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Excelsior Training and Nutrition Tips



Foam Rolling and Self Myofascial Release

Foam Rolling (Self-Myofascial Release) is an excellent way to enhance recovery following your run. The main principal behind foam rolling is autogenic inhibition. Simply put, your muscles contain special cells which monitor length and tension. Foam rolling creates an environment of sustained tension which inhibits the specialized cells, causing relaxation of the muscle. The subsequent relaxation allows the muscle fibers to stretch, “unknot” and realign. The result is a decrease in soreness, “knots” or trigger points, and a quicker restoration of optimal muscle function.

TECHNIQUE: Place the foam roller under the targeted area and allow gravity and your bodyweight to work to apply pressure. Roll along the muscle and identify areas of maximal tenderness. Once identified, pause on that spot for 30-90 seconds until discomfort is reduced. Continue this process along all areas of soreness.

GASTROC/SOLEUS: Place foam roller under the mid-calf. Cross the opposite leg over the top of the other to increase pressure. Slowly roll calf area to scan for tender points. Switch legs and repeat. (Especially beneficial for runners or those who regularly wear shoes with elevated heels.)

HAMSTRINGS: Continue with the roller along the posterior lower leg to the posterior thigh. Cross the opposite leg over the top of the other to increase pressure. Slowly roll the hamstring complex from the back of the knee to the gluteal fold to scan for tender points. Switch legs and repeat.

PIRIFORMIS/GLUTEALS: Sit on top of the foam roller, positioned on the back of the hip, crossing one foot over the opposite knee. Lean into the hip of the crossed leg. Slowly roll on the posterior hip area to scan for tender points. Switch legs and repeat.

TENSOR FASCIA LATAE/IT BAND: Lie on one side with the foam roller under the lateral hip. Cross the top leg over and place the foot on the floor for stability. Slowly roll along the lateral aspect of the thigh from the lateral hip to the lateral knee, being cautious of the bony structures of the lateral thigh. Scan for tender points. Switch legs and repeat.

QUADRICEPS/HIP FLEXORS: Lie in a prone position with elbow bent to 90 degrees and the foam roller placed under the anterior thighs. Engage core/abdominal musculature to avoid excessive lumbar extension. Cross the opposite leg over the top of the other to increase pressure. Scan the quadriceps muscle group to identify tender points. Switch legs and repeat.

ADDUCTORS: Lie face down and place one thigh, flexed and abducted, over the foam roller. Engage core/abdominal musculature to avoid excessive lumbar extension. Slowly roll the upper, inner thigh to scan for tender points. Switch legs and repeat.

THORACIC SPINE: Lie on floor with the foam roller behind the upper back. Keep your knees bent and your hips off of the floor. Cross your hands over your chest and slowly roll along the mid to upper back, scanning for tender points.

If you experience a training injury or have an ongoing issue limiting your training, please contact the Excelsior STRIDES Team. To learn more about Excelsior and our STRIDES program, click here.  You may also contact us via phone at 716-250-6539. Be sure to let our Patient Contact Specialist know that you’re registered for the Buffalo Marathon and we will get you in to see a member of our STRIDES program ASAP.

A Marathon Training Plan Overview - The basics of every plan

Base Mileage –Most beginners are running 3-5 x a week to prepare the body for the rigors of training for a distance event. By establishing a solid training base, you reduce your risk for a training injury or setback.

  • Long Run – This run  typically represents 20% of your weekly mileage and is completed once each week.

    • Follow the 10% rule – be wary of increasing your mileage by more than 10% a week. Increases over 10% per week increase your risk for injury.

    • Find a running partner –long runs can get lonely! Having a running partner for the whole time or even part of the time can make it more enjoyable.

    • Plan your route - Map my Run is a great tool to help you with distances and keeping you on track.  This can also help you plan your hydration, food, and your bathroom stops.

    • Pace calculator - Another great tool to help you target your race and training pace.

    • Pace training is a type of interval run which challenges you to maintain your race pace over a specific period of time or distance.

  • Rest – Rest is a necessary component of training. Your body needs time to recover from the stresses you are placing on it. Rest days are essential to any effective training program.

  • Taper – Mentally, this may be a challenge. The fear of not being ready for race day because training has slowed down is a real fear. However, physically and mentally it is preparing you to run the race you have trained for.  Trust your plan and trust yourself

Remember, listen to your body, trust your training program, run and have fun!

Strength Training for Running Athletes

No matter if you are a newbie marathoner or a seasoned race veteran, the addition of a strength training program can be beneficial to your current running program. Did you know that you can enhance your marathon training efforts with a stability/strength/power program as little as 2-3 times a week?  

1. The first phase of training focuses on establishing proper neuromuscular control of the body. This is accomplished by introducing higher repetition, lower weight movements designed to enhance stability of the trunk and limbs. Increased stability will help the runner to maintain proper technique for longer periods of time, and may reduce your risk for injury.

2. The second phase of training then works to increase force production on top of a stable base by introducing lower repetition of exercise at higher weights.  By producing more force, the runner may see an increase in running economy, which will make your runs feel easier over time.

3. The third phase of training then focuses on maximizing power, or how quickly you can produce high levels of force.  This is accomplished by introducing plyometric (or jumping) exercises into the program. These movements also increase limb stiffness which increases a return on energy with each step during your run.

4. The final phase of training focuses on recovery. In the weeks leading up to the marathon, many runners will taper their effort on the road. This is also the case with a strength training program.  With a decrease in volume but maintenance of intensity, the body recharges and optimizes itself for race day while allowing you to keep the benefits gained from your training.

Runners are acutely aware that changes in body composition affect the ability to run. Strength training carries the stigma of causing an increase in muscle mass and “bulkiness.” Studies have shown that strength training in addition to running does not negatively impact body composition and should not be a concern for any running athlete.

As you begin your journey of marathon training, consider adding strength training to your program. At Excelsior Orthopaedics, we are offering a complete Buffalo Marathon Runner Assessment and Strength Training program to complement your current running program. Please contact us today at (716) 250-6500 to find out more!

Nutrition TIPS

Nutrition for Endurance Running Athletes

As a distance runner, nutrition plays a crucial role in providing the body with the appropriate energy required to meet exercise demands. 

Having a better understanding of the nutritional requirements of a distance runner will assist in personal progress and aid in overall health throughout the season and year-round. 

This is not the time to be counting calories!  Total calories should not be restricted in any way: 

When in doubt, eat!  The following information will provide the distance runner with a nutritional foundation to perform and train at his or her best.

Nutrition for a distance runner can be described best when broken down by macronutrient.  Macronutrients are carbohydrates, proteins and fats.


Carbohydrates are the body’s primary energy source and for the avid distance runner should represent approximately 55-60% of the athletes’ nutritional composition. 

The typical intake of carbohydrates is 4-5 grams/kg/day, but a distance runner should aim to consume approximately 7-10 grams/kg/day to ensure endurance needs are met.  Carbohydrates can be broken down further into simple and complex carbohydrates.  Simple carbohydrates often contain a lot of sugar and should be avoided in a distance runner’s diet. 

Examples of simple carbohydrates are: 

  • soft drinks

  • candy bars

  • pastries.

Keep in mind, some foods with high sugars should be consumed in a distant runners diet – such as:

  • bananas

  • apples

  • oranges

  • raisins.

Alternatively, distance runners should focus on providing the body with a good source of complex carbohydrates like grains, breads, vegetables and beans.  Complex carbohydrates are stored within the liver and muscles, to be used for energy when called upon during bouts of high intensity exercise.


Protein contributes to energy both at rest and during exercise, however only a very small percentage of protein is expended while exercising.  Protein plays a key role in supplying blood sugar when exercise duration increases and stored complex carbohydrate levels fall. 

The typical intake of proteins is .8 grams/kg/day, but a distance runner should aim to consume 1.2-1.4 grams/kg/day

The increase in protein consumption is especially important during the first 3-6 months of training to coincide with strength training.  Strength training aside, this increase in protein will also aid in microtrauma healing associated with endurance training. 

Despite the increased demand for proteins, distance runners should be cautioned to maintain a protein composition of 20-25% of one’s daily intake and not allow protein intake to displace carbohydrate intake. 

Dietary protein can be found in many different kinds of foods – such as meats, poultry, fish, eggs, beans, nuts, nut butters and milk.


Fat is the final macronutrient essential to distance running and should only account for approximately 20% of the athlete’s total nutritional composition. 

Fat is an energy source used through a wide range of exercise intensities and is found to be increased after about 15-20 minutes of exercise.  As exercise intensity and duration continue to increase the body will limit the amount of fat used for energy and stored complex carbohydrates begin to take on the main energy source once again. 

Very low to moderate intake of fats has shown no performance benefit and athletes should not restrict fat within their diets.  Other than meeting energy needs, fat maintains body temperature and protects vital organs.  The best sources of fats can be found in meats, poultry and fish.  Milk and some vegetables will also provide the distance runner with sources of fat. 

A unique benefit of fats many endurance athletes like is that fats are much more calorie-dense than other macronutrients; therefore this allows the endurance athlete to consume more calories without as much food “volume.”

Stay tuned for more tips from the team at Excelsior!

 Want to learn more about Excelsior and our STRIDES program? View the program here, or if you experience a training injury please contact us at 716-250-6539.  Be sure to let our Patient Contact Specialist know that you’re registered for the Buffalo Marathon and we will get you in to see a member of our STRIDES program ASAP.