Dr. Bill Booker

24 Miles is Just Like 20 Miles, Just a Whole Lot Farther!

As we move closer to the actual marathon, we continue to up the ante on the long runs. What were once 12 mile runs on the weekend, quickly moved to 15, then 17, then 20, then 23, and here we were getting ready to actually run 26 miles!!! Going in, I was pretty sure that I wouldn’t run the full 26. I know myself too well. If I run 26 today then why would I decide to run it again in 4 weeks? That’s crazy talk! I understand the concept, running 26 miles today would give me the confidence to do it again come marathon time.

On the other hand, you wouldn’t ask Jay Z to do a second take after a flawless rip on the first. And yes, me and Jay Z got alot in common!

So I’ve ruled out 26, and coincidentally, my group leader is lobbying for us to do 24. Sounds good to me. But in the back of my mind, there was the OTHER philosophy held by many marathoners, “there is really no need to run over 20-22 miles before your marathon.” So as we lined up, I was certain I would run no less than 20, and certainly no more than 24.

So you want to run marathons? Step One: get your team together.

With a little less than 4 weeks to go til I run this year’s Marine Corps Marathon, I can say with complete certainty, I wouldn’t be standing here if it wasn’t for the great work I have received from my chiropractor, physical therapist and massage therapist. First a little background People who have read my …

So you want to run marathons? Step One: get your team together. Read More »

20 Mile Runs: Bill Meet Harold, Harold Meet Bill

running 6 miles has now become “too easy”

When I first started this long distance training thing, the thought of running 6 miles required at least a week of meditation and a blessing from the Gods. Somehow, someway, 6 miles has become a simple stroll through the park, and 10-15 mile runs only mildly challenging. So i guess if you are going to train for a marathon, it is inevitable that you will eventually have to do some REAL long runs. I mean those 18 milers and up!

Since I am actually getting started pretty late on this blog thing, I will quickly summarize my experiences on the 15 and 17 mile runs.

Here it is: They were surprisingly easy.

…OK, lets move on to the topic at hand.

Booker Q&A: “How do you use foam rollers?”

In my blog post about foam rollers, Jackie asks the following question:

“How do you use the foam rollers?”

Jackie, thanks for asking such a great question.

Sometimes a picture is worth a thousand words so I in order to provide you with a very descriptive response, I went to the ever-trusty video sharing web site YouTube™ and found a pretty good video demonstrating the use of a foam roller.

The video I found, which you can see below, demonstrates the four key areas that need to be targeted:

  • Hamstrings
  • Calf and Soleus
  • Quadriceps
  • Lower Back

The techniques demonstrated in this demonstrate are right on and should be copied exactly to form.

Foam Roller Exercise Video

Key points not mentioned in the video

Although the above video is quite good, here are some key points about the use of a foam roller that are NOT mentioned:

Booker Q&A: “Should I start my training for running or should I just focus on walking?”

In my first introductory post on this blog, Kelli left the following comment/question for me:

“Hey Bill! Great website! I too am training for the Columbus Marathon however my training has stalled and I am thinking I am probably just going to walk. What do you suggest? The longest run I’ve had thus far has been 9 miles about a month ago and only small intermittent runs in between. Should I start my training for running or should I just focus on walking. Again, great site!”

I really want to thank Kelli for inspiring this blog post!

So, to Kelli’s questions and concerns … should she start training for running or just focus on walking?

This million dollar question can be answered by simply saying, you should do BOTH! This is why I am a huge fan of the Galloway Running Program. Galloway has been teaching the run/walk method successfully for years. It is the program that I participate in and I couldn’t imagine doing my first marathon any other way.

Booker marathon gear

This is a picture of me after my first 10 mile run.

That’s right, I’ve wilted to basically nothing except the clothes you see laying on the ground!

Good gear gets sweat “under control”

It wasn’t until I embarked on this whole “marathon journey”, that I realized the importance of proper running gear.  I was baptized with my first “dry fit” lesson on my initial run of over 5 miles.  My standard cotton shirt and cotton shorts left me looking like I just stepped out of a swimming pool, and feeling just about as weighted down.  But I was one of the lucky ones.  If you are really unfortunate, your cotton shirt and shorts will teach you the painful lesson of how sweat + cotton = brutal chafing. Since switching to the dry fit style of shirt and running shorts, the whole sweat thing has been much more manageable.

Do Foam Rollers Work?

I have preached the benefits of foam rollers for years to both my elite runners and recreational runners. But it wasn’t until my first 8 mile run that I realized EXACTLY how beneficial they are.  Here is the concept, when you run, or do any activity for that matter, muscles will contract and relax, causing joints to move.  Pretty basic so far.  The problem is that over time, your body develops movement patterns, some of these movement patterns are normal, some are abnormal, but the result is the same.  The more we move, the more we REINFORCE those movements.

The BIG problem is when you reinforce abnormal movements, it will result in injury, but here is the funny part. Even when you reinforce proper movements, but you do it over and over again, as in the case of training for a marathon, you still develop muscle soreness.  That is until your body acclimates to new distance and new intensity.

Why I Started This Blog.

I have worked with literally thousands of runners and hundreds of marathon runners over my past 12 years of practice.  During that time I have been relentless in calling marathoners “crazy” or “nuts.”  I have recommended everything from group therapy to possibly something stronger like drug therapy.  But recently began feeling slightly guilty, for some …

Why I Started This Blog. Read More »