Overall Functionality: Combining the Concepts of Training, Diet, and Medicine for Runners!

Charge Running · December 23, 2019

We currently live in an age where functionality takes over almost anything. These days, we’ve got running specific training regimens that improve your strength, speed, endurance, or your overall physical state. Additionally, Coach Casey mentioned in ‘Running and Calories: A Balanced Partnership,’ you now have the optimum knowledge with regards to the efficient use of your daily intake. Indeed, functionality in training and diet – when done right – can ultimately transform you into a supreme runner.

What if we looked behind the curtain when it comes to your physical stature? What if we realized that your body has been screaming for help all this time?

Suppose we’ve reached far beyond the preventive benefits of training and diet and gotten to a point where we need help from certified professionals?

What if ‘everything looks fine’ on the outside doesn’t necessarily entail ‘everything seems fine’ on the inside?

Here’s where functional medicine for runners – and athletes in general – comes into play.

Common Running Issues:

A post by Greatist on ‘Most Common Injuries and How to Avoid Them,’ details how the majority of the damage is found to single out the lower limbs, like patellofemoral pain syndrome (a fancy term for runner’s knee), shin splints, and inflammation of the plantar facia, all of which can be remedied with the simple RICE (rest, ice, compression, and elevation) strategy. On the flip-side, some of the most serious medical problems for runners mainly feature organ system failure. These could include acute musculoskeletal injuries, gastrointestinal complaints, and symptomatic hyponatremia. These illnesses, however, pale in comparison to what these former athletes went through in their respective careers.

Runner’s Chronic Issues & Solutions:

It’s no secret some of us get defensive upon hearing the words ‘medicine’ or ‘treatment’. For some, it’s a particular form of quackery capitalists use to take advantage of mere commoners. For others, it’s basically an inconvenient thing that takes aim at their pride. But for former student-athlete Alexandra Demidova, these words gave her a new lease on life. In an article by Parsley Health on ‘Tips to Fix Chronic Stress’, Demidova shared that she overcame chronic stress through specialized practices such as meditation. Demidova helped her improve her overall responsiveness and clarity by being mindful of her surroundings. This eventually helped her overcome the condition.

The New York Times presented the incredible story of Jacqueline Alnes, a runner who, at the peak of her athletic career, encountered a rare condition that can only be described as “Seizure Disorder, Migraine Variant, and Transient Alteration of Awareness.” Her condition prevents her from talking clearly and remembering certain events in time. She initially tried to hide her condition from her parents. Amazingly enough, she still managed to train for a marathon during her ordeal until she couldn’t take it anymore. Today, Alnes still experiences these episodes on a regular basis and is working on a memoir that details the life of a runner and an extremely rare illness.

In Conclusion:

Alnes’ condition is, of course, an unusual, somewhat radical illness. However, it perfectly encapsulates the determination of a runner dealing with a medical condition. To put everything into perspective; you can train as hard as you want, eat as clean as you can, be in tiptop shape, and yet you can still get caught by surprise. At the end of it all, the important thing is to combine enhanced training and preventive measures with actual, scientifically proven, medical treatments to have that peace of mind when running.

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