Are you drinking too much?

How to stay Hydrated.

Since 1991 there have been 10 reported deaths as a result of Exercise Induced Hypernatremia Encephalopathy (which in basic terms is too much fluid on the brain as a result of excessive fluid consumption).

However, there seems to be little evidence to suggest that exercise induced dehydration results in life threatening disorders.  In fact, moderate dehydration resulting in a loss of between 2-8%  Body Weight is not hazardous, with recovery occurring within minutes of drinking.

The invention of sports drinks in the late 1970’s resulted in a very effective marketing campaign emphasizing the need for regular hydration with the goal to “stay ahead of thirst and drink as much as tolerated”.   This has lead to some athletes taking on so much fluid that they have weighed between 2-6kg heavier after a race.  It is now suggested that a consumption of less than 3 litres over a four hour marathon.

It is supposed that very salty water ie. at greater concentrations than that found in blood would prevent this, however it is unpalatable and likely to cause vomiting.

Signs Of Hypernatremia:


Vomiting is probably the most definitive symptom.  Altered level of consciousness with elevated body temperature is nor cardiac arrest or CVI is most likely to be heatstroke.

If Hypernatremia is suspected do not administer fluids!

Running Technique: Running Drills – Part 6

Running Drills


Sadly, having good flexibility and strength does not miraculously result in good running technique.  Whilst strength training programs should be as specific as possible nothing quite prepares the body for running like running itself.  If your hip stabilizers or core have been your major strength deficit then strengthening these muscle groups will help but unfortunately unless you actually use them during your run your wont be achieving the improvements as effectively as you could.

Forefoot Landing

Running in Place/ Marching on the Spot Landing on the forefoot


Stance Leg Stabilization

Landing on leg and stabilizing through knee/ ankle and hip


Stance Leg Power

straighten leg, push off toe, activate glut


Pelvis and Core and Balance

raising up onto toe with stride action- maintain balance, pelvis stable and aligned


Knee Drive

after foot strike focus on driving knee forward

(video to follow)

Running Technique: Stretching for Running – Part 4

Stretching Before Running

The best stretching to do before running is Dynamic Stretching ie performing leg swings etc to gently warm up muscle and working them through range.


Mountain Pose Alternate Calf Stretch


Leg swings


Cross Leg Swings


Bum Kicks


Cross Legged Squats

Lumbar Spine:



Arm Swings- forwards, side ways, and horizontal


Rotations and Side to side

(photos to come)

Stretching After Running

static stretching


Knee to Wall

Leaning wall stretch


Prone heel to butt

Rectus Femoris:

Proposal Stretch with rear leg up wall

Hip Joint:

Figure of 4 Stretch


Pigeon Pose


Seated on bench single leg stretch

Lumbar Spine:

Reverse Rotation


Cobra Stretch with Knee Stretch


Arm against wall


Arms behind


Hand to shoulder


Mermaid Stretch

(photos to follow)

Running Technique: Good Form – Part 3

What is Good Technique?

  • Landing on the Forefoot

  • Placing the foot under the centre of the hip

  • Feet Landing either side of a straight line down the centre

  • Landing with a slightly flexed Knee

  • Pushing off from and extended Hip

  • Maintaining Consistent Hip Position

  • 5 degree lean forward (from the feet)

  • Soles of the Feet in vertical plane when viewed from behind

  • Head held upright and steady

  • Slight rotation of the Torso

  • Shoulders connected with the core and a good distance from ears


Running Technique: Common Injuries – Part 2

Some of the common bio-mechanical faults and their resultant injuries are:

1. Over Striding the foot landing in front of the centre of gravity (the line from the centre of your pelvis to the ground)- For distance runs (not sprinting) the foot should land directly under the hip, otherwise if your over striding it is like Fred Flintstone applying his manual breaks every time you are taking a step.

Possible injuries: shin pain, calf tightness, hamstring strains, plantar fascitiis

2. Landing on the heel
this fault is when  the heel is first to strike the ground. The aim is to land on the fore-foot, somewhere between the toes and heel and then allow the heel to kiss the ground.

Possible Injuries: Shin and Heel Pain, Foot Stress Fractures


3. Pelvis Drop-when taking a stride forward the pelvis should maintain a relatively level position. When watching stills of runners who are unable to control pelvis position  it can appear as though the runner needs to go to the bathroom. Often a result of weak pelvic stabilizers and core.

Possible Injuries: ITB Friction Syndrome, Patello-Femoral Pain Syndrome, Lumbar Spine Pain, Hip Pain

4. Splaying of the Feet– looking from behind, this is seen as the toes pointing outward.  Ideally, the length of the sole should be vertical to the running surface. Again often a result of weak pelvic stabilizers not controlling the internal rotation of the femur.

5. Tight Rope Running feet landing in a straight line. Weak pelvic stabilizers not controlling the abduction of the body on the stationary femur (leg).

Possible Injuries: hip pain, calf strain, stress fractures of the feet

6. Flexed Hips- looks as though there is an imaginary chair under the runner.  This position does not optimise the powerfull gluteal action of extension and results in excessive work to be achieved by the hamstrings and calves.  May be a function of weak gluteus maximus aka your butt or tight hip flexors, and or weak core.  You will often see this technique accompanied by the appearance of a saggy belly and overly pushed out chest.  As this runner attempts to use a strongly held extended back as substitute for a lacking core.

Possible Injuries: Knee pain, Calf and Hamstring strains

7. Rounded/ hunched shoulders.  The shoulders should have some “connectedness” to the core.  If the shoulders are narrowing the space underneath the ear there is a good chance that there is not a lot of core stability going on.  To rectify this, work needs to be done on the shoulder stabilizers, and correct any core deficits, there may be some pectoral tightness also creating this poor alignment

Possible Injuries: Neck strain, Shoulder Pain, Mid upper back pain

8. The Bobbing Head- side ways or up and down.  The head should stay centred between the shoulders if this is not achievable the runner should work on the factors for point 7. listed above.  If the head is bobbing up and down so that a line  tracing  head movement in space looks like an inch worm,  there is too much effort going into jumping upwards and not enough on moving forwards.  Factors to consider are  forward body lean, it is generally thought that a 5 degree lean  the foot to the head is recommended for flat running.  Often runners misinterpret leaning forward as a lean from the hip and thus run bent over.

(coming up- a summary of good running technique, strengthening and stretching for running and running drills)


Running Technique: Analysis – Part 1

Running Technique: The Rationale and the Initial Analysis

The Argument

Running is a popular sport and activity for all ages, but in any given year 75% of runners will sustain an injury. Certainly the high impact loads of running contribute to this but equally, poor running technique.

I can not tell you how many times I have heard runners protest that each individual is suppose to run in anyway that they find natural, and that running more frequently results in improvements in technique. I not sure which mechanism enables the incorrect repetition of skill or movement enables improvement. Granted as the body strengthens and increases in fitness some issues may be ironed out but it would seem that repetition of many movement pattern results in a greater reproduction of that pattern to the point it becomes automatic.

Could you ever imagine being given a bag of golf clubs and ball and pointed in the direction of the hole and tasked to develop your own swing? As a runner how are supposed to know what movement patterns you are aiming for?

Thorough bio-mechanical analysis has lead to technique improvement in an endless number of sports ie. tennis, golf, gymnastics, and swimming, and running is no exception.

Where to start

Begin with taking a video of your running. Include :

1. Up Hill
2. Down Hill
3. Training Pace
4. Racing Pace
5. the last 1/4 of your race length run

Analyzing your run:

1.Start at the feet.

a) How do they land? What strikes the ground first? the heel, the forefoot or the ball?

b) Does the Foot strike the ground in front of the body, directly underneath,or behind? (to visualize this think of dropping a plumb-bob directly from the centre of the hip towards the ground)

c) Do the feet cross each other as they land, almost like walking on a tight rope or do they strike either side of a centre line?

d) When looking from behind, are the length of the soles of the shoes vertical with the ground,  angled inwards or outwards? (Foot Splay)

e) When viewed from the front, how much of the soles of the shoes are visible?

2. The knees

a) Are the knees straight or bent on landing?

b) As the foot lands, do the knees move forward over the centre of the foot, inwards or outwards?

3. Hips

a) is there a noticable drop of the unsupported hip during foot strike?

b) are the hips flexed throughout the gait cycle? (like sitting in an imaginary chair)

c) hips sway side to side ( like doing the hoola)

4. The Core

a) protruding stomach

b) none, some or excessive rotation of the upper body on the lower body?

5. Shoulders

a) hunched?

b) bouncing, causing a head bobbing movement side to side?

6. The Head

a) Held centred or forward over the chest?

b) Bobbing up and down as if on a trampoline?


(coming up next: Good Running Form and Bad Running Form and the injuries that result)