Top 7 Tips for New Runners

So you want to start running?

While gyms are closed and many of us are working from home – you may be a bit restless and looking for new ways to move your body and stay active while social distancing. With the sun shining bright, Mother Nature is practically begging us to go outside! Running is a great activity to do alone and the best part is – you can start right from your front door!

Here are a few basic tips and tricks to help you start your running journey and fall in love with the sport…

1.Find a good pair of running shoes

Believe it or not – there is no one-shoe-fits-all shoe out there, but there is a perfect shoe for you that will help you feel comfortable and stay injury-free down the road. Your local running store guru can help you narrow down your options by putting you through a proper fit process. Shop local! No one knows your city and the nearby trails better than your local running store, like Gazelle Sports Northville! With retail stores closed right now – it may be difficult to get the advice you need for shoes. However, if you have any shoe specific questions, see the bottom of this article for a reliable resource. 

2.Find a good route

There is nothing better than fresh air and sunlight. Whether it is a trail, paved path, or just around the block – make sure you are enjoying WHERE you are running. Explore new places and keep it interesting. This will help you stay motivated! 

3. Run at a conversational pace

This is the best piece of advice that I received when I first started running. Not every run needs to be a full effort and you should be running at a pace where you are able to hold a conversation. If you find yourself out of breath – simply slow down a bit. If you have a running buddy, share some miles with them, catch up, and tell some stories. Right now, running with a buddy might not be doable, but you can plug in some headphones, give your friend a call, and go for a virtual run together. 

4. Progress slowly

You might be excited to get moving and run all the miles, but be conservative when bumping up your mileage. It will help you stay injury-free! Rule of thumb: do not increase your mileage more than 10% week to week. Respect the sport and listen to your body. If running is brand new to you, you will experience some soreness as your body begins to adapt. It is important to keep up with stretching, foam rolling, and a proper warm-up/cool-down routine. 

5. Dress appropriately 

Be sure to dress for the weather. There is no such thing as bad weather; only bad clothing. If you only remember one thing from this post: know that cotton is ROTTEN! Wearing moisture-wicking materials like merino wool or a poly-blend are your best bets. (This applies to socks, too!) Always dress like it is 15-20 degrees warmer than it actually is. For cold weather – layering helps. You want to be as comfortable as possible and dressing appropriately will help you to find more joy in your runs! Don’t forget accessories such as gloves, headbands, sunglasses, or whatever it may be that you need to keep yourself protected/prepared for the elements. (Pro tip: that includes sunscreen and body glide for those warmer days like today!)

6. Safety first!

There are a few running safety tips you must know before you hit the pavement…

  • Always face traffic so that drivers can see you and you can see them.A headlamp or other reflective gear is always a good call. 
  • Run with an ID, or ID bracelet or driver’s license in case of an emergency. 
  • Let someone know the route you are running and how long you expect to be out.
  • Take your phone for emergencies.
  • Check the weather before your run. 
  • Don’t run with headphones in. If you need music to stay motivated – I recommend a pair of Aftershokz that allow you to hear cars and people around you. 

7. Have fun, be patient, and keep moving

When I first started running – I’ll be honest – I wasn’t sure I was going to like it. But after a few months of pushing myself outside of my comfort zone, I discovered a true passion for the sport and a wonderful community. Running is a beautiful sport that brings me a lot of happiness, but it did not happen overnight. My hope is for you to find the same joy I experience every time I get out there for a run. 


Katie Siroonian is an active runner in the community and also works at Gazelle Sports Northville. If you have any shoe specific questions, she can help you navigate the Gazelle Sports website and narrow down your options! Katie can be reached at [email protected]. Learn a little bit more about Katie and the rest of our team here!

Finding Sanity in a Socially-Distanced World

Whether you’re still making necessary travel to the office each day or sidelined to home, with or without much work to do, there’s no denying that life for most of us has drastically changed in the last few weeks. For this reason it’s especially important to establish structure again, giving a sense of purpose to time that may otherwise easily drift into a blur.  By the way, today is Tuesday, in case you weren’t sure. 

While we have still remained open on abbreviated hours here for post-operative/emergent patients and staying in touch remotely with others, we are all taking a proactive approach to using extra time in clinic and at home to discuss treatment techniques, hone our manual skills, and get creative with new exercises. 

Since pools are no longer available, and the lakes are still a little cold for even the most neoprene-equipped among us, many triathletes and swimmers are wondering what to do.  I have always been a fan of resistance tubing for swim specific strengthening and now I am using it regularly to make the most of these days on dry land. Having a set time to work out, along with my usual walk/runs with my dog in the morning and afternoon, is helping me maintain normalcy and focus before winding down with a good meal and checking in with friends and family in the evenings. 

Below are two articles and a video, ranging from practical to perhaps a little off the wall, that might just provide a little spark of motivation to stay in control of life during uncertainty.

How to set a routine, stay productive and be active during the coronavirus

My Coronavirus Routine: A Neighborhood Primal Scream

Man runs marathon on his balcony during lockdown

Aaron Bachman is a Physical Therapist Assistant, endurance coach, and former elite triathlete.  As a PTA, Aaron also offers sports massage and running gait analysis services. Read Aaron’s bio here.

Dr. Hannah DePaul answers: When is it ok to train through pain?

Check out our latest video from Dr. Hannah DePaul! Hannah answers a question that she hears frequently from the endurance athletes she treats: When is it ok to train through pain? 

Hannah – Ironman, triathlete, and elite-level runner – knows what it’s like to train, compete, and suffer injuries, which makes her an expert on this topic. She is passionate about helping people reach their goals and dedicated to helping our patients prevent future injury and enjoy the activities they love. 

All that said…during this challenging time – it is easy for many of us to feel unmotivated to train with races cancelled and so much preparation that is seemingly all for nothing. But it is NOT for nothing! What we are training for is life; to be strong when we are faced with obstacles, to have hope to carry us through difficult times, to be able to endure the tough times that make the good times that much better. Keep training, stay positive, and stay healthy!

Your Health & COVID19: Our Statement of Commitment

As a healthcare clinic…we remain open and dedicated to our community

At all times our TEAM is vigilant to the health of our athletes and patients. We are trained in universal precautions in order to prevent the transfer of viral and bacterial infections. We have staff that follow the protocols and policies in place for the routine cleaning of patient-use equipment, hand washing techniques/use of hand sanitizers, and educating our community on best-practices.

With that being said, we are open and treating our patients. We are complaint with the State of Michigan / Governor Whitmer’s Executive Order 2020-07 [LINK] in asking triage questions to best reduce the spread of COVID19 and other Influenza Viruses. We remain vigilant with the care of our patients, and are up to date on the current state in our community. As Executive Orders change, we will continue to adopt the new orders and educate our staff, patients and community.

What can you do???

Educate yourself. We have included some links below and a podcast that may help to inform and decrease over-reaction and fear.

Limit your exposure. Wash your hands. Minimize contact. Keep your hands out of your eyes, nose and mouth, as this is a doorway for virus and bacteria to enter your body. Review the CDC recommendations.

HOW LONG WILL THIS continue?

We honestly have no idea. The landscape is changing daily, if not hourly. We are working diligently to stay abreast of the most recent recommendations and information.

What if i have to cancel…or what if i still need PT treatment?

We are working hard with requests for rescheduling. Our staff is staying flexible with getting our patients in based on their needs and schedules. If you cannot make your scheduled appointments, we are asking that you contact our clinic to cancel and make arrangements for rescheduling your appointment.

If you cannot make it into the clinic but still have questions for our Team, we will work hard to answer your concerns by phone or email.

More to come….

Please stay tuned, reach out with questions, and most of all: take care of yourself and loved ones, and stay healthy and positive.


Got Sleep?

Do you feel like you’ve done just about everything to improve your performance, recover faster, or bounce back from a string of injuries? The missing ingredient might be before your very eyes. Maybe all you need to do is close them!

The concept of sleep is as buzzworthy as ever. How much should you get? Should you sleep 4 hours each night like Elon Musk in order to be successful? (Hint: No. And athletes likely need more than double that, every day).

When we sleep, the body does some of its most amazing work, repairing itself from all we put it through, every cell, in every intricate chemical reaction, renovated, rejuvenated, and restocked to take on a new day.  Sleep can make the difference in being prepared for your next triathlon, making or missing a shot, staying focused at work and school, preventing injury, and even helping you get the breakthrough you’re looking for in PT.  It impacts our learning, recovery, attention, and mood, and while sleep may not be magic, its effects can certainly feel that way. At Adams Sports Medicine, we educate our patients on the importance of sleep in both performance and recovery, because we have experienced first hand, as athletes and clinicians, the impact it has. Taking it seriously is crucial.

What Science Says

Decreases in sleep duration and quality can have significant effects on endurance athletes, including reduced muscle glycogen storage7 and an increase in perceived exertion with activity3.  Sleep deprivation is also strongly linked to impaired immune function.  If you average less than 7 hours per night, you may actually be 3x more likely to get an upper respiratory infection compared to those sleeping over 8 hours2. Additionally, sleep loss has been found to correlate with decreased inhibitory control and increased perceived stress and depression symptoms6.  

In regard to increased sleep, researchers have also observed significant changes in accuracy among ball-sport athletes, including a 40% improvement in serving in college tennis players8, and a 9% increase in free throw shooting percentage in college basketball players4.

How much do you really need?

Adolescents, roughly ages 10-20, need 8-10 hours of sleep per night, while the average adult needs between 7 and 9 hours 1. Since the vast majority of cellular repair and training adaptations take place when we sleep, serious athletes may do best at the upper end of these ranges to maximize improvements in performance and reduce injury risk. Did you notice that everyone needs almost the same amount, regardless of age? 

When and How?

Consistency is your secret weapon!  Sleep timing should be as regular as possible from day to day.  The body responds incredibly well to routines. So, if the time you wake up and go to sleep each day varies, you may benefit from adopting a more regular schedule, including staying within just a  1-2 hour difference on weekends. 

If you’re unfamiliar with the concept of sleep hygiene, take some time to look up other tips for increasing the quality and duration of your sleep.  Changing meal timing and reducing screen time in the late evening are two notable factors. Harvard has some great recommendations here.

The Bottom Line

Many of us us need to sleep several hours per night more than we are, and do so with consistency.  If you aren’t getting enough, now is the perfect time to ask why and see what can be done to make sleep possible. Time management and prioritizing your sleep schedule are good places to start.  Sleep is just one facet of the recovery and performance picture, but it holds almost everything else together. We need to commit to getting this piece right.

So, whether you’re hoping for faster recovery between workouts, improved performance, or better overall health, sleeping more may just be your ticket. Make a plan, make your bedroom conducive for great sleep, and close those eyes! You might be surprised just how far doing absolutely nothing can take you.

Aaron Bachman, PTA

Aaron Bachman is a Physical Therapist Assistant, endurance coach, and former elite triathlete.  As a PTA, Aaron also offers sport massage and gait analysis services. Read Aaron’s bio here !

  1. Bird SP. Sleep, recovery, and athletic performance: a brief review and recommendations. Strength Cond. J. 2013; 35:43–7.
  2. Cohen S, Doyle WJ, Alper CM, et al. Sleep habits and susceptibility to the common cold. Arch. Intern. Med. 2009; 169:62–7.
  3. Fullagar HH, Skorski S, Duffield R, et al. Sleep and athletic performance: the effects of sleep loss on exercise performance, and physiological and cognitive responses to exercise. Sports Med. 2015; 45:161–86.
  4. Mah CD, Mah KE, Kezirian EJ, Dement WC. The effects of sleep extension on the athletic performance of collegiate basketball players. Sleep. 2011; 34:943–50.
  5. Milewski MD, Skaggs DL, Bishop GA, et al. Chronic lack of sleep is associated with increased sports injuries in adolescent athletes. J. Pediatr. Orthop. 2014; 34:129–33.
  6. Rossa KR, Smith SS, Allan AC, Sullivan KA. The effects of sleep restriction on executive inhibitory control and affect in young adults. J. Adolesc. Health. 2014; 55:287–92.
  7. Skein M, Duffield R, Edge J, et al. Intermittent-sprint performance and muscle glycogen after 30 h of sleep deprivation. Med. Sci. Sports Exerc. 2011; 43:1301–11.
  8. Schwartz J, Simon RD Jr. Sleep extension improves serving accuracy: a study with college varsity tennis players. Physiol. Behav. 2015; 151:541–4.
  9. von Rosen P, Frohm A, Kottorp A, et al. Multiple factors explain injury risk in adolescent elite athletes: applying a biopsychosocial perspective. Scand. J. Med. Sci. Sports. 2017.
  10. Watson A, Brickson S, Brooks A, Dunn W. Subjective well-being and training load predict in-season injury and illness risk in female youth soccer players. Br. J. Sports Med. 2016.

What is RED-S?

There is a lot of discussion in the news lately about Relative Energy Deficiency in Sport (RED-S) and it is a topic that we at Adams Sports Medicine and Physical Therapy talk a lot about. Dr. Hannah DePaul and Dr. Katie Noble spend time educating high school cross country and track teams about how to be healthy and fast. We respect and admire Mary Cain and other women who have come forward with their personal struggles with RED-S. RED-S has dangerous, long-term consequences to the health of both female and male athletes. As Mary Cain highlights, in order to navigate the complexities of sport, body image and self-worth – the support and guidance an athlete has is critical to avoid the disorder. 

So what is RED-S? It’s having an inadequate amount of energy to support bodily functions for optimal health and performance, which can lead to serious health and performance consequences (see diagram below).1 When runners don’t eat or recover enough to support training, an energy deficit is created. When this energy deficit persists, an athlete will experience decreased performance, strength, and endurance and has increased risk of depression and physical injury. In a culture that often glamorizes #norestdays, young athletes need to be protected from developing habits that feed this disorder.

For women, RED-S can lead to menstrual dysfunction, which weakens bones and can lead to fractures. This is especially concerning in young athletes, as teens are developing peak bone mass that they will rely on for the rest of their lives. Periods are a barometer of overall health and if it’s lost, an athlete should seek medical help. Losing a period from training is never normal. For men, low testosterone can lead to thinning bones. While the signs of low testosterone aren’t as obvious as a lost menstrual cycle, knowing the risk factors for RED-S can help male athletes stay ahead of it. 

Historically, the culture of distance running has included a “thinner is faster” ideal. Research now proves that this thinking is dangerous to health and performance. A recent study found that male runners who responded “yes” to the statement “being thinner means being faster” were more likely to have low bone mineral density and an increased risk of fractures.2 A runner’s thoughts and beliefs about body image has real effects on physical health. There is no truth that the lightest runner is the best runner. The best runner is well-supported, well-rested, well-fueled, and wisely trained. 

Nutrition and sleep also play a huge role in preventing RED-S. A study found that women who consumed less than 800 mg of calcium per day had nearly 6x the rate of stress fracture than women who consumed more than 1500 mg of calcium.2   It’s shown that sleep deprivation can lead to bone loss.3 

RED-S isn’t just a physical health issue, it’s a cultural problem with sport. The culture of a sport and team can bring out the best in a runner or can be toxic to well-being. Breakthrough performances elevate sport and inspire humanity. The future of the sport lies within young athletes. Coaches, health care providers, parents, and everyone within an athlete’s support system has a responsibility to foster performance without sacrificing an athlete’s long-term physical and mental health. 

  1. De Souza MJ, Nattiv A, Joy E, et al. Br J Sports Med 2014;48:289.
  2. Tenforde, Adam & Fredericson, Michael & Sayres, Lauren & Cutti, Phil & Sainani, Kristin. (2015). Identifying Sex-Specific Risk Factors for Low Bone Mineral Density in Adolescent Runners. The American journal of sports medicine. 43. 10.1177/0363546515572142. 
  3. Tenforde AS, Sayres LC, Sainani KL, Fredericson M. Evaluating the relationship of calcium and vitamin D in the prevention of stress fracture injuries in the young athlete: a review of the literature.” PM R. 2010;2(10):945-949. Article Summary on PubMed. (http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/20970764)
  4. Ben-Sasson, et al. Extended duration of vertical position might impair bone metabolism. Eur J Clin Invest, 1994

Running With Knee Osteoarthritis

Have you ever heard someone say, or even said yourself, “I shouldn’t run because I have arthritis in my knees?” Although this may seem like sound decision making when managing this diagnosis, the research begs to differ.

Osteoarthritis (OA) is a common type of arthritis that occurs as individuals get older. It is the breakdown of the cartilage “cap” on the end of the bonds. It can cause pain and loss of function. Many of our patients love to run and race… and they do not want age/pain to hold them back from doing what they love. Often times people think this diagnosis, especially in their knees, means the end of their running career.

A recent study debunks the “rest is better” myth. Lo et al. (2017)1 found that individuals 50 years old and over with knee OA and who performed self-selected running actually did at least one of the following: decreased their knee pain, did not worsen their pain, or did not progress their structural symptoms in the knee. This means that runners diagnosed with OA should not automatically go into retirement. They are safe to continue running based on how they are feeling and being conservative with their progression. This study supports that movement is key in treating pain and providing the appropriate stress on the knee cartilage to aide in regeneration.

If you are experiencing pain with running or have more questions about your running – schedule an evaluation or running gait analysis to help get you back on track to your goals!

Kaylee Pobocik, SPT, ATC

1 H. Lo, Grace & M. Musa, Sarra & Driban, Jeffrey & M. Kriska, Andrea & E. McAlindon, Timothy & Souza, Richard & J. Petersen, Nancy & Storti, Kristi & Eaton, Charles & C. Hochberg, Marc & Jackson, Rebecca & Kent Kwoh, C & C. Nevitt, Michael & Suarez-Almazor, Maria. (2018). Running does not increase symptoms or structural progression in people with knee osteoarthritis: data from the osteoarthritis initiative. Clinical Rheumatology. 37. 10.1007/s10067-018-4121-3.

Bone Health

Healthy bones are the foundation to healthy running. Bones are strong, sturdy, and designed to tolerate a great amount of stress. In fact, bones get stronger from weight bearing. This is good news for runners, who put cumulative stress through their bones with each foot fall.

However, bones have their limits and require proper care. Here are key things all runners should know about their bone health.

Energy availability is a pillar of bone health. Energy availability (EA) is a measure of energy burned versus energy replenished per day. You have to eat enough calories to not only support the miles you put in, but to support your brain and bodily functions. If EA is chronically low from underfueling or overtraining, your body will start to drain your bones to get the nutrients it needs to keep you alive and moving. If you’re underfueling or overtraining, bones become weaker. EA can be quantified with this calculator (www.femaleathletetriad.org/calculators). Daily EA should be around 45 kcal/kg FFM/day and athletes should be eating a MINIMUM of 30 kcal/FFM/day for optimal bone health. Along with weaker bones, low EA can lead to fatigue, decreased performance, and increased risk of injury.

Sleep is by far the most important aspect of recovery an athlete can utilize, as lack of sleep is associated with weakened bones. Sleep deprivation can have significant negative effects on performance in endurance tasks and may also influence learning, memory, pain perception, cognition, immunity and inflammation. In a study of military recruits who were purposefully sleep deprived, it was found that they had a 5% reduction in bone mineral density in just seven days.1 Sleep is the time your body takes to replenish and repair tissue that was stressed during the day. If your sleep is disturbed, your bones are at a greater risk of injury.

Nutrition is about quality and quantity. Runners need to eat enough food each day. (Remember EA?). Some runners find benefit in an individualized consultation with a registered dietician. (We can recommend some good ones!) Specifically, all runners should pay attention to daily calcium intake. Calcium is a major building block that keeps bones strong. Recent studies show that women who consumed less than 800 mg of calcium per day had nearly 6 times the rate of stress fracture than women who consumed more than 1500 mg of calcium.2 Furthermore, fracture risk in runners is decreased by 62% for every additional cup of skim milk consumed per day.2 Calcium’s best friend, Vitamin D, is responsible for calcium absorption. The worse a runner’s vitamin D intake, the longer it takes to recover from stress fracture.3 Thus, increasing daily calcium and vitamin D is a simple way to reduce fracture risk.

Listen up, ladies. Your menstrual cycle is a vital sign. That’s right: put it right up there with heart rate and blood pressure. A healthy, regular cycle is the cardinal sign that you are maintaining an appropriate EA, getting adequate nutrition, and protecting your bones. Female runners who have stopped menstruating are at a 4.5-fold increased risk of injury compared to regularly menstruating women.4 This is because monthly estrogen spikes with each cycle help protect bones against break down. Your period is a monthly signal of your health. If your periods become irregular or stop, talk to your healthcare provider for strategies to regain your cycle.

When it comes to bone health, prevention of fractures is best. If a fracture does happen, the road to recovery doesn’t have to be so bumpy when you’re armed with the right information to help prevent future bone health issues. Most importantly, the road ahead has the potential to be better than before. If you have questions about bone health or would like to be evaluated for a bone stress injury, don’t hesitate to reach out to our therapists.

  1. Ben-Sasson, et al. Extended duration of vertical position might impair bone metabolism. Eur J Clin Invest, 1994
  2. Nieves et al. Nutritional Factors That Influence Change in Bone Density and Stress Fracture Risk Among Young Female Cross-Country Runners
  3. Serum Vitamin D Levels Are Inversely Associated With Time Lost to Bone Stress Injury in a Cohort of NCAA Division I Distance Runners
  4. Heikura I. 2018

IRONMAN Weekend!!!!

Our clinic specializes in the education and treatment of endurance athletes. This weekend is a “double whammy” of endurance events, with the Ironman World Championships in Kona, HI taking place today (October 13th) and Ironman Louisville taking place tomorrow, October 14th.  (click the links to find out more info about the events, search athletes and track their results)

We have multiple athletes participating in both events, and our staff understands all the hard work, heartache and sacrifices you have endured to get to this day. Best of luck, apply your training, but most of all….enjoy the journey.

Ironman Traverse City 70.3

Well, that happened quickly. Ironman Traverse City 70.3 SOLD OUT in the first hours of general registration. Hoping to see a ton of our friends, colleagues and athletes training and prepping for the first year of this event, scheduled for August 25, 2019.