Stability: Another Key to Pain-Free Function and Injury Prevention


Just because we can, doesn’t mean we should! We may have the ability to lift the laundry basket and carry it up a flight of stairs or run ten miles, but without proper body mechanics and stability, injury can ensue.

Prevention and rehabilitation from injury involve addressing mobility, strength, and balance. We discussed mobility last week. Achieving proper mobility of the tissues doesn’t ensure safety. In fact, some people have too much mobility but can’t support the joints or get power from their muscles. This causes them to compensate elsewhere and/or fail to support the joints. This is when injury can occur.

Let’s use another rubber band analogy. Imagine shooting an older rubber band that is super stretched out, maybe even saggy or brittle. When we pull back on it, the band stretches only a bit. The rubber band has lost power and elasticity, and it will not fly very far. Its mobility is useless because it lacks integrity.

In our mobility article we discussed how people who sit for long periods of time at desk jobs, lose mobility in key muscles on the front of the body with sitting. The opposite is true for the muscles on the backside of the body, namely the glutes (bum muscles). If poor posture is involved, the muscles of the back and the front of the neck elongate as well. These muscles are like the rubber band: they become too long and weak. As a result, they do not provide adequate support (stability) during activities like walking with the dog, kicking the ball with the kids, and playing sports. This is when injury is possible.

Many activities that involve holding a position for a long time can cause muscle imbalance and reduced stability. For example:

  • Wearing high heels often or for an extended period of time. This creates a long term stretch for the muscles at the bottom of the foot and front of the hip. These lengthened muscles weaken when engaging in activities like walking the dog, running, climbing steps, and attending exercise classes. Injuries such as pain in the lower back or the bottom of the foot can surface.

  • Participating in triathlons, as mentioned in our mobility article. Being in aero position for 100 miles stretches the back muscles and glutes for hours. These lengthened muscles are needed to support the back, and for power with push off for the 26.2 mile run segment.

  • Patients recovering from abdominal surgery, such as a cesarean section. It takes time for abdominal muscles and tissues to heal from surgery. Gradual strengthening is required. These weakened muscles cannot support the spine adequately for activities of daily living, including bathing and lifting the baby, or even walking. Injury of the back and hips can occur.

One of the first things I assess when evaluating a patient is how they move. I look for faulty movement patterns that could cause injury or worsen a current injury. Poor mobility or lack of stability (or both) may contribute to the problem. I attack a lack of stability with progressively challenging dynamic and functional exercises within the patient’s tolerance. I like to use a combination of proven exercises, with exercises that I create and personalize to each unique patient and case. When pain is contributing to weakness, neurological dry needling can be helpful. Active Release Technique may also be used to treat injured joints and ligaments that result from lack of stability.

Faulty movement patterns can also be the result of poor proprioception and balance. Stay tuned for more on that in our next post!

About Physical Therapy. Physical Therapy addresses function in daily lives whether it’s our ability to unload the dishwasher, walk without a limp, or run an ultra marathon. Physical therapists work not only with injured patients but also preemptively with patients to prevent injury. This can prevent long periods of pain and time off of sports and work. Periodic PT visits focusing on prevention save time and money on the higher frequency therapy appointments required with chronic injury.

Where Shall We Run? Course Map Challenge.

IMG_2419 Aid Station- RRKC.jpg

We are on the lookout for new course maps for our weekend group runs. If you know of a great route that we’ve yet to explore or are interested in creating a run course from a new location, we’d love to hear from you.

Guidelines Include:

  • Safe places to put aid stations out at 2 mile intervals.

  • Bathroom opportunities along the way.

  • Start location that is safe and not restricted (ie. starting from Town Center is a no-no as it requires a retail sponsor).

  • Course allows for at least a 10 mile route out and back.

Thanks for your input and creative ideas to help keep our Saturday group runs motivating and adventurous. Email Howie at with your course map details by Oct. 22nd so we can implement for November runs.

Join the Get Lei'd Aid Station Oct. 19th!

KC Marathon.png

Roadrunners will be cheering, supporting, and having a blast next Saturday October 19th at the KC Marathon.

Here’s what you need to know:

  • Look for us EAST of the Meyer Blvd Fountain (Meyer Blvd and Ward Parkway).

  • Station will be up and hopping from 7:00 AM to 12:00 PM.

  • Park WEST of Ward Parkway on a numbered street to avoid the marathon route.

Please email JJ at if you are able to help. Thank you for supporting our local KC community of runners. Your efforts are helping these athletes reach their running goals.


Mobility: A Key to Pain-Free Functional Movement and Injury Prevention


Prevention and rehabilitation from injury involve addressing mobility before strength and balance. Mobility is a prerequisite to strength. When joints, muscles and nerves don’t move properly, we compensate elsewhere. This is when injury can occur. 

Imagine trying to shoot a rubber band across the room. If it’s as dense as a tire, it will not go anywhere. It doesn’t have the ability to stretch and load energy. Any strength it has is useless because the structure lacks mobility. 

Many people have desk jobs that require sitting for long periods of time. Key muscles shorten throughout the day, namely the muscles in the front of the hip and the back of the thighs. If poor posture is involved, the abs, chest and muscles of the back of the neck shorten as well. These restricted muscles are at risk for injury when they are engaged for other activities like gardening, playing catch with the kids, and playing sports. 

Many activities that involve holding a position for a long time can cause muscle imbalance. For example:

  • Biking in a triathlon. The athlete is in aero position for 100 miles and then moves to an erect posture to run a marathon. 

  • Texting. The front of the neck, elbow, forearm and thumb muscles are held in a shortened position for hours throughout the day. 

  • Carrying a heavy backpack on one arm. This creates long term shortening of muscles on one side of the spine and the hip on the opposite side.

  • Carrying a baby on the same hip for an extended period of time. As with carrying heavy backpacks, this causes muscles on one side of the spine and the hip on the opposite side to shorten long term.

One of the first things I assess when evaluating a patient is how they move. I look for faulty movement patterns that could cause injury or contribute to a current injury. Then I determine which structures are preventing that motion such as muscle, nerve, tendon, fascia, ligaments or all of the above. Then we set about restoring mobility. This may involve the use of deep tissue techniques such as Active Release Technique, neurological dry needling, and/or dynamic stretching, both passively and actively. 

Strength, balance and coordination also come into play once a healthy amount of mobility is restored. More on this in our next post!  

About Physical Therapy. Physical Therapy addresses function in daily lives whether it’s our ability to unload the dishwasher, walk without a limp, or run an ultra marathon. Physical therapists work not only with injured patients but also preemptively with patients to prevent injury. This can prevent long periods of pain and time off of sports and work. Periodic PT visits focusing on prevention save time and money on the higher frequency therapy appointments required with chronic injury.


tshirt art front.png

National Physical Month is finally here, and at CoachAmyPT we want to celebrate by thanking our clients. One of my favorite parts of the job is hearing stories of your progress and accomplishments. This month we want to hear how you’ve gone from pain or injury, to getting back into the swing of your active life. By sharing your story, you’ll be entered into our contest to win a Scheel’s gift card. We’ll choose and announce the winner at the end of the month.

Here’s how to share your story:

  1. Post a picture of you doing what you love on our Facebook or Instagram pages.

  2. Write a short description of where you came from, and where you are now.

    • For example: I went from knee surgery and crutches, to skiing at Lake Tahoe nine months later!

  3. Must include the hashtag #igotmyfixcapt to be entered into our competition.

Don’t forget CoachAmyPT is offering fun, free events all month long.

Join Roadrunners of Kansas City for free group runs every Saturday in October with. Come one Saturday or every Saturday this month to kick-start or supplement your training program. Better results when running with buddies! Course maps and more details are provided on the events tab of the RRKC website. 

Foam rolling improves circulation and mobility, prevents injury and aids in recovery. Learn how and when to use a foam roller correctly for the best results at a free foam rolling clinic on Monday, October 7th.

I often get inquiries from clients seeking tips on injury prevention. Over the next four weeks we’ll be writing about four pillars of physical therapy that can prevent injury and promote a long-term healthy lifestyle: mobility, strength and stability, balance and coordination, and performance enhancement.

Thank you for being an important part of the CoachAmyPT and Roadrunners of Kansas City community this year. We can’t wait to learn with you and great stronger with you this month.

Ready to post your #igotmyfixcapt story? Click below.

Big Benefits of Running with Buddies


It’s no secret that working out in a group produces better results than flying solo. Research shows that the healthy actions of others rub off on us. Benefits of working out with other people include improving consistency, and increasing the intensity and duration of exercise. The same rings true for running.

Tackling runs or a lengthy training plan with a run group not only improves individual accountability but also allows athletes to: increase mileage safely, avoid injury and mental burn-out, and gain moral support and stamina.

Roadrunners of Kansas City (formerly known as Personal Best) has been hosting group runs filled with positive support for over 25 years. We invite you to try out some group runs for free every Saturday in October to see for yourself the benefits of running with friends (and water stops)! Also check out our short promo video for a glimpse of the spirit of our group.

Coach Amy Parkerson-Mitchell as the owner and operator of this run club adds unmatched expertise. Amy is a certified Garmin Coach, has recently been featured in Runner’s World, and is a licensed physical therapist. Although run leads may fluctuate, Coach Amy creates all of the training plans and provides a world of knowledge for her runners.

Runners world and garmin combo.png

Whether you’re a first-timer, a seasoned runner, or anything in between, there is a place for everyone at RRKC. Ready to try something new? Join us for the month of October. It could transform your year. 

“Before I joined RRKC, I struggled to train consistently, battled injuries, and couldn't find my community of people that made me fall in love with running in the first place. RRKC has changed all of that for me. I train more consistently, have kept injuries at bay, and because of that managed to get faster, all while making great friends!”    -Melody

Free Events in October @ CoachAmyPT

nptm logo capt & rrkc.png

At CoachAmyPT celebrating National Physical Therapy Month means giving back to an amazing community that has provided so much enthusiasm and support. During the entire month of October Coach Amy is offering some fun, free events. Whether you’re a past or current client of CoachAmyPT, or have never been to the clinic and are just interested in checking us out, please join in on the fun. Come for one event, or for all, and bring your friends! Health and wellness activities are more fun with more faces.

All events will take place at the CoachAmyPT clinic at 4573 Indian Creek Pkwy, Overland Park, KS 66207.

Free Group Runs every Saturday in October with Roadrunners of Kansas City.

This dynamic group of runners will motivate you shoulder to shoulder on some long routes, with stocked aid stations along the way. Mileage listed is the maximum mileage each course will be set for, but you can run any distance up to that maximum amount. All runs begin at 6:30 a.m.

  • Oct. 5th: 10 miles

  • Oct 12th: 20 miles

  • Oct. 19th: 10 miles

  • Oct. 26th: 20 miles

RSVP required on below link. Course maps and more details are provided on the Events tab of the RRKC website

Free Foam Rolling Clinic: October 7th

Foam rolling improves circulation and mobility, prevents injury and aids in recovery. Fewer pieces of equipment pack this much punch. However, knowing how and when to use a foam roller is critical for results.

Make friends with your foam roller at one of Coach Amy’s And This is How We Roll sessions where she’ll teach you how and when to roll out. Space is limited, registration required.

Thank you for being an important part of the CoachAmyPT and Roadrunners of Kansas City community this year. We can’t wait to see you in October!

And This is How We Roll

Foam Roller.jpg

Most of us have a love-hate relationship with the foam roller. It’s a bit of a sore ride but so worth it. Foam rolling improves circulation and mobility of muscles, tendons and fascia*. It also prevents injury in the back, hip, foot and shoulder, and aids in recovery.

That’s a lot of benefit from a piece of high density foam! However, knowing how and when to use a foam roller is critical. Foam rolling incorrectly, too frequently, or with too much compression can cause bruising and injury to nerves.

Coach Amy’s high level “rolling” tips:

Start WARM. Foam rolling is best with warm muscles. For athletes, this is AFTER a workout. The less active individual should warm-up for 10 minutes prior to foam rolling. A walk is a great way to get the blood flowing a bit first. 

Time is MONEY. Conveniently shorter is better. No need to roll for hours. 1-2 minutes per area is long enough.

Go SLOW. Moving too quickly on the foam roller causes the connective tissue to fight back and tighten up: the opposite of what we want. 

MEET the tension. Going too deep with too much compression can cause damage. We want to stimulate, not irritate.

Want to know more? Want to see a licensed PT demonstrate the proper technique, and watch you foam roll to ensure proper form? Coach Amy is hosting two foam rolling clinics in October during National Physical Therapy Month. These “one-time” clinics will be FREE in gratitude and enthusiasm for keeping Kansas City active and injury-free.

*what the heck is fascia? It’s a thick and strong spider-web like mesh of connective tissue that wraps around muscles, groups of muscles, blood vessels, nerves and even organs! 

Does Coach Amy Treat Back Pain? Why, Yes!

Anna Nelson.jpeg

Back pain can affect people of all ages. Up to 80% of the population will experience back pain at some time in their lives. Small aches and pains often come along with age, major life events, or increased and varied activity; but sometimes we have no idea what triggers pain at all.

Coach Amy helps identify triggers and provides treatment for patients with back pain that interferes with work, sleep, everyday tasks and hobbies. More importantly, once pain and function is restored she helps patients develop a strategy to prevent future occurrences.

Anna, a CoachAmyPT patient, suffered from back pain at various stages of her adult life. Click the link below to read the full article and discover how physical therapy helped Anna go from debilitating pain, to running a pain-free half marathon.

Runner's World Magazine Interviews Coach Amy

Runner's World.png

Have you ever felt overwhelmed by the mountains of data you get from your device after a run? Me too! I review my workout and run data, so I know where you're coming from. I also help all my local and Garmin Coach clients understand how to use their data to achieve their goals. 

Runner's World magazine recently interviewed me about this very topic. Check out the article to learn more! 

A Case for Changing Cadence: Injury Prevention

Caption: Coach Amy evaluating a client’s running form. Video taping the runner is always useful in a personal run evaluation.

Cadence is a measurement of run gait that we can easily measure with our smart watches, but knowing what do with the data is a mystery to most runners. A quick Google search reveals debate among coaches and scientists creating even more confusion. Let’s solve the case with some clues! 

Clue #1: Cadence is a measurement of steps taken per minute (s.p.m.). Most runners naturally adapt to a cadence that is most efficient for them. Studies conducted show that attempting to run at a cadence that is lower or higher than a runner’s naturally chosen gait costs more energy. EEK! Expending more energy while running is the last thing a runner wants to do. If it costs more energy to change cadence, why in the world do we care about measuring it in the first place?  

Clue #2: A runner’s naturally chosen gait may not be the safest gait. Adapting to a higher cadence typically causes a runner to use a shorter stride length which decreases forces on the lower extremity. Minimizing forces is one of the key ways to prevent injury.  

Clue #3: Avoiding injury is a runner’s number one goal, but what about the increase in energy cost? Some studies do not test whether efficiency improves after training at a new cadence. My experience has shown that with sound training, a runner can become more efficient at running with a higher cadence and at the same time decrease risk of injury. That’s a win in my book. 

Increasing the number of steps run per minute may help prevent injury but making changes to run gait without professional assistance and feedback can do more harm than good. A thorough evaluation and guidance from a physical therapist that specializes in running is the safest way to change cadence or any component of run gait. Case solved! 

Physical Therapy or Surgery?

Ever been doing something you love with your kids, like shooting hoops or playing catch, and injury or pain strikes? You’re not alone! Repetitive motion over and over again can take its toll on joints and muscles, especially as we age. Muscle and joint damage that was a minor problem in our younger days can resurface as a major issue.

Most people want get back to “normal” life as quickly as possible and some perceive surgery as the quickest or only route to recovery, but it has its associated risks and is expensive. Is there an alternative to surgery? A way to eliminate pain and return to a full active lifestyle? Yes! Physical Therapy.

Read the latest CoachAmyPT blog post to hear how patient, Kirk E., a former pitcher, avoided surgery on his shoulder with physical therapy treatments, and if this could be a viable treatment option for you.

Kirk returning to doing what he loves with his kids.

Kirk returning to doing what he loves with his kids.

“Race for the Planet” with RRKC and Athleta Town Center


Join Roadrunners of Kansas City in partnership with Athleta Town Center on Saturday, August 24th for a “Race for the Planet” 10 mile Training Run. The event is FREE, and the first 25 to register will receive a $25 Athleta Shop Card to use after the run. Participants can also enter to win a $200 Athleta Shopping Spree at event check in. More information and registration are in the link below.

For RRKC members, this run will replace our normal Saturday morning group run. However, since this is a community event bring one, bring all! Friends and family are most welcome. Event details below:

  • 6:00am: Onsite registration/check-in begins.

  • 6:30am: Group run begins (led by RRKC’s Coach Amy and Jennifer Wolf).

  • Run will start and end at Athleta Town Center (4844 W. 119th St., Leawood, KS).

  • Route will wind through South Leawood. Details and course map at RRKC Events Page. Printed copies of the map will be provided at the run.

  • Winner of the Athleta Shopping Spree will be drawn at conclusion of the run.

See you at the starting line of this FREE fun event!

New "Amp'ed Up" Run Clinic Series: Register Today

IMG_2419 Aid Station- RRKC.jpg

Roadrunners of Kansas City is about to kick off the 2019 Run Clinic Series! Formerly known as Speed Work, these new sessions are revamped and fully loaded with more training techniques to change your running game. We will address running form for efficiency, strength for power, strategies for embracing “the suck”, taking over the hill, and more. Open to beginners and advanced alike.

Three sessions are offered in a variety of locations the Prairie Village, Overland Park and Leawood. Attend one or all three. Those that are racing this Fall will get maximum benefit by attending all three.

All sessions are held on Tuesday evenings at 6:00 PM.

  • Summer Session (4-weeks): Aug. 6 - Aug. 27, 2019

  • Fall Session 1 (4-weeks): Sept. 3 - Sept.24, 2019

  • Fall Session 2 (4-weeks): Oct. 1 - Oct. 22, 2019

Space is limited, so act fast. Registration is open today!

Power of "The Walk"

When I suggest an athlete walk for cross training or an injured runner walk in lieu of a run, they typically respond with a furrowed brow and the stink eye. I get it. For most runners, walking is akin to quitting; it feels like a failure. It certainly doesn’t come with the same post workout Serotonin high, but hear me out.

Walking has many benefits for runners including improved recovery between workouts, which enhances the next day’s performance. Walking can also be used as an alternative to running for injured athletes, or as a strategy to return to sport. Read the full article on the CoachAmyPT blog to learn how to take advantage of the “power of the walk” not just for your run health, but for your mind and soul. 

Stinky Shoes!?

Stinky Shoes.jpg

Running shoes got the funk after a muddy, sweaty or rainy work out? Trail running or running in Mother Nature’s unpredictable elements can make for memorable and fun runs, but they often leave running shoes in need of some TLC. Follow these quick and simple tricks of the trade to dry them out, freshen them up, and get them ready for the next run.

  • Wash with a garden hose to remove excess mud or debris.

  • Loosen the laces and open the “mouth” of the shoe nice and wide.

  • Sprinkle baking soda generously inside of each shoe.

  • Crumple up old newspaper and shove several newspaper wads inside of each shoe.

  • Set the shoes outside in a sunny location to dry out, and bake out the stink.

Depending upon humidity and amount of sun, your shoes should be dry and ready to go for tomorrow's run.

For useful tips, information on the latest PT treatments, and endurance training trends and advice subscribe to our blog.

Such a Pain in the Knee Cap!

My first serious running injury was a pain in the knee cap! I was 17 years old running my fastest mile times during the indoor track season. This came to a halt with patellofemoral pain syndrome AKA Runner’s Knee.

Back in the 80’s the advice from the orthopedic specialist was, “Stop running.” Sadly, some physicians still give that same advice. But I say, no! Don’t hang up your run shoes. Seek an alternative. I wish I’d known back then that physical therapy was an option.

With early intervention, physical therapy can prevent or decrease time off. In chronic cases, modification or a break from training may be necessary, but physical therapy can help return runners back to sport earlier and healthier. 

To learn about the causes, signs, symptoms and treatment options of Runner’s Knee, read the full article on the CoachAmyPT blog.

Don’t let a pain in the knee cap put an end to your running game!

Personalized Coaching Makes Doing the Hardest Thing You’ve Ever Done Stress Free and Fun


My favorite part of coaching is helping people achieve goals they previously thought impossible. Through Personalized Training Plans and Individual Coaching, I work with athletes to develop short-term and long-term goals. Each plan considers your personal lifestyle, and your running history including prior injuries.

Individual coaching is designed to help runners reach their performance peak, while taking the stress and guess work out of training. Following is a Q&A with Kathryn, a CoachAmyPT client. Her motivational journey outlines the logistics of how individual coaching works, as well as the benefits.

Read on, dream on, and reach out to Coach Amy to personalize YOUR plan.

How long have you been a distance runner? 

I have been a distance runner since I was in 3rd grade. I remember winning the mile run in gym class and was hooked. My parents were marathon runners so I watched them growing up. We used to run together as a family. I went on to run track and cross country in high school. When I graduated from college, I started running marathons.

When you ran your first marathon what type of training schedule/program did you follow?  

When I was 25 my mom asked my sisters and I to run a marathon with her to celebrate her being 20 years cancer free (our FIRST marathon, her 15th marathon). I did not do any training or follow any sort of plan. I only did long runs on the weekends with my sisters. We were too busy having “fun” to train. In hindsight, that was a bad idea. We ran the Chicago Marathon in 85 degree weather. It was awful. I thought I was dying. We all thought we were dying. Except my mom—she was literally running circles around us while simultaneously telling us how much harder a 5 hour marathon was than a 3 hour marathon. We finished in over 5:30, near the end. It was the most horrible 5+ hours of my life!

What motivated you to seek a personal run coach? 

I went on to run a few more marathons—not nearly as bad as Chicago, but not great either. I started lifting weights and saw immediate improvement in my running. As I started getting faster, I set a goal of qualifying for the Boston Marathon. But I knew I needed help. At the same time, I was seeing Amy for an Achilles injury. She mentioned she was a running coach. I was hooked immediately and asked her to train me.

How does Coach Amy's training schedule differ from what you were doing before? What benefit does the coaching offer?  

Where do I begin? Everything is different from what I was doing before. When I trained in the past, I would just go for a run. My main goal was to get in the miles. With Amy’s plan, I have a purpose for each run (as outlined in Training Peaks). The purpose can be anything from speed and hills, to a slow easy run on tired legs. Each run means something. There are so many benefits of having a coach, but the biggest benefit is that I do not stress about what I should be doing. Amy has the plan done for me, and my only job is to complete it. It makes training fun and not stressful. If I miss something because I am sick or traveling, she adjusts the training schedule. Amy also gives me feedback on almost every workout—she tells me to slow down, and she also tells me when I need to pick it up. She truly takes the guesswork out of it, which makes training so enjoyable.

What was the first race you competed in with the guidance of a personal coach, and what were the results? 

The first race I ran after training with Amy was the KC Marathon in October 2018. Probably one of the best days of my life (outside of my wedding and children being born of course :)) I ran a 3:36 marathon on a tough course. The day was perfect and I have never felt so strong in any other race, than I did that day. I truly give Amy all of the credit—her training had me 100% prepared for the run. I literally felt like I was flying through the air. It was so much fun. And I qualified for the Boston Marathon! 

Are there benefits to being a long-term (continual) client for personal coaching, vs. just learning the disciplines and then implementing on your own? 

 There is so much to learn in the training world and different obstacles to overcome. Sure, I could just have self-implemented Amy’s training for my next marathon but I would NOT have any of the benefits of having a continual coach. Amy is currently helping me train for Grandma’s Marathon in June 2019. I’ve had some knee issues, so she has completely changed my training plan and adjusted all of my workouts. This is something I could not have done on my own. I think the accountability and the feedback she gives is bar none. For people who want to continue to improve, she adjusts the training accordingly with specific speed goals. I could not put a price on how beneficial continual personal coaching can be. I plan on using Amy to train me for every major race I want to run whether she likes it or not. :)

Staying Cool on the Run

Coach Amy Practicing Topical Cooling During a Hot Run

Coach Amy Practicing Topical Cooling During a Hot Run

“Bzzz” my smart watch alerted me three miles into a grueling hot and humid run. I looked down to see what all the “buzz” was about: my fitness level was a negative 3! What the heck? Despite all my recent training, my watch determined that my current fitness level was down. URGH! Spying the creek along the trail, I thought about ripping the watch off and throwing it in there. 

But why kill the messenger? The fact is my pace WAS slower and my heart rate WAS higher, as was my RPE (rate of perceived exertion). It was not due to lack of training but rather the heat and humidity. I know I’m not alone and it’s completely normal as our weather shifts from spring into summer. 

You can expect your run pace to be as much as a minute per mile slower than normal with a much higher RPE for that pace. It takes about 3-4 weeks of running in the conditions to acclimate, assuming you run about 4-5 days/week, and assuming that you are exercising in that heat for about 1-2 hours at a time. During that period, your body undergoes metabolic changes and learns to utilize sweating more efficiently. 

It is tempting to avoid the “pain” of acclimating and run during the cooler early morning hours before the sun is up, but this is only going to prolong the process. Eventually you won’t be able to avoid it so you might as well face it now before your training runs get longer, especially before race day. Start with shorter distances/time. You may need to walk before/after or even during to extend your fitness in these conditions. 

Keep in mind, acclimating to heat is much more difficult for people over age 60, and for those taking certain medications. If you are concerned about this check with your doctor. 

Here are some tips to Staying Cool on the Run:

  • Run through lawn sprinklers, pour water over your head, put ice in your bra or in your cap, and/or a cube under your tongue. 

  • Drink Fluids and Electrolytes: Do NOT skip these. Take at least 4 oz every few miles. For runs on your own, choose routes with water fountains or gas stations so you can take advantage of some water for topical cooling and drinking. Wear a water bottle belt or carry a handheld water bottle: fill these with electrolytes that work with your gut. Examples are Gatorade or Nuun. 

  • Wear Caps/Sunglasses and Visors. Blocking the sun from your face will make a world of difference. Your own personal shade tree for your face! 

  • Take Salt Tabs/Sticks: As you sweat you lose a lot of salt and in order to absorb the fluids you are taking in you must have enough sodium in your body! Hard to do when it’s leaking out. You may have to experiment with the amount and type of salt replacement you use. Training runs are good time to practice. Do not wait for race day. 

  • Run your long runs with a support group like Roadrunners of Kansas City (RRKC) that provide ice, water and electrolytes every two miles at aid stations. 

No matter what, stay tuned to your body and know the signs for heat related illnesses and heat stroke.

For more tips on training and wellness Subscribe to our Blogs.

Glitchy Technology? Temporarily Go “Old School.”

Garmin Watch Katie Pic.JPG

Imagine this…after a long day at work, you muster up the willpower, throw on your running garb, squeeze your feet into your bike shoes or yank on your swimsuit for a workout. Against every fiber of your being, you pull energy from seemingly nowhere and step outside, hop on the trainer, or jump in the water. You turn on your training device and wah wah wah, it stops working!

Need advice on what to do when our training device fails (which inevitably will)? Read our blog post on CoachAmyPT for tips on how to let it go, and press on with training plans by going “old school.”