Monthly Archives: December 2015

Why Do I Like Running?

I, like so many of you reading this, enjoy running. It’s a great way to stay in shape, it can be a great social experience, and I think there is no better way to explore a new city. I want to share just such an experience I had on a run through Rome vacationing with my family.

I looked at a map to get a general idea of the area I wanted to cover then I walked out of the hotel lobby and hit the cobblestone streets running as I made my way toward the Spanish Steps. From there, I headed to the river, or Fiume Tevere. There was a running path just about level with the river, and I got on that path, one level below the city. What a view from the river of Roman history as I ran along that path. There were not many runners crowding the path and the sunny warm weather was perfect. I had my Garmin running because I had a distance in mind, but no time goal and wanted the sites of the city to guide my run. I had a map that I loosely followed.

I ran along the river for a few miles and took in the grandeur of the Castel Sant’Angelo, among other historic structures and surfaces. Stretching out in front of me was the sprawling Circus Maximus where the Romans held great chariot races. As I continued, I took in the Arch of Constantino and of course the breathtaking Colosseum! As I headed back to the hotel, I saw the beautiful Altar of the Fatherland and ran by the Trevi Fountain, which unfortunately was undergoing some restoration. It was then back to the hotel to get cleaned up and meet up with my family for some official touring activities. It was an amazing trip, but that run was unbelievable, one that I will reflect on for years to come.

Gear Up for Running Outdoors This Winter

Gear up for running outdoors this winter. You may be wondering, how will I run in the brutal cold of North Carolina winters?! Maybe the use of the word “brutal” is a bit out of place, but still never underestimate the cold and what it can do to your body. Use these tips to make sure your feet, and the rest of you, are prepared to battle the elements.

Let’s get started with what we like to discuss the most, your feet! To keep your feet warm we recommend using shoes with the least amount of slush. Ideally, the uppers of the shoe will also have GoreTex lining to help keep out the slush. SmartWool socks are also very important to help wick away sweat but hold in as much warmth as possible. You don’t want to get blisters! You should also have some common sense: if there is snow and ice on the ground, maybe run on the treadmill that day instead. One misstep and a slip on the ice could result in a sprained ankle or worse!

Your innermost layer needs to be snug fitting and sweat-wicking. Outer layers should be waterproof, windproof, and be able to cool as well as you get further into your run and your body starts to warm up. Make sure to always protect your face, head, and extremities with layers. Generally, many expert running guides recommend at least 2 top and one bottom layer for 30 degree temperatures, 2 tops and 2 bottoms for 10 to 20 degree temperatures, and 3 tops and 2 bottoms for zero to 10 degree temperatures. If you are in North Carolina running in temperatures below zero, then you deserve to wear as many layers as you want, and a medal for dedication!

It’s also important to warm up well before you run. You need to get moving and get the blood flowing so the cold won’t feel quite as cold, and your body will be more prepared for your run with less chance of injury. Don’t forget you still need to layer to deal with wind and rain, and also make sure to wear bright clothes so you can be seen!

Don’t focus on training to push yourself for record times, but instead focus on the fact that you are staying motivated and still training against the elements and keeping your endurance up. And most important of all, listen to your body. If you start to tire or feel exhausted, take a break. Pushing yourself too hard can cause injury like sprained ankles or Achilles tendinitis. Run safe during the winter months, and come see us at Raleigh Foot and Ankle Center if you are having any foot or ankle pain! Call us at (919) 850-9111 or visit our website to request an appointment.

Get Out and Run!

Most people start working out during January after making New Years Resolutions, but December is the perfect time to start some great, healthy habits like exercising regularly. Think about it: the holidays can be hectic and stressful; what better way to relive some of that tension than by going out for a run? And while we’re at it, exercise is a great way to balance out all of those extra calories we all eat over the holidays.

If you decide you want to start running, the first thing to remember is to take it slow! Always start each run with a walk to warm up your muscles. This is especially important during cold weather. You want to keep your muscles warm and loose to prevent injury during exercise. If you get fatigued during your run, slow down and walk for a few minutes. You aren’t going to run a half marathon on your first run. Pushing yourself too hard too quickly can result in injury, so be careful!

To protect your feet while you run, wear good, supportive running shoes. But what is a good shoe? For starters, the shoe will fit properly. You don’t want your shoes to be too tight in the toes. No one wants painful blisters! If you can, go to a specialty running or shoe store with an onsite pedorthist and make sure you get the right fit. Some people find that custom-fabricated orthotics help relieve pain in their feet during runs.

The bottom line for beginning runners is to take it easy, take it slow, and listen to your body. You should especially listen to your feet! If you ever experience foot pain while exercising, stop immediately. If you continue to run, thinking the pain will go away, you can make things a lot worse. You can always call the doctors at Raleigh Foot & Ankle Center if you experience any pain in your feet or ankles. Our doctors are active themselves – some play basketball, some play hockey, and one of them is even a triathlete! We’re always here to help you with your foot pain. Call us at (919) 850-9111 or visit our website to make an appointment today.

Happy running!