickly discover that I am a HUGE proponent of massage therapy as a tool for recovery and muscular development. You...
If you spend any time with me after a weekend of long riding and running, you'll quickly discover that I am a HUGE proponent of massage therapy as a tool for recovery and muscular development. You will discover this because I constantly whine about how desperately I need something worked out or flushed or loosened up or some other variation of the same complaint. When it gets really bad, I pay a visit to my personal massage therapist
Craig Bohn at the Hockessin Athletic Club in Delaware (side note here: I am fully convinced Craig would have been burned at the stake 300 years ago for the magic he is able to work with his hands). But 200 mile drives and the cost of 3 hours on the table add up pretty quickly, so I needed something more convenient and cost efficient to get me through the typical aches and pains of training. This is where I found Trigger Point.
Trigger Point Performance Therapy, based in Austin, Texas, is a company committed to hands-free, in home, self-massage therapy. TP offers five products- a Massage Ball, Footballer, Quadballer, Baller Block, and The Grid. What makes these products unique is that they are intended to mimic the feeling and density of a human thumb. After applying pressure for 5-7 seconds, the patented material of the TP tools changes shape which allows the muscles to relax and the massage to penetrate deeply, like a traditional massage.
Many people use foam rollers, tennis balls, or DIY devices made of wood or plastic to alleviate lactic acid buildup and restore blood flow to the muscles. While these things may provide temporary relief, they aren't ideal. Soft or air-filled massage tools fail to penetrate the muscles deeply while hard wooden or plastic objects can be traumatic to the muscles and actually cause more damage.
Personally, I love the TP Total Body Package (pictured below) and use it every day. Just 20 minutes on the ballers before an after a workout lets me perform at my maximum and restore blood flow to tired muscles. While it isn't the cheapest thing out there ($139.99 on the TP website), it gives you the freedom to do a daily massage in the comfort of your own home. I also pack the kit on my travel bag whenever I go anywhere and then I don't have to worry about finding a good massage therapist at a race.
I don't think anything can replace a really good massage therapist, but Trigger Point Performance Therapy at least gets me through the days between massages without the typical training aches and pains I would otherwise suffer. Check out the TP website for more information.