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How to Manage ( and Prevent) injuries with Regenerative Training

It sucks getting injured. But you have to deal with it constructively, quickly and correctly. How you deal with injuries will not only affect you now but the fall out of poorly managed injuries can last a lifetime.

How to deal with an injury CONSTRUCTIVELY

  1. Everyone gets depressed when they get injured. If you have an understanding that this occurs you can prepare an action plan to do everything in your power to heal quickly. Part of the reason people get down when they injured is they do not know what to do or how to get better so normal training may resume. Hopefully there is some info here that might help you.
  1. Be in charge of your injury and your therapy. Understand that you hold the power to choose activities, which will facilitate your ability to heal. If your diet is already nutritionally sound then ask yourself if you can use this time to improve on other self-therapies which accelerate recovery? ( see below for details) 

How to deal with an injury QUICKLY

  1. Don’t waste time. Getting injured will make your training more difficult. You run the risk of falling behind and the stress of thinking your competitors are gaining on you can cause anxiety that is not constructive. Learn what you can about your injury and what you can do about getting better as quickly as possible. 
  1. Always seek medical attention to eliminate worst case of the injury. I learned a saying that has been very useful. " Assume the worst ( and deal with it this way) but hope for the best.  Advocate for yourself and PUSH to gain more information sooner than later.  For example =  Don’t wait a week or two before investigating the nature of your problem. There may be exceptions but you are the best person for the job of helping yourself.  You want to ensure your injury is NOT serious. If it is you will need more medical attention and advice. If not there are many things you can do on your own to heal. (Massage, water therapy, rest, electric muscle stimulation, Active release therapy, acupuncture). Understand your options before acting on your plan. 

How to deal with an injury CORRECTLY

  1. Surrounding yourself with expert therapist sounds easier than it is. A great deal of the effectiveness from a therapist comes from their experience and education but both are not necessarily connected. Ideally, you want access to people that have had a track record of results in the area treating injuries. The more you know about injuries the better you will be able to navigate the injury process. Use your search tools online but cross-reference your information to find consistencies and ask questions as it's your window to learn. Be motivated to help yourself and get the best care available.
  1. You will never go wrong helping yourself heal. Don’t discount the power of repeating many small things that add up to getting your body to the place where it will regenerate. I am not speaking about magic. I am talking about facilitating your body’s ability to heal with common, older school things. Examples are Epson baths, eating well, hydrating, ice, heart rate monitoring. The prescription here is simple, easy to do, repeatable acts to do at home without too much effort or travel. Rest is one of the most overlooked aspects of both training and injury prevention.

Your understanding of how to properly manage your injury constructively, quickly and correctly aids in the prevention of future injuries. The more you know and understand the better you will judge when it’s time to stop training sessions, how much time you devout to preventive therapy and actions you can take every day like drinking enough water and getting quality sleep to heal and cleanse yourself.

The following excerpt has been taken from " The Charlie Francis Training System". Page 37. 

          “ The massive amount of time needed to rehabilitate an athlete from injury can often be avoided by thinking ahead and minimizing one’s errors.

         Since the hamstrings operate at the highest velocity (88 kilometers per hour) of any muscle group in the body they are most sensitive to injury if high intensity training is attempted with poor technique or during conditions of incomplete regeneration or over training”.


Regenerative Training Workout

At the heart of regenerative training for my track career was TEMPO.

What the effect of tempo runs has for someone is summarized here =

“ Tempo runs ( aerobic/endurance work) aid and facilitate recovery while minimizing the chance of injury. Extensive tempo runs ( at 60 to 80 percent of maximum) not only improve recovery but over time enhance the capillarization of the muscle, leading to an increased heating of the motor neurons in the muscle. This heating lowers the electrical resistance in the neural pathways within the muscle, thus improving the muscle’s contraction speed”. Page 38 The Charlie Francis Training System “.

An excellent example of Tempo workout, regenerative training session would be the Big Circuit. 

The Big Circuit  


You can adapt tempo for the pool. See Project Jane for how you might integrate a pool workout into your regenerative training. 


You can adapt tempo for the bike. See The Bike workout for another example of how using tempo can be used on an exercise bike. 



A general guideline to this type of work is further explained in the literature mentioned above. A rule of thumb to follow is  you want to be able to run the very last rep of any of these circuits at the same speed, with the same quality as the first one. IF you are timing them it's ideal but it's not always easy to time.

If you have any questions let me know.






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Fabulous Food For your Training. Learn to cook and eat well in the process.

I like to cook and eat and make fabulous food. It was not always like that.

When I first met my husband we ate out all time. ( read about a few things about Charlie here = http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Charlie_Francis . btw. Wiki touches on one minuscule aspect of Charlie the man. Please read Speed Trap if you care enough to understand something beyond politics) 

As a young woman from a small town I felt I won the lottery eating out with my then boyfriend. By the end of a 2 weeks period of eating out every day, everything started to taste the same. I was so frustrated having to go out all the time for food, the process of getting organized to cook was easy. I learned the basics fast and enjoyed having fun in the kitchen.

Growing up with fresh , seasonal and naturally raised fruits and vegetables from my fathers garden, set a template for what food was supposed to taste like. Having an interested audience when you learn to cook never hurts. Making homemade meals are fun to share with those you love. 

As a former athlete I have always been interested in food and nutrition. I thought knowing and living with the one of the best coaches in the word meant instant sharing of knowledge regarding performance foods. It’s not really how it turned out. I researched food and learned as much as I could about cooking , eating well and balancing a diet for a person's best performance. My education has continued as my life has changed and my family grows up.

I’ve already shared one of my big hit recipes with you here.


Today, I’d like to add another one that is not protein based.( Marinara Sauce , see below). If you are interested in seeing some additional info on cooking fabulous food for your training,  take a look at a real time video outlining some food prep as well as the beginning steps of becoming a serious athlete. 


Protein has always been a huge driver of my meals but as I gain more insight into food that work for me, combining high protein with fabulous vegetable based foods adds fiber , nutrients and interesting flavors. There is no down side to eating well and learning more about what you eat. 

If you are interested in learning more about how to cook at home and why home cooking is important, I recently reviewed this online class which I thought was fantastic.


Bon Appetite, plus I wish you happy fuel for your training with homemade food . Don’t be afraid to try new things. 


Some tips and comments about Homecoming. 

When I cook something new I like to see what Martha Stewart does. I generally don’t use her recipes but I do look at her ideas.

She does a super simple tomato sauce I love. Heat up olive oil as the water for your pasta cooks. Sautee some chopped garlic at low enough heat you don’t burn your garlic as it will be bitter. Slice what ever tomatoes you have and add them just before or just after you strain your noodles. Add sea salt as you toss your noodles with the easy, low effort and fresh tasting sauce. Remember, your sauce will only be as good as the tomatoes you add to it. When I make this I generally use the small , cherry tomatoes with the biggest flavor. Delicious.

read more about how MS likes to do things = http://www.marthastewart.com/cook 


( From “Everyday Italian “ Giada de Laurentiis)

 I love this the ideas in Giada’s book. Again, I don’t always follow everything to the letter but I use her information to expand my recipe to what I want it to be.

Marinara Sauce ( this is the recipe I wanted to share with you). 

½ cup of extra virgin olive oil

2 small onions chopped finely

2 gloves of garlic or more

2 celery stalks chopped finely

2 carrots chopped finely and if they are fresh I do not peel them

½ teaspoon of sea salt or specialty salt . I rarely cook with table salt

½ teaspoon freshly ground pepper

2 cans of crushed or whole tomatoes ( use the best brand you can find)

2 dry bay leaves.


In a large pot , slowly sauté everything minus the tomatoes. It will take about 10 minutes more or less to achieve the translucent quality you want from the onions mixture.

Add the tomatoes after that and cook on low to medium heat with lid off for about 30 to 60 minutes. Ideally , the sauce is best the next day but I sometimes use it as soon as 20 to 30 minutes after making it.

If you want special occasion DELICIOUS. = add one cup vodka and cook for 20 minutes to burn off the alcohol. Then add one cup full fat cream ( preferably organic cream) , and ½ cup parmesan cheese.

You can use this sauce with your poached or fried or boiled eggs in the morning. You can dip pita bread into this sauce. It goes amazingly well with pork tenderloin or chicken or pizza. You can add any shape of noodles and share a double batch of this sauce with someone you care about.


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Sport Development for Children

There could be many take home messages from the chart contained in my last blog titled  “Track and Field Stages of Growth and Development according to Age“ chart.


One of the most important messages I'd like you to learn when discussing training young children is “less is more“. http://www.charliefrancis.com/blogs/news/16872696-the-small-workout-january-26th-2015

Let’s look at one area in particular:  The volume of time for a single session.  If sessions are exceeding any of these recommended time periods at given ages, overtraining is a certainty. Overtraining leads to premature injuries, burn out and children loosing interest in sport. 

Quickly, here are 3 things you need to look for if you think your child is suffering from overtraining. 1. An inability to sleep or get to sleep 2. A sudden or unusual change in appetite ( usually, it’s a lack of appetite 3. An inability for the child to focus or concentrate . This is not an exhaustive list. Heart rate monitoring can be used , is more scientific but more time is required to track the results. 

I mention and talk about overtraining often. Despite people agreeing overtraining is a bad idea, we continue to see it over and over again. We agree there are countless things we can do to help young children. Coaching without facts and coaching that has not been based on experienced RESULTS or methods, often results in overtraining. To summarize, when using the variable of time ( in training) keep it short, to the point and don’t overwhelm.

The chart merely begins a dialogue for you as a coach or a parent.

Where do I start?

How much time do I spend?

What exercises do I perform?

Where do I start? = You start where your child is at.  Some kids want to do more. Some want to do less. Wait until they tell you if and when they are ready to begin. Pushing your child might work now but long term it will back fire. 

How much time do I spend? =You spend as little time as needed to maintain continued interest (always end sessions on positive performances when kids are feeling good). Have a plan but be more than prepared to stop your session when you see things deteriorate.

What exercises do I perform? = As far as knowing what exercises to perform? Short runs, easily performed with introductory jumps in small volumes . Throws with weightless balls. You are looking to keep things simple first and grow from there. Look to start your child out in gymnastics, swimming and track as your best development sports and the training will take care of itself.

If your child or athletes are laughing , it's usually a good sign that you are doing a great job. You will be setting them up to get short and long term results and keeping them safe at the same time. 

Enjoy your work and efforts. Coaching is hard work. 


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