Shin Splints: the what, the why, and how to MAKE IT STOP!

stopshinsplints

Medically known as medial tibial stress syndrome or MTSS, shin splints show up as a dull aching pain in the shin.  Although it feels like the bone, it’s actually inflammation of the tibia (soft tissue around the muscle and the bone).

Shin splints are caused by excessive impact on the tibia.  In other words, not enough cushioning on your landing.  Old shoes, not enough arch support, running or walking on hard or uneven surfaces are the culprits.

shin splints

You can get temporary relief by using kinesio tape (KT or Rock Tape); this will pull the skin away from the muscle to allow more blood flow to the inflammation.  Compression socks or sleeves (CEP) will hold the muscle to close to the bone to minimize the movement between them as well as warm the muscle and promote blood flow.  Icing after activity also helps.  Tart Cherry juice is also an anti-inflammatory and an amazing remedy that could help.

Since cushioning and arch support are the issues, a high cushion shoe with an arch support insert is your best remedy to the problem.  A favorite shoe of many local runners is the minimalistic with cushion.

Crim Week at Complete Runner

June 1 -6, 2015

Still thinking about registering for a Crim Race?

All Week Long register for any Crim Race at Complete Runner

and get $5 OFF your registration.

Be a part of Flint’s Biggest Race Event!

If you have registered, Great!  You can still join us!

There’ll be Events, Refreshments, Giveaways, Brand Reps

June 1 – Meet Crim Race Organizers

June 2 – Saucony Day

June 3 – Nike Day

June 4 New Balance Day

June 5 Mizuno Day

June 6 – Brooks Day, 9:00 Test Run w/Continental Breakfast & Mimosas & Bra Fittings

Crim Week Complete Runner 2015

BFF (Bra Friend Forever)

running bra

We’ve all heard 90% of all women are wearing the wrong bras size, well, there’s something to that.  After your shoes, your sports bra is your most important piece of equipment.  Running and Walking are high impact sports.  Repetitive bouncing from running cause pain and stretch the Coopers ligaments permanently resulting in drooping breasts.  Coopers Ligaments help hold the breasts up.  It is not just the larger breasted woman who suffers breast pain when running; smaller breasted women can suffer from this too.

Okay, so how do you prevent that?  Here are a few tips:

  1. Choose a High Impact Sports Bra
  2. Get a proper bra fitting (it’s free, go ahead)
  3. If you choose to do it yourself measure your rib cage under your breast and then, your breasts at the nipple.  The rib is your band size and the difference between the two is your cup size.  Not all bras are sized the same but 0” =AA, 1” =A, 2” =B, 3” =C, 4” =D, 5” =DD….. So a 32” rib and 36” bust is a 32D.
  4. There should be not spill over.
  5. Make sure it fits snugly on the rib; no more than one finger should fit between you and the bra.  The back should be straight across with no riding up.
  6. When you get a new bra fit it to the first hook so that as it stretches you can move it in to get longer wear out of it.
  7. We carry several High Impact Brands and Styles and Saturday June 6 Brooks will be doing Bra Fittings at Complete Runner all day!

Hope to see you there.

World Cup and Olympic Contender Dave McGovern visits Complete Runner

walk1

World Class Athlete and Speed Walking Trainer Dave McGovern stopped into Complete Runner during his Flint Race Walking Clinic.  If you’ve never heard of Dave, he race walks at a 6 minute pace, you heard right, 6 MINUTES!

Our own Norm Purdy and Mark O’Donnell did one of Dave’s clinics in Louisville and came up with the idea to bring Dave to do one of his World Class Clinics right here in Flint.  The Clinic consisted of a meet and greet where Dave shared his experiences and track work at Grand Blanc High School where Dave filmed and worked with individuals.  The second day included a Shoe Clinic at Complete Runner with Dave hitting a 7 minute mile on the Boston Marathon Treadmill, and the 3rd day included VO2 max test and Heart Rate Monitor Clinic.

walk2The response was so great that Norm and Mark are planning 3 Clinics with Jeannie Jeffery at Grand Blanc East Middle School June 22, July 20, and August 10.  The clinics will be from 6:00pm-8:00pm for a nominal fee of $10.  Contact Mark O’Donnell at mastod@att.net or (810) 499-0083.

Complete Runner will soon be offering FREE Good Form Walking class in addition to our already popular Good Form Running Classes.  Stay tuned.  Dates to be announced.

Activity Bands, GPS Watches, and Super Watches: Which One is Right for You?

Garmin Vivoactive Flint MI

Not too long ago one of the only options runners had for watches was a $20 Timex that tracked your time along with a few laps, and if you were lucky it was the Indiglo model that featured a light to see the time in the dark.

The rise of the internet and technology has now put the power of a computer on our wrists with the recent launch of the Apple Watch, but has also given runners many more choices than ever.  On the other end of the spectrum are activity bands, and somewhere in the middle of super watches and activity bands are GPS watches.  More choices are good but also can make it more confusing to know what watch is best for you. So, which one is right for you?

Activity Bands

If you are only looking to track your general daily activity such as steps and sleeping patterns an activity band may be all you need.  These are the least expensive and simplest form of tracking devices that will give you basic information about your fitness levels, and typically connect to the computer.

GPS Running Watches

Coming a long way from the original Timex, current GPS running watches are very sophisticated tracking just about anything  you need, and also sending the information to your computer and possibly your phone via an app.  These devices are now sometimes referred to a personal running coach as some functionality even goes as far as encouraging you to reach the goals you set.

Super Watches

If you want it all, super watches typically combine the best of activity bands and GPS watches, as well as pair to your phone for added connectivity.  The Apple Watch and Garmin Vivoactive are such watches that aren’t only good for runners but for other general fitness activities as well.

Still not sure what device is best for you?  Don’t worry, we can help.  Come into Complete Runner and let us know what you want to accomplish and we will help to point you in the right direction.

4 Tips for Running with Music

music motivates runners

Some people enjoy running for the peace and quiet, while others would go insane without their iPod during their workout or race.  If you fall into the pro-music side, you will most likely argue that music gives you the opportunity for a more entertaining and motivational run, depending on your taste of music.  If you enjoy running with music or want to give it a try, here are a few tips to make for a better experience:

What You Listen to Matters

Classical music may not be the best music selection when running, unless this type of music really gets you excited and motivated.  Most runners like more upbeat music, and there is even music produced specifically for running that holds a cadence which can help you to pace.  What works for you may not work for someone else, so make sure to find the right music to inspire you.

Use an Arm Pod to Carry Your Music Player

Many people just carry their iPod while running, which is not only inconvenient but also unsafe as your device could easily slip from your hands and fall to its destruction.  Arm Pod’s are inexpensive and will conveniently hold your iPod or phone in place on your arm so you don’t have to worry about it while running.

Use Earphones Made for Runners

Nothing is more annoying than your earphones falling out during a race as it takes your focus away from your goal.  It is best to look at earphones made specifically for running so they help you to perform your best.  Some running headphones are even cordless and connect to your music player via Bluetooth, freeing you up from annoying cords.

Be Safe and Respectful of Others

Nobody wants to hear your music as you are running by during a race, so make sure not to have it cranked up full blast.  This is also important since you still want to be able to hear ambient noises while running outside, as well as paying close attention to your surroundings, to ensure you are safe.

Complete Runner is the place in Flint for everything running, including the latest and greatest in running specific earphones and Arm Pods.  Stop by the store to learn more!

photo credit: RunOnBeat -keep-running via photopin (license)

Spring Tune-up for Runners [Checklist]

checklistAs the days are getting longer and we are getting over one of the coldest winters in history, everyone is itching for the weather to finally break.  We’ve been cramped up inside for way to long.

In the same way that we tune-up our lawnmowers to get them ready before the first grass cutting we should also consider a tune-up for our spring running to make sure we have everything in line for a safe and successful season.  Whether you’ve been running inside all winter, toughed it out through the harsh winter months outside, or haven’t ran since the Crim, here is a checklist of five things to be aware of for our running tune-up this spring.

1. Schedule Races

Start working towards a goal from the start by planning your races out for several months in advance.  Not only will you be able to get the early pricing for the races but having a set schedule in place will keep these races a priority that other events will need to work around, as well as keep you motivated and on your training plan throughout the season.

2. Interval Training

If you haven’t ran since last year you can’t pick up where you left off.  Even if you have been running on a treadmill for the last few months, unless you worked out on a significant incline you will not be running as fast as outside as you were on the treadmill.  Whichever camp you fall in, interval training is a good way to get back into running outside safely, running for a minute followed by a minute walk, and increasing the running time as your training progresses.

3. Recover Properly

Your rest and recovery after training is key to your success and health.  Compression gear will help to increase the blood flow to speed recovery, as well as a good intake of protein to help repair muscles.  Lack of attention to recovery can cost you down the road, so don’t overlook this important step.

4. Shoes

The majority of injuries and foot and leg pain in caused by wearing old shoes, so it is best to do a spring cleaning of your old shoes.  They may look good on the outside but the midsoles of shoes will harden over time making them uncomfortable for your feet.  Before your feet feel the pain get a good pair of running shoes that are fit to your feet to perform at your peak level.

5. Race Bag, Gear, and Tech Wear

Pull out your race bag and make sure you have everything that you need for training and races such as deodorant, anti-chafe cream, extra shoe laces, and nutrition supplements.  Make sure your GPS running watch is working fine and that you also have the proper tech wear to keep you dry and comfortable during training and races.

Spending a little time on this checklist will ensure you are getting a good tune-up for spring running and increase the likelihood of a fun, successful, and injury free season!

The Difference Between Fashion Apparel and Tech Wear

nike girl running

A few years ago you only wore yoga pants when doing yoga.  Then, something happened.

We’re not sure what happened, but one day it was okay to wear yoga pants when going to the store, dropping the kids off at school, and most other non-yoga activities.

With the interest in fashion apparel increasing in the recent years, many companies have sprung up overnight offering the latest looks in athletic wear.  Many stars even have their own athletic clothing lines; think Kate Hudson.

A lot of fashion apparel can be purchased rather cheaply from big box stores and is advertised to be worn during fitness and running activities.  However, the main differences between fashion apparel and running tech wear (that is made specifically for running) is performance.

Do you just want to look good, or look good and perform your best?

You wouldn’t take your Buick out to the drag strip because it wasn’t made for racing.  In the same way, you shouldn’t wear cheap fashion apparel that was only made to look good for your training or races as it won’t offer the performance that is required to be successful.  That is what tech wear was made for.

Most fashion apparel is made of a basic stretch material.  However, this material is old news in the running world as top running brands like New Balance, Tasc, and SmartWool have their own sophisticated wicking technologies that not only keep you dry (some even at the molecular level) but also odor free.  They are flat seamed to reduce chaffing and also protect you from harmful UV rays, and the wind.

Before you are tempted to buy that clearance fashioned apparel at Kohl’s remember that you are getting what you are paying for, and consider the benefits that true quality running tech wear gives.  You will be amazed at the extreme levels of comfort, performance, and quality offered by running tech wear even after one race or workout!

Don’t just look good, look good and perform your best!  Complete Runners offers the most innovative tech wear in the Flint area, so stop by if you want to experience the comfort, performance, and quality for yourself.

Don’t Miss Out on Downtown Flint’s Favorite St. Patrick’s Day Tradition

St. Patrick’s Day is always a day filled with rich traditions.  For the last 35 years downtown Flint has hosted a major St. Patrick’s Day tradition, the Pot O’ Gold four mile run and walk!

St Patrick's Day Flint MI

This years After Party will feature another Irish traditional, a live music session, known in Irish as a seisiún.

The Pot O’ Gold starts at the Masonic Temple downtown Flint on Tuesday, March 17.  The kids’ race starts at 5:30 pm and the run starts at 6:00 pm, with the walk starting one minute after.

Register online here.

Not only will every finisher receive a medal, but the first 500 to register will receive a free leprechaun hat.  Proceeds also benefit the Crim Foundation.

There will be a great after race party with great eats and entertainment.  After the race party, if you are looking to continue your St. Patrick’s Day celebration it will be easy to walk down the street to popular establishments like Blackstone’s, 501 Bar and Grill, Table and Tap, and of course The Torch, all close by in downtown Flint.

Packet pick up will take place at Complete Runner on March 16th from 10:00 am until 7:00 pm, and race day pickup at the Masonic Temple starting at 4:00 pm.  Participants who attend the March 16th packet pickup will be able to register for the Crim’s Adult Training Program for a $10 discount!

Grab your green and your friends and join one of downtown Flint’s longstanding St. Patrick’s Day traditions this year at the Pot O’ Gold.  Register online today, mail in an entry form, or register at Complete Runner!