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sore hips

Running can be hard on your body, but your hips don’t have to suffer because of it. Addressing hip pain from running and preventing future sore hips can be achieved by following the tips below. There are many reasons you could be experiencing hip issues. Figuring out the cause is step one in solving the problem. 

Causes of Hip Pain After Running


Overuse is one of the top causes of hip soreness and pain. Frequent running can put a lot of stress on your hips, but another activity that causes hips to become overactive may surprise you. Sitting is a large contributor to overactive hip flexors. It may seem like sitting provides rest for your hips. In reality, when hip flexors remain in a shortened position for prolonged periods of time they become overused. To help offset this problem, hip mobility and elongation exercises are crucial.

Typically, overuse and tightness go hand in hand. After running, you may notice that your hips feel a little stiffer than before. That’s okay in the short term, but over time this can make the tendons and muscles less flexible and place more stress on the hip joint, muscles, and tendons – making hip issues worse.

Alignment Issues

Pounding the pavement, poor posture, and improper running gait can all cause hips to become unaligned. This is known to cause hip pain for many people. Not to mention, when your hips are out of alignment your workout isn’t nearly as efficient and you open yourself up for a more serious injury.

Improper Shoes

Wearing the wrong shoes for your foot can play a big role in hip pain. Do you know if you have a neutral, pronated, or supinated foot strike? This information can help you determine which type of shoe is best suited for your foot. Plus, those who have high arches or flat feet may need shoes that provide additional support or cushion.

hip pain from running

How to Prevent Sore Hips

Many articles suggest taking an NSAID or using ice as the first line of defense against hip soreness and pain. However, there are better options than popping a pill or icing. At best, both of these options will delay the recovery process, and in many cases they will make the situation worse in the long term. Here are a few options that are proven to be effective.

Warm Up

Completing a warm up prior to working out will loosen up your muscles and allow for better elasticity. This can help prepare your hips and prevent injuries from occurring. Dynamic exercises (ie. squats or lunges), lightly jogging, or walking are a few great ways to warm up your body.


Static stretching before a workout has been shown to increase the chances of pulling a muscle. When you stretch “cold” muscles to their max that have not yet reached their full range of motion, muscle pulls are much more likely. Dynamic stretching (which include more movement and less about stretching into your full range) is the ideal choice pre-workout. Once your workout is complete and your body is warmed and flexible, static stretches can be more useful. The figure four stretch and the lunging hip flexor stretch are a couple great options to relax your hips. Tight hips can often lead to hip pain and injuries, so keeping them loose is an important step to prevent issues.

Active Recovery

One of the best ways to eliminate soreness and speed up your recovery is to move. Movement is the key facilitator for each stage of the recovery process. There’s no other method that will get each phase going. In order to recover faster and eliminate soreness quickly, you have to activate your muscles. When completing active recovery, make sure the movement doesn’t put more stress on your body. Your workouts are tough, your recovery should be easy. You can go for a swim, walk, or to make your active recovery even easier and more effective you can use Marc Pro.

Marc Pro is a tool used by pro athletes and everyday people to improve their recovery, prevent injuries, and feel their best. Marc Pro provides non-fatiguing muscle activation that you can use almost anywhere (at home, work, traveling, etc.) to achieve the benefits of active recovery. Plus, Marc Pro is non-fatiguing, so you can use it as long as needed and not worry about placing more stress on your body – no other recovery device can say that. The hip flexor or hip pain placements are a great place to start, but if you want more personalized assistance then our free coaching calls are encouraged.

Strength Exercises

Strong hips can do more work before they break down. When your hips are conditioned properly, they can handle more activity, which will ultimately help prevent overuse. Single leg bridge and clamshells are two exercises that can help build strength in your hips.

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The Overuse Phenomenon | Kelly Starrett Shares How You Can Counteract It

running for beginners

Running is an ostensibly simple sport, but quickly reveals itself to be complex and difficult to start. There are many nuances and tricks to be learned and it takes time to master them. When starting, learning about running can be one of your most powerful tools for crushing your workouts and seeing optimized results. The main problem that many people find themselves faced with is where to start. That’s why in this article, we will be covering the basics of running for beginners. Before you throw yourself out the door, take a moment to make sure that you have the fundamentals nailed down.

Tips for Running Beginners

Knowing how to run and execute your workouts properly is essential. Use these tips to make sure you get off on the right foot.

Don’t Overdo It

Often, when people begin running, they run too much, too soon. When starting out, overtraining and burnout will be one of your most formidable opponents. It’s tempting to run as much as you possibly can every session, but beware that doing so can set yourself up for failure.

A general rule of thumb is to run at a “talking” pace, where you can comfortably hold a conversation while jogging. Run for as long as is comfortable for you, and not too hard. Then, every week, you can increase the distance by 10%. As for your pace, you will naturally jog faster with each session, without even realizing it! Later in this article, we’ll share some sample running workouts for those who want more specific guidance to get started with.

Fuel Your Body

When you begin a running regimen, the actions that you take in your off time are equally as necessary as the time spent working out. Your lifestyle can improve your session or sabotage it.

Fueling your body properly includes eating healthy, sleeping enough, recovering properly, and drinking ample water. It can be a challenge for many to adopt a healthy lifestyle, but it’s a must for runners. In order to keep your body active, you need to address all the components of maintaining a healthy lifestyle.

A healthy diet for runners is a balanced diet. You should incorporate fruits, veggies, protein, and complex carbs into your meals consistently. When you eat, you should feel 80% full by the time you’re done with your meal. This way, you won’t risk overeating and feeling too “heavy”, especially before your workout.

Choose the Right Running Shoes

Your feet, and what happens to them, can affect your entire body. Investing in the right running shoes for you is extremely important to ensure that you prevent injury and get the most out of your running sessions.

Many manufacturers make specialized shoes for running. These shoes have proper arch support, soles with some grip, and the right ergonomic shape. When you try them on, they shouldn’t hug your feet too tight or slip off of your heel with every step.

running for beginners

Running Workout Templates to Get Started

Here are some beginner workout examples to get started. You can customize these workouts to suit your personal needs and running level. For optimal results as a beginner, try to do a running workout three times a week.

Workout #1:

Total: 26 minutes

This workout is a simple classic. For the warmup, you can walk briskly for five minutes or do anything else that gets your heart rate up. Then, run for one minute, walk for one minute, and repeat. These intervals should be repeated for eight rounds. For the cooldown, you can walk briskly again for five minutes or practice a different cooldown of your choice.

Workout #2:

Total: 23.5 minutes

This workout is slightly more challenging, requiring some additional endurance. If workout #1 seems too easy, then you should give workout #2 a try. The warmup and cooldown are the same. There are three rounds, consisting of one and a half minutes of running, then three minutes of walking.

Workout #3:

Total: ~20 minutes

running for beginners

Running on a hill is more difficult than running on flat terrain. It engages your calves and causes you to fatigue quicker. If you live in an area with hills or have access to a treadmill, this will be a fantastic workout for you. Runners of all levels will benefit from running on an incline. Generally, you should run until you have reached 80% of your maximum running capability.

Post Run Recovery for Beginners

Post run recovery is a must for multiple reasons. One, if you’re still feeling sore or fatigued from your last workout, you probably won’t be very excited to do another workout anytime soon – at least not while the soreness is still lingering.

When your body does more than it can handle, overuse injuries become exceedingly more likely. Plantar fasciitis and runner’s knee are two common overuse injuries that affect runners. The good news is that by using the proper recovery techniques you can speed up your recovery and feel good again. Active recovery and stretching are two great recovery techniques for runners.  Many runners use Marc Pro to achieve the easiest and most effective active recovery. Learn more about how Marc Pro can help you recover faster, eliminate soreness and fatigue, and prevent overuse injuries.

running recovery

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The Unexpected Cause of Many Common Running Injuries

plantar fasciitis prevention

Here’s some good news if you have plantar fasciitis: resolving the issue isn’t too difficult and for most people medical intervention isn’t required. Even better, preventing plantar fasciitis is simple, not to mention much more preferable than dealing with another day of stabbing pain.

According to the Mayo Clinic, plantar fasciitis is a very common condition that’s usually self-treatable and self-diagnosable. So, don’t just sit around and hope it gets better, learn some strategies for faster recovery and effective prevention.

What is Plantar Fasciitis?

Plantar fasciitis is very common for runners, although it can also be caused by excessive walking or standing. The main symptom people experience is stabbing pain along the bottom of the foot, typically near the heel. For most people, the worst pain is felt while taking their first few steps after waking up. But, it can also worsen after standing for a long period of time or while walking after sitting for a long period of time.

The plantar fascia is the band of tissue that connects your toes to your heel bone. It has a bowstring shape and supports the arch of your foot. When repeated stress is placed on the ligament, micro tears form, making the area irritated and inflamed. Besides excessive running or walking, poor foot cushioning can also be factor in the onset of plantar fasciitis.

How to Recover

Many of the recommendations out there are based on outdated principals. For example, there is no evidence that ice improves the recovery process. Studies show that ice delays healing and can even make the situation worse. NSAIDs, like ibuprofen, are often recommended for pain. At times, they can be necessary, but what’s not commonly mentioned is that taking NSAIDs negatively affects your recovery. Here are some strategies that can actually help you recover and relieve pain:

1. Active Recovery

Since your body’s natural recovery process relies on muscle activation, it’s no surprise that active recovery is becoming the go-to recovery method. Don’t just sit there if plantar fasciitis sets in, keep things loose and active.

2. Massage Ball

Using a massage or lacrosse ball can help break up adhesions that may have formed in the bottom of your foot. Adhesions form when muscles tear and the body repairs the break with scar tissue. Their dense nature can compress the surrounding muscle and cause pain in many cases. 

3. Heat Pad

Grab a head pad or make your own using a sock and rice. Applying heat to plantar fasciitis can provide soothing relief. Heat also helps open blood vessels, which will help bring blood flow and necessary healing supplies to the damaged area.

How to Prevent Plantar Fasciitis

The best thing you can do is make sure you never give plantar fasciitis a chance. Start using these prevention methods that are proven to work.

plantar fasciitis prevention

1. Stretch

Gently stretching your plantar fascia can help increase flexibility in your foot, maintain function, and keep things loose. When it comes to injury prevention, all these components are very important. Runner’s World recommends the following stretch to target your plantar fascia.

“Sit down, and place the foot with heel pain across your knee. Using your hand on the side affected by plantar fasciitis, pull your toes back toward your shin until you feel a stretch in your arch. Run your thumb along your foot—you should feel tension. Hold for 10 seconds. Repeat.”

2. Active Recovery

Overuse is one of the major causes of plantar fasciitis. Taking the proper steps towards recovery in between workouts is essential for prevention. Active recovery is a tried and true method that facilitates each stage of your body’s natural recovery process. By engaging in low-stress activity, such as a light swim or cycle, your body kickstarts and speeds recovery. Harvard Health recommends doing toe curls and ankle circles as an active recovery strategy. Just be sure not to do too much and cause additional damage or pain.

plantar fasciitis prevention
Marc Pro pad placement for plantar fasciitis prevention

Another option is to perform active recovery with Marc Pro, which makes it easy to target specific areas like your lower legs, quads or back. Marc Pro creates non-fatiguing muscle contractions, which deliver all the benefits of active recovery to your problem areas. With it’s non-fatiguing nature, you can use the device for as long as you need to ensure a full recovery. Plus, no additional time commitment is required since you can use it while working, relaxing, or traveling. When it comes to effective and fast recovery, active recovery is key. (Note: while Marc Pro is a highly effective recovery tool, it is not to be used on medical conditions, so use only for prevention measures.)  

3. Better Footwear

Another contributor to plantar fasciitis is poor foot support. In addition to other preventative measures, using proper footwear is necessary in some cases. Shoes should have adequate cushioning to help prevent the impact that’s placed on your plantar fascia while running or walking.

Plantar fasciitis does not have to keep you from doing the activities you love.  If you’re more susceptible to plantar fasciitis, make sure you take the necessary preventative precautions to stay injury free. Don’t be reactive, be proactive about your health.

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Runner’s Knee | A Guide to Causes, Recovery & Prevention

How to Run Faster: Part I

How to Run Faster: Part II

runner's knee

If you have knee pain from running, you are not alone. That pain you feel in or around your knee cap is commonly referred to as “runner’s knee”, and it’s one of the most common overuse injuries for runners.

Whether you’ve gotten used to it or not, knee pain should not be a part of your run.

What is Runner’s Knee?

Runner’s Knee, also known as Patellofemoral Pain Syndrome, is defined by Hopkins Medicine as pain in and around the knee joint. The pain occurs during knee-bending activities or from sitting for long periods of time with your knees bent. While runners are hit the hardest, anyone doing high volumes of repetitive knee bending activities, such as squatting or lunging, can also be susceptible.

What are the Causes?

The biggest cause of runner’s knee is overuse. Repeated weight bearing on the knee joint over time, without the proper recovery in between activities, often leads to this condition. Other factors can be at play too, like weak or tight muscles surrounding the knee, poor foot support, and improper running gait; but if you have runner’s knee your best bet is that it’s from overuse. Knowing the cause of your runner’s knee is the first step in recovering and preventing future flare ups.

runner's knee

Recovery from Runner’s Knee

If your runner’s knee stems from overtraining or tight muscles and you’re experiencing mild symptoms, then the following tips can help get you back on the road to recovery. However, if your knee pain stems from an injury or if you are in extreme pain, it’s always best to consult with a healthcare provider.

Now, let’s get into it. Most advice out there says that the best thing to do for runner’s knee is to stop running altogether until the condition improves. For most of us, that’s not ideal, especially when it takes an average of 4-6 weeks to recover from runner’s knee!

Here are some methods that can help you recover faster.

1. Active Recovery

Active recovery refers to low-stress muscle activation. By lightly engaging your muscles, your body is able to recover faster. Why? Each stage of your body’s natural recovery process is facilitated by muscle activation. Some examples of active recovery include going for a light swim or light bike ride. But, when you have an overuse issue, the last thing you probably want to do is more activity… and that’s one reason many athletes, from pro to weekend warriors, choose to use Marc Pro.

runner's knee prevention

Marc Pro makes active recovery easy and effective, even more so than traditional active recovery methods. You can use Marc Pro while you work, relax, or travel. Also, Marc Pro’s unique technology allows for non-fatiguing muscle activation, so you can use it as long as you need without causing additional damage to the area. By using the Marc Pro knee placement for at least 30 minutes each day, you can see drastic improvement in recovery. We also offer free coaching calls in case you want a more specific protocol. Side note: you can use Marc Pro to recover any muscle group, so eliminating knee issues is just the start. If you have a sore back or tight neck, Marc Pro can help.

For those with a lot of aches and pains, the Marc Pro Plus model also offers a setting for significant and lasting pain relief. You can relieve pain and recover at the same time by utilizing both settings simultaneously.

2. Stretch

Tight hamstrings and tight achilles tendons can contribute to runner’s knee. If you’re feeling tight and are experiencing the symptoms of runner’s knee, it’s a good idea to incorporate some stretching. Stretching is an easy and effective way to loosen up.

Hamstring Stretch: There are a ton of ways to stretch out tight hamstrings. The simple seated hamstring stretch is a great place to start.

hamstring stretch

Achilles Stretch: Using a platform or stair to do some standing toe raises is a beneficial way to stretch and strengthen your achilles tendon, but there are other stretches that will work as well.

What to Avoid

When you’re trying to speed up your recovery, there are some things you are going to want to avoid.

1. Ibuprofen

If you have to grab the ibuprofen for pain, go ahead. But keep in mind that NSAIDS like ibuprofen delay your body’s healing response.

2. Ice

Ice is a common go-to treatment, but did you know there’s no evidence to support its effectiveness for speeding recovery? The doctor who coined the term RICE (rest, ice, compression, elevation) recanted his position on ice, saying that ice should not be used for recovery and can even make things worse. While it may be able to help relieve some pain temporarily, consistently icing will slow your recovery.

3. Compression

Unlike ibuprofen or ice, compression won’t cause any delays in your recovery. However, it isn’t the most effective way to improve recovery either. Just take a look at how your body’s recovery process works, you’ll see why compression misses the mark.

Prevention of Runner’s Knee

For runner’s knee that stems from overuse or tight muscles/tendons, the good news is that it’s 100% preventable! You don’t even need to cut back on the miles! By having a good stretching routine in place and incorporating active recovery, ideally with Marc Pro for the best results, you can stay on top of your training while feeling your best.

runner's knee prevention
Marc Pro pad placement for runner’s knee

Regardless of what you’re recovering from, the muscle recovery process is the same. So, once you recover from runner’s knee using the strategies above, you can use those same methods to ensure a quick recovery after each workout and make runner’s knee a thing of the past.

Recommended Articles:

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Hamstring Stretches | Eliminate Tightness with these Recommendations

Sore Glutes | A Few Solutions to Relieve the Tightness & Pain

Runner’s World vetted hundreds of options to find the gear that will help you reach your fitness goals faster. Marc Pro was named under the Injury Prevention category in the 2020 Fitness Awards as one of the top tools that will help you bounce back and stay injury-free.

runner's world

“In our testing of high-performance self-recovery tools, nothing proved as effective as the Marc Pro. Lofty praise for an electrotherapy device, but it works, helping torched legs recover fast after hard tempo sessions and long runs. The device uses long, gentle waveforms to stimulate muscles without fatiguing them. Although it’s pricey, its ability to reduce delayed onset muscle soreness (DOMS) and loosen tight muscle tissue is worth the money.”

Whatever workout program you’re on, it’s important to make sure you’re doing enough for recovery if you want to keep your body healthy and active.

To read more about what Runner’s World had to say about Marc Pro, check out their full review.

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How to Run Faster with Kelly Starrett

stretching routine - lower leg

How often do you stretch? Daily? Weekly? Maybe monthly? If you’re like most people, you probably don’t stretch as much as you should. A good stretching routine is often (and easily) overlooked. 

The problem with that is we then end up with short, tight muscles that don’t function as efficiently as they should. It also tends to create an environment that’s more susceptible to injuries.

For many runners and endurance athletes, ailments often start from the knee down. There are so many muscles, tendons, ligaments, and bones in your lower leg that need attention after an exerting workout, but realistically most of us don’t put in enough effort to keep them all happy and healthy. But, the good news is that pro triathlete Andy Potts is here to help! Andy shares the lower leg stretching routine he uses daily to stay limber and loose.

Lower Leg Stretching Routine

To get in a great stretch session, Andy recommends using a slant board angled at 45-degrees while completing the following routine. Try spending 15-20 minutes a day on this stretching routine post exercise when your muscles are warm. If you don’t already have a slant board, you can check out this YouTube video to learn how to make your own. 

Stretch #1: Both Legs

This first stretch is very simple. Just put both feet side-by-side on a slant board and then bend over and grab the board while keeping your legs straight.

Stretch #2: Crossed Legs

Next, do the same thing as stretch #1, but cross your left leg over your right leg. Alternate and cross your right leg over your left. This slight variation will target your lateral quad and IT band.

Stretch #3: Quads

Even though quads aren’t a part of the lower leg, they are connected to the knee, so they make the cut for this stretching routine. Plus, this stretch works double duty. Put your left foot on the slant board and then grab your right foot to stretch out your quad. With your left leg, alternate between keeping your leg straight and bending it. Adding in some leg bend will help target your soleus.

Stretching is a vital component to keep your body healthy. It keeps muscles flexible and strong and prevents them from becoming tight. Since muscle tissues surround our joints, stretching also allows our joints to move better so we can maintain or improve our range of motion.

Post-workout recovery is another critical element to stay healthy and active. During exercise, muscles break down and become weaker. However, during the recovery phase, muscles rebuild and become stronger. Research has found that active recovery is the most effective way to enhance that process.

Active recovery involves low-stress muscle movement, such as a light swim, cycle, or run. Keep in mind, the key is that the activity needs to be low stress and not cause additional muscle break down. Sometimes that may be hard to achieve, which is why many athletes use Marc Pro. Marc Pro has a patented technology that creates non-fatiguing muscle activation, so you get all the benefits of active recovery, but without the limitations. Plus, it’s also more versatile so you can target specific problem areas such as your back, quads, or knees.

Stretching and active recovery are two elements that you don’t want to pass up. If you’re an athlete who wants to train for many years to come, then investing in your body is worth it.

Related Articles:

Top 4 Triathlon Recovery Tips from Heather Jackson

How to Run Faster: Part I

How to Maintain Energy Throughout a Race

glute workout

Glutes are one of the most underutilized muscles when it comes to running. If your glutes aren’t activating like they should, you’re missing out on power and opening your body up for injuries. Glute activation is essential for making your body work efficiently and effectively.

Why are your Glutes Inactive?

During exercise, our strongest muscles tend to engage first. This means that for runners the quads, calves, and hamstrings will fire long before the glutes get involved. It also doesn’t help that most people sit for long durations during the day, which causes glutes to become inactive. When it comes time to go for a run, these muscles don’t just immediately turn back on. Because the glutes got used to being inactive, less muscle fibers will be recruited and less force will be outputted when you attempt to engage them.

Increase Efficiency & Prevent Injuries

Glute muscles help stabilize your hips and keep your legs, knees, and pelvis aligned. Having strong glutes will ensure your running mechanics are on point, which makes your running more efficient and helps prevent injuries. Weak glutes are shown to lead to issues like shin splints, runner’s knee, and IT band syndrome.

The Power of the Glute

Glutes are a powerful muscle that can add a lot of force into your run. But, if your glutes aren’t firing properly, you’re missing out on this added power. Plus, when glutes aren’t activating, other muscles have to take on all the work and become exhausted more quickly. When other areas of the body have to compensate, the likelihood of overuse increases.

How to Activate your Glutes

As an athlete who competes in Ironman events, Heather Jackson spends a lot of time running. Her races include a half or full marathon, in addition to a swimming and biking event. With that high of a workload, it’s important to make sure every muscle fiber is doing its part. Glutes are no exception. Even for those who have a more normal running routine, there are many reasons that strong and active glutes are necessary. Pro triathlete Heather Jackson shares her go-to exercise to get some glute activation before a run.

glute activation
Ending position – Opposite Leg

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Running is more fun when you’re feeling good and setting PRs. Unfortunately, stiffness can get in the way. Stiffness may not seem that terrible, but when it comes to your running it can diminish the quality of your runs, slow you down, and create other issues throughout your body. Kelly Starrett shares a few solutions for how to run faster by ending stiffness and recovering better so you can get back at it feeling your best.

Hip/IT Band Stiffness w/ Mobility Ball

Hip stiffness is no joke for runners. Running causes hip rotators to spend a lot of time in a shortened range of motion, which causes them to become overactive and stiff. The flexor wad also tends to become stiff as a part of the IT band complex. Doing a little bit of targeted soft tissue work on these hip rotators can really give relief to stiff hips and IT bands. Grab a mobility ball and work through the following steps:

how to run faster

Next, it’s time to move into a few isometric concepts…

Little doses of positional specific training and isometric training in aggregation can create massive change. Don’t worry about trying to fix everything in one or two sessions. You’ll find the most benefit by doing a little bit consistently.

Calf Stiffness w/ Foam Roller

how to run faster

Scrub your calves, don’t roll. Scrubbing is the latest foam rolling technique that will do wonders for muscles. Calf stiffness can cause major dysfunction in the heel, knee, or foot so it’s worth taking the time to address stiffness head on.

Step 1: Lower Calf/Ankle Scan

Step 2: Complete Calf Scrub

Addressing how the fascia and connective tissue articulate with some of the sub surfaces like the tendon can radically improve the calf system. Scrubbing is a great method to break up adhered tissues to promote good articulation of sliding surfaces. Using a foam roller with some texture to it is the most effective for scrubbing. Kelly Starrett uses the Rumble Roller.

Active Recovery w/ Marc Pro

how to run faster

After a run it’s easy to think that you don’t need much more activity for the remainder of the day. You already did our time and now you just want to rest. Or for many people, their jobs require them to sit, so they can’t move much even if they wanted to. The issue with this is that there isn’t enough movement during the day then to decongest the tissues.

There is no substitute for getting in those 10,000-15,000 steps of walking each day, but if you’re going to use your time to be able to run and train, then it can be a struggle to get enough movement in. One of the best ways to get movement in and decongest the system is by doing active recovery with the Marc Pro. Marc Pro is a recovery tool that allows you to get non-fatiguing movement in and can be used while at a desk or at home in the evening, so it doesn’t take up any extra time.

If you have stiffness in your quads, hips, or calves, getting in light movement can work wonders to loosen things up. If you have an old runner’s knee and your knee gets a little bit hot sometimes, movement is always a great way to get back to baseline the next day. Kelly Starrett uses these (image shown) as his go-to placements for runners.

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How to Run Faster: Part One

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how to run faster

Improve your running positions, make your muscles more robust, and be the fastest runner in your group. Kelly Starrett shares how to run faster with these warm up/prep strategies and end range isometric stretches. Let’s jump into some of his pre training strategies for runners.

Step 1: Warm Up & Prep

What’s one of the most effective ways to warm up and prep your body for a run? Believe it or not, it’s jumping rope. Adding in jump rope exercises before a run can help restore proper positions and mechanics, return springiness back to your body, and challenge positions that sometimes get a little bit weak or soft.

Jump Rope Routine

how to run faster

Position 1: For the first position, keep your toes together, butt squeezed, and body lengthened during the jumps. Don’t worry about trying to go fast or do any tricks, focus on getting a full push through plantar flexion of the foot and staying tall. This will help teach your body to absorb and have access to the whole foot. Complete 200 jumps in this position.

Position 2: The next set involves some single foot work. This will strengthen the small intrinsic muscles of the feet, help work on single leg control, and prepare your body for running loads that can be 2-4 times body weight. Keep the same general position as the first exercise, but use only one leg to jump while the other leg is extended in front of your body. Complete 100 jumps on each foot.

Position 3: It’s time to take your legs into a split stance running position. Put one foot slightly in front of your body and the other behind and complete 50 jumps. Switch which leg is in front and back, and then complete 50 more jumps.

Step 2: End Range Isometric Stretches

Loading the fascia and connective tissue into specific positions is a great way to prepare the body to run. All of these stretches will load the finishing running positions to improve your trailing leg shape. Keep your muscles active throughout the stretch, but really contract and squeeze as hard as you can during the 4 second hold.

how to run faster

Stretch 1: Find an elevated surface such as a curb or stacked barbells. Put your foot up to get a bite on the ledge and then step across with your other foot to load the tissues. Squeeze your glutes and take a big breath in for 4 seconds, hold for 4 seconds, and then slowly exhale and relax for 8 seconds. Do 2-3 rotations of this 4-4-8 pattern.

Stretch 2: This stretch can be done on a couch or any place where you have a floor meeting a wall. Load your back knee into the corner up against the wall of the couch. Bring your other leg up into a high kneel position. While squeeze your glutes, inhale for 4 seconds, hold for 4 seconds, and exhale for 8 seconds.

Stretch 3: Stand in front of a couch or chair and swing your leg straight back so it can rest on the fixture. Jump out with your leg that’s on the ground to create some distance. Lower yourself down while keeping your glutes engaged. Do a 4 second inhale, 4 second squeeze, and 8 second exhale and relax.

Incorporating these stretches can help create new neuromuscular end range shapes and promote better extensibility in the hip and leg. Check back for How to Run Faster: Part Two which will get into post running strategies with tissue restoration skills and drills.

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Post-Run Recovery with Brian Mackenzie

Running recovery tips for athletes and recreational runnersRunning is a great activity. Whether you run for the exhilaration of the exercise or you are a competitive athlete, you most likely already know about the benefits of running for your health and fitness.

What runners don’t typically know, however, are the best ways to recover from this incredibly taxing activity. Running recovery tips for athletes and recreational runners are very similar. There are plenty of old, outdated guidelines for running recovery that are confusing many runners today, especially those who want to minimize the amount of time they have to wait between runs.

Best Practices for Running Recovery

For many runners, tight and swollen muscles are a serious problem that can prevent them from running as often as they wish. Traditional wisdom holds that ice and lots of rest are among the best running recovery tips for athletes and recreational runners. However, scientific research into the impact of icing on the body has shown that icing is actually not as effective as one might think, and it can even be harmful to the recovery process.

Dr. Gabe Mirkin, who created the commonly-repeated acronym, RICE, to represent the traditional rest, ice, compression, and elevation treatment method for athletic injuries, concluded recently that ice is not an effective way to treat muscles that are strained due to athletic performance. Dr. Mirkin’s new recommendation is based on a summary of over 20 different scientific articles published in The American Journal of Sports Medicine, which found almost no evidence showing that ice or cold treatments helped with athletic recovery when used in combination with compression.

For runners, this means that -recovering those aching ankles and tendons using ice might be a waste of time. In fact, some research shows that using ice might even delay the muscle healing process, making recovery time between runs even longer. Instead of using these older methods of muscle recovery, there are some modern techniques that are recommended by numerous scientists and exercise professionals to help runners recover more quickly.

Modern Techniques for Running Recovery

Runners who are looking to recover as quickly as possible should look into the best methods of compression for them, as this treatment helps stimulate the healing process in the affected areas. Stretching and range of motion exercises can also be helpful.

Another excellent way for runners to help minimize their downtime between runs is by using a muscle recovery device like the Marc Pro and Marc Pro Plus. These recovery tools work by creating a gentle muscle contraction that sets off a series of reactions in the body making it easier for the body to move waste out of the afflicted area and move nutrients in.

Because of all the muscles, tendons and ligaments that are worked while running, the Marc Pro or Marc Pro Plus can be the perfect tool to help you recover faster. By following modern running recovery tools, you can spend more time partaking in runs that will help you improve your fitness and be more competitive in your chosen athletic field.