Episode 4: Running the Hard Way

Hello again. This is Andrew Dombek from the Any Day Happenings of a Physical Therapist blog. And I’m here today from the office as you can see. I’ve given everyone the afternoon off. It’s a holiday weekend, but I’m still here working hard for you guys. That update is how we’re starting today. Last night, Wednesday night, was the first night that we did not have any critters invade the house. Yay! Last week we had a cicada come in and it got caught in the light fixture in front of the front door, and that sucker was loud. This time, it happened to wake my wife up. I couldn’t get to it fast enough. I’m not tall enough to reach up, so I had to get a ladder. The ladder is stuck in the garage full of junk, bikes, goals, everything. So finally got the ladder. Thing was flying around there, couldn’t get it, so it was making lots of noise and it was a mess. So anyways, that was what happened last week.

Now onto the next section of Ask Andrew, Why Andrew. I don’t know what we want to call it. I’m waiting to hear from you guys to tell me which you want to hear. Anyways, I got a question from a woman. Her name is Erin and she’s a 40-year-old, works from home, mother of one, and is an avid runner, but admitted never really been athletic but ran, I think, like 16 races last year alone. And she entered into the foray of marathon running this year, and she got up to about mile 16, I think that’s this weekend. And she asked me why her calves were tight when she ran, and she thought it would be a precursor to something.

She also had stepped in some sort of hole and hurt her foot and wanted to know, you know, what was going on there. The foot thing was a minor thing, but the calf problem was evident after watching her run, actually listening to her run, you could hear that heavy bam, bam, bam, bam, and anytime you hear that when you’re running, that means it’s heavy-footed, full-foot-contact heal striker. And we videotaped her running and her walking and said, “Well, this is why you’re having issues is you’re landing on your heels. You’re overstriding among some other things we had to tweak.” Anyhoo, we worked on her. We talked about that. And the next day I get an email from her and said, that just from me tweaking the way she ran, her running form, she did not report any calf soreness after the run, was able to make her run. Good job, Erin, and we’re hoping that she can finish out making her 16-mile trek this weekend. And I guess five weeks or six weeks, she’s in for marathon training. So I’m waiting to hear your questions. Please keep sending them in. I’m here to answer them for you, whether it be running, jumping, anything. I’m here for you. So that’s the end of our episode. Boom!

Andrew Dombek, PT, MSPT, CMTPT, CGFI

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