On Ganglion Cysts….

We runners continually get odd injuries and one of them is a Ganglion Cyst.  According to my friend and runner personal trainer podiatrist Nicole Hayward: ”

What Is a Ganglion Cyst?

A ganglion cyst is a sac filled with a jellylike fluid that originates from a tendon sheath or joint capsule. The word “ganglion” means “knot” and is used to describe the knot-like mass or lump that forms below the surface of the skin.

Ganglion cysts are among the most common benign soft-tissue masses. Although they most often occur on the wrist, they also frequently develop on the foot – usually on the top, but elsewhere as well. Ganglion cysts vary in size, may get smaller and larger, and may even disappear completely, only to return later.

Although the exact cause of ganglion cysts is unknown, they may arise from trauma – whether a single event or repetitive micro-trauma.

A ganglion cyst is associated with one or more of the following symptoms:

  • A noticeable lump – often this is the only symptom experienced
  • Tingling or burning, if the cyst is touching a nerve
  • Dull pain or ache – which may indicate the cyst is pressing against a tendon or joint
  • Difficulty wearing shoes due to irritation between the lump and the shoe

To diagnose a ganglion cyst, the foot and ankle surgeon will perform a thorough examination of the foot. The lump will be visually apparent and, when pressed in a certain way, it should move freely underneath the skin. Sometimes the surgeon will shine a light through the cyst or remove a small amount of fluid from the cyst for evaluation. Your doctor may take an x-ray, and in some cases additional imaging studies may be ordered.

Non-Surgical Treatment
There are various options for treating a ganglion cyst on the foot:

  • Monitoring, but no treatment. If the cyst causes no pain and does not interfere with walking, the surgeon may decide it is best to carefully watch the cyst over a period of time.
  • Shoe modifications. Wearing shoes that do not rub the cyst or cause irritation may be advised. In addition, placing a pad inside the shoe may help reduce pressure against the cyst.
  • Aspiration and injection. This technique involves draining the fluid and then injecting a steroid medication into the mass. More than one session may be needed. Although this approach is successful in some cases, in many others the cyst returns.

When is Surgery Needed?
When other treatment options fail or are not appropriate, the cyst may need to be surgically removed. While the recurrence rate associated with surgery is much lower than that experienced with aspiration and injection therapy, there are nevertheless cases in which the ganglion cyst returns.”


Thanks Nicole!!!!    Happy Running Everyone.   Please like my running coaching page:  Click Here



Shin Splints -Why the Pain?

I turn again to my running physical therapist friend Jessica Garcia here in Paramus, NJ for answers to those nagging shin splints!   Here you go:

“Anytime we get lower leg pain we are quick to say that we have shin splints but is that actually true or have we just grown accustomed to saying that because it’s what we have heard.  Shin splints has become the go to term for any lower leg pain that we get below the knee, either on the outside front part of the leg or the inside of the leg. Shin splints are the bane of many athletes, runners, tennis players, dancers and military recruits. They are much more common among beginning runners who build their mileage too quickly but can also affect seasoned runners who abruptly change their workout regimen. Shin splints can be summed up in 4 words….. Too Much, Too Soon.

Shin splints, (most commonly known as medial tibial stress syndrome), were always considered a soft tissue injury but with new information it is now thought that the cause of shin splints may actually be repeated stress to the bone. With running the tibia (bigger shin bone) bends backward slightly on impact with the ground, putting compressive forces on the inner side of the bone. The body responds to this but this process can take several weeks to months during which time the bone is even more vulnerable. Shin problems are more common in less experienced runners because the bone has not yet adapted. Did a light just go on?

Be careful, shin pain doesn’t always mean you have shin splints. It can be a sign of another problem, 2 conditions in particular, with potentially greater ramifications. The first of these is Compartment Syndrome– a swelling of muscles within a closed compartment which creates pressure. This pressure can decrease blood flow, which prevents nourishment and oxygen from reaching nerve and muscle cells.  Symptoms include leg pain, unusual nerve sensations and eventually muscle weakness. Compartment syndrome can be either acute or chronic. Acute compartment syndrome is a medical emergency.

The second, one that evokes fear just at the mere mention, is a Stress Fracture-an incomplete crack in the bone. The pain of shin splints is a generalized ache that may be worse in the morning because the soft tissue has tightened up overnight. They are at their most painful when forcibly lifting the foot at the ankle or flexing the foot. By contrast the pain from a stress fracture becomes focused on a smaller area of the bone and is sharp or burning in nature. The pain may be noticed more during the run eventually hurting while walking or even when you’re not putting any weight on it at all. They may feel better in the morning because the bone has rested overnight. If you suspect you have a stress fracture you should get it checked.

There can be a number of factors that cause shin splints, those related to the body and those related to training errors.  When shin splints strike it is best to stop running completely or decrease your training, depending on the extent and duration of pain. The initial focus is on decreasing the inflammation and once that is achieved it turns to reducing the relative amount of stress on the tibia. This can be accomplished by increasing flexibility and strength, reducing impact, wearing the correct footwear, cross training and,  once returning to running, avoiding hills and hard surfaces, avoiding running the same direction on a track, gradually increasing mileage, gradually increasing intensity and increasing stride frequency.

Most runners don’t want to interrupt their training unless absolutely necessary but the decision is not a clear cut one. In an attempt to help patients make this complicated decision I use this simple spectrum:  Red zone(stop): localized tenderness, sharp burning pain, pain with hopping, pain with walking, Yellow zone (caution): Tight aching pain when running; goes away when you stop, hopping isn’t painful, Green zone (go): Completely pain free while running. In most cases shin splints are often not serious however, call your health care provider if: you have pain even with rest, icing, and pain relievers after several weeks, you are not sure whether your pain is caused by shin splints, the swelling in your lower leg is getting worse or your shin is red and feels hot to the touch. So while in many instances you could run, the question becomes…. should you run?  If there is any hesitation when answering this question err on the side of caution. If you think having to rest because of a mild injury is difficult, you don’t even want to think about what it would be like with a full blown one.”

Thanks, Jessica!   Happy Running……

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Training Cycles & Rest

I preach rest and recovery almost as much as I preach having a specific running schedule that builds you to your next goal.  Training schedules are basically split into seasons, cycles and weeks.  A season is a specific plan towards a goal about 4-5 months in the future.  A cycle is a piece of that plan, usually about a month.  Finally a week is just a piece of the cycle.

Rest and recovery are built into every good training week, cycle and season.   For instance, I ran the Boston Marathon on April 20.  I took a full week off and then built and just completed my 5K / fast race season.  In this time I ran a Mud Run race, a 10K and 4 5K’s over a nine week period.  I am taking the next week lightly and then beginning my training for the next big race, the Liberty Half on Sept 20, 11 weeks away.   During all these seasons, every 4th week/cycle I build a slight decrease in miles (20% less) to give the legs a break.  During each week I time my runs so that I have fast and slow days next to each other and/or long and short distance days next to each other.

Why so anal you might say….because a body reacts to rest with a nice rebound as the muscles have been given a chance to recover.  Particularly as we get older, this comes into play as we don’t recover as fast as we did as when we were 21….so it is paramount that you allow yourself a chance to do this!   Imagine if you went without sleep for 1 night – you drag the next day.  Imagine if you went without sleep for weeks and weeks – you would be probably sick if not worse.   That is how your muscles feel with perpetual exercise and no rest.  The less rest, the more chance you have to get injured….and I haven’t even brought up the fact that you need good nutrition in the form of clean protein to help those muscles recover faster.

Please keep this in mind when you plan your next season…..

#rest #recovery #running #runningtips #runningcoach #fueled4life #injuryfree #nutrition


Recover Well, Runners

The importance of rest and recovery cannot be overemphasized in any training plan.  There are many factors that go into each individual such as regular miles per week, age and previous injury history.  In order to prevent injuries, one must incorporate rest and recovery.

For me, I run 4-5 days and get in 2-3 boot camps per week, so that involves some days with multiple workouts.  Every 4 weeks, I have a cycle down week (20% less miles than usual) and every 13-18 weeks I take a whole week off entirely.  But I am in my mid-40’s, had a meniscus tear and have run about 35,000 miles in my life.   A younger or beginner runner will have a different rest pattern.

If you run 8 miles a day perpetually, for instance, you can only sustain it for a certain amount of time.  Some people will last several years, but most people will simply break down and get some kind of overuse injury.

But you don’t have to!   I’m not saying you will be getting out of shape by taking rest – your body needs it.  It needs to be part of your training regimen.  Don’t increase your mileage by more than 10% from the week before as well as don’t increase your long run by more than 10% either.

Three times in the past year I saw Facebook posts that said something like this:  “This past month I ran the most miles in 1 month in my life … (by about 50-60 miles).”  Within 6 weeks of each post, all 3 runners were injured.  Three different injuries as well (plantars, foot, knee).   This may not happen to everyone, but why take the chance????

#running #runningtips #rest #recovery #cycling #trainingplan #runningcoach


The Day After…

You did it!  You conquered the big race.  It could have been a 5K for some and for others a marathon…or more.  I hope you enjoyed the moment, especially if it was your first or at a new course or even a PR.

The Next Day….

But now it’s “The Next Day”….  You may not be feeling as good as you did right after the race.  Your quads are burning….stairs are hard (especially down)….getting up and down from a chair is hard.   What have I always prescribed after a hard effort?  Rest and recovery.   These are key to getting you to start running and then to your next race.   Use these days to sleep in – take a walk – go get that post-race massage.  You deserve all these things.  Think of the plan going forward – what is your NEXT goal – your next race?  Check your shoes – are they at the 350-400 mile mark?  Are they? Then change them!  Evaluate your nutritional needs and see if they were adequate for the race you just did and if it should be adjusted for the next training cycle.

Recover Well My Friends….

All the post-race symptoms subside soon enough.  Start slow with some base miles – ease into it.  You know your bodies better than anyone else.  If you feel tight, slow down.  But, unless you are an Olympian, don’t jump into speed workouts and many races, especially after a half marathon (or up).  There is no shame in recovery time.  Once you get back into rhythm, you’ll be on your way.

Don’t Forget to Cleanse….

A nutritional cleanse such as the one from Isagenix is essential to do during this rest period, to flush out all that lactic acid and other toxins that have built up during the training cycle.

Relax and move on to the next training and race cycle for you!

#running #runningtips #noexcuses #rest #recovery #trainingplan #nutrition #injuryfree

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