I Want to Buy Your Next Pair of Running Shoes (Here’s Why…)

by Jason Fitzgerald

One of my favorite things about Strength Running is that I get to help your running by giving you free stuff.

Running Shoes

In the past, I’ve given away:

  • A month of 1-on-1 coaching support
  • Name your own price for a personalized training plan (reserved only for newsletter readers)
  • Free and discounted running gear

I love helping runners. When I hear feedback from people like Lydia or Ryan, it makes me ecstatic that they’re seeing results and improving their running.

SR allows me to reach a much wider audience than if I stood on a milk crate in downtown DC, shouting training suggestions at random pedestrians. I’ve thought about it – but I still wouldn’t be tall enough on that milk crate.

Instead, here I can talk with passionate runners who want to improve, lose weight, run a fast race, or prevent more injuries. It’s that passion – and willingness to work – that keeps me going.

Rather than read the same bad running advice, I can help those who want to see results. I hope that’s you.

We can debate Gatorade vs. Powerade or we can focus on the things that matter: training tweaks that provide maximum fitness, injury strategies that work (instead of RICE), and how to really PR in your next race.

So thanks for being here and being part of the Strength Running team. To show my appreciation, I want to help you out.

I want to buy your next pair of running shoes.

This giveaway is simple. Here’s how to enter:

  1. Leave a comment identifying the most important piece of advice you’ve learned on SR and how it has helped you. Be specific.
  2. Sign up in the form below or here so I can email you if you win.
  3. If you win, just tell me what you want and I’ll have them delivered to your door.

I’ll pick a winner on Friday, July 27 based on how well you answer #1 above.

My goal here is twofold:

Help you by buying your favorite pair of trainers to say thanks for reading.

Reinforce the fact that you need to take action with good running advice instead of just reading it as running porn. SR will do nothing for you if you don’t take action.

I’ll take the weekend to review the best answers and decide who gets the free pair of shoes. If you’re the lucky winner, I’ll email you on Monday for your shoe size, model, and shipping address.

Sound good?

Leave a comment below and sign up in the form to enter. I hope we’ll be in touch on Monday!

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{ 118 comments }

Beth

Your core workout is probably my favorite piece of info that I have taken from your site and am implementing myself. I definitely notice less leg soreness/fatigue after long runs.

Dave

How to use a heart rate monitor. I have one but for a long time didn’t know what to do with the data. Your post really clarified how to turn it into a tool for running well.

Colin

Your ITB rehab routine. I suffered from ITB syndrom for 6 months before I started doing some strength work myself. That is how I came across your site and the routine pointed me to new exercises that I wasn’t doing. I recovered and have been able to run consistently since!

Lauren

I’ve started doing warmup and cool down routines before and after every run thanks to your post with the core, standard warmup, Itb, and links to myrtl and others. I’ve stayed injury free while upping my mileage and number of days I run!

Paul

Your core workout is one I use regularly and it has made a huge difference in lowering my levels of fatigue and increasing my ability to tolerate longer runs. I’ve always had lower-back problems (my principal weakness) and your routine has really helped keep that issue at bay for me.

After having completed a 50K last June, I’m now training for a 50-mile race this Sept. Thanks for the incredibly _useful_ website you have made available to your readers!

Brad Patterson

The best piece of advice I’ve received from SR came from your post about “Becoming Indestructible”. You broke it down into 2 main running principals that can dramatically improve a persons training:

1) If you can train uninterrupted and with consistency, you will get faster.
2) If you can run more and train harder over time, you will get faster.

You then talked about the importance of regularly doing “general strength” exercises, and have given a boatload of sample workouts on your blog over the months. This idea, and the use of GS as an integral part of my pre and post-run workout routine has VASTLY improved my ability to both increase my volume and intensity while at the same time staying healthy.

Elizabeth

The most valuable information and the one that led me to your website has to be your ITBS Rehab Routine. I started running in August 2011 and fell in love with it but immediately started overtraining and not properly resting. Of course, this led to ITBS in April-so severe that I had to WALK with assistance for several weeks. Doctors and PT weren’t the greatest with help, just some stretching and all told me to quit running. I felt completely kicked in the gut and was a sore loser for a few weeks (loved your comment about how you spent February watching House and eating ice cream–rang all too true with me). I’ve been active since June but ever time I tried to run, the pain came back. I came across your website and knew I found the guidance I was looking for in getting better. I completed other exercises, but not running and I’ve followed your IT Band Rehab Routine for the last month. I am stronger and have a better, more realistic outlook toward running and my body. I will return to running on July 29th. I am taking all that I have learned from your advice as well as a few other places and my own experience and going into it with a more focused mindset and just appreciative to be able to get back into it–the RIGHT way!! Thanks for all your insight…it has been the most helpful and given me hope that I can and will run again.

Tom Grz

I think the most important thing I’ve learned from strength running is “Don’t let the engine outrun the chasis”. Because although I may sometimes feel like it’s a good idea to do a hard 14 miler, I need to listen to my BODY so that I don’t run it into the ground. Champions are not made in a day so there’s no need to obliterate my legs day after day after day. It’s more important to build up strength slowly and consistently to ensure that my body can adjust and it can meet the demands which I put on it. :)

Robert

As others have already said, man they were quick, for me it’s probably a combination of the utility of warmups/cooldowns, and running more and more often. Combining the two has allowed me to move to a point where, when my schedule allows and I’m not pushing myself too hard with my hard workouts, I can run every day without injury or overtraining. Now if I could just learn to be patient and not push my hard workouts too hard I think I’d be in pretty good shape.

Chris

I feel that I have benefited largely from your advice on rotating through multiple pairs and styles of running shoes, with the intention to prevent the muscles and tissues in my feet from becoming too accustomed to one specific support structure for one specific pair of shoes. I now have a few different pairs of shoes, ranging from road to trail and more or less support/rigidity, that I regurlarly rotate through my running schedule. The result that I have noticed is a decrease in various foot pains (arch, heel, etc.) and an increased feeling of strength and comfort in my feet, even when running in flexible shoes.

Stacie Yates

Strangely, one of the first tips I picked up here was that it was fine, nay, desirable, to swap back and forth between different running shoe models.

Peter

The one piece of advice that has helped me out tremendously isn’t really about running at all. You mentioned in a post about running “secrets” that you cancelled cable instead of trying harder to watch less TV. Once I saw that, I had a talk with my wife, and we decided to do the same. It’s amazing how much extra time I have on my hands now that I’m not sitting on the sofa and vegging out. With that extra time, I’ve been able to do more research on SR (and other sites), to figure out what works best for me as a runner. Before, I’d just read one article or blog post (because that’s all I had time for), and view it as the “truth”. But now, I can look up a lot of different people’s points of view, and even go out and apply what I learned to my running to see what works and doesn’t work for me. That one small nugget has allowed me to focus more on my running and overall health. Without that piece of advice, I just wouldn’t have time to read all of the great things I’m learning on SR.

Shaun Daws

It’s funny, but of all the excellent information I’ve gleaned from your site, the most valuable advice has been the simplest:

To improve your performance, increase your volume

I’ve read heaps of articles, from hundreds of running sites, but this one piece of advice has made more of an impact, and has been easier to follow than anything else I’ve read!

Since reading this for the first time on StrengthRunning, I’ve done a bit of informal polling among my running friends, and time after time, the best race results go to the ones who put in the most mileage.

Hannah

The Myrtl Routine has helped me the most. After having a few kids and sitting at a desk all day, I struggle with Piriformis Syndrome in my right hip. I have discovered that if I do the Myrtl routine 3-4x a week, I have zero pain. It’s also helped with hip strength in general.

Austin

The warmup routines (standard and DS) have been of TREMENDOUS use to me! My runs have improved so much since incorporating them into my routine, and I’m reminded of how much better off I am from using them (faster runs that seem to require less effort). They probably helped with my 8+ minute marathon PR!

Kathy L

The most important thing I’ve learned from Strength Running is the importance of switching things up as my milage and intensity has increased — this advice has come in multiple forms on StrengthRunning::
– rotating through several pairs of shoes of different styles from day-to-day (I currently have Adizero tempo, Saucony Ride 5 and Brooks PureConnect — all very different in feel)
– rotating through and emphasizing different types of workouts — hill repeats, track, tempo — at different points in the week and training cycle
– rotating through different warmups (Cannonball, Standard) and cool downs (Standard Core, ITB Rehab, Myrtle)
All of this consistent change combined with consistent miles day in and day out has helped me get faster and avoid major injuries, while keeping me from getting bored with my “new” (2.5 years now) obsession.

Jonathan

#1 in this list http://strengthrunning.com/2011/05/running-advice-for-beginners-shoes-cross-training/
Rotating among different shoes has helped me a lot. It has also expanded my knowledge of what I want/need in a shoe.

Beth

I read that it takes 2-3 years to reach your potential. That was so helpful, because it put running/training into perspective.

Tim

Your ITB routine has been of monumental importance to me. After completing my first half marathon, I couldn’t for the life of me work out what was causing pain in my left ITB. The routine first let me understand the cause of the injury (of most importance) and provided a strategy that worked to heal it and make me a stronger runner. There is a ton of very useful information on SR.

Kris

Lots of lessons learned here but for me the most significant has been the principle of progression. Historically my progression was train, race, train, race, crash. It’s so tempting to keep doing more, even when your body tells you not to, when you don’t know any better. After crashing during training for my first 1/2 marathon, and running a horrible race, I was extremely frustrated. Then after reading your post and watching your video (http://strengthrunning.com/2012/02/the-principle-of-progression-how-to-consistently-get-faster/) I realized I needed to schedule “down” weeks and not just wait for my body (and mind) to get drained. For my second 1/2 just 7 months later, I cut 14 minutes off my time. I probably could have run that time for the first one had I not run out of gas 3 weeks before the race, but that’s ok, lesson learned. Thanks!

Kurt

Similar to what Chris McDougall days in Born to Run, you define running as a SKILL and not just something you can just do well naturally. One needs to run but those miles must be augmented with drills, proper diet, rest, and strength training.

51FeetUnder

I love the dynamic warm-up!

Matt

Your core video has been the best advice for me. I can’t always picture how to do the exercises, but the video leave nothing to my imagination. Keep up the awesome work!

John

The best advice you’ve ever given me has to do with shoes! Perfect. I really enjoyed this article: http://strengthrunning.com/2012/03/how-to-run-in-minimalist-shoes-merrell-trail-glove-review/ . I’ve been transitioning some minimalist training into my life ever since reading from your website and Matt Fraziers (nomeatathlete.com). This article covered all the bases of Minimalist running very well and then gave an incredible review of a shoe I had been considering, the Merrell Trail glove. You spoke on wearing them first as a casual shoe. Well I decided to try it out. I got a pair. I absolutely love them as casual shoes! The best part? I’ve noticed significant increases in strength in my lower legs! I feel stronger, more powerful, and more injury free. I currently do most runs in my Brooks Pureflow (most incredible shoe ever). But I plan to slowly incorporate some trail work like you mentioned into my running! Thanks again!!

Charlie

The IT band routine is a god-send. As a 37 year-old former athlete, I’ve been building my running skills for the last eight months, and I got tired of RICE (ie. no running) for all of my injuries (pes anserine bursitis followed by tibial periostitis stress reaction). So when I developed the hallmark symptoms of IT band inflammation in my ACL-repaired right knee, I thought I was done for another month or so. Strength Running to the rescue! Your IT band routine and videos cured me within three days. The pistol squats, clam shells, hip hikes, etc. worked like a charm. I’m running without pain and stronger than ever. You also saved me the cost of physical therapy (time and money). How generous?! It is clear that you love running and fellow runners. Hats off to you Jason!

Mark

I’ve learned so many valuable things from this site it’s hard to narrow down. In the largest sense, it’s the need for strengthen exercise to augment my general training program. Specifically, the IT Band routine, the Standard Core for runners, and the Warm Up and Cool Down routines are indispensable and useful, literally, on a day-to-day basis.

Vanessa

Your it band rehab saved my life. I had been to physical therapists and orthopedists and had for the most part gotten the same advice, stop running. Obviously that wasn’t an option. Finally I found a pt who gave me some hope but it was still painful. It wasn’t until I found your it band rehab routine that I really have been able to run again. I have femoral retro version in one leg and femoral ante version in the other so I’m complicated. But now, thanks to your routine, i am once again training for a half marathon. This time I know I will get there. Thanks

John

The advice that I’ve found most helpful here has been two things, I think.

1) Strength work ain’t bad. I’ve been doing regular strength work to complement my running and have felt more secure from injuries and better able to recuperate.

2) If you want to run faster, you have to run. Actually getting out and doing the miles and getting in as much volume as possible (within reason, injuries stink) leads to better running.

Thank you for all your work, Jason!

Doug

I love your simple body maintenance tips: http://strengthrunning.com/2012/03/body-maintenance-prevent-running-injuries-improve-health/

I like to check back in on them from time to time to remind myself that taking care of yourself is incredibly important. The best part, all 13 of the tools are incredibly easy! My favorite is probably the barefoot strides (which I now do regularly because of SR).

Jeremy

It’s hard to choose, but I’d have to say your ITB rehab routine. On the very first long run of my latest marathon cycle my ITB seized up and I had to walk home. I immediately started using your ITB routine several times a week, and I’m happy to say the issue never came up again. I crushed my training cycle and set a 44-minute marathon PR, and have since completed two ultra-distance runs. While it was the ITB routine specifically that helped me, it was also your overall focus on the necessity of ancillary work that has really taken my running to the next level and kept me going strong through some relatively high mileage. I really couldn’t have done it without the info and inspiration I found on your site.

Samantha

Your site offers great advise on all aspects of running, including the mental and physical areas of the sport. Recently I have been suffering from plantar fasciitis and Achilles tendinitis. Thanks to your sound advise, I managed to control and address these problems, and am back running again!

Brad

I read the article on Food Lessons from a Lifetime of Obsession about once a week. There are two huge take aways for me in that article. 1. Runners eat too many carbs. Guilty – rice, pasta, quinoa, something with every meal. I cut that back and got out of the carb at every meal mentality. Huge improvement in how I feel overall without any loss (actually saw improvement) in the quality of my runs. Plus I lost weight! 2. It’s ok to run a couple of days a week without breakfast. I needed someone to tell me that. I love to run in the AM, but struggle to run well after breakfast. I’m guilty of turning a couple days into 3 or 4 a week. This site has been a huge help getting me refocused over the last few months – now I am targeting a fall half marathon PR.

Gerry

The warm up workout. When I did that before running, I felt more energetic and ran well. Also, the “not let the chassis outrun the engine”, like others have mentioned. Strength training has helped in several other ways, like when I decided to go swimming out of the blue, I could do a lot more than I could a year ago. Similarly for running. I was able to run longer without feeling as fatigued when I trained, and my body feels stronger. I like being stronger than I used to be.

melissa

By far the best thing I have read/learned on this site is you have to STRENGTHEN to recover from injury and improve your running times. I had ITB problems for 6 months…i.e., no running, and I was losing it. Funnily enough, it was very similar to your story Jason… I ran the NYC marathon and about 3 months later couldn’t run 1k without crazy knee pain. I tried yoga, physio, rest…but every time I tried running I couldn’t go past a few km before the pain kicked in again. By googling I found the ITB rehab routine and after similar advice from a new physio, I moved from stretching to strengthening and never looked back! I am convinced this is the best info to give runners as there is very little focus on strengthening key areas (hips, glutes, core) as prevention not to mention recovery. I have fwd this site to many friends because I firmly believe it is the missing link to injury-free training. And after several months of ITB rehab I have not had a single problem. Oh ya, and I PB-ed my 10km this weekend (by over 3min!!) after 5weeks of including other strengthening videos you suggested through my training plan. BOOYA!

Chuck Swanson

The best piece of advice I’ve gotten was dealing with the importance of strength training and dynamic warm ups for injury prevention. I have dealt with injuries for the last 3-4 years. After starting to use the Dynamic Stretching & strength training, I have been without injuries for the last year and a half. Thank you for the incite about how and why to use the two items properly.

Linda

The best piece of advice you’ve taught me so far is treating running as an intergral part of my life rather than some isolated event that happens every now and then. I’ve come to learn that everything I do affects my running, my overall performance and my recovery. The ITBS routine and core exercises are great, (so are compression socks and icing) but they are merely pieces of a bigger picture where everything is included: Past experiences, current health status, and future goals. In other words, I’ve come to gain a distanced perspective of my own life that I need in order to evaluate what I’ve done good or bad so far, and how to proceed from that on. Thank you!

LJ

Hands down, the most useful piece of information is the IT Band workout, I recommend it to others over and over again. And because of that, I’ve taken on the core workout and other items as you’ve posted them. It’s something that really got me back on the strength training bandwagon, and helped improve my speed while staying healthy.

Klaus

Injury prevention!

I know you said to be specific, but it’s not that easy to pick out one thing. I started running in May last year, but I’ve already had a total of 5 months off with injuries (almost 4 months during the winter due to severe knee problems). Either with knee problems or a constant battle with shin splits – or both at the same time.

I found inspiration in your standard core routine, itb rehab routine and standard warm-up routine which have all been a great help. Also (and now I think I just realised the best thing I’ve learnt here) improving my form! I had a tendency to heel strike and in general I was not running very effectively, but that’s all a lot better now. With help from the exercises and my improved form I have so far been able to avoid injuries.

Joe

The best piece of advice? Put away the heart rate monitor more. When I first started running, I was religious with it. To the point I would end up walking more than running on most of my workouts just to keep my heart rate in a “zone”. Over time I paid less and less attention to it, at your suggestion. The big gain from that? I now know my body better than ever and trust myself to pace myself. It has made my runs more enjoyable and, judging by my steady progress, more productive as well.

Recently, in fact, the battery died on my receiver. I have yet to get around to sending it in for a new battery. In the beginning, this would have been a emergency!!

MaryEllen

Your standard warmup is one I do before every run now. (I’m not so good about the cool down.. yet). I had my hip resurfaced and though I’m not back to running like pre surgery, the warm up is essential to being able to run at all!

Mike Lucas

While the ITB rehab routine has directly helped me more than any other advice (to recover from ITBS after my first half-marathon), it’s the philosophy behind it and Strength Running in general that has impressed me the most. Runners need to be athletic and strong in order to do their best and prevent injuries!

Sherry N.

while I love your running advice, I’d say your cross training links, specifically the ITB routine, standard warm-up, and core routine have helped me stay injury free. I especially love the routine that your wife illustrated :-)

TennilleW

your it band rehab routine! Even though my it band is no longer giving me fits (maybe because of your routine) I still do it several times a week.

Leo Castaneda

If you are an avid runner and you wan’t to improve, SR.com is the only resource. Through the years I have used your site for training advice to get faster and stay injury free. Or if you are injured right now to get you back to running in no-time. Last year I injured my IT band and JasonF gave me a few exercises to work on. I was back into running in less than 6 weeks. And also since I’ve used this site for resource, I have dropped my pace about 1 1/2 min per mile. This is an awesome site if you want to be a better, faster runner.

Sara

Your advice on taking rest days to properly recover have stuck with me. At times I tend to overtrain and in the past it has brought on injuries that have led me sidelined for months. When I have the idea to push myself too much in a week I remind myself of what I read from your blog about becoming stronger and thus, a better runner after I let my body rest and recover.

Paul Selby

The advice on self-massage in the “How To Prevent Running Overuse Injuries” was a “duh” moment for me. I have visited the physical therapist on a few occasions for foot (metatarsal) issues and of course the best part is when my foot gets “worked over” (massaged). Why I wasn’t doing that at home myself prior to reading your entry is beyond me!

Harold

In your post How to Prevent Running’s Overuse Injuries: 8 Simple “Little Things” That Work (and a giveaway!), where you talk about using Compression socks to aid in the recovery process. This tip has helped me recover more quickly from my long runs. Your blog is one of the few that I have chosen to receive my email, so that I ensure that I read your posts, instead of just skim through them. They are a wealth of information for new and more experienced runners.

Kirsten

The most important piece of advice from this site is the constant reminder that there is no substitute for hard work. While the ITBS workouts and strength workouts are great, and I like knowing that they are here when and if I want to use them. But the thing I NEED to keep hearing from you is that it’s my job to go out there and do the work, there are no short cuts to reaching my running (or any!) goals.

Joshua

Jason, to be completely honest, I think picking one aspect of Strength Running that has benefited me wouldn’t be adequate. In general, both your enthusiasm for running and palpable care for runners, both your clients and the general public, have given me a lot of energy and motivation to get out there and just get it done! All of the FREE information that you have on your website (when others choose to charge for it) is one of my favorite aspects of the site — ranging from ITBand strengthening (the video was really helpful since write-ups don’t make much sense to me!) to core exercises to different types of running workouts to shoe reviews! Whether or not I get chosen to get a new pair of choose, thanks a ton for this awesome website!

Yolande

Not to give up. Everything you post here is a constant source of inspiration, motivation, and innovation in my training routine. There’s always something new to try, some new information to implement, what works and what doesn’t. Overall, the most important advice I’ve received from SR is to have a fully rounded running routine. Never give up!
Thanks for everything.

Natalie Torres

IT band rehab routine/program. I suffer from IT band issues and it is so very frustrating to take a break, rest and ice and then the same issues arises. Your routine has mostly eliminated any IT issues I had. Thanks again!!

Erica Sims

A valuable piece of information that I have received is about core and the true need to keep it going. I’m a firm believer that with my core, I can do anything. In the periods where running is not so favorable, for whatever reason, I am always sure to keep my core routine.
My initial introduction to your site was regarding how you used triathlons during a time to keep you going when you couldn’t run due to injury. Then, consequently, it improved your running. After reading this, I decided to join a local tri club. My goal was to improve a “rut” in my run. After 12 weeks, I completed my first indoor sprint triathlon. It seemed such an overwhelming task at first and I had really wondered what I had gotten into. But now, it’s just what I do. I love it!! This was my most valuable advice.

Wes

I found your advice on getting started with barefoot running most helpful. I still read all of your blog posts, even though I’ve been rather busy with 70.3 training. Keep up the great work and thanks!!!

Addis

The most important lesson I learnt is how much an integral part strength exercise routine is while training for any distance running. I have suffered from every possible running related injury and I was on the verge of giving up running before finding your website. After reading some of your articles and watching you ITBS routine ( my most recent injury is ITBS) I immediately decided to try out your coaching program for my next half marathon. By then I have already started seeing a PT and was given three exercises two of which are in your ITBS routine! And on July 9th I started with the training program you wrote me, and during our skype conversation you emphasized that it is the strength exercise routines that will keep me healthy and that I should follow all very closely. I have also kept on going to the PT and the therapist told me that she wants to add a fourth set of exercise, and guess what? Yes it is what is already in your ITBS routine ( one legged squat). I was really impressed. I have never doubted your routine since your explanation behind each exercise made sense (and that you have personal experience with ITBS) but the fact that my PT kept on giving me exercises that you already mentioned proved to me that you really did your research. I am happy to report to you that since I started your program the lateral sharp pain on my knee is totally gone! That is in less than a month. With the help of your strength routine and an ART(Active release technique) I sure am on the right track to full recovery. Currently I would say that I am at 90% since I sometimes get the achy pain while sitting for long time (nothing during running) and I am committed to all the strength routines(ITBS, core,…) you recommended.

Jessica

Earlier this year, I was feeling pain in my glutes and hip flexors after every run. I was extremely discouraged and ready to drop out of the BolderBoulder 10K, my favorite race. Then I joined the email list and read about dynamic warm ups. It changed everything! I now do the Myrtl warmup before every run – if I skip it even once I can feel the stiffness and pain returning. I kept training and PR’d my 10K at the Bolder Boulder by over five minutes. Thank you so much.

Lara

Your posts on dynamic stretching and running specific movement prep are most useful for me – gaining more insight and ideas for my running tool kit has helped me become a more efficient runner – I also read your post on FMS with interest – I’m familiar with Gray Cook as I have taken anatomy/biomechanics and I plan on certifying in it at some point but first I want to try some corrective work on myself to see how I can improve in terms of strength, flexibility and for injury prevention. :)

stacy

I think for me as a beginner runner, your 7 things I wish I knew before I started running has been a great starting place. I had a pair of ascics. Donated those to warrior dash and bought my first pair of VFF’s. Then the mix it up shoes … Bought a pair of Brooks Pure Cadence. That took care of shoes. Core training was next…I was in the ‘runners only run’ syndrome. Boy was I way off there too. Your tips ans suggestions have assisted me in completing 3 half marathons during my 1st year of running. Thx for taking the time to blog.

Brody

The most important thing I have earned from Strength running is the importance of Strength training with running since incorporating strength training into my running routine I have significantly lowered my running times and have improved my form and prevented any injuries from occurring.

Gordon Harvey

CORE! CORE! the essence of good form late in races and long runs.

Barry Dorgan

Your PR plan designed specifically for me that incorporates all your experience on how to get over my ITBS is just fantastic. Plus I love all the common sense in your posts.

Troy

MYRTLE. I just started running in march and I love it. Your site is my favorite. I have a tight hip that almost killed my running career before it began but thanks to some serious stretching and myrtle I’m feeling stronger all the time. Thanks

Dave F

Your post run core routine. This has helped a LOT in terms of core stability – I can see the effects on my running and my recovery the next day. An excellent tool you gave that is a regular part of my training arsenal.

Mason

In March of this year I got a pretty bad case of ITBS. It knocked me out for 2 months where I could barely walk and every time I went running it flared right back up again. Finally I decided to research how to fix it and I came across your website. Since then I’ve read every article on here, but the best part of it is your ITB Rehab Routine has brought me back into running again. I couldn’t be more grateful for the help it has given me in returning into good shape.

Emir

Your ITB recovery and core strenghtening techniques have done miracles for me in my recovery with ITB issue.

Thanks!

Carin

The most valuable information I have learned from your site is about form. http://strengthrunning.com/2010/06/how-to-run-like-chris-solinsky-improve-your-form-to-prevent-injuries/ When I injured my knee and was building mileage back up, I realized my form was causing my knee to hurt even more. After researching (and finding your site), changing my form, mainly to mid-foot striking, my knee began to hurt less and less. I also noticed with the striking change, my stride became longer and my pace became faster.

Erin

I found out about Strength Running through No Meat Athlete and the Rebel Running guide. The strength workouts including in their have been invaluable to me – pretty much completely ridding me of fatigue-related injuries. Since then, I have used your core workout, and your IT band workouts off this site fairly regularly. I feel better when I run now than I have in a long time, and I am noticably improving for the first time since I started running again.

Elisa Marie

After years of writing my own training programs, I compared my last three marathon performance plans to the advice that you give on your site. I found some that pieces of advice that were similar to what I have been doing (i.e., your core work plan in the Elite Core Work article), and some that were dissimilar. After only being able to do a best of 3:04 and then a trailing 3:10, 3:15; 3:20, and then finally a gut-wrenching 3:59, I put up my running shoes, calendars, books, journals and calculators to bed. My goal, after the 3:04, has since always been to qualify for the Olympic Trials. I was able to bring my first ever 3:45 marathon down to a 3:04 in only 9 months, why couldn’t I shoot to get even better? Each year that goes by, the standard gets harder, and now, it seems that there will no longer be a ‘B’ Standard to shoot for. For people like me, that’s the highest accomplishment we may ever achieve in our running careers. For people like me, that’s like making the Olympics. I saw this website when I was running a search on renewing my motivation and running, to see what was new in the running world that I have not yet tried. I came across this website and have been reading every article available that I have not had to buy. So far, I am reading what appeals to me as a running wanting to cross the threshold into the elite world. I’ve only been entered as an Elite once in the Mexico City marathon years ago. My husband is my coach but I’m finding that his plans for me are simply too hard and we’ve decided that I would start writing my own plans and find what works for my abilities and still find improvement and progress in my development. It’s been so hard and I’ve been up again and then back down. My last race was a 5k in 18:19 with a full-fledged fever and I haven’t run since then. I think I’m barely recovering from that effort and that was six months ago. My goal, before I got sick, was to break 17:00. I’ve been disheartened and disappointed ever since.

So, now with your recent article where it discusses mental training, I’ve printed that article out and taped it to my fridge next to my new running calendar. I’ve penciled in two weeks’ of base running with core every day, with maximum weekly mileage of 40 miles, a minimum of 30 miles. I’m going to try your advice of doing core right before my run to see how it makes me feel. I’m tempted to sign up for your personal coaching program, but I’m going to continue reading through your articles and sketch out my weekly training program incorporating your core program, the useful reading list you’ve provided (I own some of the books already, Bowerman and the Men of Oregon is one of my favorites along with Once a Runner – yeah, wish I wrote that one). There is a race coming up in October that I’ve set a goal for. It’s a 5k. Depending on how far I get with Strength Running, I might go for broke and attempt to break 17:00 again. Generally, I’ve only done one sprint workout per week, but you’re suggesting that 2-3 times per week is needed – I’ll be doing that for sure.

Wish me the best of luck – as I wish all the hopefuls that are searching for wisdom and guidance in your articles.

And thank you for thinking about us.

Becky Heemeryck

Your ITB Rehab routine and core strength workouts are key pieces in my weekly workout routines, I actually had to reprint the routine as my original copy is 2 years old and got a little wore out- I take them both with my in my workout bag for a quick lunchtime curcuit, and have a copy pasted on the wall in my basement where I do my pre run and bike warmups. I share the importance of using these functional stretching/strength movements with anyone that trains with me (as I often get funny looks when I head for a wall and start doing my warmup!), and I have referred friends to your blog to reap the rewards of all the great info you put out there. Thanks for all your hard work, and for in turn showing me better ways to learn to run smart!

Vira Katolik

The information in “Don’t Let Your Engine Outpace Your Chassis: How to Build a Strong Body” on the importance of strength training really resonated with me. I may not have the high-mile weeks of some of my friends, but I spend time lifting and strength training and can’t recall any injuries since a little bout of plantar fasciitis early this year (which was actually due to very tight calves). It’s important to strengthen the muscles used in running and help “even out” any imbalances. Don’t forget core work! (ps – if I happen to win, I’m out of the country until 8/7. Just sayin’!)

Julia

I think your core routine has been most helpful thing I’ve found on your website, however your book about 100 ways to become a better runner is excellent! I wish I had read it many years sooner, it would have saved me a lot of trouble. I dont’ think there is another book out there that you get more advice for such little investment. I reccommend this book to every runner I know.

Larry Green

Hey Jason,

Although each of your posts has helped a ton, I can not thank you enough for you ITB Rehab video. I suffered from ITB pain after increasing my mileage way too fast… another thing I learned as a rookie runner that you shouldn’t be doing from your web site. Anyhow, after struggling with pain for weeks, then finding you site, I was running after about two weeks. In about 6 weeks, I was back to normal and running better than I ever had. I ended up increasing my 5K PR by 2 minutes implementing your strength training and suggestions. Thank you for all the wonderful help and motivation!

Sincerely,

Larry

Nick

There is no magic article that substitutes putting in hard work and putting in your miles.

RMKeegan

The best advice I’ve gotten is about how to improve endurance by not running. As a master’s and beginning runner, I found it difficult to increase running mileage without overtaxing my respiratory system. I started biking and swimming. The non-running cardio work gives my running muscles the rest they need and really increased my ability to run further. I’m now able to build my running muscles’ strength and endurance without bonking respiratorially. It worked so well I’m thinking of entering an iron girl tri. The distances are within my abilities and the cross training keeps me interested in getting out. Thanks for the great info. You rocked this one.

Lauren G

I think the The ITB Rehab Routine – Video Demonstration is the most important piece of information I have found on the topic of IT Band Syndrome. I have been running since high school and have always had issues with my IT Band, the worst being when I trained for the Philadelphia Marathon. It went from my knee to my hip by the time I my 20 mile training run so I backed off until the race. The race came and I felt great, until mile 20 when the pain was so excruciating that I could not run. I ended up jogging/walking the last 6 miles. I could barely walked when I finished, and I knew that I need to strengthen my hip and knee, but I didn’t know how. I couldn’t afford physical therapy, so I had to search online for tips and exercises. Nothing seemed to help, and then I found SR’s post and it changed my life. I implemented the exercises and slowly eased back into running. Thank you for providing these resources to runners of all levels. It’s been really helpful and I can’t wait to start training for my next marathon, confident that these stretches and exercises have helped strengthen my ITB.

Steve Wilson

I think the biggest piece was the dynamic warm up routine. I used to be a runner that did some quick stretches (while cold) and trotted out the door. I just never felt great. I learned with the dynamic warm ups that I am a person that takes a long time to get warmed up. My running ability has increased 100%. Less injuries, more miles and more fun. It saved my running and helped me prepare for my Tough Mudder Event. 12 months of dynamic warm ups helped more than I can put in a comment. This site made that goal possible. All starting with a warm up routine. So thank you for my Orange Head Band.

Marlo

There are so many items on the SR website that have helped me become a better runner and JV XC coach. I would have to say the “Developing Running Coordination and Athleticism” is an article/videos I have viewed more than once. I used to run without stretching, warming-up or cooling-down. I had been battling back pain during and after my runs for a year. After stumbling upon your website and implementing your Standard Warm-up, MYRTLE and ITB routine along with some of the exercises from the videos found on the above mentioned article, I’ve been pain free! Most importantly, I’ve started using the same strength routines with my cross country team. We’ve been practicing for four weeks and I can already see a difference in the kids. Not to mention, they love the strength training! The SR website has not only helped me, but it’s helping 26 middle school runners to become coordinated, athletic, strong runners. Thank you so much Jason!

Paolo

I’ve learned the importance of dynamic stretching pre-runs. It has helped me become a smarter runner and less prone to injury.

Billie Sirmeyer

I do your ITB workout 2x weekly EVERY week. I had ITB trouble and went to therapy but the exercises I do at home are actually the ones on your website. Thanks.

Kimberly

One of the best pieces of advice I’ve seen on here so far is the utilization of different models of shoes. Since then I’ve started to use a minimilist shoe (the Nike Free 3.0) for my short runs and speed workouts. I also use a Mizuno stability shoe for my longer runs. It makes a world of difference and I’m so glad that I’ve started to use different shoes for different runs.

Maranui

ITB rehab routine, core workout and warm-up.
I find everything I read on SR very interesting and helpful!
Thanks a lot from Tahiti, Frnech Polynesia! ;)

Benjamin Atkins

I am very new to the site and the “sport” but as a newbie triathlete I thought my running was toast when I encountered ITBS. I searched the Internet high and low and worked for months at a cure, until I found your ITB Rehab Routine that helped recover and build it to where now I run with no pain. I have a half marathon planned in October and a Half Ironman early next year and the only place I’ll come from now on for running advice, tips, training plans/secrets..etc is Strengthrunning.com. Keep up the good work

Jason Smith

1: miles, miles, miles ultimately something no one can take from you, and will make you a better runner

2: miles might be master, but a close second is the chassis. I learned this the hard way: 40mpw on treadmill over winter, jumped outside @ same pace & distance = easy stress fracture + no spring marathon/races

Those are just 2 samples, there are so many more but I’ll leave them to others here!
Thanks Jason!

Jaskaran

Thanks to all these articles about running, I have really been improving this summer. I am a high school student and just always want to train and train properly to maybe someday become an olympian. In order to train several times a day, I need to right nutrients, care, and workout plans to help me achieve this. And this is exactly what these article contain to help me out. Thanks alot and I will always be following.

Kathryn Shaffer

I have had your ITB rehab routine window open on my laptop for literally months! I started it in April I do it every night! I caught it early, so hopefully it is healed. I ran 17 miles last Saturday (the most I’ve ever ran in one day), thanks to you. I probably don’t need to do them every night anymore, but I feel like your page is my good luck charm! I’m going to keep doing them!

Thank you, thank you!

Josh

Being a running newbie and training for my first half in September, your ‘How to Start Running’ has been a tremendous guide. Thanks again!

Christen

The most helpful thing I’ve taken away is the concept of the dynamic warm up. Not only do my legs feels stronger, but I no longer experience the severe leg tightness and back soreness that I did before that kept me hobbled. It’s so simple and yet so effective!

Deb

wow, that’s an easy one for me. The most important piece of advice learned from this site is this page right here with over 85 runners so far reciting all those important pieces of advice from your site. I think It is all important and love being reminded of all the great advice by just reading the replies on this blog……..not looking to enter the contest, .just my 2 cents…

Lisa Gonzales

The thing I learned that helped me most and made me stronger is that the little things make a big difference! Warm ups, cool downs, strength & core work, nutrition, and sleep all make me stronger so I can run harder. :)

Jo

I know I wont be the only one to say your ITB rehab routine is what led me to strength running and got me hooked. I am a newer runner, and started running to beat the rainy season and homesickness while doing volunteer work in Ecuador. I didn’t know anyone who ran, had no clue how to start, had no physiotherapists around, and of course no idea what to do when I was injured or why I was. Your routine helped me so much and of course the wealth of info on your site. I’m running pain free now and have my first race in August. Thanks!

Justin McLeod

Your standard core workout has changed everything for me! Prior to this I did zero core work and I can see a huge improvement now in my runs. Thanks!

world_runner

Your “basic” routines have helped me the most. I use your dynamic warm up before every run. I have quit stretching after my runs and instead have implemented dynamic cooldowns that include your core and ITB routines plus my two favorite exercises ever – groiners and iron cross. I discovered your sight after running yet another horrible marathon in October. I decided to skip my regular spring marathon and spend some time working on my injury prone areas which basically came down to weak glutes and core. After doing the routines throughout the winter months I have now started marathon training again. I knew your routines were working because for the first time since having two children I was able to finish a 90+ minute run and still be able to stand up because my lower back and glutes were not tight or sore. It felt awesome. Thanks for all the great information. Keep up the good work.

sam

Jason,
you have taught me two very important lessons that are very specific to me as a runner. I am 45 so I am getting a little older and my body does not recover like it use too. So the development of training programs teaching me how not to overtrain, preventing injury and become a better and faster runner. Along the same lines you showed me how to properly warm up and, more importantly, warm down after hard runs, has greatly increased my muscle recovery and injury prevention. It is actually pretty amazing how much better I feel after my weekly long run, 12+ miles, when I finish the run with a proper warm down. I use to be a virtual fetus, all day after a long run, before I started to warm down properly. Now I feel a whole lot fresher and able to spend time with my wife and kids, instead of just lying around all day. My wife is very grateful as well.

Reid

One of the greatest things I’ve gotten from your website is the ITB rehab video. I started doing those exercises, and within a matter of days, I was literally free of the pain. I really appreciated having the exercises clearly demonstrated.

Old Novice

Jason,

I’m guessing this won’t win the prize, but the irony of you offering free shoes made me want to post this experience. For me Jason, you have helped me learn to trust my gut by reinforcing a previously held notion that running shoes really don’t matter much except when they cause harm. I am a 50 year old runner back in grad school who started running a little over two years ago. Since then I have lost 50 lbs. and completed three marathons and some other shorter distances. Because I am in school, money is tight, so I have not been able to afford pricey shoes every two to three months. As such, I have been performing the sin of purchasing discount off-brand shoes from one of two very large discount retail chains (hint). I settled in on a pair of minimalist type shoes (sort of copies) now marketed by this large chain, although there is a bit of cushioning. Still, comments from a group that I run with from time to time were derogatory as I was told, “You need to get a pair of ‘real’ running shoes ‘with some cushioning.’ So finally, with both Father’s day and my birthday looming, I told my wife I wanted a “real” pair of running shoes. Lo and behold, I my wife took me to the local running shop. They analyzed my gait through numerous hi-tech methods based on “the latest science,” after which I purchased a pair of heavy duty stability trainers priced at $120. What happened? Nothing at first, but gradually over the course of a month I noticed an increasingly sharp pain begin to develop under the balls of my feet, especially on my right foot. I then started alternating between my quasi-minimalist shoes and my stability trainers (as you also suggested). What I noticed was a very distinct reduction in pain every time I wore my cheap off-brand minimalist shoes, followed by a marked increase in pain every time I wore my overbuilt, stiff stability trainers. To be sure, I started a three day cycle on each shoe. After my cycle with the minimalist shoes, my feet improved significantly. The very day that I switched back to the expensive stability shoes the pain returned with such ferocity that I was unable to complete my run. It was at this point that the 3-day on each shoe experiment came to a swift and early conclusion, and I decided NEVER to wear those expensive stability trainers ever again. They are now sitting on the shelf with only 150 miles of running, and I’m not sure what to do with them. I have been back on my poor, worn, cheap, off-brand, not “real” minimalist shoes (sniff, sniff…yes, I’m trying to elicit some additional sympathy here) for about a week now, and my pain has been reduced significantly (hurrah!), which leads me to conclude that in spite of what conventional wisdom may suggest, a lightweight, quasi-minimalist shoe (as you state) is likely the best option.

I’m guessing you are probably looking for more training-specific comments like how much your dynamic drills are helping me or how much core exercises have helped my running form (which they have!). However, the issue that has resonated most with me is that running shoes only matter to the extent that they cause harm, and that a flexible, modestly cushioned trainer (meaning a small amount of cushioning and lift in the heel…but not much) is, at least for me, the best way to go.

The only problem now is that my shoes still aren’t “real” (more sniffling). Help me, please!

Varia

Hi Jason,

I read your book (101 Simple Ways to be a Better Runner) a couple of weeks before I ran my second marathon. It wasn’t long enough for me to implement many of the training tips, but it was EXACTLY the burst of motivation that I needed. It made me confident in my running and it helped me cut 30 minutes off my previous marathon time! (3h42m vs 4h12m for my first marathon). It’s not a spectacular time perhaps, but for me this difference in a year’s time was miraculous.

One particular piece of advice from your book really stuck out to me on race day: “Never attack a hill from the bottom.” That tended to be my strategy before, but this time, as I came up to an (unexpected – whoops!) hill I took it calmly, slowly, and added a burst of speed at the top. I felt great and even more confident afterwards, being a small girl having just sprinted ahead of 10 men.

Thanks for that – and for your book, and for the website!

Varia

christina

My most valuable advise from SR has been core strengthening and partnership with Rebel Strength. I also appreciate the viewpoint that minimal shoes can be used as a training too but dont have to be to only type of shoe used. I am working toward being a strong runner!

Lee Rubin

Your advice on how to get past ITB pain was a life saver. I ran my first marathon the day you PR’d in Philly as well. It was my first so I guess we both had a PR. Anyway, early on in my 16 week build up my ITB was acting up and being new to distance running I was at a loss. Like sign from above, I found SR and your advise on hip strengthening and I was ITB pain free within a week. I cannot thank enough for the time you spend doing the SR site.

If you choose me can we make a deal to donate a few less expensive pairs. I can afford to buy a new pair but maybe we can give them to a few new runners that cannot afford a new pair. Thank you

Ryan Wachter

Do the work! It’s plain and simple…and obvious but 9 times out of 10 it doesn’t happen. If it says easy run, RUN EASY. Don’t skip workouts and do the SWU! Jumping from plan to plan or searching for a quick fix is not the way. Do the work! Follow the plan! Have faith and you will get faster…period.

JIll

The most important piece of advice I received from this website would be your ITB rehab (so far) I love your whole blog but that piece of advice is what took me from 4+ months of pain and costly rehab to a very happy pain free runner. I share your ITB rehab often (after telling them to consult a Dr. for diagnosis… Thank you for all your work on this site and being so willing to help other runners.

kenny

Your posts on minimalist shoes were very informative. I now feel much more confident in navigating through all things barefoot.

Teresa Eskew

I have put into practice combining athletic skills to improve my coordination, strength, flexibility and overall athleticism. I like the exercises you recommended. i believe they are helping me be a more well rounded runner and athlete. I have noticed quicker pick up speed after a consistent routine of dynamic exercises. I love to trail run, but have not been running trails because of the drive. I plan on getting in at least one trail run a week while training for my next Marathon in December. Thank you for the good advice and tips.
Teresa

Heather

Your IT band routine saved my first marathon!! I was able to rehab and continue training after being on a path to “for-real” injury. I was coaching for an NAIA college at the time, and I actually implemented the routine into our core work and stretching. During the course of our 2011 season, 2 runners aggressively used your routine and were able to compete at conference, helping our teams to 2nd place finishes.

In addition, your advice on form while running hills was very helpful. The other team I coach (local home-schooled runners) probably benefited from this the most. They tend to just lean way too far over and go charging up, but we spent a good deal of time on form.

Finally, I used quite a bit of your information In a summer XC camp I led last year for area high school students (at the college where I was coaching.). I made sure to reference your website properly, and I encouraged runners to check out the info for themselves and see that I wasn’t just a line crazy lady making stuff up!!

Janani

I am a fairly new reader. Your article on “8 Summer Running Lessons from Training in the Swamp of Washington, DC” was helpful because I could relate to the pointers as am from India and run in India. Especially the point which said “Some research indicates that heat and humidity slows you down because you think it will”, has made me transform my thinking. It has caused a change in my attitude and am actually enjoying the heat of Chennai and am running regularly. Thank you!

Mary

Your ITB Rehab workout. has made my ITB behave. Thank you so much.

bbence80

I found your blog cca two months ago and I’m on the way to run my first Marathon. I have read almost all of your posts. I found your warm-up and stretching exercise posts very useful, and since, I always use them before/after my run. The post of short hill sprints was very interesting so I started to do it once a week. They all help me to avoid any injuries. I also started to do the core traning (plank). Using these exercises, my every steps are more enjoyable and more fun. So thanks, keep posting, and I keep running to my first Marathon and further…. :)

Jason Shen

I’m about to run my first marathon this weekend and the training plan you worked out for me was fantastic. The most important lesson though was that I needed to run slower on my easy and long runs. Realizing that it would actually be better for me to not push so hard on every single run was a big deal and I’m convinced it’s helped me stay injury-free and stick with my training through the long runs.

David

I’ve been running now for about 9 months. Although my running career isn’t very long yet, I have experienced various sorts of pains including ITBS very early on. I did not even know what ITBS was until I found your sight. It was like God sent me to you for help, and believe me it’s the best thing that could of happened. I have done your excersises for ITBS rehab and in addition I have joined a gym to continue with further core training. To make a long story short, I’ll get to the good news…. I am running totally pain free these days and am training for a half marathon this November. I just completed my longest run this past weekend at a little over 10 miles! So I have to say thanks for all the encouragement and advice to help me get through the tough times. I was so discouraged when I began but now am confident and excited to run! Thanks!

Loretta

In one of your articles for beginners you talked about the importance of being fit overall, rather than only running, which has allowed me to burn off the rest of my baby weight and prevent a potential ITB issue from progressing!

Stacey Berube

I hadn’t realized the importance of a good warm-up before a run. Specifically before a 5K! I always thought it would waste my energy, and I’d have nothing left. As a beginner runner, just trying to get faster on my own, I would have never made a standard warm-up part of my routine without reading about it here!

Doug P

The most important info I’ve gotten from SR is how to use a heartrate monitor. As a realatively new runner, I am now ready to start doing more training runs. After reading your article on how to use a monitor for tempo and recovery runs, I have been able to increase my aerobic threshold and maximize the benefits of my recovery runs. Before using the monitor, I would unknowingly run my recovery runs a bit more intensely than I needed to, thereby decreasing my body’s ability to heal and repair. You also talk about when not to use one and that’s just as important. Thanks for this super article and all of the other info you share via SR!

Scott

The best thing I’ve seen is the post about running hills. I’d never thought of running downhill repeats before. I feel like I run much better on downhills now after doing a few of these workouts.

T Lueder

Years ago, I loved to run and regularly ran 5 miles a day just because I loved to do it. Unfortunately, I let life get in the way of my running and my days became more and more sedentary until I was no longer running at all. Last year, I decided it was time to get back in shape, shake off my sedentary lifestyle, and lace up my running shoes. I decided that I’d do a quick couch-to-5K program and work my way back up to 5 miles a day within a few months. Little did I know that my 15+ years of sedentary living had done more harm than I’d realized. I became quickly frustrated with setbacks due to injuries, where I’d have to take 1-2 weeks off (or more) only to end up starting back at week 1 of the 12-week couch-to-5K program. I’m pretty sure I repeated week 1at least five times. I was determined not to give up, but I couldn’t figure out what I was doing wrong, since I could tell that, from an aerobic standpoint, I should be able to easily run at least 2-3 miles. Then I came across your blog post “Don’t Let Your Engine Outpace Your Chassis” and it all finally clicked. I realized that while my cardiovascular system was quickly adapting to the running, it was taking a lot longer for my muscles to catch up, and I was asking for too much too soon from a structure weakened by years of inactivity. Keeping this tenet in mind, I created a new strategy for myself: On my non running days, I do strength workouts; when I increase the distance I run, I do so incrementally; when my muscles start to feel like they’re being overtaxed, I take a day off and let myself recover. I have now been able to run consistently for the past 2-1/2 months without injury. I haven’t reached my 5-miles-a-day goal yet, but with this strategy, I know I’ll get there!

Heidi

Jason, what you have given me, as someone who took up running less than a year ago, is confidence. I was close to panicking several times, closer to when I just started, thought that I was seriously injuring myself whenever something was starting to hurt, but you had it covered every time, so far, with the right exercises. I got a bit of IT band pain – you had it covered. I was sure I was developing runner’s knee – you had that covered. Hamstrings started hurting – I found and focused on the appropriate exercises for that on your site. Now, if you have something for an old sprained ankle (at least 5 years ago) that has come back to plague me a bit that would be great, but I am nursing it along, so far. I think I am doing pretty darned well for a newer runner and I am quite sure I would not have gotten this far without your help. Thank you much.

Michele

What I have found the most helpful are the core, strengthening, ITB exercises. My biggest running problem is injuries. Every year that I have trained for races I have ended up in PT for one thing or another. I have finally learned the hard way that just running will not improve my running. Core exercises have made a big difference, mainly because I have 4 herniated discs, but the ITB has always been my biggest problem. After finally getting it under control with the help of a rumble roller, i started having hip pain a month ago. By doing the clam shells, hip hikes, and theraband side shuffle, I have been able to strenthen my hips so that I did not have to reduce my mileage and in fact have been able to increase and the pain is now gone. I wish i had learned 20 years ago what I have learned this year. I’ve done quite a few half marathons over the years but have not raced in 6 years, my first will be in Sept. I am now hoping to run my first marathon next year and really believe I can minimize my risk of injury by following your advice.

Cassie B.

I am new to the site, and I am pretty sure your contest is over, but I still wanted to answer. I am fairly new to running, and have recently become more serious about it.

So far there are two articles that came across that have really helped me so far, the first one is “7 Things I Wish I Knew When I Started Running”, since I feel that I’m just “starting out” it’s very helpful. The points that you are making, that I am not just going to go out and be able to run 10+ miles in a week without building up or that I need MORE then just running is good. I’ve been struggling with both of these things mainly and it’s been really hard on me mentally to not be able to do more. But I need to realize that it will take time. That it’s not going to be easy. Oh, and when you talk about form, which also brought me to my new 2nd favorite article, “The Runner’s Body as a System: Creating More Holistic Training” I have such issues with my form, and I KNOW I do, but I am not sure how to correct them, I am so tense when I run. I can’t just relax, and I end up hurting myself. So I’m going to look in to more whole body strength and NO SLOUCHING! and definitely work on my hips, because they tend to hurt during and sometimes after my runs, so I am looking forward to the exercise that you posted as well.

Ami B.

My favorite will always be your ITB exercises. I severely injured my ITB in a half marathon in January. I came across your website in attempt to find out what I did wrong. I stopped running, did your ITB exercises, poured over your articles about how you injured yours and what contributes it….and was back running 7 weeks later. I am doing better than I ever have right now, no more ITB issues or injuries, and preparing to blow that half marathon time out of the water in November. I am also running at least a minute/mile faster which I believe is attributed to my better conditioning this time around. I’m very thankful to you.

Annalisa Percy

The hill workout advice, and I quote “Now for some hill strategy: one of the best pieces of advice I ever received about racing hills is to never attack a hill when you first start climbing. Instead, keep an even effort for the first two-thirds of the hill and then surge over the last one-third and briefly when you crest the summit. This is a more advanced technique, but it’s very useful in pulling away from competitors around you.”
It did,it did work for me ! I won a biathlon in New York and was 3rd in a trail race thanks to my new hill attack plan, it also served me well in my first ultramarathon ( 56km ) – thanks Jason !

Alyssa

I am a lover of anything pertaining to running, swimming, biking, lifting, and nutrition. I’ve read countless articles about the proper running form, shoes to wear and the perfect carb to protein ratio. Which is great and all, but it overlooks the fact that a vast majority of us sit in the office for 8 hours straight. Sure we get up when the birds get up to run then go straight to the gym for some weight training after work, but we never think about how sitting hunched over in the chair typing on the computer all day adversely effects your body. That’s why your post titled “How to Run Pain-Free After the Cubicle” stuck with me. It was kinda like a shot of reality. If I want to continue injury free running for years I am going to need to pay attention to all the little things in my life that will effect my running. So I thank you for getting me to look at the big picture.

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