Running Tips from Fitness Expert & Celebrity Podiatrist Dr. Emily Splichal

Picture 1Dr. Emily Splichal is a Podiatrist, Human Movement Specialist and national fitness expert recognized by stiletto-lovers as "Dr. Legs" from her posture and balance fitness workouts Catwalk Confidence® and Stiletto Recovery®. Dr. Emily Splichal is extensively trained in lower extremity biomechanics, sports medicine and movement dysfunction. With over 11 years in the fitness industry, Dr. Emily Splichal has dedicated her medical career towards studying postural alignment and human movement as it relates to foot posture and foot strength. Dr. Emily's success has lead to numerous appearances in Hong Kong, Korea, Malaysia, Singapore, and Thailand. She became a regular guest and health expert on the PIX 11 Dr. Steve Show, was featured on the Oprah Winfrey Show, PIX Morning News, The Today Show, and The Doctors. In addition, Dr. Emily Splichal has been highlighted in Glamour, Seventeen, Women's Day, and Elle Magazine. She has landed endorsements with Garden Of Life®, New York Sports Club, and most recently became Spokeswoman for the orthotic shoe company Aetrex Worldwide®. Dr. Emily Splichal has teamed up with Black Girls RUN! to give our members some helpful hints on running, posture, and more! What is the best tips or techniques to get into running shape and stay that way? Running is one of the best forms of exercise - whether your goal is weight management or maintaining a healthy lifestyle. To properly run and maitain a certain pace requires cardiovascular endurance and strength.  When beginning a running program, I encourage women to start slow and set realistic, obtainable goals.   Alternating between walking and running is a great way to introduce the increased demands of running.   Start by introducing running intervals of 1 minute, then slowly increase to 2 minutes, then 3 minutes - and before you know it you'll be running 30 minutes straight. To keep your legs strong for running incorporate lower body exercises such as squats, lunges and step ups into your weekly workout.   Keep the resistance lighter and go for higher repetitions as this will mimic the strength endurance needed for running. Finally, whether you choose to run indoors on a treadmill or outdoors I always encourage women to use a heart rate monitor.  This allows you to better track how hard you are working and can even count calories and distance you ran.   For more information on heart rate monitors please visit Why should we workout barefoot? Barefoot training is one of the best techniques for restoring foot function, improving total body strength and increasing stability. Whether we run barefoot, in minimalist shoes or your traditional sneakers -everyone can benefit from barefoot training.   Our foot is designed to naturally absorb the shock or ground reaction forces when we run - however if we fail to strengthen the foot we then increase our risk of getting injuries such as stress fractures, shin splints and plantar fasciitis. Some of my favorite barefoot exercises are done on one leg - so now we are improving our foot strength while strenghtening the ankle, hip and core!  Begin introducing barefoot exercises into your workout program by doing barefoot single leg squats, barefoot single leg deadlifts or reverse lunges to a barefoot single leg stance - to name a few exercises. I recommend incorpoarting barefoot exercises into your warm-up before a run, as well as doing a dedicated 20 minutes of barefoot strength exercises three times a week.  For more great barefoot exercises please visit Few tips on preventing injuries, few recovery tips One of the best tips for avoiding injury is to ensure that you are integrating enough recovery into your running program.   Runners have some of the highest injury rates - and most of these injuries are related to overuse!   As we run, we use the same muscles in the same pattern that we do when we walk.  Repetitive movement patterns can recreate muscle imbalances and weakness if recovery and realignment techniques are not implemented. I recommend incorporating trigger point release or foam rolling into your weekly running program, allowing at least 15 - 20 minutes a day to dedicated muscle work.    If you are recovering from an injury - this time spent doing muscle work needs to increase to at least 30 minutes. In addition to trigger point release, it is important to incorporate core and glute exercises into your weekly program.   This is where i like the barefoot exercises.   A great way to build stability for the prevention of injury is to do the 20 minutes of barefoot strengthening three times a week. How to select the right running shoe When selecting a running shoe you must match 1. your foot type and 2. your running technique.   Whether you have a flat foot or a high arch, your foot will respond to the ground differently.  Certain shoes are designed to be motion controlled, while others are stabilization or neutral shoes.  In addition to running shoes, some runners may require control with an orthotic. If you are interested in learning more about orthotics or finding out if your foot need the control with an orthotic I recommend seeing a Podiatrist.   Find a Podiatrist in your area by visiting As far a finding a running shoe that matches your running technique - this is particularly important if you are a midfoot striker.   To proper run with a midfoot strike a runner will need to use either minimalist shoes or specific midfoot running shoes such as Newtons.  If you are striking your heel first then any of the traditional running shoes are good. Thank you to Dr. Splichal for all the great



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