Crossing the finish line of an ultra is an amazing experience and once you cross that line the next phase of your training starts — recovery. Ultras take a big toll on your body and whilst lying on the couch drinking beer and eating pizza might sound like a good idea there are better ways to ensure you recover quicker.
As an online running coach I’m obviously a big believer that a coach is a good investment in your running. It’s not just for the elite, in fact many of my clients make up the back half of the field. If you want to take away the uncertainty of what type of training you should be doing, if you want to reduce your risk of injury if you want to improve your performance or want to take on a race that scares the pants off you then a good running coach can help. Above all though a good coach will help you enjoy your running more.
Over the last few years I’ve seen a big increase in the number of online coaches, which is great for the runner, more variety and different price points make coaching an affordable option to just about anyone. However, like any industry, there are good coaches and let’s say not so good coaches. How do you go about determining the good from the not so good? A few pointed questions and a bit of research can help you sort through the good from the average.
Since they were launched right at the height of the minimalist shoe trend they stood out amongst the zero drop minimal cushioning alternatives and if you weren’t singing Hokas praises then you were probably firmly in the side against them.
Hoka lovers claim the shoe allows them to fly downhill and run further without muscle soreness.
The detractors claim the massive cushion will decrease the proprioreceptive feedback your feet give your brain, making you a less efficient runner. They will increase ground contact time which will slow you down and the height of the shoe would increase instability making them a poor choice for trails.
Fast forward a few years later and the biggest trend in running shoes for 2014 is for light weight maximally cushioned shoes – very similar to the Hokas.
So why the swing towards maximalist cushioned shoes?
Blisters are a common problem for many marathon and ultramarathon runners. There are many ideas for how to prevent them, some of them old wives tales and some of them have a bit more credibility. But despite the use of every remedy known to mankind some of us still suffer blisters. Maybe our understanding of what causes them is incorrect and we need to try something different.
A while ago I posted a blog on the the relative ineffectiveness of typical glute strengthening exercises such as the clam and side lying leg raises and recommended some more effective exercises. I have had a few requests for a video of these to show more clearly how to perform them so here you go.