"If you want to become a better runner, begin by running better"
Pete Magil, oldest American to break 15:00 for a 5k (just a few months shy of his 50th birthday)

 

I used to love watching athletes struggle on their way to the finish line. The sheer willpower over their bodies to keep going - breathe taking. Remember back in 1982 when Julie Moss crawled on the ground at the end of the Ironman? These images are responsible for getting me out the door and on my own athletic journey, but they won't keep me going. Because athletic longevity requires taking advantage of new information, not the old school, "what doesn't kill you makes you stronger" and "no-pain, no-gain" type of culture that we grew up with.

I was so excited about running that I opened a running specialty store back in 1991. For 20 years I helped people with what shoes to wear, how to train, what foods to eat. It was an experiment of sorts. I'd take what the companies marketed to me, share it with my customers, and then sit back and watch the REAL data roll in. And that my friend is why I'm no longer in the business. Sure there are many great products out there, but the products should be an add-on, not a crutch. And that's exactly what most of them turned out to be,

That's why I post these basic concepts as well as cutting edge info. To focus on healthy RUNNING well into old age, without wearing your body out. Nothing drives me crazier than to watch some guy running down the road with a knee brace on, all the while, his toed out foot plant is very hard and forcefully. The whole chain leading up to the knee is very unstable, and the upper body compensation is painful to watch.

My advice for someone like that: STOP RUNNING. Yep, don't take another soft tissue damaging step until you STRENGTHEN WHAT IS WEAK, LEARN PROPER MOVEMENTS, and get the right kinds of flexibility back by using dynamic movements, not stagnant out-dated stretching.

Anyone can change back the hands of time and run strong and free felling like we did as kids. That is why I do this.

If you have any questions you would like answered, throw them at me. I’d love to dig up the answer. There is so much we can learn from each other.

Run Strong,
David Pajer


davidpajer@run360.org

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BIO HACKING YOUR RUNNING

I’d like to start by saying a few personal things. First, thank you for taking the time to check this out. There’s so much data on the web competing for your attention, I truly appreciate it.

You may have noticed that I do not have a bunch of fancy letters after my name, as in professional credentials. But what I do have is new information from the worlds leading doctors, scientist, and researchers. Cutting edge, get right to the point information that you can use to be the best runner possible. When I say best possible, I mean, joint health, great energy reserves, proper neuromuscular pathways, etc. The kind of knowledge that makes you the best you can be. And that will keep you running for as long as you’d like. Longevity that transfers outside of running too.

I’d also like to say that I am an infamously terrible speller. A case of bacterial meningitis at age 10 may have given me the unique ability to see and hear words spelled in many ways, not good if you’re attempting to write. But on the upside, it has left me with a much more flexible mindset. New doesn’t bother me the way it does so many others. So adapting to new ways is not a problem, even if it flies against my current belief system.

OK, enough introductions, lets get to why you stopped by, to become a better runner. To learn what it is that you should and should not be doing. This will require change. If you truly want to be a great runner, you’ll need to adapt and change. I know for me personally, my age 55 runner body has very different needs than when I was 30. Most of the info I will share with you here is similar for both age groups, but the focal point is different. For instance, at 30 my overall leg strength came very easy. The biking and lifting created lots of leg power for running. Now at 55 my hormonal system doesn’t give me the return-on-investment that it once did. So yes my legs are “naturally” weaker. But here’s the good news. With a little bio-hacking, I can restore my legs to their prior strength. It will not happen by lifting harder, or resting more. I need to adjust more than just that, and that is what this is all about, keeping your body at or near top performance for as long as you live.

Let’s get started. Here are the 4 main topics to concentrate on. Even though they are somewhat interrelated, focus on a base and build as you go.

1. Body weight/Nutrition. 90% of weight control is done through food intake, not exercise output. Yep, a calorie in and calorie out is old math that’s outright wrong. The type of food you eat conveys a message to your body and that message is responsible for weight gain or loss. In essence food is information.
2. Energy. Things in our life bring our energy up (good for running), or bring it down. These are things like food, lights, chemicals, relationships, ways of thinking, etc. When your energy is low running becomes a chore.
3. Strength. Many people are not strong enough to be running. I see this every day. Their form is so out of whack. It’s obvious the soft protective material around the joints is being ground-down, an injury is in sight.
4. Proper movements. Did you know there is a neutral proper way that your knee joint was meant to move? Same with hips, ankles, and torso. This is the key to running longevity. The soft tissue that insulates the bones in all of your joints is made to withstand a certain type of motion.

Picture this. A runner is wobbling down the street on their early morning run before dashing off to the office. Running off those “few extra pounds” put on during the holidays. Sounds like a healthy picture right?

Let’s look at it another way. Running with extra weight is harder on your joints. The “wobbling” sounds like a weak, unstable core. That’s got to kill the knees even more, and the lower back, ouch! Not to mention that this newly created trauma gets to sit in the office all day, which should have this person frozen in a painful seated position just in time for the car ride home. Oh what joy!

Get the point? Is it healthier to jam out a run before work trying to run off a few pounds? Or, might this person reduce a few unwanted pounds through food intake and use that morning exercise time to work on weak muscles in preparation of healthy running once her body is ready to run?

This post is meant to get you thinking about what it takes to become a healthy runner. Back when I had my running specialty store, we had a saying, “are you running for your health or your head”. We watched 100’s of runners running for their heads. They were like zombie runners. They ran through pain. They ran too much. They ran with terrible form. They just needed to run in order to get their mental fix. And yes they ALL got injured and eventually had to stop running. This was expected.

But what really opened my eyes were the people running for their health. They also had a high injury rate and many eventually were forced to stop running. For 20 years I drank the run industry marketing kool aid. I looked to equipment to save the day. Like better shoes to support our feet and bio mechanics. Better clothing to maintain muscles. Better sports supplements to fuel our endeavors. None of the responsibilities were ours. We had sports doctors to fix every ailment.

I was wrong. If my current running shoes could talk, they would tell you what it takes to run 7,000 miles in a single pair of shoes (and counting). They would tell you how easy it is to strengthen your feet and learn how to run efficiently. They watched me go from just 400 miles per pair of $150 running shoes, with custom orthotic, to a simple “feel the ground” pair of trail shoes that I’ve been wearing since 2010. And yes my joints are feeling strong with zero pain of any kind.

That’s what I want to share with you. In the next post I’ll dive into topic #1, body weight and food intake. I’m not a fan of the word diet. So food intake it is for now, but what is meant is anything you put in your mouth, anything you consume. You are what you eat, and that topic is huge. Many very big changes happened this year. So in the next post we’ll start tackling the big nut of nutrition.

Run strong,
David Pajer

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