Tip of the Week

  • It's cold and it's snowing, get outside and enjoy!

    Landing on flattened irregular snow is an excellent stimulus for everything that touches proprioception and stimulation of stabilizer muscles. For those who are steping out from the off season, it's the right moment to smoothly integrate most minimalistic shoes with trail crampons and a lighter and more efficient running gait. The slippery snow will automatically get you to run with smaller strides to avoid slippering and the irregular nature of the snow will allow you to gently go from heel striking to midfoot striking.

  • Sleep

    One’s diurnal sleep quantity is a good physiological stress indicator. In other words, if a runner exercises more, he can take little naps.

  • Hyponatremia

    Hyponatremia (which is actually intoxication to water) is characterized by signs and symptoms such as faintness, confusion, fatigue and nausea, which may lead to a coma and, in rare cases, to death. The main cause is over-consumption of water. During a long training period (more than 2 hours of intense activity), it is necessary to avoid gaining weight by consuming a maximum of 500 to 800ml of liquid per hour (ideally isotonic like Gatorade).

  • Heat stroke

    During a long run, mainly in hot and humid weather, measure your effort! A heat stroke is characterized by a change of state (confusion, convulsion, stupor, coma) and a body temperature of more than 41°C. The emergency treatment is simple. You must quickly lower your temperature to less than 38°C (take a 3- to 6-minute ice bath or go into the shade) and start the hydration process.

  • Warm-up

    To get ready for training, you must increase your body temperature gradually by a brisk walk or a jog for 10-20 minutes. Begin slowly in order to progressively get your body ready for the speed and requirements of training.

  • Warm-up

    To get ready for speed training, you must prepare your body for the training requirements in the following areas: biomechanics (amplitude of movement), neurophysiology (motor skills coordination) and physiology (energy system). You must increase your body temperature with a progressive jog for 15 to 25 minutes. You can continue with progressive functional ballistic stretching related to a neurophysiological warm-up by: (1) drills: high knees, heels to buttocks, etc. and (2) sport-specific gestures or progressive accelerations (strides).

  • Running shoes

    Need a new pair of running shoes? Select a simple, low and close-to-the-ground shoe in order to have a good feeling of the surface. The perfect shoe should only protect the skin from lacerations and the cold, while minimizing "the interface" between the foot and the ground (the majority of technologies of stability and absorption are superfluous and without scientific basis). If a runner already has a pair of absorbent and heavy shoes, he should be directed towards a pair of less absorbent and superior ones in three progressive stages: training shoes, light trainer shoes and racer shoes.

  • Cross-training

    If you cross train (transfer to another activity) to complement your running training, it is preferable not to exceed 35% of the volume. This helps to prevent interfering with the gesture specificity of running (from a performance point of view, obviously).

  • Injuries

    50% of runners are injured each year. Why? They do too much, too quickly, sometimes with a bad pair of shoes.

  • Training frequency

    To prevent injuries, it is preferable to run more often, but less each time (more than 4 times per week with a maximum of one day of rest between each run) rather than run 2 or 3 times per week, for longer periods.

  • Health professional

    A running specialist in injury prevention should, in a global evaluation, include an analysis of your running pattern, shoes and biomechanics (flexibility, force, etc.), in addition to giving basic preventive advice (training preparation, progression and planning).

  • 180 steps per minute

    If a runner wants to prevent injuries and to become more effective, he should be doing more than 170 steps per minute, ideally 180, even when jogging more slowly.

  • The foot’s biomechanics

    While running, the contact of the foot on the ground should be made below the hips rather than ahead of them. The foot must land flat on the ground and not heel first. The noise produced by the runner’s steps should be minimal.

  • Running surfaces

    Flat surfaces (road, track, treadmill) cause regularity on each race tread which, in turn, causes a repetition of biomechanical imperfections. The best running surface is the cross-country one. This type of surface, firm and irregular, allows a large variety of adaptive movements of the lower limbs and thus decreases the risk of injuries.

  • External change

    If an external change occurs (change of temperature, snow on the ground, new surface, more hills, interior race, etc.) one should decrease the anticipated volume of training by 25 to 50%, allowing time to adapt to these new conditions.

  • Women and running

    A female runner that has less frequent menstruation should consult a doctor. She should make sure to keep a good appetite, to eat sufficient quantities of food and to decrease by 20% her training volume.

  • Overweight

    Being overweight does not expose a runner to higher chances of being injured as long as he is progressive.

  • Osteoarthritis

    Many studies have shown that runners do not have more osteoarthritis in their knees than non-runners. Running would even have a protective role since runners’ patella cartilage is 3 times thicker than their fellow sedentary.

  • Anterior knee pain

    The patella femoro-tibial syndrome is characterized by pain around the kneecap. The main cause of this syndrome is a rapid increase in the volume of training (time or number of miles ran per week) associated with too many stairs or slopes. Be progressive! Some tapings, stretching of the ilio-tibial band as well as exercises to strengthen the quadriceps are frequently taught for this type of problem.

  • Pain for more than 3 days

    When pain related to training persists over 3 days, it is advisable to consult a professional who specializes in sports injuries. This professional will be able to decide on a diagnosis, to structure a treatment plan and seek the cause of the problem. It is important to be cautious in the “medicalisation” and the complexity of a simple condition. Avoid repeated treatments without evolution. Avoid proposed surgery for injuries from overuse (without trauma).

  • Anterior knee pain

    The patella tendinopathy (tendinitis) is characterized by pain below the kneecap. The main cause of this syndrome is a rapid increase in the volume of training (time or number of miles ran per week) associated with too many stairs, hills or speed. Be progressive! Eccentric strengthening of the quadriceps is the most important exercises for this type of problem. Some interventions such as a brace, a taping or shock wave therapy can be interesting, while others such as the infiltration of cortisone are absolutely to be avoided.

  • Lateral knee pain

    The ilio-tibial band syndrome is characterized by pain on the external side of the knee. The main cause of this syndrome is a rapid increase in the volume of training (time or number of miles ran per week). Be progressive! Stretching the IT-band and exercises to strengthen the hip muscles are often interventions taught for this type of problem.

  • Achilles tendon pain

    The Achilles tendinopathy (tendinitis) is characterized by pain appearing upon palpation of the Achilles tendon. The main cause of this tendinopathy is a rapid increase in the intensity of training (speed, jumps, hills, intervals). Be progressive! Stretching and eccentric strengthening exercises for the calf are most commonly taught for this type of problem.

  • Pain in the leg

    The shin-splint or tibia stress fracture is characterized by pain in front or on the inside of the leg. The main cause of this syndrome is a rapid increase in the intensity of training (speed, jumps, hills, intervals). Be progressive! Some tapings, stretching and eccentric strengthening exercises for the calf are frequently taught for this type of problem.

  • Pain in the pelvic area

    Lumbar, sacro-iliac or hip problems are characterized by pain in the back, the buttocks or the hip. The main cause of this type of problem is a rapid increase in the volume, intensity or going down hills. Be progressive! Several exercises and deep strengthening control of the trunk and some proprioception exercises on the Swiss ball help to heal this kind of problem.