Injury Prevention Essentials for Bigger Runners with Coach James Dunne

If we’ve met – or you’ve seen pictures of me – it’s clear that I am not a big guy. Actually, I’m tiny.

I’m no bigger than Shalane Flanagan…

At 5’7″ and 125 pounds, I have the stereotypical runner’s body. And I love it.

I’ve always been very comfortable in my skin, though it wasn’t always like that. I played basketball through middle school, always wondering when that growth spurt would (finally!) hit.

Alas, I’ve been waiting since 1998. When I started running in high school, I had an important decision to make: do I continue with basketball (knowing that I’d likely never play on Varsity because of my size) or run indoor track instead?

I chose track – and my thin frame proved advantageous. Looking at the body types of Olympians, it’s clear that the stereotypical body for distance runners helps you run faster.

You carry less weight. You’re more economical. And you can therefore run a lot faster.

But did it help with preventing running injuries?

Are lighter runners less likely to get injured? Are heavier runners more likely to get hurt?

I’m not quite sure… so I dove into the latest literature and invited James Dunne on the Strength Running podcast.

James Dunne and Running Heavy

James doesn’t look like the “typical” runner – he’s 6’6″ and 250 pounds. A former professional rugby player, James has a degree in Sport Rehabilitation and is fully insured member of the British Association of Sport Rehabilitators and Trainers (BASRaT).

He’s the founder of Kinetic-Revolution and has an ongoing fascination with the functional biomechanics of running (in other words, how you move while running).

In this far-reaching discussion, we talk about quite a few issues:

  • Should overweight runners be more worried about injury?
  • Is gaining weight more important for injury risk than being consistently overweight?
  • Does training for weight loss differ than training for a race? How?

Check out this episode on iTunes (or Stitcher if you have an Android device).

Show Resources & Links:

A big thanks to James for coming on the podcast. Be sure to say hi on Facebook if you enjoyed the show!

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‘Cav is pushing me to get results in the big races’

Dimension Data new recruit Scott Thwaites has been getting tips from team-mate Mark Cavendish ahead of the spring classics

Scott Thwaites is heading towards the classics this spring with a new enthusiasm, and encouragement from new Dimension Data team-mate Mark Cavendish.

They previewed the final kilometres of the Milan-San Remo course on Monday and began rooming together in Tirreno-Adriatico this week.

“It’s good, he’s a great guy,” Thwaites told Cycling Weekly ahead of Tirreno-Adriatico stage two.

“Rooming with him is great, you pick up so many small bits just through conversation. He’s just a great guy to motivate you for races. Obviously, these are all big races, WorldTour races and he’s trying to push me to improve myself so I have the confidence to go for results in these bigger races.”

>>> Exclusive: Scott Thwaites to ride for Dimension Data in 2017

The Yorkshireman spoke quietly outside the team bus in Tirreno-Adriatico in Italy. Behind him, one by one, his team-mates including Cavendish lifted their bike from the stand and rode to sign-in for stage two.

Thwaites has raced the last seven seasons for Bora/Endura, which was then a UCI Professional Continental team. He signed with Doug Ryder’s South African Dimension Data team over the winter, which means the ability to concentrate more on the big one-day races.

Scott Thwaites in 2017 Strade Bianche. Photo: Yuzuru Sunada

With the idea that he may race Milan-San Remo for the first time next Saturday, the team invited him along with Cavendish and Edvald Boasson Hagen to preview the Cipressa and Poggio climbs leading to seaside finish.

“He’s giving me little tips on how to ride in the group, saving energy. Like riding in San Remo: what to look for and when to move, and things like that. It’s all little bits of knowledge that help you save energy during the day,” he explained.

“He knows the roads, the descents, the corners, and everything like that, because that’s where it can often split more than on the climbs.”

Dimension Data’s Rolf Aldag and Roger Hammond have yet to give him the green light, but Thwaites could race Milan-San Remo and in the northern classics like Ghent-Wevelgem, the Tour of Flanders and Paris-Roubaix.

Last year, he placed eighth in Dwars door Vlaanderen and 20th in the Tour of Flanders.

This year, he already signalled his intentions by clawing his way back through Strade Bianche’s gravel sectors after a crash and placing 10th in Siena.

“I feel that that was a nice start and it was good to get a decent result in early to take some of the pressure off. It does give you confidence, especially the way I rode, I felt strong and started to come through a bit towards the end of the race,” the 27-year-old added.

“It’s obviously a bit shorter than the main classics, but it was nice to have some strength left at the end and pull through. I hope that that helps for the next few races.”

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How less than an hour of cycling a week can help slow the ageing process

Study shows how high intensity exercise can stop your cells from ageing

If you don’t get out on your bike quite as much as you’d like, then researchers in the US have some good news, as cycling for just 52 minutes per week could help to slow the ageing process.

In a study of 45 young (18-30 years) and 27 older (65-80 years) people, researchers at the Mayo Clinic found that short bursts of high intensity cycling slowed the ageing process within cells by improving the ability of mitochondria to produce energy, therefore preventing frailty. This effect was particularly seen in the older test group.

>>> Only riding at the weekends is just as good as riding all week, study finds

Of course this doesn’t just mean 57 minutes of any old pedalling, and you have to do some pretty specific interval training to get the desired effect.

The researchers used a form of high intensity interval training, with the study’s participants doing three cycling sessions a week consisting of four sets of four minute intervals at near-maximal effort followed by three minutes of pedalling at no load. This was complemented by two 45 minute walks.

Watch: Top three nutrition mistake amateurs make

The high intensity cycling also helped participants in the study to burn more fat, although muscle strength, which also declines with age, was improved more by weight training.

>>> Don’t drink so much water during exercise, new reseach says

For this reason Dr Sreekumaran Nair, a senior author in the study, said that although high intensity cycling was the best form of exercise, he would recommend a combination of different exercises.

“If people have to pick one exercise, I would recommend high-intensity interval training, but I think it would be more beneficial if they could do three to four days of interval training and then a couple days of strength training.”

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WADA considers complete ban of hay fever drug used by Bradley Wiggins

Use of drug open to abuse under TUE system, according to WADA director general

The World Anti-Doping Agency (WADA) is considering introducing a blanket ban on the use of corticosteroids, such as the drug used by Bradley Wiggins before his 2012 Tour de France victory.

Speaking at the Tackling Doping in Sport conference, WADA director general Oliver Niggli said that his organisation had set up a working group to examine the use of triamcinolone and other corticosteroids in sport, saying that the current system is open to abuse.

“It is an unsatisfactory situation, we all agree with that,” Niggli said “and we have set up a group to try to come up with better proposal to how we can do it.

>>> Team Sky doctor prevented Richard Freeman from applying for a fourth Bradley Wiggins TUE

“The hope has been for a number of years that research would bring us a detection method that would distinguish the route of administration. Reality is that it doesn’t seem that easy to come up with a method to allow us to do that distinction.

“We are now at a stage where we needed to have a number of discussions about how we deal with that. In my view, I agree the system as it is now is not good.

“In fact, only those who are being honest about what they have been doing get caught. Otherwise, you always say, ‘It was a cream’, and you get away with it.”

Watch: Nicole Sapstead gives evidence to MPs

Wiggins received therapeutic use exemptions (TUE) for triamcinolone prior to the 2011 and 2012 Tours de France and the 2013 Giro d’Italia, meaning that he was allowed to take this otherwise banned drug to treat asthma and hay fever, which Wiggins said put him “back on a level playing field”.

However David Millar, who was banned for doping offences in 2004, claimed that as well as treating asthma and hay fever, the drug has the effect of reducing a rider’s weight without them losing power.

>>> MPs will not question Bradley Wiggins over medical package and TUEs

The news of the WADA’s decision to examine the issue of corticosteroids was welcomed by Nicole Sapstead, the chair of UK Anti-Doping.

“If they were to introduce an outright ban then great,” Sapstead told the Telegraph.

“Our view is that they [corticosteroids] aren’t always being administered in a way that’s reflective of an individual’s actual medical needs and that can’t be right when somebody doesn’t actually have a medical problem that warrants that use because it then has some additional effects that they can benefit from.”

No time frame has been given for the working group to reach its conclusions.

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British team for 2017 Track World Championships revealed: 10 riders make Worlds debut

As some of the big British track names sit out the 2017 World Championships after the Olympics, emerging talent gets a chance to gain experience

Ten British riders will make their Track World Championships debut in Hong Kong over April 12-16, as British Cycling has named its squad for the 2017 event.

The 20 selected riders feature a mix of experience and youth, as some of the big names from the Rio 2016 Olympic Games sit the event out.

As expected, both Laura and Jason Kenny miss the event, as does team pursuit linchpin Ed Clancy, as they take a break from top-level track competition.

>>> Laura Kenny announces she’s expecting with cryptic Instagram post

Four Olympic champions will be in attendance: Katie Archibald, Elinor Barker, Steven Burke and Callum Skinner.

“The team is made up of a good mix of experienced and developing riders across all the disciplines,” said Great Britain head coach Iain Dyer.

“Throughout the earlier world cups and at the UEC European Track Championships last year, there was a good opportunity to bring some new riders into the front line. They gave a really good account of themselves and that’s reflected in the selections we’ve made today. I’m looking forward to seeing them step up into World Championship level competition.”

Dyer says that in a championships free of concern for collecting Olympic qualification points, the riders will have a chance to take part in events that they might not normally get an opportunity to ride in. It will also provide an opportunity to try out the revised omnium event, which has now dropped all the individual rounds in favour of four mass-start rounds.

“This year’s worlds will allow them to race different events which were not possible in previous years due to the focus on the Olympic events,” said Dyer.

“This is particularly true for the endurance riders who can broaden their experience in the new format omnium plus the Madison, which both have the potential to feature in the Tokyo 2020 track cycling programme. It’s a great experience for our younger riders to make their debut performances alongside such established athletes and I’m sure they will learn a lot from this opportunity.”

Great Britain team for the 2017 Track World Championships

Women’s endurance
Katie Archibald
Elinor Barker
Ellie Dickinson
Neah Evans
Emily Kay
Manon Lloyd
Emily Nelson

Men’s endurance
Matt Bostock
Steven Burke
Kian Emadi
Chris Latham
Mark Stewart
Andy Tennant
Oliver Wood

Jack Carlin
Katy Marchant
Lewis Oliva
Ryan Owens
Callum Skinner
Joe Truman

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Andy Murray: World number one 'has work to do' in 2017

Andy Murray

World number one Andy Murray says he has “work to do this year” after falling “behind” six other players over the course of 2017.

The rankings are calculated over a 12-month period but six of Murray’s rivals have accrued more points this year.

“When we start on 1 January, it’s back to square one,” said the Briton, who is in Indian Wells having won his first title of the year in Dubai last week.

The 29-year-old beat Fernando Verdasco to win the title for the first time.

But a fourth-round defeat by Mischa Zverev at the Australian Open in January means Murray has ground to make up on Roger Federer, Rafael Nadal, Grigor Dimitrov, Jo-Wilfried Tsonga, Dominic Thiem and David Goffin in the 2017 rankings.