Monday, March 22, 2010

John Piggott's Shamrock Run

You can read about John's run for Haiti at WY Daily.


by Dr. Daniel Shaye, Chiropractic Physician

Running is generally done from point A to point B, either in relatively straight lines (cutting the tangents to minimize distance during races), or staying close to the inside rail during track races (also to minimize distance). So, with all these lines and curves, what does torque have to do with anything?

Motions that do not propel us forward are wasted motions. That having been said, torque (which roughly speaking means "twisting") is part of the running experience. You may ask, "How can torque be a part of forward running movements?" Anyone who has ever driven a car should understand. The engine produces energy to turn a spinning drive shaft, and gears and a differential redirect that energy to turn wheels and propel the vehicle forward. In a bicycle, the relationships are even more obvious as a rotating crank's energy is redirected into forward propulsion. In your body, the process is similar. Our muscles generate force, and our bodies redirect and focus those forces to propel us forward.

At the foot and ankle, running push-off is more than just obvious calf muscles forcing the ankle and foot downwards (plantar flexion). After heel strike (initial heel contact), pronation involves flattening of the inside of the foot to absorb shock and ground. Controlling pronation involves muscles deep inside your calf that wind around the inside of your ankle to the inside of your foot. Tibialis posterior is the source of classic "shin splints" caused by excessive pronation or overwhelming forces. Meanwhile, flexor hallucis longus passes beneath a bony shelf to redirect vertical force into a powerful flexing force for your big toe and arch. Your body is set up with pulleys that magnify and/or redirect your force to propel you, as well as to protect you from impact forces.

The knee is mostly a front-to-back hinge, but it does twist a bit as it straightens to lock, or bends and unlocks. Excessive twisting due to weak foot and deep calf muscles (time for some specific exercises!) or poor foot mechanics (possibly correctable by orthotic supports) can cause knee pain and long-term, premature wear. Considering that Americans receive approximately 600,000 knee replacements per year, take heed! Also, though the kneecap (patella) should track mostly up and down, it has muscles and forces that battle to pull it sideways (laterally). Lose that battle, and you'll be dancing the knee pain shuffle.

Watch your fellow runners. You'll see their right arms driving forward as their left elbows fly back as an equal and opposite reaction to the forces created. You'll observe hips shifting from side to side, and also shifting up and down. You'll note the low back (lumbar spine) shifting from the letter "C" to a backwards "C" when observed from behind, and you'll bear witness to the sacrum (tailbone) rising and falling and figure-8 twisting all the while. These motions are all normal. They simply need to be balanced, controlled by strong muscles and coordinated by a nervous system that's trained towards symmetry. We drive out-of-alignment bodies and "grind our gears" at our own peril.

Where are your imbalances? Have someone with a trained eye watch you walk or run. Use video, if you can-- and ideally, get that video done not just when you're fresh, but also when you're tired (such as during the late stages of a long run or race). Just as people tend to show their foibles as dating relationships progress beyond the initial stages, weaknesses in form and habit will tend to show themselves when you're tired and no longer on your best behavior. Reveal the worst (the rolling head, the flying left elbow, the fixated sacroiliac joint, the hyper-pronating foot), correct it, and reach your true potential... with as few injuries as possible.

Happy running!

-Dr. Daniel A. Shaye
Certified Chiropractic Sports Physician
Fellow, International Academy of Medical Acupuncture

Do you have a question you’d like answered? Mail your questions c/o Performance Chiropractic1307 Jamestown Road, Ste. 103, Williamsburg, VA 23185; e-mail; or visit


By Sally Young

People who are new to running will fare best with modestly priced shoes from a "mom and pop" runner's store. Big box stores and franchises may not have a consistently reliable staff of experienced marathoners and track athletes who can give a beginner genuine attention. And whether running for fitness or competition, these stores have a "family feel" that welcomes everyone into the running community.

While running, the feet collide with the ground at an impact of twice the body weight, generating whole body vibrations that cause muscle fatigue and injury. Shoes with durable foam midsoles of ethylene vinyl acetate (EVA) provide cushioning over the plantar surface for comfort and endurance. Heel strikers may benefit from column cushioning, made from the same material as
jounce bumpers ("bumpstops"), the shock absorbers in automobile frames. Spring-loaded shoes have been declared illegal by the USA Track & Field.

Marathoner Abebe Bikila, the first black African to take home the Gold at an Olympic event, memorialized barefoot running with his graceful en pointe stride. Barefoot runners land on the forefoot, allowing tendons and ligaments to absorb much of the impact. Vibram Fivefingers fit like a rubber glove to simulate barefoot running with minimal protection.

Tuesday, March 9, 2010

Swamp Run Starts 2010 Colonial Road Runners Grand Prix Season

Saturday’s Jamestown High School Swamp Run Starts 2010 Colonial Road Runners Grand Prix Season

The 17-race Colonial Road Runners Grand Prix Series begins its 2010 season Saturday morning, March 13 at Jamestown High School with the ninth annual Jamestown High School Swamp Run 5K. The mostly flat, out-and-back race starts on the school’s soccer field, and is mostly on the scenic, soft-surface Greensprings Trail, including wooden bridges over wetlands, before returning to a finish on the track.

Race day registration will start at 8 a.m. inside the high school. A one-mile fun run/walk starts at 9 a.m., with the 5K run/walk set for 9:30 a.m. A quarter-mile run/walk on the track concludes the running events at 10:30 a.m., with awards and door prizes at 10:45 a.m. All entrants receive a beautiful Swamp Run-themed T-shirt. The event is organized by and benefits the Jamestown High School Athletic Boosters Club.

For information on the Jamestown High School Swamp Run, contact race directors Jim Winthrop (564-7052) or Barbara Buehrle (221-0124).

Other CRR Grand Prix events for the early spring include the Yorktown Victory Run 8 Miler, starting at Newport News Park (April 3) and the inaugural Run the D.O.G. 5K, the first race ever to utilize the streets of Colonial Williamsburg, going past the historic Governor’s Palace and the Capitol Building before a return up Duke of Gloucester Street to Merchants Square. For information on all CRR Grand Prix events, contact Rick Platt (757-229-7375, or visit the CRR website:

Jamestown High School Swamp Run 5K

A Colonial Road Runners Grand Prix Event

Race day registration and packet pick-up starts at Jamestown High School, 3751 John Tyler Highway

(Route 5), Williamsburg

One Mile Fun Run/Walk – 9:00 a.m.

5K Run/ Walk – 9:30 a.m.

Quarter mile run/walk on the track – 10:30 a.m.

Awards ceremony - in the high school – 10:45 a.m.


Jim Winthrop (757-564-7052), race director

Barbara Buehrle (757-221-0124), race director

Rick Platt (757-229-7375), race coordinator


$15 entry fee by March 7th.

$20 late entry fee and race day.

No fee for 1 mile fun run and quarter mile fun run ($10 with T-shirt)

T-shirts guaranteed to first 200 entrants.


Top 3 overall male and female in 5K. Top 3 male and female in 5-year age groups, from 14-and-under through 65-and-over. Top 3 male and female race walkers in 5K.


From I-64, take exit 242-A (toward Jamestown ) on Route 199 West. At the fifth traffic light (approximately 5 miles), turn left onto John Tyler Highway (Route 5). At the third traffic light (approximately 3.5 miles), turn left onto Eagle Way, and Jamestown High School will be on the right. Drive to the back parking lot.

Thursday, March 4, 2010

What's The Big Idea

by Sally Young


There must be something more humbling than watching your body age once you turn fifty, but this will do just fine, thank you. The crossover from young to old comes abruptly; more so for menopausal women - and it makes you realize that quality of life issues are happening in real time. But if you run, walk, bike, swim or otherwise do aerobics, it¹s like money in the bank of aging.

Research spanning 21 years by James Fries, Stanford School of Medicine, found that older runners, age 50 and up, are healthier and happier, and remain independent longer than non-runners, with the difference most striking for women. Running delayed the onset of age-related disability and frailty by 16 years, and the divergence continues as participants reach their ninth decade.

"Late in life, you still see the benefit of vigorous activity," said Fries.

Over time, runners decreased their mileage or stopped, but all of them did some other form of aerobic exercise, and many became avid volunteers with their running club. The social engagement of belonging to a running groupenhances self-efficiency and self-worth, and it offsets the late-life depression that so frequently occurs during the fourth age, those 80 and older.

Find a running club in your area by visiting the USA Track & Field website or the Road Runners Club of America website.