3 Things I Do Before Every Run
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3 Things I Do Before Every Run

There are three things I do before every run to optimize performance. They take fifteen minutes total. And are meant to prevent injury, improve performance, and reinforce technique. So today, I’m taking you along my pre-run routine. Let’s get into it! I start with the most controversial of the three tasks. Foam rolling. I wrote on this topic in my post: What to Make of Foam Rollers? I concluded that the effects of foam rolling haven’t been backed up by much science. They may help with flexibility and muscle soreness, but if you’re time constrained, I’d skip this for more evidence-based activities. Today, this still rings true. Except that I’m dedicating a considerable amount of time to improving my running. And I’m willing to spend that extra time on things that may provide only incremental benefits.So, I grab a foam roller and

How I Use Training Zones for Performance and Longevity
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How I Use Training Zones for Performance and Longevity

I’ve improved my athletic performance and longevity biomarkers by minimizing high intensity workouts and training in zones. In December I walked into LA Fitness and saw their featured HIIT studio. Each month Men’s and Women’s Health have new articles on interval training. And Instagram is filled with trending workout challenges. But most Olympians, professional athletes, and longevity experts are focused on boring, old steady state cardio. The stationary bike and stair master have new life. But that doesn’t mean high intensity workouts should be omitted either. That’s why the VDOT training program I’m following focuses on training zones. And maybe your program should too. What are the 5 training zones? How is my training programmed? And why is each zone important for performance and longevity? Well, let’s get

I’m Using VDOT to Plan a Year of Running
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I’m Using VDOT to Plan a Year of Running

Last year I burst into spring ready to run and walked out of summer injured and sidelined. At the time, I didn’t know why my body broke down. Shin splints, a groin strain, and sore hamstrings had me puzzled. Upon further research, my mistakes with training volume, run intensity, and ignoring previous injuries did it (How to Prevent Running Injuries and What I Did Wrong). I never had a real training plan to begin with. I was just trying to do more today than yesterday. And that didn’t work. That’s not what smart runners do. That’s not what elite athletes do. But I didn’t know any better. This year, I’ve spent most of March researching proper run programming and progression. I’ve planned out a year of running all based on VDOT values to correct my previous mistakes. So, what is VDOT? How can you determine your value? And how have I

What to Make of Foam Rollers and Massage Guns?
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What to Make of Foam Rollers and Massage Guns?

Sean Gallagher was the first physical therapist listed as using a foam roller as a self-message tool back in 1987 [1]. A couple decades later, foam rollers became all the rage. Not only do you still see foam rollers in every gym, but they’ve evolved with various patterns and grids to target deeper muscles and tissues. Additionally, vibration foam rollers (VFRs) that combine the vibration technology with foam rollers have been created [2]. And recently, you see massage guns widely marketed which combine many of these aspects of self-message, deep tissue manipulation, and vibration or percussive technology. A commercial of pro golfer Colin Morikawa was released showing him using his massage gun as a warm-up, cool-down, and mid-round tool [3]. But how do these self-massage tools work? What benefits do they actually provide? If they are

The Top Exercises for Optimal Core Strength
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The Top Exercises for Optimal Core Strength

Strong abdominal muscles help stabilize the trunk and unload lumbar spine stress [1]. This not only helps prevent lower back pain which is the number one cause of disability for people under 45 [2] but it can help improve posture and physical performance [3]. But more importantly, strong abdominal muscles provide you those 6-pack abs. Who cares about back pain, posture, or performance because what really matters is what our stomach looks like in the mirror right? Well, if that’s the case you’ll have much better luck reducing your body fat percentage down to around 10% as a male and 16% as a female because abs are built through exercise but more importantly revealed through nutrition [4]. Either way, a strong core will help with all these goals. But what muscles are in the core? What exercises does the science show best target and activate

How to Prevent Running Injuries and What I Did Wrong
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How to Prevent Running Injuries and What I Did Wrong

Running is associated with high rates of injury, with injury causation often complex and multifactorial [1]. Unfortunately, I found this out the hard way this summer by running into shin splints, a groin strain, and a hamstring strain all within two weeks. Months of progress and running halted from my body breaking down. And more than anything, it was extremely frustrating that I couldn’t run anymore on these 90-degree beautiful days and equally frustrating that this could happen to me when I thought I’d been so methodical. Well, after reviewing my running logs, training routine, and all the scientific evidence surrounding running injury prevention, it appears that I was due for these injuries eventually. What did I do wrong? Although most people think stretching and appropriate footwear are the key to injury prevention [2], do they even

My 4 Training Runs for Optimal Health
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My 4 Training Runs for Optimal Health

Growing up, I never enjoyed running unless it was 100m sprints. I would get cramps, my low back would ache, and it just wasn’t fun. So, unless I was at the track running 100m sprints or playing sports, then you wouldn’t find me running. That was up until a few years ago when I decided I wanted to beat my dad’s 5k record he set when he was my age. So, I started grinding out training runs and pounding the pavement. And what was interesting, is my preference for running changed just like taste buds changed from eating more plants. The more I ran, the more I started to enjoy it. Just like the more plants I ate, the more enjoyable they became too. And this has made me question whether we do things we enjoy, or do we enjoy the things we do? I know, a little bit of a paradigm shift there. But the more I’ve run the past couple of years, the more I enjoy

The Corrective Posture Routine for Desk Workers
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The Corrective Posture Routine for Desk Workers

As work and entertainment increasingly become digital, we’re spending more time sitting than ever before. We’re sitting at work, sitting while in transit, and sitting when we’re home. We’re always sitting! And as our body spends more time in a single position, it’ll adapt to those demands. Just as hockey players’ hips tend to tilt forward and rotate out to meet the demands of skating and handling a puck on the ice, office workers tend to experience the same thing with their hips constantly being flexed while sitting and their shoulders/neck rounded while looking down at a laptop screen or phone. This repeated act often leads to tightening of certain muscles along with weakening of opposing muscles. This then not only makes it hard to maintain good posture in the first place, but can also lead to chronic pain, acute injury, and a lack

A Morning Routine Must
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A Morning Routine Must

Whether it’s a morning routine, bedtime routine, or meal prep routine, I think the routines we build play a significant role in our health and happiness. But I’ve recently discovered something that I now believe should be incorporated into everyone’s morning routine. Something that kickstarts our day into peak alertness, clarity, and energy. And something that will downregulate our body at nighttime for optimal sleep. And it’s not only free but accessible to everyone. Let me introduce you to… the morning walk. Now I know you were probably expecting something cool like a superfood energy supplement or a Bikram yoga power flow but let me explain why the morning walk is all that and more. All of us have a circadian rhythm which is like a 24-hour internal clock. And based upon the time of day, our circadian rhythm will regulate our

Optimal Sauna Usage for Longevity
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Optimal Sauna Usage for Longevity

I always used to think that sauna users were just lazy gym goers who didn’t feel like lifting weights or crushing cardio. Instead, they’d rather sit down in a nice warm and cozy sauna, and pretend like they’re losing weight… which obviously would be gained back with the next bottle of water consumed. But, after spending a week going through much of the scientific literature and attending four sauna sessions, my perspective has done a 180. Can sauna usage be used for lifespan extension? Disease prevention? And improved immunity? And if so, what are the appropriate parameters for optimal sauna usage? Well, I got the answers. Let’s get into it! Many places that offer sauna sessions often promote a multitude of benefits ranging from detoxification, skin rejuvenation, and weight loss, all the way to improved cardiovascular function, improved