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Wednesday, August 14, 2013

10 CRUCIAL commandments to stay injury free!

I'm back! Yes, been a crazy couple of weeks for me. Had a lot going on in my life....

The main thing is my grandfather is no longer suffering and in pain, I am on the up and up with my future(which is always a GREAT thing for my followers), I have a stem cell injection and exploratory knee surgery scheduled, and my parents had a wonderful 30th anniversary :)

Yes, I had to throw in the gummy rings for my dad. I swear they are his biggest addiction. 

But just so many of you don't think I am blowing the blog posts off...I wanted to reassure you that you are in good hands! When I'm busy...that's a GOOD thing!

But I still want to manage to keep you guys informed on what I come across on a day in day out basis in my training and clients.

So that leads me to today's topic:

10 Commandments of Staying Injury Free.

Yes, we all know injuries cross our paths...HECK...mine for the last 14 months! But besides the point...there are ways to keep yourself healthy!

Some of them rather easy and basic....some of them are repetitive and boring(as my runners like to tell me)....BUT

It will enable you to be training instead of dealing with nagging feet and knee issues, or even worse...hip and lower back pain!

So here are my 10 BIGGEST ways to stay healthy:


Include rest days into your training plan by taking a complete break from training both physically and mentally. Get off your feet, rest your mind, rest your body for the day. The more advanced you are, the more rest days you should include. Your body needs the rest and muscles need the time to recover. This is where I see most athletes FAIL. It is tough to stop training, but it is essential for your body! I, personally, include 3 rest days every 5th week, and have many "easy" days. Yes, foam rolling, core work, active stretching and a few unilateral exercises will do WONDERS for your ability to recover and strengthen missed areas!


There are a number of ways to incorporate recovery into your routine. Foam rollers and massage sticks help sore, achy or stiff muscles recover from exercise. Watching movies, spending time with family, reading, listening to music or socializing with friends are other great ways to spend your off days! I like to walk my pup, hike, play tennis(leisurely) things you ENJOY!

Essential for physiological growth and repair, routinely physically active individuals are encouraged to aspire for 8 to 9.5 hours of sleep each night. Cardiovascular performance can be compromised by up to 20 percent with sleep deprivation while reducing reaction time, the ability to process information and emotional stability.  Naps can be a great way to refresh but our body relies on quality sleep.


The goal of post-exercise nutrition is to restore muscle and liver glycogen stores, improve hydration and repair muscle tissue. You should eat 15 to 30 minutes after exercise, preferably as soon as possible, when the muscles are most receptive to fuel. Muscle replenishment and tissue repair can be accelerated if you combine carbohydrates and protein together in a ratio of 4 to 1. If strength training, the protein ratio should be higher to allow for a better recovery! Many runners need to learn that strength training is ENTIRELY different than running in that you are breaking down muscle tissue! That tissue needs REPAIRED....and electrolyte drinks and coffee won't do that! ...(And sorry neither will the chocolate milk...unless you want a sugar high).  Stick to a quality protein/carb replenishment meal! My go to is a blender drink with Almond Milk, 1/2 Banana, Spinach, 1 Scoop Whey Protein, and some berries. Give it a go! Add some stevia for some extra flavor but it shouldn't need it!

A proper warmup is a key component to preparing the body for the demands of any training session or competition. Developing a pre-race warmup is unique to each individual. Performing a warmup will elevate heart rate, VO2, and increase blood flow to the connective tissue and local muscles to be trained. This in turn will raise muscle temperature and help decrease joint and muscle stiffness, therefore improving range of motion. Warm-up periods of five to 15 minutes are recommended with the effects lasting up to 45 minutes. Cool-Down can be comprised of walking and performing some active isolated stretches and movements! You know you love those Frankensteins. :)


Strength training is essential for preparing the body for the rigors of training and racing. It facilitates bone health and enhances injury resistance, including factors that contribute to overuse injuries. The amount of information here is endless. If you don't know by now that strength training has many benefits to supplement your training...I wouldn't count on staying injury free very long.


Correct equipment minimizes unwanted stress. This goes with proper running shoes, fitted bike, posture, the weight you choose to strength train with....

It all goes hand in hand with your ability to perform and continue to perform at a high level.

Increase annual training hours, or training volume, by ten percent or less. For example, if you ran 20 miles this week, your total mileage next week should not exceed 22 miles. Adding mileage too quickly can lead to ugly nagging injuries that are better not started in the first place! Train smart!


Proper interval training can improve VO2 and anaerobic threshold. Not to mention BLAST away the fat. Just read any of my older posts and check out the studies...if your looking to lose weight...GET OFF THE ELLIPTICAL AND STOP THE SLOW MILES! Ramp up your training! Get out of your comfort zone! Come join me and many others who know this to be true!

Recovery allows your body to adapt to training loads. Conditioning should be specific to the event you are training for.  Remember, volume and intensity are inversely related! So adding volume and still keeping those 2 weekly sprint sessions could be enough to tip you over the top. Be careful. Trust your body.

There you have it, my 10 keys to staying healthy! Training hard is GREAT...but you MUST MUST MUST do it properly otherwise you will end up in a cumulative injury cycle that will be tough to escape.

Until Next Time,

Stay Strong My Friends,

Mike Over
CPT / Strength & Conditioning Specialist

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