Articles and Blogs

Marathon Kit List - How to Prepare for the 'Big Day'

Mar 26 2019, - by Andrea Ross

It's easy to make silly mistakes when you're training for a marathon, such as over-training, but when it comes to your kit make sure you make the right choices. It sounds like a simple thing, pick of a t-shirt, shorts, and a pair of shoes. Boom you're done. But there's a little bit more to it that than. We asked Ken Hoye, our resident sports scientist and veteran runner of all race distances, his thoughts on running kit and what to do.   ..

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Against The Elements: by Anna Boniface

Oct 01 2018, - by Andrea Ross

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Stop The Trots - The Truth About Runs and Runs: by Alice Hector

Jul 19 2018, - by Andrea Ross

This is a very hushed up topic. No one talks about it, but it is a very common problem amongst athletes, especially long distance runners. Instead of sweeping it under the rug, we wanted to find out if there is anything to help prevent it - because, although very natural, it can certainly making racing a much more stressful situation! We asked Alice Hector, a professional triathlete and a 70.3 IRONMAN champion (amongst many other podium achievements that would be too long to list - she's a bit of a superstar!), to help us shed some light on the subject.  ..

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All About Ken

Jul 18 2018, - by Andrea Ross

As much as we love telling you all about how to fix your running injuries and things you can do to improve, we also think its interesting to know what happens behind the scenes. Even more so perhaps, about the people who make Run3D tick. It may surprise you to find out that Run3D is actually a very small team of (specialist) people, covering a large range of skill sets and backgrounds, to keep us running efficiently and smoothly. One of our key team members is someone who we consider to be a bit of a dark horse in the world of running...his name is Ken, and he seems to know everyone and anyone that has to do with running.  ..

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Running Nutrition Q&A

Jun 20 2018, - by Andrea Ross

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Injuries Can Be An Opportunity - Anna Boniface on her recovery from injury

Mar 01 2018, - by Andrea Ross

Anna Boniface is one of Run3D's Sponsored Elite Athletes. She has been on quite the journey in the past year, from winning the non elite womens race at the London Marathon to developing an injury in October. Being an athlete isn't always easy, espeically when we get knocked down with an injury. Anna tells us more... ..

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When Is The Best Time To Have 3D Gait Analysis?

Jan 31 2018, - by Andrea Ross

Peak marathon season is approaching faster than you can say Mo Farah. Brighton Marathon is only 11 weeks away, London Marathon 12 weeks, with many others even sooner! The first few weeks of training for a marathon is usually very organised, some would even go as far as saying its exciting! Everything goes to plan as you tick off those completed runs. Foam rolling happens (at least for a day), and you’re even eating well. But...as time ticks on, we all know our lives don’t stop for our running schedules, even if we think they should. As we get busier and busier, runs get missed, foam rolling ceases, and dry January has to end at some point. Instead of trying to play catch up with your training and risk developing an injury, the best thing you can do to avoid this is to plan ahead. If you can get all of your information from the beginning, you'll be set up from the very start. The best way to learn more about your running is to have a gait analysis assessment. ..

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Your Running Recipe

Oct 26 2017, - by Andrea Ross

Sometimes it might feel like running injures come out of nowhere... ..
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Marathon Motivation

Oct 20 2017, - by Andrea Ross

Why do we do it? ..
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Running Biomechanics - Simplified

Jun 09 2017, - by Andrea Ross

Running Biomechanics - the term even sounds complicated. But, when you break it down into its individual segments, it makes much more sense. We aren't trying to dodge the fact that running is a complex movement, but rather impress upon you why 3D analysis is the gold standard. If you look at all the components listed below, a 2D analysis would only be able to pick up a fraction of what you see - and not very accurately at that! ..

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Running Cadence

Jan 27 2017, - by Andrea Ross

Is your running cadence important? Is running technique important? Shouldn’t you just do what you naturally do and just run? I suppose the answer to these questions will depend on what you are trying to achieve as well as other very individual factors, such as your injury risk and your anatomical structure. Some of us are purely built better for running - just like some are built for rugby or gymnastics. Running is no different. It is still a sport, and a very injury prone one at that, whether you want to believe it or not. ..

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Addicted To Running

Jan 13 2017, - by Andrea Ross

Is it possible to be addicted to something that is considered to be good for you? When you think of addiction - drugs and smoking come to mind. Believe it or not, scientists have reported that running could be as addictive as heroin. Surely though, running is a positive addiction then? Remember that saying – “too much of a good thing is bad for you”… Well, they meant it.

The (slightly blurred) definition of a running addiction is “continuing to run even to the detriment of an individual’s social life, work, and even health ( Chan & Grossman, 1988)”. Another commonly used term in research is “Exercise Dependent”, which is a condition in which moderate to vigorous physical activity becomes a compulsive behaviour. It’s considered to be a cluster of cognitive, behavioural and psychological symptoms (Hausenblas & Symons Downs, 2002).

But running is good for you, right?

Running has both positive psychological and physiological correlations. It has been shown to influence and improve body image, weight control, self-esteem, anxiety, and reducing and providing a coping mechanism for stress ( Chan & Grossman, 1988).

What happens if you take it away then…

Researchers have suggested that runners rely on physical activity as a primary mechanism to cope with stress. Therefore, all those positive associations are lost and the ability maintain the psychological and physiological benefits of running are reduced – often resulting in symptoms of withdrawal and other emotional distress. A Runners World article (2015) described running withdrawal to be associated with; low mood, depression, increase in anxiety and stress, lack of control of exercise habits, feeling of a need to exercise to fix problems, and so on.

A study in 1988 by Chan & Grossman compared the psychological and emotional effects of running in a group of ‘consistent’ runners and a group of runners prevented from running due to injury. Their findings reflected recent research and stated that although “ running provides many benefits, running loss observed after a running related injury can result in psychological distress and negative affective experience for a runner - fuelling their deprivation of the activity” ( Chan & Grossman, 1988). Sound familiar?

Why is running addictive?

Ever heard of a “runners high”? It is described as a feeling of euphoria after a run and has been ascribed to the beta endorphin activity in the brain – similar to how morphine acts – and may cause dependence. For this physiological response to occur, exercise needs to be performed at 60% of an individual’s Vo2max and for a minimum of 3 minutes. Other physiological theories include lowering basal heart rate, thermogenic regulation hypothesis, and catecholamine hypothesis ( Berczik, K. et al 2012).

Whats the big deal then. You’ve just told me running is good for you…

Running is so much more popular now than it used to be. Perhaps as a result of social media and access to friends training logs, like Strava and map my run, you are much more likely to praise someone for a 20 mile run than to ask them if they need help. It isn’t seen as a genuine addiction and in fact, especially in running communities like clubs and you social groups, it is considered socially acceptable to run – even for extreme cases. Berciz et al (2012) stated that because running has a positive association with healthy living – we consider it to be a normal activity – whereas someone who sits on the couch and plays video games is considered ‘abnormal’ due to its negative relationship.

Go on, why is it so bad then?

According to a Runners World magazine, there is a fine line between being a dedicated athlete and being addicted to running. But it’s starting to be more recognised as a legitimate problem.

Scientists and doctors have noted that physically you could be causing yourself more harm than you think. There is of course the high risk of injury with the increase in load, exhaustion, and even cardiac damage. And then, likely even more so, there is the psychological problems of depression, withdrawal, reduced self-esteem, and lack of stress management. If running is your only coping mechanism and you become injured, what happens then? You’re likely going to experience a psychological impact from not running - or if you really are extreme you will run through it and cause yourself more harm than good.

How do you know if you’re addicted?

This is the tricky part – and likely another reason why we struggle to see it as an actual addiction problem. However if you rely solely on running to reduce stress, feel like you aren’t running enough – despite your high mileage and daily runs, feel like you’re letting yourself or others down if you miss a day of training, missing work or social events to exercise - you might be addicted.

If you’ve ever been injured before, and I can admit here that I definitely experience this, then you can probably relate. What to do about it? The best thing is probably start to re think your training plan and make sure you are giving yourself enough rest to start with. Another way to manage will be to come up with other coping strategies, so that in the likely event that you do get injured because of the excessive training, you don’t fall off the wagon.

 

 

*Please note: We are not sports psychologists and information on this article has used running related research as sources*

 

References

Chan, C., & Grossman, H., 1988. Psychological effects of running loss on consistent runners, Perceptual and Motor Skills, Vol. 66, pp. 875-883.

Champan, L., De. Castro, J., 1990, Running Addiction: measurement and associated psychological characteristics, The Journal of sports medicine and physical fitness, Vol. 30, No. 3, pp. 283 – 290.

Hausenblas, H, & Symons Downs, D., 2002, How much is too much? The development and validation of the exercise dependent scale, Psychology and Health, Vol. 17, No.4, pp. 387 – 404.

Berczik, K., Szabo, A., Griffiths, M., Kurimay, T., Bernadette, K., Urban, R. et al. 2012, Exercise addiction: symptoms, Diagnosis, Epidemiology, and Etiology, Substance Use & Misuse, Vol. 47. No. 4, pp. 403-4:17.

Runners world article: Are you addicted to Running? April 14th 2015 by Nicole Radziszewski

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