Race report from Xterra Beaver Creek and This Week’s 1-Page Health News

I (Glenn) raced in the Xterra Beaver Creek off-road triathlon (sport distance) this past Saturday. I had a good day, knocking 23 minutes off of last year’s time to finish in 2:19. Not bad.

Here’s me on the bike:

My kids then lined up for the kids race, and my 4-year-old Jason almost won the 4 & under category.

Next up for me is a return to the Xterra off-road tri at Eldora, where I finished last by over 30 minutes in 2008. I’m hoping the improvement continues.

And here’s this weeks 1-Page Health News

Mental Attitude: Appreciation! People who appreciate what they have are more likely to live happy, satisfied lives. Personality and Individual Differences, March 2012

Health Alert: Life-Threatening Accidental Acetaminophen Overdosing In Children! Acetaminophen, a widely available over-the-counter medication, can cause liver toxicity in children if recommended doses are exceeded. Clearly, more public education is needed to warn of potential adverse effects. Repeated supratherapeutic dosing (above the recommended dose), accidental overdose (due to error) and intentional ingestion can all result in acute liver failure and even death. 11% of children who are given pharmaceuticals experience a medication error such as an incorrect medication, incorrect dose or method of administering. Acetaminophen overdose is the most common agent responsible for a life-threatening event, longer-term illness or death among children. Canadian Medical Association Journal, June 2012

Diet: Tart Cherry Juice. Drinking tart cherry juice two times per day for three weeks resulted in considerable reductions in vital inflammation markers. This is good news for arthritis and join pain sufferers (and athletes).American College of Sports Medicine Conference, May 2012

Exercise: Improved Health With Less Training? The new 10-20-30 training concept consists of a warm-up at a low intensity followed by 3-4 blocks of 5 minutes running interspersed by 2 minutes of rest. Each block consists of 5 consecutive 1-minute intervals divided into 30, 20 and 10 seconds of running at a low, moderate and near maximal intensity, respectively. Runners were able to improve performance on a 1500m run by 23 seconds and almost by a minute on a 5km run, despite a 50% reduction in their total amount of training. The runners also had a significant decrease in blood pressure and a reduction in blood cholesterol. Journal of Applied of Physiology, June 2012

Chiropractic: The Rusty Gate! A gate is a good analogy for understanding bone joint degeneration. A new gate moves free and easy, much like healthy joints. In time, as the joint and gate hinge begin to breakdown or rust, movement becomes restricted and slower. With chiropractic care, your joints can maintain proper motion. For the gate, try WD40. ☺

Wellness/Prevention: Brush Your Teeth! People who receive regular teeth cleanings had a lower chance of heart attack and stroke. American Journal of Medicine, June 2012

Quote: “A table, a chair, a bowl of fruit and a violin; what else does a man need to be happy?” ~ Albert Einstein

This past week at Boulder Peak, and the latest edition of Denver Chiropractic Center’s 1-Page Health News

This past week the staff from Denver Chiropractic Centers all over the state. Dr. Hyman was up in Beaver Creek training for Xterra Beaver Creek on July 14. While biking, he ran into a bear under lift 11. There’s a little snippet of video posted on our blog: http://www.denverback.com/?p=861

Dr. Stripling and Keri were up working hard leading the Active Release treatment team at the Boulder Peak Triathlon this weekend. Here’s a picture from the brief window when Dr. Hyman stopped by:

And here’s the 1-Page Health News for You…

Mental Attitude: Immune Against Alzheimer’s? Researchers discovered the best marker associated with memory is a gene called CCR2. This gene showed immune system activity against beta-amyloid, thought to be the main substance that causes Alzheimer’s disease. According to Dr. Lorna Harries, “Identification of a key player in the interface between immune function and cognitive ability may help us to gain a better understanding of the disease processes involved in Alzheimer’s disease and related disorders.” National Institute on Aging, June 2012

Health Alert: Cancer Rates Expected To Increase! Cancer incidence is expected to increase more than 75% by the year 2030 in developed countries, and over 90% in developing nations. Countries must take action to combat the projected increases in cancer rates via primary prevention strategies such as healthier lifestyles, early detection, and effective treatment programs. Lancet Oncology, June 2012

Diet: Snacking On Raisins. Eating raisins as an after-school snack prevents excessive calorie intake and increases the feeling of fullness as compared to other commonly consumed snacks. Grapes, potato chips and cookies resulted in approximately 56%, 70% and 108% higher calorie intake compared to raisins, respectively. The cumulative calorie intake (breakfast + morning snack + lunch + after-school snack) was 10-19% lower in children who ate raisins as an after school snack when compared to children who consumed other snacks. Canadian Nutrition Society, May 2012

Exercise: Exercise and Cancer. Researchers are working toward proving that daily yoga or 20 minutes of walking will likely extend a cancer patient’s survival. In 15 years, doctors have gone from being afraid to recommend exercise to cancer patients to having enough data that shows it is safe and effective, particularly for relief of treatment side effects. American Society of Clinical Oncology Annual Meeting, June 2012

Active Release: A whole lot of nerve? Your nervous system runs and controls every aspect of your body. For example, there are 45 miles of nerves in your skin alone. Nerves throughout your body can become trapped in muscles, causing symptoms from headaches to carpal tunnel to sciatica to tingling in the toes. Active Release can take pressure off of nerves and fix problems. Gray’s Anatomy / Active Release Techniques

Wellness/Prevention: Early Stress? Children who experience intense and lasting stressful events in their lives score lower on tests of the spatial working memory and have more trouble on tests of short-term memory. Journal of Neuroscience, June 2012

Quote: “Remember to perform random acts of kindness.” ~ From the film Pay It Forward, released in 2000

Confessions of a barefoot failure

Me & Bobby McGee. Trying to solve the problem.

In early 2010, I drank the barefoot running Kool Aid. I’ve written about that part of the story before, but I’ll briefly review it for those of you who may not remember.

After reading the book Born to Run, I decided to start running barefoot on my treadmill. I felt good, so I bought some “Barefoot Shoes”. My knee pain went away, I started telling all of you to try it, blah, blah, blah. I tried to go from running as a heel striker to running as a mid-foot striker. It worked for about a year. And then some new injuries set in.

Last week (as I sit writing this) I spent Friday at my 1st grader’s field day. For those of you who don’t know, it’s like a kiddie Olympics held outside at school on a nice spring day. The kids do all sorts of things, like tug-of-war, throw the ball as far as you can, and a round-the–bases relay race.

The round-bases-race was interesting, because I got to watch kid after kid after kid run. As a student of running mechanics, it was quite enlightening.

After observing about 30 kids, I can tell you that only about 1 in thirty kids is a heel-striker. They’re almost all mid-foot strikers, and their feet are quick – touch down, pull up. They all looked smooth and efficient.

So why do the people who gather data on such matters say that about 75% of adult runners are heel strikers*? What happens? Should we all be mid-foot striking or do what comes naturally?(*reference- Foot Strike Patterns of Runners At the 15-Km Point During An Elite-Level Half Marathon HASEGAWA, HIROSHI; YAMAUCHI, TAKESHI; KRAEMER, WILLIAM J. Journal of Strength and Conditioning Research, August 2007 – Vol. 21 – Issue 3.)

The answer? I have no idea.

So I decided to go see expert running coach Bobby McGee for a 90 minute mechanics evaluation / lesson. Here’s what Bobby had to say (paraphrasing):

“For most runners, unless they want to be elite runners, it doesn’t make any sense at all to try to force a style of running. If you’re a heel striker, don’t try to force yourself to be a mid foot striker. If you are strong enough to run barefoot, great. But if you’re not, it’s a disaster waiting to happen.”

The conclusion – be who you are, and work to optimize the mechanics that you’re used to. So instead of forcing yourself out heel striking, work with it. Remember, we’re all individuals, and your unique running style is just that- yours. Don’t go changing for the sake of change. Like I did.

For the record, Bobby spent more time working on what my upper body was doing than he spent on my lower body. This made a huge difference. He also told me that my feet were not strong enough for running in so-called barefoot shoes. So there you go, I’m a barefoot failure. If you are serious about running, you might want to go spend 90 minutes with Bobby. He’s brilliant.