You must do the things you think you cannot do.
Eleanor Roosevelt

Saturday, January 29, 2011

Injury Prevention Forum

Last night I got to sit just feet away from some of the rock stars of the natural running community. Truly. Little ol' me from the boonies of Maryland, and it was very cool.

Two Rivers Treads shoe store and the Bavarian Inn in Shepherdstown along with The Running Clinic in Canada hosted an injury prevention public forum at the Bavarian Inn.

The evening was moderated by Dr Mark Cucuzella, family practitioner and coach of the USAF running team

Featured panelists included
Danny Dreyer, ultrarunner and author of Chi Running
Dr. Peter Larson, author of and professor of Biology at St Anshelm College,
Ian Adamson, adventure racer and Director of Research and Education at Newton Running
Dr Craig Richards, runner, running injury researcher, and family practitioner
Blaise Dubois, founder of The Running Clinic and physical therapist
Jay Dicharry, runner, Physical Therapist and Director of the SPEED Clinic at UVA
Dr. Daniel Kulund, USAF, runner, oldest active duty member of the military, and Chief Health Promotions Pentagon
and Dr. Ray McClanahan, runner and podiatrist

These men are going to spend the weekend learning about running injury prevention and treatment strategies. They generously spent a couple of hours last night sharing their thoughts on injury prevention and then fielding questions from the public.

Hank's cross country coaches agreed to ride along with me, and we arrived about 20 minutes before 7. Good thing we saved our seats and then got coffee because the joint was hoppin'. By the time they were ready to begin, there was standing/sitting on the floor room only.

I have to say it was all quite interesting and there was so much information that I wish they had handouts for us. 

The two recurring themes were:
1) If it ain't broke, don't fix it. If you are happily wearing big, cushy shoes, running with horrible form AND you're injury free. Don't go a changin'

2) Any changes you do make need to be incremental. If injuries have forced you to switch from a big heeled, fluffy shoe to flat shoe or to no shoe, don't wake up one morning and run 10 miles in your new gear. The first day run 1 minute in the new shoe and if you don't have pain or discomfort, run 2 minutes the next day. And so on.

The panelists didn't go into much detail about specific injury, but I didn't expect them to since injuries and subsequent treatment are so individual.

They also talked a bit about kids shoes. Dr Mark Cucuzella wrote a piece discussing his thoughts on kids' shoes which you can read here.

Afterwards we got schmooze with the panel. Being the ginormous dork that I am, I brought my Chi Running book so that Danny Dreyer could autograph it for me. And I was pleased to see that I wasn't the only dork because there were lots of other people with their books too. 
**I have to edit this because it turns out I'm not such a dork afterall. Marcia and Green Girl are definitely not dorks and they would do/have done the same thing I did.

It was a great evening and I'm so glad I was able to go.

So what does it all mean for me? Well, I had a lot of fun running barefoot for my gait analysis so I'm going to spend more time barefoot and see how feasible it will be for me to transition to barefoot running. My next shoe purchase will definitely be a more minimalist shoe and I'm going to study my Chi Running book to start encorporating some of those principles into my running as well - gradually of course, but the winds of change are blowing.


Teamarcia said...

I would have been right there with you meeting DD. I love Chi Running and do not run without doing the dynamic stretching shown in the book first.

The Green Girl said...

That is so awesome!

I got Danny Dreyer's autograph, too!

misszippy said...

So funny! I saw you there!! Too bad we didn't know it ahead of time. Did you know DD is doing a cheaper/shorter version of his clinic in March in Bethesda? Thinking of going!

*~* *~* Tracy said...

What a small world!!

I didn't know he's doing a clinic in March. I'll have to check the details. I'll let you know if I plan to go.


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