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KEEPING TRACK - Team State Championship

Written by Rod O'Donnell on 24 May 2018.

The Minnesota State Track Coaches’ Association conducts a True Team State Championship each spring, in addition to the traditional state meet sponsored by the governing body that regulates high school athletes (MSHAL).


Heal the Body, Heal the Mind

Written by Richard Ferguson, Ph.D. on 20 May 2018.

Injuries are a part of running that we would like to think will never or rarely occur. However, the longer our running careers, the greater the likelihood that any injury will occur. The harder we train will also increase the chances of some physical injury. Sooner or later the hamstring strain, tendonitis, stress fracture, or a multitude of other conditions will cause us to be forced to miss training for either a few days or for an extended period. And as we all know, when we want to run and our bodies won’t let us, then psychologically we aren’t the most pleasant people in the world to be around.

With any physical injury also comes a psychological reaction to the injury. How we respond psychologically to an injury may influence how fast we physically recover from the injury and how quickly we are able to train normally again. A good way to explain the psychological reaction to injury is to examine the reaction based upon Elizabeth Kubler-Ross’s Grief Response Model. The model is broken into stages, and in Stage One, the injury is greeted with shock and disbelief. Common emotions when an injury has just occurred are anger and denial of the injury. We try to run through it and are very angry about getting hurt. In time we move to Stage Two, that involves a severe preoccupation with the injury, during which time we may experience depression about the injury, guilt that it may have been somehow prevented, and even insomnia. Stage Three is when we begin to think more logically and rationally about the injury. We finally accept that we are injured, we can’t run, and we get down to the business of treating the injury and performing rehabilitation to limit our down time and chance that the injury will occur again. A major key in recovering from an injury is getting to Stage Three as quickly as possible. If we get stuck in Stage One or Two, we tend to not address the injury, feel pity for ourselves, and may even make the injury worse by trying to go out and run on it.

Once we reach Stage Three, there are a number of techniques used by Sport Psychologists to facilitate a rapid return to running from a mental perspective. The first technique is simple communication. When injured, try to learn as much as possible about the injury. Read up on the internet and be sure to ask the medical doctor and therapist questions and try to understand what has happened to your body and what course of action is most suitable for treating the injury. Open and consistent communication on the part of our sports medicine team can help us stay informed and maintain a positive attitude during treatment. Positive feedback from sports medicine professionals during rehabilitation can be a great motivator in staying with the rehabilitation program. We all need to find a sports medicine professional we feel comfortable with.

Motivation plays a key role in the recovery from injury. If we are motivated to adhere to prescribed therapy and rehabilitation, then chances are we will be back to running much sooner. No matter what the rehabilitation program, it’s not going to be effective unless it is followed. A number of different psychological techniques can be utilized to maintain motivation during the recovery from injury.

One such technique is goal setting. In conjunction with sports medicine professionals, work to establish some challenging, yet realistic goals for recovery. These goals should be specific, measurable, and written down. Having both short-term daily and weekly goals, along with a long-term goal is very important. With the accomplishment of short term goals progress is seen and motivation is increased, along with the realization of the long-term goal being closer at hand.

Imagery and relaxation techniques can also be useful in the injury recovery process. Relaxation training can aid in coping with the stress and anxiety that comes with a running injury. When injured and unable to run, we often have a lot of pent-up and emotional energy. We are accustomed to being active, not a coach potato! Techniques like deep breathing, progressive relaxation, and imagery can serve to calm when we feel anxious and stressed over not being able to run.

Imagery training can be effective in being prepared for the time when training can begin anew. By using positive imagery we can prepare ourselves emotionally by actually imaging what it will feel like to run again after a layoff. By imaging some actual running during our down time we can be prepared for the emotional uncertainty that may accompany the first few runs back when we huff and puff through a couple slow miles. Those first few days back can be joyful, yet humbling, so we need to be prepared mentally to feel happy to be back running, but frustrated because our fitness has declined!

Our self-talk is another area that can influence how quickly we return from injury. Many injured runners have a tendency to produce negative, irrational thoughts concerning the return to running. When we say things to ourselves like, “what’s the use in rehabilitation, it will take a year to get back any fitness,” or “running is just not worth the effort anymore,” it does nothing but make our return that much more frustrating and lengthy. Negative self-talk needs to first be recognized and then replaced with self-statements that motivate and inspire us to get back out on the roads and trails. Positive self-talk can mean things like, “by working hard in my rehab I can be back out running in three weeks, not the usual five it takes with no rehab work.” We all need to be our own best friend with positive self-talk when we are injured.

Finally, we should all find individuals who offer us emotional support during an injury recovery period. Talk to other runners who have recovered from an injury and are running well again. Seeing a concrete example of a successful comeback can be a strong motivator. Runners that come back from injuries can provide all of us with honest empathy and understanding of the frustrations and self-doubts that come with being injured. People that provide negative feedback during times of injury do nothing to aid the recovery process and, if possible, we should avoid their negativity.

When we are all healed and healthy again we might just look back on that injury as a positive learning experience, even though it’s a learning experience we don’t want to repeat. A successful comeback can give us all an emotional lift from knowing we beat one our major protagonist, the dreaded injury.

Read more of Richard Ferguson articles on www.runohio.com


Becoming a Rational Runner - http://runohio.com/index.php/features/1474-becoming-a-rational-runner


We're Not Perfect http://runohio.com/index.php/features/1452-were-not-perfect

Growing as a Runner - http://runohio.com/index.php/features/1432-growing-as-a-runner

It’s the Process - http://runohio.com/index.php/features/1408-its-the-process

Are You Someone’s Inspiration? - http://runohio.com/index.php/features/1373-are-you-someones-inspiration

On Being a RUNNER - http://runohio.com/index.php/features/1329-on-being-a-runner

Bouncing Back- http://runohio.com/index.php/features/1307-bouncing-back

More Positive Approach to Running -  http://runohio.com/index.php/features/1279-a-more-positive-approach-to-running  

 Pre-Race Sleep - http://runohio.com/index.php/features/1250-pre-race-sleep

The Overtraining Conundrum - http://runohio.com/index.php/features/1180-the-overtraining-conundrum

Getting the MOST Out of Training - http://runohio.com/index.php/features/1133-getting-the-most-out-of-training

Winning is Personal -  http://runohio.com/index.php/features/1113-winning-is-personal

Affirm Your Greatness!!! - http://runohio.com/index.php/features/1086-affirm-your-greatness

 What is Tired? - http://runohio.com/index.php/features/1062-what-is-tired   

 The Reason We Run - http://runohio.com/index.php/features/1027-the-reason-we-run

 Some New Recruits - http://runohio.com/index.php/features/956-some-new-recruits?   

 Are You a RUNNER? -  http://runohio.com/index.php/features/928-are-you-a-runner

 A Different View -  http://runohio.com/index.php/features/892-a-different-view

 The Components of Peak Performance - http://runohio.com/index.php/features/871--the-components-of-peak-performance

 Running and Sleep -  http://runohio.com/index.php/features/845-running-and-sleep

 Don’t Panic! -  http://runohio.com/index.php/features/824-dont-panic#:

 The Mental Maximization of Training - http://runohio.com/index.php/features/773-the-mental-maximization-of-training

 With the Help of a Friend -  http://runohio.com/index.php/features/723-with-the-help-of-a-friend

 Beating the Winter Blues- http://runohio.com/index.php/features/718-beating-the-winter-blues

 Go For It - http://runohio.com/index.php/features/702-go-for-it

 Beating Burnout - http://runohio.com/index.php/features/658-beating-burnout

 A New Outlook - http://www.runohio.com/index.php/features/611-a-new-outlook

 Expect the Unexpected - http://www.runohio.com/index.php/features/560-expect-the-unexpected

 Pain or Discomfort ? - http://www.runohio.com/index.php/features/529-pain-or-discomfort

 Keep Your Eye on the Prize - http://www.runohio.com/index.php/features/512-keep-your-eye-on-the-prize

Running Free - http://www.runohio.com/index.php/features/507-running-free

 Running and Role Models - http://www.runohio.com/index.php/features/196-running-and-role-




The Athlete's Kitchen: Sports Nutrition: #Science Not Opinion

Written by Nancy Clark MS RD CSSD on 14 May 2018.

Running performance starts with fueling, not training! The best way to fuelto be a better runner seems to be a debatable topic these days. To keep on top of the science regarding food, exercise & performance, I look to SCAN, the Sports & Cardiovascular Nutrition practice group of the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics (AND). Here are some tidbits of information from this year's 35th annual meeting in Keystone CO, May 2018 (#SCANSymposium)


7 Tips for a Great Pre-Race Meal

on 10 May 2018.


1.      Don’t Experiment
Don’t try new foods on race day, it might cause unexpected problems.


USATF reopens bidding for 2020 U.S. Olympic Team Trials – Track & Field

on 07 May 2018.

Bidding to host the 2020 U.S. Olympic Team Trials – Track & Field has been reopened, USATF announced May 1st. The USATF Board of Directors unanimously authorized the move amid continuing litigation surrounding construction of a new Hilmer Lodge Stadium at Mt. San Antonio College (Mt. SAC) in Walnut, California, and the resulting delays on planning for a successful 2020 U.S. Olympic Team Trials.


Image Gallery: Cap City Races and Cap City Half

on 30 April 2018.



Written by Douglas Finley, Editor Journal of Children’s Running on 30 April 2018.

By a recent program-by-program count, there are now more than four million children logging miles in elementary school or after-school running programs. (1) Coupling that with the surging number of kids entering recreational Fun Runs and 5K races, there is an expectation that there would be similar growth in the number of kids who would run in high school and beyond. And yes, the number of high school students running cross country is at an all-time high nationally.


Bob Lennon Memorial 5K/10K - Sunday, July 22nd

on 09 April 2018.

Mark your calendar for the 5th annual  Lennon Loop 5K/10K Run and Family Fun Walk on Sunday, July 22nd in Westerville in memory of Bob Lennon  -  https://runsignup.com/Race/OH/Westerville/LennonLoop5K10K


Spring Marathons

on 04 April 2018.

My first marathon was the Glass City Marathon which use to be held on Father's Day. As a freshman at Ohio Northern University I entered with a few of my track teammates. My longest run at the time was 12 miles, but was in shape from cross country and track and finished 20th in 2:51. The following year I ran 2:34ish, then I won on my third try a year later in 2:27:17 and after my senior year I finished second in 2:24:00.



Written by Rod O'Donnell on 26 March 2018.

One was a World War II veteran who had a tremendous impact on American distance running. Another was a two-time Olympian and the father of a gold medalist in the 1500. The third was one of America’s great track and cross-country performers in the ‘70’s and ‘80’s. The lives of Browning Ross, Matt Centrowitz, and Craig Virgin are the subjects of three recently-released books. Despite widely-varied backgrounds, all three men shared a passion for their sport and were drawn to being the best that they could be.


Becoming a Rational Runner

Written by Richard Ferguson, Ph.D. on 26 March 2018.


Many runners think too much.  They analyze, ponder and try to make sense out of the world around them. If anything they tend to over-think. In fact almost all humans tend to over-think. Our minds make us human, but at the same time our consciousness can get in the way of allowing ourselves to physically perform like we’re capable of. In other words, we may actually think ourselves into running below our real capability. Too often we cognitively distort things and think in very irrational ways. It’s this irrational thinking that may limit our performance, as well as limit our enjoyment of running.  Let’s look at some common irrational thinking patterns often seen in runners.

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