Tara Murray: Study to examine running injuries

April 4, 2014 

Tara Murray

As an orthopedic physical therapist, Tom Whipple has seen plenty of running injuries. By the time most runners reach him at Penn State Orthopedics, they are already suffering from an injury. In a proposed study, though, Whipple plans to track healthy runners to get at the biomechanical causes of

injury.

Most running injury studies, Whipple points out, are retrospective — focusing on already-injured runners. The new study would be prospective — tracking 200 healthy runners over the course of a year. The aim is to pinpoint biomechanical factors that predispose runners to injury.

Whipple, the author of The Endurance Paradox: Bone Health for the Endurance Athlete with Robert Eckhardt and a certified Pose running coach, is working with Dr. Graham Fletcher, a biomechanics researcher at the University of the Fraser Valley in Canada and Otago University in New Zealand who has coached world class runners and triathletes.

In coaching young competitive athletes, Fletcher explained at Whipple's private practice, Strategic Orthopaedics, he emphasized the development of the athlete as a person over a high volume of training, the importance of recovery, and the role of biomechanical skill.

In the proposed study, half of the runners would be trained in the Pose Running Method devised by Nicholas Romanov and the other half would serve as controls. The goal is to determine if there is evidence that the Pose method, shown to reduce impact and energy absorption, is also associated

with lower injury rates.

Whipple and Fletcher are collaborating with Martha Michael, a local running coach, John Challis, a professor of kinesiology at Penn State, and Dr. Phil Bosha and his colleagues at Penn State Sports Medicine. They hope to establish a long-term collaboration extending beyond the currently proposed

one-year study.

Race results

•  Dan Craighead of State College won the Irish Heritage 10K on March 15 in Tyrone with a time of 31 minutes, 53 seconds . Mary Beth Reese of Tyrone was the first woman in 42:36. In the 5K, Matt Genchur of Warriors Mark led the way in 20:05. Marilyn Gregory of Flinton was the first woman and

third overall in 20:43.Craighead racked up two more wins with the April Fool's 5K on Penn State's campus on March 29

(16:43) and the Egg Hill 10-miler in Spring Mills on March 30 (54:05). Katie-Liz Thompson was the first woman in the April Fool's 5K (21:20). At Egg Hill, Jo Ohm led the women in 1:07:27.

Running calendar

•  Footsteps 4 Diamonds 5K, Apr. 5, 11 a.m., Circleville Park. Registration: adults (over 21) $15, students (21 and younger) $10. For more information contact Nanci Rommel at nanci0712@gmail.com or 814-441-8477. Registration form available at nvrun.com.

•  Autism Speaks 5K race/3K walk, Apr. 5, noon, State College Borough Municipal Building. Registration: $20. Website: http://events.autismspeaksu.org.

•  Tussey Teaser #2: Tussey to Whipple 11-miler, Apr. 6, 9 a.m., Tussey Mountain Ski Area parking lot. Free. Part of the Tussey Teasers series of races introducing runners to the mostly unpaved roads of the Tussey Mountainback 50 Mile Relay and Ultramarathon course in Rothrock State Forest.

For more information and details for the rest of the series, see http://tusseymountainback.com.

•  OsteoChallenge 5K, Apr. 6, 9:30 a.m., Penn State dairy barns. Registration: $15. For more information, contact Rebecca Shaw at rks5109@psu.edu. Website: animalscience.psu.edu/ events/osteochallenge.

•  Race Judicata 5K, Apr. 6, 10 a.m., Orchard Park. Registration: $20. Website: law.psu.edu/race-judicata-5k-fun-runwalk.

•  FaithCentre 5K/10K, Apr. 12, 10 a.m., Bellefonte Area Middle School. Registration: $15 by April 10 or $20 on race day. For more information contact Nicole Summers at nsummers@faithcentre.info or 355-0880. Website: www.faithcentre.info.

•  Paterno Family Beaver Stadium 3 mile run/1 mile walk, Apr. 13, 11 a.m., Medlar Field at Lubrano Park. Registration: $35. Website: specialolympicspa.org/beaver-stadium-run.

•  Bunny Blitz 5K Cross Country Trail Run, Apr. 19, 9:30 a.m., Harpster Ball Field, Marengo Rd., Baileyville. Registration: $20. Website: www.bunnyblitz.com.

•  Pennsylvania Hardcore Mudd Run Sprint, Apr. 26, 7:30 a.m., CPI, 540 N. Harrison Rd., Bellefonte. Registration: $115. Website: www.hardcoremuddrun.com/events/pa-mudd-run-sprint.html.

•  Pets Come First Dog Jog 5K run/1.5 mile walk, Apr. 26, 10 a.m., Grange Fair Grounds Gate 2, Centre Hall. Registration: $25 by April 7 or $30 thereafter. Website: www.petscomefirst.net/dog-jog.

•  JDRF Type 1 Trot 5K, May 3, 9 a.m., Medlar Field at Lubrano Park. Registration: $25. For more information, contact Lauren at lmcpherson@jdrf.org. Website: centralpa.jdrf.org/event/state-college-walk-to-cure-diabetes-5k/.

•  Greenwood Furnace Trail Challenge, May 4, 8 a.m., Greenwood Furnace State Park. Registration: $45 by May 3 or $55 on race day. Website: greenwoodfurnacetrailchallenge.com.

•  Linden Loop 5-mile run, May 4, 2 p.m., intersection of Boalsburg Pike, Brush Valley Rd, and Linden Hall Rd. Registration: $20 ($10 for additional family members). Website: rockhillschoolatlindenhall.blogspot.com.

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