Training tips for #NationalRunningDay, because we’re runners and athletes, too.

Running Day Logo

There’s just *something* about running.

To celebrate National Running Day (yes, that’s a thing), the team from the University of Chicago Medicine’s Orthopaedic Surgery & Rehabilitation Medicine department took a break from their patients – and their own workouts – to talk about what makes the sport special.

Dirschl Race Photo

Douglas Dirschl, MD, department chairman and Lowell T. Coggeshall professor of orthopaedic surgery, makes a turn on the bike leg of the Augusta 70.3 half ironman.

UChicago Medicine’s orthopaedic surgeons work on a multidisciplinary team, which includes sports medicine specialists, physiatrists, physical and occupational therapists and advanced practice nurses – all working together to prevent, diagnose, treat and rehabilitate patients who have orthopaedic concerns and conditions. More than that, the team is made up of athletes who understand what drives their patients to wake up every morning and lace up their sneakers for a hard workout.

From the endorphin rush of a finish line to the mind-clearing solitude of a winter workout, Science Life asked the orthopaedics team to share their top training tips and talk about why they love to run. (They’ll also be tweeting #NationalRunningDay tips from the UChicago Medicine Twitter account.)

  • Check in with your entire body periodically on a run and pay attention to two things: Your form and any tension in your body. Think about: Is my foot strike right? Are my ankle, hips, and shoulders in line? Am I relaxed in my jaw, my shoulders, my arms, my hips? Staying in tune with form and minimizing tension will not only help you run faster or longer, but also make it more enjoyable. – Douglas Dirschl, MD, orthopaedic surgereon, department chairman and professor of orthopaedic surgery.
Kimberly DeVine Race Photo

Kimberly DeVine, DNP, a non-surgical orthopaedic care advanced nurse practitioner, at the finish line of the Nashville Rock ‘n’ Roll Half Marathon.

  • Stay hydrated. It may be helpful to weigh yourself before and after a run. Generally, you should consume one pint of water for every pound of weight lost. – Richard Kang, MD, orthopaedic sports medicine surgeon and assistant professor of orthopaedic surgery.
  • Make slow, steady and thoughtful changes whenever increasing your running volume/speed. In this age when things are only a click away it can be easy to rush into the exercise goals we have for ourselves without allowing the needed time to condition our body to get there. – Ryan Hudson, MD, sports medicine specialist and assistant professor of orthopaedic surgery.
  • Cross training is important. I cross train with weightlifting, cycling, swimming and yoga. It helps me become a more efficient runner. And it makes me faster and stronger on my long runs. I don’t have a lot of injuries because I am constantly working different muscle groups. – Kimberly DeVine, DNP, advanced nurse practitioner in general orthopaedic care.
  • Rest if you’re ever hurting. Every now and then I have to remind myself of the old
    Roderick Bernie, MD, who specializes in non-operative general orthopaedics, poses with an on-course piano player during the Big Sur Marathon.

    Roderick Bernie, MD, who specializes in non-operative general orthopaedics, poses with an on-course piano player during the Big Sur Marathon.

    tale of the tortoise and the hare when I find myself hurting because of over doing it. – Ryan Hudson

  • Don’t use don’t use inclement weather as an excuse not to run, otherwise you never will. (Especially in Chicago!) Instead, make The Weather Channel your best friend and dress accordingly. – Roderick Birnie, MD, non-operative general orthopaedics and assistant professor of orthopaedic surgery.
  • The best thing about running is getting outdoors and enjoying the scenery. Seeing the city and lakefront on foot is a great way to explore our wonderful city, which can be easily overlooked in a car. – Richard Kang
  • Sometimes I struggle with the motivation to start the run or don’t feel the greatest during the first couple of miles. But, after I’m done, I can’t remember when I didn’t feel good about making time for a run. – Ryan Hudson
Kang Snow Shoe

Richard Kang, MD, orthopaedic sports medicine surgeon, took this shot while on a snowshoe hike in Alberta, Canada.

  • My favorite runs are on routes or in locations I haven’t run before. Whether it is the adventure of running in a new city or on a new trail, or just taking a new route through the neighborhood, I find that I have my most relaxing and rewarding runs when I am going somewhere new. Taking in new sights and sounds keeps me relaxed and helps me enjoy the run better. – Douglas Dirschl
  • I personally really value the sense of accomplishment and endorphin rush that comes with the sport.  I love that it is like a powerful, yet natural, anti-stress drug with the “side-effect” of being good for my cardiovascular system. – Ryan Hudson
  • The best thing about running is the sense of accomplishment I feel after I run. Even if I don’t feel like working out, I always feel better after going for a run. Running makes me feel good about myself. – Kimberly DeVine 
  • Don’t forget your camera. The best photos are taken on those early morning runs in a new place. – Roderick Birnie
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Ryan Hudson, MD, a sports medicine specialist, worked in the medical tent at the Chicago Marathon finish line and has spent years providing medical support at endurance races.

As recognized leaders and pioneers in orthopaedic medicine, the department attracts patients with complex musculoskeletal needs from throughout the region. Continually striving to improve orthopaedic care, UChicago Medicine’s orthopaedic program is actively researching and developing new treatments, surgical techniques and devices for the field.

UChicago Medicine is the official hospital of the Chicago Area Runners Association (CARA).

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