What’s Love of Running Got to do with it

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  I’m a runner and have been running since Jr. High.  Yes long ago, and far far away (from where I live now) they use to call middle school, Jr. High.  I don’t really know why I kept running after the first year because I was dead last in every event that I was entered into.  But for some reason I stuck with it and found out that I had a talent and love for it.  I certainly never became a state champ or made it to nationals, but I continued to work hard and enjoy success in my running and now I have a love of running!

After graduating High School, I went to Brigham Young University.  BYU has around 30,000 undergrad students and attracts top athletes from around the world so I didn’t even consider trying to walk onto the BYU track team.  One of my roommates was an Olympic class cyclist and she ran as part of her cycling training.  So I started to run longer distances (I was a sprinter not a middle or long distance runner) with her and came to enjoy being able to run farther.

Not only do I have a love for running and exercise, I am very interested in what causes injuries to athletes, my clients, and other individuals.  My curiosity was peaked while I was getting my masters degree in Human Movement.  Since I graduated I have continued to read articles and books about different injuries and about the current ideas that are cutting edge in the fitness industry.

The hamstring, specifically hamstring tendon issues, has been my focus as of late.  I know, right now you might be thinking, why did she tell us all about running when she has been focused on hamstrings (she must have that “gluteal amnesia” thing she was blogging about before, Lol).  I’ll tell you why, because running predisposes people to hamstring injuries.  This is because the hamstring spends a lot of time in eccentric contraction.  An eccentric contraction is when the muscle contracts at the same time it is lengthening.  The best example that I have found to explain this is when a dumbbell is being lowered during a bicep curl exercise.  The bicep stays contracted to control the rate at which the dumbbell is brought back to the starting position.  So the hamstring is more susceptible to injury when it slows down the extension of the knee, which happens when sprinting, running hills, or during acceleration.

There are different types of hamstring injuries such as tendonitis, pulls, strains, or tears.  I want to focus on hamstring tendonitis.  One uncommon way that hamstring tendonitis can present is a literal pain in the butt and is often overlooked as the cause of chronic butt pain.  It has also been found to be common in long distance runners and is made worse by running and training that involves acceleration (like sprinting)..  Having a weak core and pelvic dysfunction seem to be closely linked in the development of hamstring tendonitis.  Individuals should always consult with their doctor before trying any exercises suggested hereafter, because I’m not a doctor and I can’t diagnose anyone’s symptoms.  Also keep in mind that any exercises that might be prescribed to rehabilitate someone with hamstring tendonitis would be specific to that individual.  But the exercises would include hamstring stretching and strengthening, butt strengthening, and balance training.

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