I asked Trevor Short from RunLab if I could interview him for the blog. If you are on Instagram, you’ve probably seen many Bay Area runners posting about the Perform4Life RunLab and running analysis. You can read about my experience with that here. After working with Trevor since January, I really wanted to share a little more information with all of you. You can find RunLab online here & learn more about/contact Trevor here.
1. What got you into specializing in running? Are you a runner yourself?
I’ve been a runner since I can remember. As an athlete I was always scheming on ways to have an edge on my competition, so I decided to go to college to study bio mechanics and physiology to progress my game. In college I played football, and fell in love with the training aspect of athletics. Following my football career, I decided to get a Masters Degree in Kinesiology. During my Masters program there was a state park in my backyard, and I became a bit competitive with myself, always racing to beat my PR on the trails. I decided to run an ultra, and that’s when things got real. Meanwhile, managing the Human Performance Laboratory and fell in love with gait analysis and VO2 Max testing and it’s application.
2. What is YOUR personal favorite race distance? My absolute favorite personal race distance is the 5K, there’s just something about pushing yourself to the limit that captivates me. All 3 energy systems are full go, and its a ride in the pain cave for 15 minutes.
3. How can runners use nutrition to optimize their performance?
Nutrition and optimum performance is a consistently misunderstood topic in the running world. With so many fad diets and so much conflicting evidence in the literature, its impossible to create a sound argument for what or how much to eat before training. Here is some valuable insight:As we run, there is a relationship between the amount of oxygen that we consume and the amount of carbon dioxide that we exhale. This is termed the Respiratory Exchange Ratio (RER). The RER is important because it explains the biochemical reactions occurring in the body and what substrates (fuels) we are using (carbohydrates or fats). An RER of 0.7 is equal to 100% oxidation of fats, while an RER of 1.0 is equal to 100% carbohydrate oxidation. As running intensity increases (or as we run faster or at an incline) RER shifts from 0.7 – 1. In a practical sense, this means that our long slow runs are fueled mostly by fats, and our track workouts are fueled by carbohydrates. With regards to optimal performance, nutrition should be directly based on the intended intensity and duration of the training session.
4. What is the most common stride “issue” you see when doing Run Analysis? How can you fix it? The most common issue that I see during the Run Analysis is weakness of the Glute Med, a muscle that is responsible for hip stability. With an unstable hip, the likely hood of a valgus knee collapse is high, and our data shows that runners knee usually follows.This is fixable through a series of glute strengthening exercises (single leg glute bridges and lateral band walks) and single legs squats. The other most common issue we have fond is an overactive Hip flexor. This can be due to a variety of reasons, but we assume sitting and the volume of hip flexion during running has led to this epidemic. This causes decreases power output due to a decrease in the ability to completely extend the hips. How to fix it… stretch out the hip flexors and strengthen the glutes with glute bridges before each run.
(P.S. This is Jennifer – I have the glute med weakness Trevor references, and its gotten a lot stronger in just 4 months with doing specific exercises from RunLab!)
5. How much weight should we as runners put in VO2 max? If my VO2 max is a certain number, is that really the best I’ll ever be able to get?
Having a high VO2 max is great, but the most important variable associate with the VO2 max testing is the maximum steady state. Essentially, what % of your VO2 max can you maintain at homeostasis. For example, let’s say that we both have a VO2 of 50 ml/kg/min, and you can hold 90% of your VO2 max while I can only hold 70%. Who will win the race? This is why the importance of including a long slow run, a tempo run, and a speed run is absolutely critical to success in running performance.
6. People always ask what shoes they should wear – how much does that really affect your running? Can you really change your running by changing your shoes?
The right shoes can make or break a runner, literally. Runners should never consider a specific shoe because it will change how they run, but rather find a shoe that supports the natural dynamic movement pattern of the foot, that provides support in specific areas. With that said, some shoes will actually change how you run (motion control) and may be necessary for some athletes. Although, most runners fall in the middle if the minimalist – motion control spectrum.Grab any shoe of of the shelf or in your closets and twist the shoes side t side and bend the show at the toe (how much tension is there? None = Minimalist. Cant move the shoe? = Motion control) look for something in the middle unless you have seen a podiatrist or have a previous history of running injuries.
- Favorite run in San Francisco? In the city, Embarcadero, in the area, Wilder State Park.
- What would your last meal on earth be? IN N OUT DOUBLE DOUBLE ANIMAL STYLE AND A NEOPOLITIN SHAKE.
- What’s one thing you can’t run without? Chia fresca, before every run I have a concoction of chia seeds and water with lime and honey. I feel off without it.