Under Armour Horizon RTT Review

Disclaimer: I received a sample of the Under Armour Horizon RTT Trail Running Shoe  to review as part of being a BibRave Pro. Learn more about becoming a BibRave Pro (ambassador), and check out BibRave.com to review, find, and write race reviews!

Under Armour is breaking into the trail running shoe game and I was given the opportunity to try out the UA Horizon RTT Trail Running Shoe.

What I immediately noticed about the shoe was the cool polyurethane upper. This was designed to make them tougher and better able to take a beating from the rocks and sticks and bushes on the trail.

They ran true to size with other running shoe brands. These shoes were really comfy on. They have a very roomy toe box and decent cushioning in the midsole.

The outsole has rubber lugs made to give you more traction on the trail. The lugs really gripped the ground in muddy situations, but I also found that the mud stuck in the lugs easily. This made them slippery unless you stopped to clean them out.

They weigh in right at 9.2 oz with a 7mm heel to toe offset. While not terribly heavy, I found them clunkier and stiffer than my usual mid-weight running shoes. They are definitely not made for the road. I tried to do an easy 2 miler in these shoes and my feet and legs about died. They are very stiff and the lugs make them a bad fit for the road. These are strictly a trail shoe.

Overall the UA Horizon RTT is a decent trail running shoe. UA put some thought into what they wanted for the shoe. It performs well on the trails, is roomy, has a good amount of cushion and will hold up well to the beating of the trails.

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BUFF® UV Arm Sleeves Review 

 Disclaimer: I received a sample of the BUFF® UV Arm Sleeves to review as part of being a BibRave Pro. Learn more about becoming a BibRave Pro (ambassador), and check out BibRave.com to review find and write race reviews!”

Being a Southern runner, I don’t have too much winter running gear. I can count the number of times per year we actually touch freezing on one hand. So, my winter running gear consists of a few long sleeve shirts and a couple pair of tights. I’m running in shorts and tank tops almost 12 months a year. A quirky thing about me is I really dislike running in any shirt with sleeves. I just hate all the excess material flopping around my arms. It’s distracting an annoying for me. I love my sleeveless shirts…tanks and singlets. I will wear a long sleeve shirt grudgingly if it’s super cold, but I honestly prefer a tank and arm sleeves for colder running.

BUFF® just recently released their UV Arm Sleeves made out the same highly breathable, moisture-wicking material, that everyone loves in their headwear. I was super excited to try these out, but was hesitant because it was already May and getting very warm here in Louisiana.

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One of the first things I noticed when they arrived as how lightweight they were. They are thin so they don’t feel like you’re adding a super thick layer on your arms. This was encouraging for our warmer temps. I really liked the reflective print on both arms. It was strategically placed at the top and bottom of the sleeves and lit up well when you shined a light on it.

Putting these things on was a bit like putting on a wetsuit. Lots of grunting and pulling and puffing, but once you get them one they feel great. They fit tightly with a slight bit of compression that really felt good while I ran. I was surprised how much I liked the compression factor on the arm sleeves. I especially loved the elastic upper and the silicon grip at the top. The sleeves didn’t budge once you got them one. They’re also made with flat-lock seams that are almost flush with the rest of the material. This was huge for me. I have some other arm sleeves where the seams and silicon grip are raised and I’ve gotten some nasty chafe marks from the sleeve seams.

The moisture-wicking material actually seemed to helped cool me down as I was running in the humidity.  They were a bit warm at first, but once I started sweating and they pulled the moisture off my arms, they were refreshing.

I also ran in them in the rain to help protect from the high winds and rain and they performed great. One of my favorites was soaking them in cool water right before a hot, hot run. While they were a shock to the system to get on (so, so cold) they felt great in the noon heat here.

The UPF 40+ protection is also a huge bonus for outside running as yet another protection from the elements. I can see this being especially beneficial during long runs. Slathering up with sunscreen can be a sticky, mess. And even waterproof sunscreen can take a beating in our high humidity and ultra-sweaty runs. These arm sleeves would be great for keeping those nasty sun rays away.

Will I wear these a lot during my summer runs? Nah. Not really. I might put them on for long runs to help with UV protection but I’ll likely honestly wear these in the cooler months. But I really, really liked the BUFF® UV Arm Sleeves … a lot. I plan to continue to wear them and use the heck out of them as the temperatures drop.

The new OOFOS OOmg Low Shoe – A Review

Disclaimer: I received a sample of the OOFOS OOmg Low Shoes to review as part of being a BibRave Pro. Learn more about becoming a BibRave Pro (ambassador), and check out BibRave.com to review find and write race reviews!”

I’ve been a huge fan of the OOFOS sandals for a while now. I wear them constantly and they are so comforting to my feet after a long day of being in dress shoes or running the streets. When OOFOS released their first fully closed shoe – the OOmg Low I knew I had to try them out! All the benefits of the OOFOS sandal, with a closed toe?? YES PLEASE!

The first thing you notice about them is how lightweight they are. Nothing was lost when they added the closed top. It’s made of a breathable OOtex mesh upper with a 4-way stretch so your little toes are ensured lots of room to wiggle.

They’re made with the same OOFoam footbed that have made OOFOS so popular. The OOFoam technology absorbs 37% more impact than traditional shoe foam. This means less stress on your feet, back, and joints. This helps your body relax and recovery. They are soooo squishy and sooo comfy. Your feet seriously go “Ahhh” as soon as you put them on. It’s like walking on a bed of pillows.

The shoes are an investment, but they’re an investment in your body’s recovery. They’re made to last 6 month to a year, depending on amount of wear and usage. As with my OOFOS sandals, I get almost immediate relief from the minor heel pain I experience after hard runs, and I can really feel the pressure taken off of my sore joints and feet.

 

I wore these both with and without socks to test them out. Without socks my feet sweat just a tiny bit, but much, much less than I had suspected they would. They were totally comfortable and I experienced zero rubbing or blisters after wearing them most of the day running errands all over town. I also wore them with some little low ankle socks and I gotta say, I preferred no socks personally.

Definitely order a half size up. I usually wear an 8.5 in a running shoe. I was sent a size 9 and they fit perfectly. An 8  would have been too small. They paired really well with my flowy linen pants and some of my cute, casual knit skirts and t-shirts to run around town.

The shoes come in three fun colors and are totally machine washable. I highly recommend the OOFOS OOmg Low Shoes. Your feet deserve a little OOh-la-la and pampering. You won’t regret it.

BeachBody Performance Stack Review

***Disclaimer: I received a free sample of the Beachbody Performance Stack as part of being a BibRave Pro. Learn more about becoming a BibRave Pro (ambassador), and check out BibRave.com to review find and write race reviews!

I do a lot of shakes and smoothies for meals. I have a Nutri-bullet that I love and I throw the kitchen sink in there. I’m always looking to try out new supplements and proteins in my smoothies so I was super excited to try out Beachbody’s Performance Stack of exercise enhancers. The Performance Stack includes four different training formulas to be used at different times of excerice:

  • Recharge – to be used before
  • Hydrate – to be used during
  • Recover – to be used immediately after
  • Recharge – to be used at nighttime

All Beachbody products have been NSF-certified – meaning they have been tested to comply with the NSF’s banned substance standards.  You can learn more here.

ENERGIZE

Energize is designed to be used pre-workout. It’s supposed to help you focus and workout harder and longer. You are to mix one scoop with 8 oz of water 30 minutes before exercising.

It contains Beta-alanine to help reduce lactic acid build-up, Quercetin (a phytonutrient) to help delay fatigue, and a low dose of caffeine to help give you an energy boost. It is sweetened with Stevia. I found it pretty sweet with just 8 oz of water. I diluted it a bit more and found the lemony citrus taste very palatable.  Did I notice a big performance enhancement? Not really much more than my normal daily cup of coffee before a run. I would recommend this if you’re not a coffee drinker for a little pick-me-up before a workout.

HYDRATE

I really like Hydrate a lot. I’m always on the hunt for a good electrolyte replacement to use during my runs since I sweat so much.  I drank this during my longer runs and after to replenish my fluids and electrolytes. I get wicked headaches if I don’t replace my fluids after my runs and the smooth, citrus flavor of Hydrate helped me gulp down several glasses of water…and no headache! It also contains Quercetin to help endurance, various electrolytes, and low-dose carbs to help keep you going longer.

The taste was nice and mild. I don’t like an overpowering flavor or sweetness in my hydration. This stuff was perfect. Just a mild flavor that didn’t coat my tongue or give me any stomach distress. Good stuff.

RECOVER

The Recover formula is to be used within 30 minutes after your workout to help with muscle recovery and reduce muscle breakdown.  It’s comprised of pomegranate extract, 20 grams of protein, and branched-chain amino acids.

I drank this both straight with water and in a fruit smoothie. It was super easy to pour and mix in the nifty shaker bottle you get with the Beachbody Performance Stack. I found it to be a little sweet and chalky with a noticeable after taste. But hoestly, it was nothing different than most protein recovery drinks I’ve tried. I liked it much better blended into a smoothie. I really liked that it had 20 grams of protein per scoop. I usually drink my smoothies with almond or cashew milk, so I like to add a good protein in there for muscle recovery.

RECHARGE

Lastly in the Performance Stack is Recharge. This one was probably my second favorite. I loved the vanilla flavor. It was also pretty sweet and a little chalky by itself, but it blended superbly into my fruit blends and gave it a nice, creamy vanilla flavor.

Recharge is to be consumed about 1 hour before going to sleep. It’s supposed to help reduce DOMS and promote muscle recovery. I really liked that it has tart cherry extract. I drink tart cherry juice as an anti-inflammatory and for muscle recovery often, but it’s SUPER tart. This stuff tasted much better. And each scoop has an additional 20 grams of protein and more branched-chain amino acids to aid in muscle re-building.

You can get the whole Beachbody Performance Stack here and it starts out at $199.95. Beachbody backs their products with a 30 day money-back guarantee, so no harm, no foul if you want to try it out and don’t like it. Out of all of the products I would probably buy the Hydrate and the Recharge again

The Versatility of the UV Reflective Half BUFF®

Disclaimer: I received a UV Reflective Half BUFF® to review as part of being a BibRave Pro. Learn more about becoming a BibRave Pro (ambassador), and check out BibRave.com to review find and write race reviews!”

I have so many running friends who are BUFF® fanatics. They love their BUFF®. But being a Southerner, it’s always so warm for us. I wasn’t sure I would use a full BUFF® very much. The opportunity popped up for us to try the UV Reflective Half BUFF® recently and I wanted to check out what all the fuss is about.

One of the first things I really liked about this Half BUFF® was that it has reflective print. This is all the rage right now in a lot of active wear and I LOVE it. I love, love that added safety feature. It lights up like a Christmas tree with the BUFF® logo and reflective stripes when you shine a light on it.

The half length was perfect for me. I could easily wrap it around my wrist for an nice little cloth to wipe away sweat on my brow and  hankie to wipe my nose. The thin, sweat-wicking material  was great when I used it as a headband on several runs. It kept the sweat from running in my eyes and was so lightweight I totally forgot I had it on.

Here is the description from the BUFF® website:

Half the length of original UV BUFF® headwear, the UV Reflective Half BUFF® option offers efficient thermal properties, built-in sun protection, moisture management and reflective strips that are ideal for runners. Able to dry quickly and control odor, this sweat-wicking layer fits easily under a helmet. It’s a versatile, go anywhere piece wearable at least nine different ways. 

  • Blocks 95% of UV rays*
  • Reflective strips
  • Multifunctional
  • Exceptional Moisture-wicking with its 4-channel fibers
  • Soft, breathable Coolmax® Extreme fabric
  • Cool in the summer, extra layer of warmth in the winter
  • Polygiene® Active Odor Control
  • Quick drying

All of the above is totally accurate! I even used it at a recent race to keep my hands warm before the race start. It worked like a charm!

The BUFF® is so versatile. I have really enjoyed bringing it on my runs. I swear it’s the MacGyver of running gear. Every runner should have have one.

 

LEGEND® Compression Leg Sleeves Review

Disclaimer: I received a pair of the LEGEND® Compression Leg Sleeves to review as part of being a BibRave Pro. Learn more about becoming a BibRave Pro (ambassador), and check out BibRave.com to review find and write race reviews!”

I swear by my compression gear. I collect compression socks and sleeves like some people collect rare coins. I LOVE my compression gear.

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The first thing I noticed about the LEGEND® Compression Sleeves when I put them on is that they feel thinner than several other brands. They’re thinner, but they still offer an excellent amount of soothing compression. I wore these during several runs and after for recovery to test them out in both situations. I really, personally liked that they were thinner, especially for all of the warm, humid days we’ve been having. This also means these are going to be much more comfortable to use during our sweltering summer heat.

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LEGEND® sets itself apart with their background in medical compression therapy. The sleeves use medical grade graduated compression to help stabilize muscles and reduce soreness.

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Some great things about LEGEND® Compression Sleeves:

  • Relieves shin splints, calf cramps and pulled muscles
  • 15-20 mmHg Graduated compression for increased athletic performance
  • Greater power output
  • Enhanced endurance
  • Increase oxygen levels and blood circulation
  • Reduced muscle fatigue, exertion and soreness
  • Faster recovery time
  • Promotes healing
  • Reduce vibration
  • Maximum blood flow for muscle performance
  • Reduction of lactic acid
  • Moisture wicking
  • Breathable, seamless construction for comfort
  • UV protection

I also really liked that they are MADE IN THE USA and LEGEND® values their quality assurance. They come in a wide variety of colors with a sleek, simple design that can be integrated into any training outfit.

 

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Check out their website http://legendcompressionwear.com/ and browse the many different types of compression wear they offer. Use code rave20 to save you 20% off your order while you’re there!

Rudy Project Fotonyk sunglasses review

Disclaimer: I received a pair of the Rudy Project Fotonyk sunglasses  to review as part of being a BibRave Pro. Learn more about becoming a BibRave Pro (ambassador), and check out BibRave.com to review find and write race reviews!”

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I’m a big sunglasses nut. I have sensitive eyes and almost always wear sunglasses when I’m outside be it playing, walking, or running. I’m always looking out for a good pair that fit comfortably and don’t slip down my face. I’ve heard great things about Rudy Project, especially their cycling helmets and sunglasses. So, I was anxious to try them out.

First of all the Fotonyk glasses look so fierce. They really look tactical to me. I was almost a little intimidated by them. Am I badass enough to wear them??? 🙂 The first thing I noticed about them is how lightweight they are. They fit my face snugly but not to the point where I felt they were squeezing my head or nose. The lenses are also crystal clear.

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Some of the really great things about the glasses:

  • They come with an adjustable nose piece. This was good for me because I have a fairly narrow nose bridge. Some glasses slip on me.
  • They also come with rubber bumpers on the bottom of the lenses for added comfort and safety. They are removable if you want more of a streamlined, clean look on the bottom of the lenses. I personally liked them. And they come in several different colors to customize your glasses.
  • The frames are made from Grilamid® which is a “shock-resistant, hypoallergenic, high-quality, light thermoplastic”. They were definitely very, very lightweight.
  • There are Vent Controller™ controls at the lenses to allow airflow to help prevent misting and reduce thermal shock.
  • The lenses are interchangeable. I like all the different colors you can get in the glasses.

I recently wore these during a hot half marathon with high humidity. The glasses were so comfortable during the race. They completely stayed put and they did not fog or mist on me at all. I was really surprised. I think the vented lenses really help.

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We’ve been having a lot of really warm, steamy, humid days here in New Orleans. The Fotonyk sunglasses have held up like champs. I usually have some lens fogging with a lot of sunglasses while running in our 90%+ humidity. With the Fotonyk I’ve had no fogging issues so far. No slippage. No pinching at my nose bridge or at my temples.

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Overall I gotta say I really, really like these sunglasses. They are a good product made for the active person. The design was thought out and executed well. They are comfortable and functional and look good at the same time.

 

Learning to fly with the AMPLA FLY

Disclaimer: I received a pair of the AMPLA FLY running shoes to review as part of being a BibRave Pro. Learn more about becoming a BibRave Pro (ambassador), and check out BibRave.com to review find and write race reviews!”

For the last month I’ve been able to test out these really cool looking AMPLA FLY running shoes. When I saw the design, they were so different I had to try them out! They look so space age and technical!

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AMPLA was founded by Harvard trained sports scientists who developed and designed the shoes. They engineered them to “amplify athletic ability.” They are designed to efficiently use force and promote better running mechanics.

The most noticeable thing about the AMPLA FLY shoes is the carbon fiber plate on the forefoot sole. It works almost like a little springboard to maximize force at toe off. It also helps align the foot for better ground contact position.

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These shoes are designed for shorter, faster distances. I did not run in these exclusively for the past four weeks. I used them for speed work and shorter tempo runs to break them in and see how they felt. My notes on the shoe:

  • I immediately noticed a difference in my running stride. I’m a chronic heel striker and these shoes really made me shorten up my stride and increase turnover. I loved this about the shoe because it did it in a way that I didn’t have to overthink my stride. It just started to feel more natural. This translated into actually learning, if you will, how to run more toward my forefoot in my other running shoes as well.
  • I felt a little speedier with these shoes. I’m not sure if it was a placebo affect or the promotion of a more efficient stride, but my tempo runs with these shoes were some of the  quickest I’ve seen in the last two months. And my legs felt good at the end…I was just out of breath.
  • They are definitely more “shoe” than I’m used to. At 9.8 oz they’re heavier than a lot of my other shoes. It took a few runs to break them in and get used to how they felt.
  • The sole is more rigid than my other shoes. Again, just took a few short runs to break them in and get used to the feel. Now I really don’t notice it so much.
  • The sizing is on point with other shoe brands. I wear an 8.5 in Saucony and HOKA and the 8.5 in the AMPLA FLY fit great.
  • I like the seamless upper toe box. It is lightweight and stretchy and I felt like I had a lot of room to let my toes splay out naturally.
  • The 4mm heel to toe drop is a really good drop for me. I really like around 3mm to 4mm.

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This was a really, really cool shoe to test out. With so much thought and research and design put into it I almost felt like the bionic woman running in them. I’m going to keep using them for my shorter run days because I really feel like they promote a more efficient stride. The more I wear them, the more I’m re-learning how to run. I just recommend you break these shoes in slowly since they feel different than a lot of other running shoes.

Feeling the “OO” with OOFOS

Disclaimer: I received a sample of the OOFOS Ooriginal Sport Sandal to review as part of being a BibRave Pro. Learn more about becoming a BibRave Pro (ambassador), and check out BibRave.com to review find and write race reviews!”

I have heard many runners and triathletes talk about OOFOS sandals for a while now. I’ve been really curious about them and even checked them out at a few expos. Now that I’ve had an opportunity to try them out through BibRave I can honestly say I’m on the “OO” wagon. You could even say I’m not OObsessed! 🙂 These things are like magic. I’ve had them about a month now and I’m practically living in them when I’m not wearing running shoes.

These sandals are made with the specially engineered OOfoam footbed that have made OOFOS so popular. They are soooo squishy and sooo comfy. Your feet seriously go “Ahhh” as soon as you put them on. It’s like walking on a bed of pillows. And the pillows don’t compress. They STAY FLUFFY and SQUISHY all day!

The technology behind the OOfoam allows the foam to absorb 37% more impact than traditional shoes, reducing the stress on your feet and body. This helps your joints and feet rest, relax, and recover. They also provide superior arch support and just really cradle your feet.

I keep mine by the front door and wear them heading out for errands and I throw them in my car to slip on right after a run. I’ve been dealing with a nagging heel (early plantars I’m afraid). I swear, wearing these sandals has really helped with that initial “just got out of bed”heel pain. I slip them on for a few minutes and my heel stretches out and relaxes.

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I’m totally kicking myself now. Why, WHY didn’t I get a pair of these sooner?? Living in South Louisiana I can practically wear these things year round! And I’m sure I will. They come in a nice variety of colors and styles too. There are several sport slide styles as well as some clogs that would be perfect for more of a work appropriate shoe.

I highly recommend the OOFOS OOriginal Sport Sandal. Your feet deserve a little OOh-la-la and pampering. You won’t regret it.

Therapydia NOLA – physical therapy with heart

Disclaimer: I received a complimentary run assessment from Therapydia NOLA in exchange for this blog post. However, all views and opinions are my own.

I recently had the opportunity to visit the Therapydia NOLA physical therapy clinic in Metairie, Louisiana to check it out and receive a run assessment. Being a runner with a history of knee issues, I’ve been through my fair share of physical therapy clinics. I know what I like and don’t like in a clinic and I know what will get results out of me. I immediately connected with the staff and atmosphere of Therapydia NOLA. They’re definitely one of the “good guys”.

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One of the first things you notice upon entering the Therapydia NOLA clinic is the friendly staff and the warm, inviting environment. I wasn’t in the door two seconds before I was greeted cheerfully by Heidi Ferry, the office manager. I was immediately offered a bottle of water and introduced around to the therapists in the clinic. They have a nice, little waiting area to sit and relax while you wait for your therapists to work with you.

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But, you won’t be waiting long with the way they schedule their patients. Each patient is scheduled personal time with a therapist and evaluated and re-evaluated for every visit. There’s none of the, “Go start your exercises over there and I’ll be with you in half an hour” mess that you often get with the large physical therapy clinics. It’s very, very personal and one-on-one at Therapydia NOLA. I witnessed therapists standing with and over their patient for that hour, giving them instruction on proper form and getting feedback from the patient on their progress and how they felt. It’s this personalized touch that gets patients to work harder, improve, and gain a greater quality of life back. They have a vested interest in that patient/therapist relationship. The therapists care about each patient’s quality of life.

They consistently have the patient in mind. They will work with your schedule to fit you in when it’s best for your busy life. Want to come before work? No problem. They open early several days of the week. Same thing goes for after work. They often adjust their hours to fit the patient. Heidi works with most insurance companies to take all of the headaches out of filing and paying via insurance. And now you no longer have to have a doctor’s prescription for physical therapy. You can call and schedule with them directly if you develop new (or old, familiar) aches and pains. They will perform a full assessment on you and put together a plan to get you back on track.

I loved too that every therapist was an athlete. They were a well rounded group with a CrossFit coach, triathletes, and runners. I know going into a therapy session with a fellow runner that they’ll understand my concerns and my drive to get back out on the road as soon as possible.

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As part of the assessment I had a change to sit down with the therapists and interview them about the clinic. Below are a few Q&A from the Therapydia NOLA team of physical therapists: Clinic Director Jonathan Burke, DPT, Whitney Braswell, DPT, and Jessica Hernandez, DPT

  1. Tell me a little bit about Therapydia NOLA and the services you offer?

Therapydia NOLA is a physical therapy and wellness clinic that focuses on treating all types of musculoskeletal and nervous system dysfunctions and injuries. We treat a variety of issues ranging from injury rehabilitation to sports-specific conditions as well as long-term chronic conditions. We also do injury prevention screenings to prevent future injuries from happening. Our goal is to work with you to create a unique treatment and wellness program that is designed for you and your body.

  1. What sets you apart from other physical therapy offices?

Treatment at our clinic is provided one-on-one by a Doctor of Physical Therapy (DPT) throughout your entire treatment. We don’t use physical therapy aides or techs, you’ll stay with the physical therapist you’re working with throughout the entirety of your rehabilitation. Manual therapy, or hands-on techniques, is also at the core of our treatment program. Manual techniques are highly specific to the part of your muscle that’s injured and are used to treat soft tissues and joint structures. We use manual therapy as the foundation for treatment and complement it with guided corrective exercises. Our clinic also specializes in offering customized physical therapy services for Women’s Health and Trigger Point Dry Needling.

  1. What would a typical therapy session at Therapydia entail?

We’ll treat your injury by assessing your body’s biomechanics from head to toe. For example, having an ankle injury doesn’t simply mean treating your ankle. You’d have to assess across your lower limbs and core to see which instabilities could be putting extra strain on your ankle. If you come in for an initial evaluation, we’ll perform a screening and depending on your condition look at your range of motion, strength, flexibility, posture, and movement patterns. We’ll take baseline measurements of your movements and use that data to drive our treatment program. We’ll assess and reassess and tailor treatment to your needs throughout the process. For subsequent treatment sessions, exercise-based rehabilitation will be used alongside manual therapy to heal any injured muscles and joints.

  1. What is a run assessment and what are the benefits?

A run assessment is a screening specifically designed to apply to running mechanics. A physical therapist will put markers on you and you’ll run naturally while they observe and take a recording. Afterwards, they’ll use a video analysis coupled with a movement assessment to look at your angles and how you move through the 4 phases of running. We can identify any joint and soft tissue restrictions as well as strength and motor control deficits. The goal is to see how joints across your body move through their necessary ranges of motion and see what injuries you might be at risk for. It’s not just about how your feet hit the groundyour knee, pelvic, and trunk positioning all come into play to when considering your gait. It’s all about getting you to train correctly so your body processes force efficiently as you run. That way, you can prevent future injuries you’re at risk for and prevent joint and muscle overuse.

  1. What advice would you have for a runner dealing with a nagging injury?

Do not continue running through the pain in hopes that it will just go away. Seek out a medical professional that assesses movement to find out what’s at the source of any pain you’re feeling. For example, a nagging and achy knee may be the result of a limitation at the ankle or hip. I would also suggest trying out cross-training. Swimming, cycling, and rowing are great ways to improve cardiovascular endurance. Choose an activity that allows you to perform without pain and supplement this with your running until you are able to run without pain. Often times, athletes say, “I was feeling pretty good so I went for a 3 mile run today” only to end up discouraged because their pain came back. Make sure you have a solid return to a run program following an injury as well. Make sure you work with your movement specialist to work out a training routine that effectively gets you back into running without putting you at risk for injury. At Therapydia NOLA, we use a return to run program that is evidenced based from the University of Maryland.

  1. What’s the number one mistake you see new (and old) runners make?

Blaming any pain or injury on their running shoes or changing shoes to fix the problem. Not having the right type of shoes can contribute to discomfort while you run but the overall source of the pain will have to with your form and biomechanics as you run. Working on your running form and technique will guide you to have a better and injury-free training program.

  1. What is your best advice to prevent common running-related injuries?

I always tell runners to keep to the FIT principle: do not increase frequency, intensity, or time of running too quickly. Your body needs time to adapt to the increased amounts of force that you’ll be putting on your muscles and joints. Keep to proper running progression when increasing distances and keep up a cross-training program on non-running days.

In terms of form, you’ll want to shorten your stride and increase steps per minute (cadence) to reduce stress to your hips and knees during running. Try to land directly under your center of mass to eliminate breaking motion when your foot hits the ground. Make sure you stay upright but lean slightly forward at the trunk with a slight bent knee when your feet land. The hips are an essential area of the body for runners to work on. The musculature of the hips help to stabilize the pelvis during running. The muscles around the hips like the glutes especially keep the pelvis from dropping in single limb support. If this muscle has trouble stabilizing the pelvis then the knee will move inward and the arch of the foot will collapse. This results in improper running form that will be setting putting you at risk of injuring yourself.

Therapydia NOLA was a great physical therapy clinic. I really connected with the staff there and would highly recommend it to anyone seeking physical therapy for an injury or even a run assessment to see where they can improve weaknesses in their form. I’ll be writing up another post shortly on my run assessment and everything it entailed (*hint* it was SUPER interesting!!)

Stay tuned!

Therapydia NOLA is located at 2701 Airline Drive, Suite L in Metairie, Louisiana. You can call them at (504) 507-9375 or email them at hello@therapydianola.com to set up an appointment.