Tip of the Week

  • Flexibility

    Static flexibility before training should be done only if one’s muscular stiffness sufficiently influences his biomechanics to create an injury. It is not recommended, in a general way, to stretch before an activity.

  • Flat feet and injuries

    There is generally no link between anthropometry (flat or hollow feet, shorter leg, etc) and injuries, as long as one is adapted. Think twice before trying to correct them!

  • Times for training

    For high quality trainings, some times during the day are better (9:00 to 12:00 and 4:00 to 8:00).

  • Recovery between two trainings

    If a runner plans on doing two trainings on the same day, it is highly recommended to leave a 5 to 6 hour recovery period between both.

  • Speed workout

    In order to prevent injuries, strength and speed workouts should be done when a runner is well rested.

  • Active recuperation

    After a training that produced lactic acid, one should privilege an active recovery (slow jog or walk) rather then a passive one (rest).

  • Recuperation

    If a runner requires more than three days to recover from his last training, it is a sign that it was too hard.

  • Immune system

    After a hard training, a runner should refrain from going to enclosed areas where he is in contact with others because his immune system will be more vulnerable for a short period. He is susceptible to infections, such as the cold virus, for 2 to 6 hours following your training.

  • Running in snowshoes, why not?

    This more and more popular sport in northern countries is an excellent way to vary your training. The increase of cardiovascular demand by the additional weight on your feet, the proprioceptive work induced by the variety of surfaces and the global muscular work are good reasons for you to try it out. Attention! Be progressive!

  • 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.

  • 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.

  • 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).

  • It's winter, beware of the surface change!

    The new snowy surface will bring biomechanics change, be progressive! Cutting your training volume by 2 for the first snowfalls and take 2 to 3 weeks to come back to your regular volume will be wise.

  • 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.

  • It's winter time, train in volume!

    During the cold season, it would be important to privilege volume rather than speed training because cold and intense efforts seem incompatible on certains points: warming up is ore laborious and substantially increases the risk of pulled muscles, tendinitis and articular pain while cold air gasping could irritate or burn your airways.

  • 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.

  • 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.