• Author:
  • Published: Apr 13th, 2011
  • Category: Other
  • Comments: 2

3 Quick Running Tips For Beginners

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The Pump Triple Break

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Many people who start out running simply pull on their new running shoes and set off around their local streets or parks. Often, they retire from their fitness regime within a few weeks because their knees start playing up, or their hips or lower back hurt so much both during exercise and afterwards. The problem is that nobody teaches us how to run properly, and most beginners’ injuries are a result of poor technique. Here are a few simple tips which will help you to ward off unnecessary overuse injuries such as shin splints and painful joints.

1. Stop Heel Striking – landing on the heel of the front foot is very common among beginners because they stretch their leg forward, locking the knee, when they stride. Unfortunately, the human heel is not cushioned and is designed mainly for balance. So if you only try out one of these running tips for beginners, this is the one to incorporate into your exercise: always aim to land on your forefoot. This allows you to make effective use of your foot’s natural shock absorber in the arch, and also provides some elastic recoil, which will enable you to run faster with less stress on your shins and knees.

2. Stop Stretching Your Stride – stretching your front leg out in front of you, and landing your foot ahead of your center of balance is a very bad practice. It forces you to land on your heel and since it is usually accompanied by a locked leg, it creates extra stress for the knee joints. You will also find that running this way can slow you down, because you have to pivot your hip to catch up with the front foot before you can push off into your next stride. This means you are running very inefficiently as well as potentially causing harm. So, shorten your stride length and aim to land your front foot underneath your hip. This will allow you to push off much faster, it will enable you to land on the forefoot rather than the heel, and it will minimize unnecessary shocks to your leg joints.

3. Stop Varying Your Turnover Rate – many new runners think that a leisurely jog means a slow turnover rate (also called cadence), while a faster, more competitive run means increasing the number of steps per minute. In truth, you should always aim for 180 steps per minute. Your speed is then controlled by the force you exert on the ground at each toe off. So running for fun should feel as if you are floating along, whereas serious running should leave you with a nice ‘burn’ in your calves, glutes and hip muscles, but your steps per minute should not change. This cadence is ideal for ensuring you maximize the elastic recoil from the springy tendons and muscles in your feet and lower legs, helping you to conserve some of your energy and keep muscle fatigue at bay for longer.

If you can start to include these three beginners’ running tips into your new exercise program, you will find that you can run more efficiently, more rapidly and with less potential for injuries. The only other thing to add is a properly fitting pair of running shoes and you should be safe for your next year of jogging.

  • Author:
  • Published: Jan 3rd, 2011
  • Category: Other
  • Comments: 1

Runners Knee And Running Shoes

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Capsule of right knee-joint (distended). Later...
Image via Wikipedia

Runner’s knee is the bane of many runners, simply because it is such a common but frustrating injury. If it isn’t properly treated it can linger for months if not years, and may never go away unless someone who understands the condition treats the runner. So what can you do about runner’s knee, and more importantly what can you do to help prevent it?

The proper footwear is essential if you want to avoid getting runners knee. It’s no wonder that many people get the condition when they are running on hard surfaces without footwear which cushions the foot. If you have flat feet, then buying running shoes with extra arch support is very important as this stops the tibia rotating inwards. When the tibia rotates inwards it changes the biomechanics of the leg and can lead to excess cartilage wear and, over time, runner’s knee.
One thing to remember is that runner’s knee is not a very accurate description. There are numerous conditions that could be classed as running knee, and health professionals often won’t differentiate between them. If you think you have runners knee – which could mean patella tendonitis, patellofemoral syndrome or something else – then it’s important to go to someone who is used to dealing with runners and the injuries which they are most likely to pick up.

Overall, runner’s knee is something that’s easily avoided. Just make sure that you don’t run too far in a short space of time, limit your training sessions to quality instead of quantity and back off the mileage if you start to feel pain in the knee region. The correct running shoes that are high quality, such as the New Balance MR993, are also essential. Many runners ignore this advice and end up with a serious injury that could have been avoided if they’d been more patient and listened to their body. Knee injuries are very common, but that doesn’t mean all runners need to experience them.

  • Author:
  • Published: Aug 12th, 2009
  • Category: NFL Football
  • Comments: Comments Off on The injury bug bites the Eagles tail feathers.

The injury bug bites the Eagles tail feathers.

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Head coach Andy Reid is not known for running a particularly physical training camp. Even so, this year injuries have take down some starters critical to the success of the team in 09. MLB Stewart Bradley is one of the best young IB in the league but blew out a knee and was put on IR ending his season. Starting G Todd Herremans (foot) will miss the entire preseason because of a stress reaction in a bone in his foot. Others missing time include starters on the O line T Shawn Andrews (back) and G Stacy Andrews (knee). Starting WR Hank Baskett (knee) has been diagnosed with a hyperextension of the right knee. He is listed as day-to-day. And the star RB Brian Westbrook is recovering from foot surgery and will sit out the preseason. The injury list represents the best and most experienced starters on the team. That is not a good sign for 09.

The offense revolves around two guys—QB Donovan McNabb and RB Westbrook. McNabb has been criticized, benched, and yet has always come back to lead a team with very limited receiving options in the past. This year his corps of receivers looks a lot better. McNabb has the ability to carry the team on his back when he needs to. He is among the most productive QBs in the league. But he will be 33 before the season ends. That makes finding the next Eagle starter a timely issue. The team picked Kevin Kolb with their first pick in 07 (second round). He may be the guy but we haven’t seen enough of him to tell. We won’t see him this year either unless McNabb goes down.

Westbrook has been as much as 70% of the offense in previous seasons. Last year he was limited by nagging injuries and hits the magic 30 age for running back before the season starts. At just 203 pounds he can’t be expected to take the punishment of 250-270 carries a year for much longer. LeSean McCoy and Lorenzo Booker are his backups. Rookie McCoy looks like a capable replacement but so did Booker who proved to be less than advertised. FB Leonard Weaver is a solid blocker but not much of an offensive threat.

The starting WR are DeSean Jackson, who has sparkled in camp this year, and Kevin Curtis. Curtis had a great year going until he went down with an injury. Reid has rookie 1st round pick Jeremy Maclin, Jason Avant and Hank Baskett in reserve. Both Avant and Baskett have experience and Maclin has the tools but will have to develop into a more consistent route runner. TE Brent Celek filled in nicely for the injured L.J. Smith last year and starts in 09.

The O line will be much improved IF the walking wounded return to play. LT Jason Peters was all pro last year despite not earning it. He wanted to be rewarded for a below average season with an above average increase and the Bills traded him. LG Herremans, RG Stacy Andrews (knee in 08), RT Shawn Andrews (back) are all fighting injuries. If healthy, this group is solid. C Jamaal Jackson needs to improve run blocking. The prime members of the bench are Max Jean-Gilles and Winston Justice. They are just adequate.

The D will have to get over a lot more than injuries. Sean McDermott will replace the long time and much loved Jim Johnson as D coordinator. Expect McDermott to keep the same system with no changes this season.

The team ranked 4th in run D last year. The D line did fine again the run but need to generate a lot more pass rush in 09. The base rotation includes starters Es Victor Abiamiri and Trent Cole and Ts Mike Patterson and Brodrick Bunkley. Trevor Laws, Darren Howard, Chris Clemons, Juqua Parker who started last year at E are the reserves in the rotation. Out of necessity, the Eagles have always blitzed a lot. They would like to reduce the blitzes if the D line generates more pressure.

SLB Chris Gocong and WLB Akeem Jordan are set but the question is who will replace Bradley? Omar Gaither who lost the WLB spot to Jordan last season is the best bet. He has played there before.

The corners are solid with Asante Samuel and Sheldon Brown. Samuel is an all pro and plays like it. Brown is fine but the team traded for Ellis Hobbs to provide a little extra incentive. The loss of team leader Brian Dawkins to free agency is going to hurt. He was the emotional leader as well as a coach on the field. Quintin Demps will get the first shot but the team also signed UFA Sean Jones from the Browns. Joselio Hanson and Jack Ikegwuonu play the nickel and dime spots and have experience.

OVERALL: The Eagles will be one of the most improved teams in the league if they can overcome the losses on D. With the new line and receivers, they should score a lot of points. If the D can do as well as it did last year, the team will make the playoffs and should make it to the NFC Championship game as well.

That’s what I think. Tell me what you think.

Bill Smith is a former coach of several semi-pro teams, has officiated both football and basketball, done color on radio for college football and basketball and has scouted talent. He is a senior writer for and edits https://fryingpansports.com. He has also published several novels on and edits .

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Giant Boot Camp 09 takes a toll on the players

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Giant head coach Tom Coughlin is infamous for running a tight ship and a physical training camp. This year seems to be a little tougher than most. No fewer than 16 players are nursing early camp injuries of various severity. CB Corey Webster (hip), CB Aaron Ross (leg), WR Steven Smith (knee), WR Hakeem Nicks (hamstring), DT Chris Canty (hamstring), OL Guy Whimper (toe), OT Cliff Louis (ankle), OT Kevin Boothe (pectoral) and DE Maurice Evans (hip) DT Fred Robbins (knee) and DE Justin Tuck (foot) OG Chris Snee (leg) C Shaun O’Hara (triceps) OG Rich Seubert (shoulder) WR David Tyree (knee) and DT Anthony Bryant (undisclosed) all have missed time at the camp. There are more people lined up at the trainer’s room than customers waiting to dump their rides in on Cash for Clunkers program. Even so, don’t look for the pace or intensity of the camp to change. That would not be consistent with Coughlin’s personality.

QB Eli Manning has his new deal. Now all he needs is a couple of dependable receivers. Manning is the offensive leader of the team but has struggled in the playoffs. His production fell off a cliff last year without Plaxico Burris. His second WR Amani Toomer was allowed to leave in free agency. Manning has to get a new best friend target he can depend on. That won’t be easy given the group of candidates. I would not pick Manning for my Fantasy Football team.

The Giants plan to have Steve Smith and Domenik Hixon as starters. Mario Manningham, Sinorice Moss and David Tyree provide the only experienced backups available. The starters have not impressed during OTAs and so far in camp. Tyree has a knee problem and may well not survive the final cut. Manningham and Moss show promise but Manningham had consistency problems at Michigan. The best hope for the team may be rookies Hakeem Nicks and Ramses Barden. The problem is that generally a WR doesn’t blossom in the NFL until his second or third year. Manning still has TE Kevin Boss who is a dependable pair of hands.

The running game is solid but lost a key component when backup Derrick Ward (1.025 yards in 08) was allowed to leave in free agency. RB Brandon Jacobs (4th round 05) was one of the all time great steals in the draft. He is a beast and even DTs don’t want to tackle him when he has a full head of steam. Anything that big that moves that fast should have the words “US Air Force” on the side. His only problem is that he runs upright and is subject to injury. His primary backup now is the speedy Ahmad Bradshaw. The question is can Bradshaw run inside like Ward did? Andre Ware and rookie RB Andre Brown provide further depth.

The O line has been one of the great strengths of the team. The lineup has been the same for 2 years and the combination of LT David Diehl, LG Rich Seubert, C Shaun O’Hara, RG Chris Snee and RT Kareem McKenzie provide protection for Manning and the push the runners need. Rookie LT Will Beatty has real potential but needs to get stronger. He may move into LT in 2010 and allow Diehl to move back to G. The bench is solid with T Guy Whimper, T Andrew Carnahan, and G Tutan Reyes being the prime candidates.

New defensive coordinator Bill Sheridan has a toy box full of goodies with which to play. The D line has LE Justin Tuck, LT Barry Cofield, RT Fred Robbins and RE Osi Umenyiora coming off of knee surgery that cost him all of 08. Assuming Osi is healthy, there isn’t a better group in the league. They also have great depth of DE Mathias Kiwanuka, DE/DT Chris Canty, DT Rocky Bernard and DT Jay Alford. Canty and Kiwanuka would start for a lot of NFL teams.

Injuries and changes make the LB group a little less solid. MLB Antonio Pierce is the leader. SLB Danny Clark is smart but not a great playmaker. He is a journeyman. WLB Michael Boley was signed to play that position but was injured. Last year 4th round pick Bryan Kehl stepped in and hasn’t given the spot back yet. 2nd round pick in 09 SLB Clint Sintim will challenge Clark and Boley and Gerris Wilkinson will try to unseat Kehl.

The starting group of LCB Aaron Ross, RCB Corey Webster, FS Michael Johnson and SS Kenny Phillips is as good as any in the league. Ross and Webster are playing at a pro bowl level. 08 first round pick Phillips stepped in to the SS spot and solidified it. CB Kevin Dockery, CB Bruce Johnson and CB Travonti Johnson provide strength at CB but there is not much at safety.

OVERALL: The Giants will be a force again in the playoffs if they survive Camp Coughlin. The NFC is wide open and the Giants will go just as far as Manning and the receiving corps takes them. My expectation is that they will make the NFC Championship game but home field and the success of Manning et. al. will determine if they make it to the Super Bowl.

That’s what I think. Tell me what you think.

Bill Smith is a former coach of several semi-pro teams, has officiated both football and basketball, done color on radio for college football and basketball and has scouted talent. He is a senior writer for and edits https://fryingpansports.com. He has also published several novels on and edits .

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