Chiropractic Health & Wellness Blog

Fun Running Facts!

September 21, 2011
Since the Medtronics Twin Cities Marathon is only 11 days away, and with the expo starting in 9 days.  We thought some fun trivia information would be cool to post!  We've found these postings throughout the website!  Enjoy!

Why do I get side stitches?
That pain that rips through your midsection, usually on the right side? Chalk it up to the act of breathing. Or, more accurately, to your diaphragm, the muscle that controls your breathing motion. "It attaches to the liver on the right side," says Dr. Wyrick. "When you run, the attaching ligaments stretch, which stresses the diaphragm and causes pain."

Running Rx Slow down or walk so you can take deep, full breaths. Grabbing your right side and squeezing it to support the liver may also end the pain. Another option: When your left foot hits the ground, exhale, which causes your diaphragm to rise; inhale on your right foot, and it falls down, which decreases the stretching. Finally, keep training. Side stitches typically happen to beginners. "Over time, the ligaments become conditioned to the stress," says Dr. Wyrick.

Why do my toenails go black?
For regular runners, a black toenail is not a matter of if, it's when," says Dr. Bright. Three causes of the black badge: a too-short shoe; a toenail that comes into contact with the roof of the shoe too often; and a runner who uses his toes to grip too hard. However it happens, the result is the same. Blood vessels under the nail break open, which spill blood (which looks black under the opaque nail) into the area between the toe bed and the toenail. "That area isn't accommodating to blood collection: It's rigid and restrictive," says Dr. Bright. "It builds up a lot of pressure quickly."

Running Rx If the pressure is bothering you and you can handle more hurt, press the end of a paper clip or safety pin, heated with a match, through the nail. "That's a pretty painful proposition," says Dr. Bright, who recommends the gentler touch of a doctor. Do it sooner, while the blood is still fluid. If the pain decreases and doesn't bother you, no need to take action. Either way, the skin below it will heal, the nail will die and fall off. Don't worry, it'll grow back someday.

Why am I so sore after a marathon, when I've done 22-mile training runs?
Did you do your training runs with crowds yelling at you and competitors around you unconsciously prompting you to run faster? Thought not. Whether you're a 2:30 or a 5:30 marathoner, your race-day pace tends to be at least a smidge—and possibly lots—faster than training days. That's the difference, says Dr. Bright, between being pleasantly and painfully sore. "You accumulate lactic acid in your muscles by pushing the pace, which brings on premature fatigue," says Dr. Bright. "Plus, the extra mileage—very few people do a 26-mile training run—causes more micro tears in your muscles, and it's likely your muscles haven't totally healed from your training. Race day, they get even more beat up." The combination nets marathonitis, an acute condition that demands stairs be taken backward and the size of a stride be cut in half.

Running Rx A huge fan of ice baths, Dr. Bright recommends the anti-inflammatory plunge, postrace, for at least five to 10 minutes. Don't bother taking NSAIDs like ibuprofen. "The newer studies show they really don't do that much for inflammation," says Dr. Bright. "And they can potentially put your kidneys at risk."

Why does coffee speed up more than just my legs?
A pre-run prereq for many runners to clear the system on their own terms, java stimulates the muscles in the GI tract faster than Mother Nature; some reports say coffee jolts your system in as little as four minutes. Once you're out on the road, proceed with caution: Many energy gels have caffeine in them, which may cause your intestines to move as quickly as your legs.

Running Rx In the weeks before an important run or race, determine how much coffee you need for an evac, then sip and lighten your load accordingly. Also, figure out if you can tolerate caffeinated gels. Plan B: Pick a route with a few public restrooms along the way, so you can properly do your business.


Why does the inside of one ankle get bloody from being hit by the opposite heel, but not the other?
That red tattoo is called a heel whip, and it's from excessive rotational motion of your foot. Instead of your foot traveling in a forward plane, it makes an arc, causing your heel to nick your anklebone. It doesn't have to be gory: Heel whips can also just dirty your inside shin. "The extra torsion can be caused by anything from the alignment in your ankle to a hip issue," says Dicharry, who adds that one side usually bears the bloody brunt because of muscular imbalances.

Running Rx Think about pushing off through the big toe, not the pinky toe, so that your foot swings cleanly forward, and you'll whip your ankle less. If you need more than just a Band-Aid after a run (e.g., ice packs and Advil for various parts of your lower body), a visit to a physical therapist will help you determine whether you have strength imbalances that can be corrected with single-leg exercises.

Why does my GI tract act up when I'm running?
Some people get headaches when they're stressed. Runners get the trots. A 2008 study on 1,281 Dutch runners found that at least 45 percent complained of some gastro-related issue during the run. "The GI tract is very sensitive to stress, and running—or the anticipation before a race—is definitely stressful," says Darrin Bright, M.D., family physician and sports medicine specialist in Columbus, Ohio.

When you run, your intestines take a double hit: The motion jostles their contents and speeds things along. Plus, blood, essential for your tract to stay on track, is rerouted to vital organs and muscles in your lower half, disrupting the sensitive balance your body has for fluid absorption and possibly causing dehydration, which can lead to cramps that force you to beeline for the bathroom.

Running Rx Dr. Bright recommends putting the ix-nay on bathroom-inducing high-fiber and high-fat foods 24 hours before a race or long run, and fueling up on benign, already-tested, plain meals.


If you have any questions, thoughts please feel free to contact us.  Lyn Lake Chiropractic will be at the Twin Cities Marathon Expo on Friday and Saturday.  Stop by the booth and say hi, remember to wear your Lyn Lake Chiropractic Running Shirt!

If you have any Running Injuries please check out our website for more information.http://www.lynlakechiropractic.com/page.cfm?pageid=14893

Did you know we have a second Lyn Lake Chiropractic location? If you're on the far North side of Minneapolis, look us up! View all of the offerings and amenities at our North East Location.