The Danger of a Single Data Point
We may not be elite, but we ALL need good guidance. Where do we go for guidance and how do we know that it's good?
In these past few weeks, we've read seemingly endless news about women mistreated at the hands of experts who managed to become experts despite knowing nothing about women’s bodies beyond, “make dat ass smaller” and “she’s mad she must be on her period SEE SHE IS FINE!” And that may sound like a gross exaggeration for comedic effect, but it’s an accurate portrayal of the amateur hour horrorshow that was funded and fostered by Nike, who could have made MORE money if they’d bothered to give a crap about the athletes they were developing.
In a win-at-all-costs atmosphere at the best-funded training center in the world, one would expect the athletes to have all the support they needed for human optimization so they could, like, WIN. Spoiler alert: they did not. Salazar employed neither nutritionist nor psychologist, so it’s not an exaggeration to say my original group of trainees at Life Time back in 2014 had access to more resources and to better care than Kara Goucher and Mary Cain had in that same year.
To be very clear, I am a hobbyjogger who coaches hobbyjoggers and LOVES it. If we are apples, the pro athletes we will be discussing today are oranges and we all know it would be irresponsible to compare the two. That said, there’s a lot us hobbyjoggers can learn from the Nike disaster besides, ‘thank God we are not elite”. We can have goals for ourselves, we can have goals related to our bodies and performance, and we can push ourselves AND stay healthy, as long as we have a clear, defined idea of where the danger zone is, where the law of diminishing returns kicks in and ‘more’ gets you ‘less’, and the tradeoffs we are making as we proceed.
Alex Lanton, my longtime physical therapist in Denver, CO and the medical professional I trust the most, talks about how to assess your needs as a runnerwhen it comes to physical therapy and how to assess the quality of the care you are getting, among other things. In addition to talking about root causes of common (and commonly normalized) running injuries such as plantar fasciitis, he talks about what he wishes more runners knew and what most runners definitely need to get.
Dr. Alex Lanton of Atlas Physical Therapy in Stapleton, CO is a doctor of physical therapy with the OCS certification as well as licenses for dry needling and manual therapy who doesn’t sleep because he has 2 kids under 3! Go Alex!
MK Fleming is the founder of Fitness Protection, LLC and Sarah Axelrod leads Fitness Protection's #CoachedandLoved Community. Try our accessible, affordable monthly running plans at www.fitnessprotection.com!