Posts Tagged ‘running’

Takeaways from the Peachtree Road Race Prep Chat

prr-email260x200On Tuesday, June 21 many joined Emory Sports Medicine’s Dr. Amadeus Mason for advice on what you should and shouldn’t be doing right now to ensure peak performance on July 4 during the Peachtree Road Race. Dr. Mason gave tips for avoiding injury, how to properly train, the best foods to eat, and what to do the night before the race and afterward.

Thanks to such a great turnout, we were able to answer quite a few questions that were submitted both prior to and during the chat. Below are some highlights from the live chat. View the full chat transcript here.

Question: How much running (training) should I do before the race?

Dr. Mason: Good question! This really depends on the length of the race. If you’re running a 5K you should be doing at least 3 months of training. If you’re doing a 10K, about 6 months and a marathon you should be doing 8-10 months of training.

Question: After running for a period of time my leg starts to cramp up. What can I do to avoid that I eat, stretch & drink water?

Dr. Mason: If symptoms are not complicated, I would start off with making sure that you are well-hydrated and making sure that you are getting in the appropriate kind of electrolytes. So making sure that you’re not just hydrating with water but also using sports drinks is important. Good nutrition, such as getting fruits and enough fiber, will help you to get used to the amount of hydration. Stretching really is not going to be helpful in preventing the cramping. Once the cramping has started icing and stretching can be helpful in getting it to resolve.

Question: Should I run the day before the race or rest?

Dr. Mason: Rest is probably always better. It would depend on where you are in your training cycle. If this is what you’re peaking towards, definitely rest. If this is a stop towards a greater goal, you don’t have to rest and can treat this as a training goal.

Question: I get shin splints when I run. What can I do to help with this?

Dr. Mason: Great question! If you’re getting shin splints when you’re running, there’s either one or a combination of 3 things that are going on. Either you’re doing too much too fast, you don’t have the proper shoes or you don’t have the proper biomechanics. With running too much too soon, it’s going to take a longer time to build up to the mileage you desire. The other two issues should be evaluated by a sports medicine professional.

Question: What are some ideal foods/meals to eat the day before a race? Can you please address the common thought of carb-loading before a race? Thank you!

Dr. Mason: As far as carb loading goes, it’s only good if you’re doing marathon races or longer. The day before the Peachtree Road Race, which is a 10k, should be no different than any day before a long run. Good rest, a decent meal and maintaining your hydration should be enough. Manipulating your diet before the race could be fine, but it should be done under the guidance of a sports dietician.

Read the full chat transcript here.

5 Things You Should Be Doing Before Running the Peachtree Road Race

prr-email260x200Whether you’re running the Peachtree Road Race for the 15th time or the first, be sure to join Emory Sports Medicine’s Dr. Amadeus Mason for advice on what you should and shouldn’t be doing right now to ensure peak performance on July 4.

With less than two weeks to go before the race, Dr. Mason will give tips for avoiding injury, how to properly train, the best foods to eat, and what to do the night before the race and afterward. Join Dr. Mason on Tuesday, June 21 at 12p.m EST as he answers your questions online. Register now for our chat.


About Dr. Amadeus Mason

mason-amadeusDr. Mason is an assistant professor in the Orthopedics and Family Medicine Department at Emory University and is board certified in Sports Medicine, with a special interest in track and field and running injuries. He is the team physician for Georgia Tech and Emory University Track & Field and Cross Country. He is also the team physician for USA Track & Field during this summer’s Olympic Games in Rio.

Takeaways from Dr. Mason’s Chat on How to Train and Prepare for Summer Running Races

Running Live ChatThank you for attending the live chat on How to Train and Prepare for Summer Running Races on Tuesday, June 9 with Emory Sports Medicine physician Amadeus Mason, MD. We had a great discussion, so thank you to all who participated and asked questions. From tips for preventing shin splints to advice on how to train for a 5K, we were thrilled with the number of people who were able to register and participate in the chat. (You can check out the transcript here).

The response was so great that we had a few questions we were not able to answer during the chat so we will answer them below for your reference.

Question: I have inflammation behind my knee. What can I do?

Amadeus Mason, MDDr. Mason: Inflammation behind the knee can be due to a number of knee conditions. Baker’s cyst are common and can be caused by injury to the knee, arthritis, damage to the cartilage of the knee, and other problems. Sprains (caused by overstretching and tearing of the stabilizing ligaments) can lead to swelling of the knee area as well.

Seek immediate medical attention if you are in serious pain, or are experiencing symptoms such as: paralysis, loss of sensation, absent pulses in the feet, the inability to move the knee joint, severe bleeding, chest pain, difficulty breathing, or uncontrollable pain.

Swelling behind the knee may not produce any other symptoms, but if your condition persists and continues to cause concern, seek an evaluation from a sports medicine physician or knee specialist.

Question: What is the best way to correct an IT band injury that has caused can imbalance and pain while running?

Amadeus Mason, MDDr. Mason: If treated appropriately with conservative treatment and resting of the affected area, IT Band Syndrome is usually curable within 6 weeks. If your injury was not appropriately treated, or not given adequate time to heal, the source of your current complications may be due to:

  • Chronically inflamed tendon and bursa, causing persistent pain with activity that may progress to constant pain.
  • Recurrence of symptoms if activity is resumed too soon through overuse, a direct blow, or poor training technique.
  • Inability to complete training or competition.

Until you are able to seek an evaluation from a sports medicine physician, I would discontinue the activity (ies) that are causing you pain so you do not further damage the iliotibial band.

Question: I get cramps in my calf when I run but not when walking. Is there a remedy?

Amadeus Mason, MDDr. Mason: Cramps are a result of a few factors, but dehydration and improper warm-up are the most common causes.

To prevent muscle cramps, runners need to consume enough fluid before exercising. Some healthy tips are:

  • Drink 16 to 20 ounces 45 minutes before training.
  • Drink 2 to 4 ounces every 15 minutes during a training session.
  • Before you begin your run, warm up with 5 to 10 minutes of low impact activity, like walking to warm up the muscles.

For more information about all our orthopedic and sports-related injuries, visit Emory Sports Medicine Center. Think you need to be evaluated by a sports medicine physician? To make an appointment with an Emory physician, please complete our online appointment request form or call 404-778-3350.

Related Resources

Takeaways from Dr. Mason’s live chat on “How to Run and Train for Running Races and Other Athletic Adventures”

Thank you to everyone who joined us for the live chat with Amadeus Mason, MD, Assistant Professor of Orthopaedic Surgery and Family Medicine. Dr. Mason answered questions about how new runners can develop a plan for training and working up to a long race. He also discussed proper training before a marathon as well as running shoes and how frequently to replace them.

Below are a few questions and answers from the chat. You can see all of the questions and answers by reading the chat transcript.

Question:  Are there any special precautions of which “new” runners with low back pain should be mindful?

Amadeus Mason, MDDr. Mason:
Running should not be causing low back pain. If your low back pain was already present before you started running, or you are experiencing low back pain after running, I recommend you be evaluated to find out why.
Question:  I would love to become a runner. As of now I am training using the Get Running app. I want to know if this is a good way to ease into running so, that I may one day be able to run a 5K?

Amadeus  Mason, MDDr. Mason:
There is no one, single way to work up to running a 5K. While I am not familiar with that specific app, I would recommend some general principles to help prevent injury:

  1. Have a plan.
  2. Stick to your plan.
  3. Progress slowly and never increase pace and distance at the same time.
  4. Cross train, taking regular rest days. Consider running every other day.
  5. A 5K is only 3.1miles. There’s no need to be running longer than five miles at any individual session.

If you missed this chat with Dr. Mason, be sure to check out the full chat transcript!

Visit our website for more information about Emory Sports Medicine Center.

Are you a Weekend Warrior and Want to Learn How to Train for Summer Running Races and Other Athletic Adventures?

If so, join Emory Sports Medicine physician Amadeus Mason, MD for an online web chat on Tuesday, June 10 at noon. Dr. Mason will be available to answer your questions regarding running and other sports injuries such as

  • Prevention of injury
  • Stretching
  • Symptoms of certain athletic injuries
  • Risk factors for athletic/running injuries
  • Treatment for specific sports injuries
  • When to visit your sports medicine physician

If you are interested in learning more about preventing and treating sports and running injuries register for the live chat by visiting!

About Dr. Mason

Amadeus Mason, MDDr. Mason is an assistant professor in the Orthopaedics and Family Medicine departments at Emory University. He is board certified in Sports Medicine with a special interest in track and field, running injuries and exercise testing. He has been trained in diagnostic musculoskeletal ultrasound, orthopedic stem cell therapy and Platelet Rich Plasma (PRP) therapy. Dr. Mason is Team Physician for USA Track & Field, Tucker High School, and Georgia Tech Track and Field.

Dr. Mason is a member of the American College of Sports Medicine, the American Medical Society for Sports Medicine, the America Road Racing Medical Society, and the USA Track and Field Sports Medicine and Science Committee. He has been invited to be a resident physician at the US Olympic Training Center, a Sports Medicine consultant in his homeland of Jamaica and the Chief Medical Officer at multiple USA Track and Field international competitions. He is an annual speaker at the pre-race expo for PTRR, Publix marathon and Atlanta marathon commenting on a wide variety of topics related to athletics and running injuries.

Dr. Mason is an active member of the Atlanta running community. He attended Princeton University and was Captain of the track team. His other sports interests include soccer, college basketball and football, and the National Hot Rod Association (NHRA). A Decatur resident, he is married with three children

Related Links

Emory Sports Medicine
Runner’s chat with Dr. Mason 2013 transcript
More Runners’ Chat Questions Answered
Tennis Elbow and PRP (Platelet Rich Plasma) Therapy – Is it Right for Me?

Understanding Runners’ Knee aka Patellofemoral Pain Syndrome

Knee PainDo you have pain in the front of your knee behind the kneecap? If so, you may have patellofemoral pain syndrome (PFPS for short), commonly known as “runners’ knee”. Typically runners’ knee is not a product of an injury, but is caused by abnormal leg mechanics including weakness in the quadriceps which result in poor tracking of the kneecap.

You can increase your risk of developing runners’ knee if you have tight hamstrings, or do not warm up enough before an event. Runners often experience patellofemoral pain as they increase their running distance and/or frequency.

Symptoms of Patellofemoral Pain Syndrome:

  • Pain in the knee, usually in the front of the knee, behind the kneecap
  • Pain in the back of the knee or also above or below the kneecap
  • Pain that gets worse after sitting for long periods of time
  • Pain that gets worse after going up or especially down stairs or hills
  • Pain that gets worse when wearing shoes with high heels
  • Pain with jumping, squatting, and lunging
  • “Crunching” or “popping” in the knee
  • Minimal swelling

The good news is that this condition is treatable with improving your overall leg mechanics. You should think about incorporating strength training into your running training so that you strengthen the quadriceps and gluteus muscles. It is also important to stretch the hamstrings and IT band. If you have flat feet or foot pronation (fallen arches) you should consider inserting orthotics in your shoes to support your arches.

If you are diagnosed with this condition, you may have to stop running temporarily until the knee pain subsides, but continuing to run will not cause long term damage. You should at least consider adding in cross training with activities such as swimming and cycling which will be easier on the knee with PFPS and maintain your fitness. Make sure to ice your knee after exercise and take anti-inflamatories like ibuprofen. You may also want to try a neoprene sleeve for comfort.  Refer to this Patellofemoral Syndrome document for some exercises you can safely do to strengthen the muscles, increase flexibility and stretch the quadriceps.

If your knee pain has not improved within 4-6 weeks, you should consult your sports medicine physician.

Emory Healthcare is a proud sponsor of the AJC Peachtree Road Race.

Peachtree Road RaceEmory Healthcare is the largest, most comprehensive health system in Georgia and includes Emory University Hospital, Emory University Hospital Midtown, Emory University Orthopedics & Spine Hospital, Wesley Woods Center, Saint Joseph’s Hospital, Emory Johns Creek Hospital, Emory Adventist Hospital, The Emory Clinic, Emory Specialty Associates, and the Emory Clinically Integrated Network.

Come visit us at the AJC Peachtree Road Race expo in booth 527 to get your blood pressure checked and learn more about how Emory Healthcare can help you and your family stay healthy!

About Dr. Jeff Webb

Jeffrey Webb, MDJeff Webb, MD, is an assistant professor of orthopaedics at Emory Orthopaedics & Spine Center. Dr. Webb started practicing at Emory in 2008 after completing a Fellowship in Primary Care Sports Medicine at the American Sports Medicine Institute in Birmingham, Alabama. He is board certified in pediatrics and sports medicine. He is a team physician for the NFL’s Atlanta Falcons, and serves as the primary care sports medicine and concussion specialist for the team. He is also a consulting team physician for several Atlanta area high schools, the Atlanta Dekalb International Olympic Training Center, Emory University, Oglethorpe University, Georgia Perimeter College, and many other club sports.

Dr. Webb sees patients of all ages and abilities with musculoskeletal problems, but specializes in the care of pediatric and adolescent patients. He works hard to get players “back in the game” safely and as quickly as possible. He is currently active in the American Medical Society for Sports Medicine and American Academy of Pediatrics professional societies and has given multiple lectures at national conferences as well as contributed to sports medicine text books. Dr Webb is an avid runner and has completed 16 Peachtree Road Races.

Related Resources


Preparing for the AJC Peachtree Road Race: Answers to your Running Questions

Dr. Amadeus MasonLast week I had the opportunity to chat online with over one hundred members of the Atlanta running community to answer their questions about running and how to prevent running injuries to help not only those participating in the AJC Peachtree Road Race, but all runners in our city and state. We had so many questions from the chat that I didn’t get a chance to get to all of them, so I wanted to circle back with the participants that didn’t get answers to their questions. You’ll find my answers below in a Q&A format. If you didn’t get to attend the live chat, or just want a recap, check out the chat transcript (which you can also print), and don’t forget to check out the additional resources and questions and answers below.

For those that are running in the AJC Peachtree Road Race, I wish you a healthy and successful race!

Debunk the Myths of Running

Peachtree Road RaceIf you are a runner, you have probably heard someone you know say something about running and your health like “You can die of a heart attack if you run too much” or my favorite “If you run too much, you will need your knees replaced later in life”.  Running can be a very safe and healthy sport.  There are so many advantages of running – It makes you feel better, keeps you mentally and physically in shape and can even improve your social life.   Let’s debunk the myths others may have told you so you can feel confident you are enjoying the sport you love.

Your heart and running

Consistent running reduces your risk of heart disease.

o Your increased heart rate from running for an extended period makes your heart stronger!

o Running can help lower blood pressure by helping to maintain the elasticity of your arteries.  When you run, your arteries expand and contract more than normal so this keeps the arteries elastic and your blood pressure low.  Most elite and very serious runners have very low blood pressure.

o Running can help reduce or maintain your weight.  Running burns more calories than most other exercise and it can be done relatively inexpensively.  A 150 pound man will burn over 100 calories for every mile running at moderate pace.    With a lower body weight you also have less chance of developing type II diabetes.  Type II diabetes is typically associated with obesity.

o Running often can help improve cholesterol numbers.  Bad cholesterol (LDLs) typically go down and good cholesterol (HDL) can go up.

I recommend consulting with your physician before starting to run if you are not a runner to get a full physical to ensure your heart is in tip top shape to start a running schedule.

Your bones and joints and running

Your body was built to run!  Evolution has developed our bodies so that we have the necessary tools to move and stay physically active.  To prove this, a recent study by the American Journal of Preventive Medicine revealed that long distance-runners did not have accelerated rates of osteoarthritis.  In fact, weight-bearing exercises like running can help maintain or build bone mineral density by helping you avoid osteoporosis. Therefore, experts tend to agree that running can help you fight against arthritis and other bone and joint problems.  Injuries that runners usually suffer are typically from doing too much too soon or at a quicker than natural pace for your body.  Runners will also see injuries due to wearing incorrect shoes, shoes that are too old or running with incorrect form.  Eliminate bad running habits and you will run injury free!

One myth that is true and you should take careful note of is the dangers of developing skin cancer as a runner.   The more miles you put in, the more time you are probably spending in the sun.  I recommend wearing sunscreen on every run, regardless of the time of day you run and wearing a hat and/or sunglasses.  I also recommend  running in the very early morning or in the evening instead of running when the sun is the hottest.  If you suspect any abnormal lesion or marking, see your dermatologist right away!
So get out there and run!  You will be happy you did!

Upcoming Live Chat with Emory Sports Medicine Specialist


Are you training for the AJC Peachtree Road Race or another running race this summer or fall? If so, join Emory Sports Medicine physician, Dr. Amadeus Mason for a live online web chat on Tuesday, May 14 to learn how to run injury free.  Dr. Mason will be available to answer questions on training, stretching, how to prevent common running injuries and treating injuries when they occur.

Emory Healthcare is a proud sponsor of the AJC Peachtree Road Race.

Emory Healthcare is the largest, most comprehensive health system in Georgia and includes Emory University Hospital, Emory University Hospital Midtown, Emory University Orthopaedics & Spine Hospital, Wesley Woods Center, Saint Joseph’s Hospital, Emory Johns Creek Hospital, Emory Adventist Hospital, The Emory Clinic, Emory Specialty Associates, and the Emory Clinically Integrated Network.

Come visit us at the AJC Peachtree Road Race expo in booth 527 to get your blood pressure checked and learn more about how Emory Healthcare can help you and your family stay healthy!

Related Resources

About Dr. Brandon Mines

Brandon Mines, MDBrandon Mines, MD, is an assistant professor of orthopaedics. Dr. Mines started practicing at Emory in 2005 after completing his Sports Medicine Fellowship at University of California – Los Angeles. Dr. Mines is board certified in both family practice and sports medicine. He has focused his clinical interest on sports injuries and conditions of the shoulder, elbow, wrist/hand, knee, foot and ankle. He is head team physician for the Women’s National Basketball Association’s (WNBA) Atlanta Dream and Decatur High School. He is also one of the team physicians for the Atlanta Falcons.  His areas of interest are diagnosis and non-operative management of acute sports injuries, basketball injuries, tennis injuries, golf injuries and joint injections.

Should I Eat Before, or After I Exercise?

exercise nutritionI myself have heard friends make unsupported claims that working out on an empty stomach is more effective, or that people should wait a certain amount of time after exercising to eat. Because I’ve been wondering whether it’s better to eat before or after I exercise, and more specifically, which foods I should be eating to support a physically active lifestyle, I reached out to our own Dr. Amadeus Mason to get answers to my questions.

My first question for Dr. Mason was:  Do you recommend eating before or after a workout? Does your recommendation change whether the workout type is cardio-based or strength training?

Dr. Mason’s answer was extremely helpful, “Eating after exercise is pretty much the standard recommendation now. But what you’re eating is actually more important than when you eat it. For people who exercise often, high carbohydrates, moderate protein levels and increased fluid intake is important.” He noted though, that “carbs are the most important.”

After hearing this, I was curious. I typically like to avoid making my diet too heavy in carbohydrates, but I trust Dr. Mason and knew that he would help clarify this concern. So I asked, what is your daily recommendation for carbohydrate intake for people who work out regularly?

Again, Dr. Mason came through with some great answers, “I recommend 6-10 g/kg/day of carbohydrates.” Wait, I thought, ‘g/kg/day!? What does that even mean!?” G/kg/day is a reference to the grams of carbohydrates a person should intake daily, depending on their weight, in kilograms. I personally don’t know my weight in kg and I’m sure I’m not the only one. If you’re looking to calculate your personal ideal g/kg/day carbohydrate number, you can convert your body weight into kg here.

Once I understood that concept, Dr. Mason broke down the details on when I should be intaking these carbohydrates. “You should consume 1/5g/kg within 30 minutes of exercising and an additional 1.5g/kg within 2 hours of your workout. You should seek to consume remaining 3-7g/kg over the course of the day.”

That’s extremely helpful information. To keep your body functioning at peak performance and make your workouts more effective, it’s really not so much about whether you eat before or after you workout as it is about what you’re eating and how you’re breaking it up. One last cool tip from Dr. Mason? “Try high carbohydrate liquids too, such as chocolate milk, which is great for supporting workouts.”

Thanks Dr. Mason for helping me answer these questions for both my own workout practices and our readers!

10 Tips for a Healthy Peachtree Road Race Run

Peachtree Road RaceRunning is great exercise for your health and your mind. Follow the tips below to ensure that you are in top form on race day. Have a safe and fun Peachtree Road Race!

  1. Hydrate yourself frequently before, during and after running in order to loosen muscles.
  2. Warm up and/or stretch before the race to loosen tight muscles.
  3. Run slower in hot weather in order to avoid heat stroke, heat cramps or heat exhaustion.
  4. Use hand lotion on feet and areas of chafing to prevent skin damage and blisters.
  5. Don’t forget to use sunscreen to protect against sunburn.
  6. Wear sunglasses to reduce glare and avoid tripping.
  7. When your energy is gone, imagine someone running in front of you and pulling you forward.
  8. Get your rest! Sleep one extra minute each night for every mile you run. For example, if you run 30 miles a week, sleep 30 additional minutes each night.
  9. Change soggy, sweaty socks soon after the run and stuff shoes with newspaper to avoid moisture buildup.
  10. Pay attention to your body! If you experience pain during or after the race and it does not go away, something may be wrong. Schedule an appointment with an Emory Sports Medicine physician.

Related Running Resources:

Still looking for more tips? Check out the transcripts from a few of our recent MD chats on running using the links below:

Runners’ Chat with Dr. Mason Part I

Runners’ Chat with Dr. Mason Part II

More Running Questions Answered