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Subject: rec.running FAQ, part 2 of 8

This article was archived around: 25 May 2006 04:23:47 GMT

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Archive-name: running-faq/part2 Last-modified: 13 Dec 2003 Posting-Frequency: 14 days
SOURCES: Fats are stored as adipose, body fat, and muscle fat (triglycerides). CHOs are stored as muscle and liver glycogen (long chains of glucose) and blood glucose. During a workout the early phases are characterized by a reliance on CHOs, both muscle glycogen and blood glucose. The blood glucose comes from the breakdown of liver glycogen. Again this is dependent upon intensity (see above). However, the muscle can also use fat as a fuel, The sources of this are from the inside of the muscle or from the outside - i.e. from adipose tissue. The problem is that levels of fats from adipose take a while to reach high enough levels for their use to become significant. Their concentration in the blood only reaches very high levels when the intensity of the exercise is low (i.e. 50% of max or less) and if the duration is sufficient (1 hour or more). However, when the concentration of fats from outside of the muscle is high enough the muscle can use these instead of glycogen and delay the use of glycogen, this is critical at times since muscle glycogen is a "rate-limiting" fuel for muscle. That is when muscle glycogen runs out, or gets very low, then you feel terrible - you've BONKED or HIT THE WALL (see below). BONKING/HITTING THE WALL: Lots of people talk about the phenomenon of bonking. It hits some people harder than others, I don't know why and have never seen any good information why? However, bonking is a combination of two processes. The first is a lack of muscle glycogen (see above). The second is low blood glucose. When muscle glycogen is low the muscle runs into a fuel crisis. It cannot burn fats at a rate high enough to sustain the muscle's maximal output. The consequence is that your muscle switches to burning more fats and so you have to slow down. The crappy feeling that you experience at the same time, often characterized by nausea and disorientation, is likely a consequence of low blood sugar/glucose (hypoglycemia). The trick then is to alleviate/delay the onset of these symptoms by consuming sugar solutions, or simply by becoming so well trained that you don't have to worry (see TRAINING below). Why is low blood sugar bad? Because your brain, eye tissue, and others are able to burn only glucose. That is when the levels of glucose are low your brain runs out of fuel, so you feel awful. Your vision might become impaired also. FATS vs. CHOs: However, as I've said above your muscle can burn fats and if given the chance your muscle will burn whatever fuel it has in the greatest abundance, even lactate! So, if supplied with enough fat muscle can burn fat and hence, "spare" muscle glycogen. This is the idea behind many runners drinking caffeine/coffee before a race. The caffeine has effects that cause release of fats from adipose tissue and the level of fats in the blood increases. The end result is that for the early phases of the race the runner's muscle's can use fat and delay the use of muscle glycogen, hence, sparing that glycogen for later use. One should be cautioned, however, that this mechanism for increasing fat usage has only been shown with some very high doses of caffeine that are not achievable without taking caffeine pills. It also critically dependent upon the person's habitual caffeine intake ("big" coffee drinker appear not to derive as great of a benefit as non-habitual users). There are other ways to maximize the use of muscle glycogen, however. CHO LOADING: CHO loading is a practice that many athletes use before a longer duration event to "supercompensate" their muscles with glycogen, delay it's running out (see above). The practice is of little use when the duration of the event is less than 60 minutes, since muscle glycogen will usually be able to meet the demands of such a duration. However, it should be noted that repeated bouts of high intensity exercise will also deplete one's muscles of glycogen (for example wrestling 3-4 bouts in one day). There are two basic protocols for CHO loading, one is just as good as the other. However, they involve an initial bout of exercise to deplete the muscle's glycogen (under normal dietary conditions), followed by a period of high CHO diet (i.e. 70% or more of one's total calories from CHO). This period should be the 4-5 days prior to the event and should be a time when the athlete tapers their training, so as not to deplete muscle glycogen too much. The result is an overload of glycogen in one's muscles. Two notes: 1) This procedure will result, if done correctly, in most people gaining 2-5 pounds. Why? Because muscle and liver glycogen is stored with water and increasing glycogen will increase water content - i.e. increased weight is water. 2) Preliminary evidence indicates that this procedure is less effective in women. That is to say that if a female runner were to increase her CHOs to 70% (or >) of her caloric intake she may not have an increase in muscle glycogen. Why? It may relate to a gender difference in the ability to store muscle glycogen or in the amount of CHOs that 70% of the female athlete's diet represents (i.e. 70% of a 2000 calorie diet would be 1400 Cal from CHO, eating this may not be enough to increase muscle glycogen content). Stay tuned for more info here! TRAINING: When one trains or conditions by completing endurance exercise changes occur at many levels, including the muscle. The changes that occur at the level of the muscle include an increased ability to utilize fats. Not surprisingly then one's endurance is increased. How? An increased utilization of fats means less reliance on glycogen, less reliance on glycogen means you don't run out of the fuel that allows you to maintain a high rate of muscle contraction, and hence a high rate of running/exercising. Another adaptation that occurs is that your muscle uses less glucose, this is important for tissues such as brain (see above). --------------------------------------------------------------------------- Conversion chart (Jack Berkery BERKERY@CRDGW2.crd.ge.com) 1 yard = .9144 meter 100 yards = 91.4400 meters 220 yards = 201.1680 meters 440 yards = 402.3360 meters 880 yards = 804.6720 meters 1 meter = 1.094 yards 100 meters = 109.400 yards 200 meters = 218.800 yards 400 meters = 437.600 yards 800 meters = 875.200 yards 1 mile = 1.609 Kilometers 1 mile = 1760 yards = 5280 feet 1 Kilometer = .6214 miles = 1094 yards = 3281 feet Kilmoeters to miles Miles to Kilometers ------------------------------------------------------ 1 km = .6214 miles 1 mile = 1.609 km 2 km = 1.2418 miles 2 miles = 3.218 km 3 km = 1.8642 miles 3 miles = 4.827 km 4 km = 2.4856 miles 4 miles = 6.436 km 5 km = 3.1070 miles 5 miles = 8.045 km 6 km = 3.7284 miles 6 miles = 9.654 km 7 km = 4.3498 miles 7 miles = 11.263 km 8 km = 4.9712 miles 8 miles = 12.872 km 9 km = 5.5926 miles 9 miles = 14.481 km 10 km = 6.2140 miles 10 miles = 16.090 km 11 km = 6.8354 miles 11 miles = 17.699 km 12 km = 7.4568 miles 12 miles = 19.308 km 13 km = 8.0782 miles 13 miles = 20.917 km 14 km = 8.6996 miles 14 miles = 22.526 km 15 km = 9.3210 miles 15 miles = 24.135 km 20 km = 12.4280 miles 20 miles = 32.180 km 25 km = 15.5350 miles 25 miles = 40.225 km 30 km = 18.6420 miles 1 marathon = 26 miles + 385 yards = 42.186 km --------------------------------------------------------------------------- Fluid replacement (2 personal methods) As an ultramarathoner, trail runner fluid replenishment etc. is quite important. My findings, based on personal experience, is that in 90+ degree weather I use a liter per hour on a one hour run - and that is carrying the water with me. If you are not running enough distance, dont be concerned about energy type drinks, and you probably don't lose enough salts to need electrolytes. But your system will absorb more fluid faster is it is hypotonic and cool. If you guys are always running for 45 minutes or an hour in HOT weather - I would really suggest carrying water. When you realize your dehydrated its TOO late - and it takes longer to replenish fluids than it does to lose them. (Milt Schol milts@mse.cse.ogi.edu) I prepare for a run with about 24-30 ounces of lukewarm water within 3 hours of the run. As for after the run, if it was particularly strenuous (and in the 85+ and humid Pittsburgh weather of late, the runs have been strenuous for me), within 10-15 minutes following the run, I take ~10-15 ounces of room-temperature, diluted Exceed (about 2 parts Exceed to 3 parts water). I follow that with about 24-30 ounces of room-temperature water over the next hour or two. (Barbara Zayas bjz@sei.cmu.edu) --------------------------------------------------------------------------- Noakes's Ten Laws of Running Injuries (John Schwebel jcs@cbnewsh.cb.att.com) Ten Laws of Running Injuries stated therein: The 1ST LAW OF RUNNING INJURIES: Running Injuries Are Not an Act of God The 2ND LAW OF RUNNING INJURIES: Each Running Injury Progresses Through Four Grades The 3RD LAW OF RUNNING INJURIES: Each Running Injury Indicates That the Athlete Has Reached the Breakdown Point The 4TH LAW OF RUNNING INJURIES: Virtually All Running Injuries Are Curable The 5TH LAW OF RUNNING INJURIES: X-Rays and Other Sophisticated Investigations Are Seldom Necessary to Diagnose Running Injuries The 6TH LAW OF RUNNING INJURIES: Treat the Cause, Not the Effect The 7TH LAW OF RUNNING INJURIES: Rest is Seldom the Most Appropriate Treatment The 8TH LAW OF RUNNING INJURIES: Never Accept as a Final Opinion the Advice of a Nonrunner The 9TH LAW OF RUNNING INJURIES: Avoid the Knife The 10TH LAW OF RUNNING INJURIES: There Is No Definitive Scientific Evidence That Running Causes Osteoarthritis in Runners Whose Knwees Were Normal When They Started Running --------------------------------------------------------------------------- Second Wind (Newsweek July 27, '92) If an Olympian experiences a second wind, it's probably a sign that he isn't in a great shape. Scientists are divided over whether a second wind is purely psychological - the athlete "willing" himself forward. But if it has a physical basis too, the sudden feeling of "I can do it!" right after "I want to die" probably reflects a change in metabolism. The body gets energy by breaking down glucose, which is stored in muscles. This reaction releases lactic acid, which the body must burn in order to prevent a lactic-acid buildup that causes cramps. Burning lactic acid requires oxygen. If the body does not breathe in enough oxygen; the runner experiences oxygen debt: the heart beats more quickly; the lungs gasp; the legs slow. The second wind, says physicist Peter Brancazio of Brooklyn College, may come when the body finally balances the amount of oxygen coming in with that needed to burn the lactic acid. (When burned, lactic acid is transformed into sweat and carbon dioxide.) Why doesn't everybody get a second wind? Couch potatoes don't push themselves past oxygen debt; true Olympians have enough lung capacity and cardiovascular fitness to avoid oxygen debt in the first place. --------------------------------------------------------------------------- Soda Pop (Paulette Leeper pleeper@wtcp.DaytonOH.NCR.COM) Q: Does anyone have any opinions on Soda pop as a drink in General. I find the CAFFEINE in soda to be irritating and DEHYDRATING, so, IMHO, drinking soda with caffeine (regardless of whether or not it contains sugar or aspartame) defeats the purpose of quenching thirst. It's much like drinking beer to quench thirst... it FEELS good, and TASTES good, but as a mechanism for hydration, it does the exact opposite. --------------------------------------------------------------------------- Computer Software (Jack Berkery berkery@emmax5crd.ge.com) (Paul Gronke, Gronke@acpub.duke.edu) There is a Shareware program in the WUSTL archives available through anonymous ftp. (also on other archive sites) Look into ../msdos/database/joggr105.zip I didn't exactly like it but it may suit your style. It works with CGA/EGA/VGA graphics. Don't know how it functions under windows. ntu.ac.sg [155.69.1.5] AEROBIX.ZIP B 81246 910420 Fitness Log: Record aerobic exercise/progres JOGGR105.ZIP B 59053 920312 Runner's log and analysis database, v1.05 PT100.ARC B 175592 890914 Physical Training test scorekeeper database RUNLOG.ZIP B 71801 900308 Runner's/bicycler's workout log --------------------- All programs are available in the DATABASE directory on Simtel, via anonymous FTP. There are a number of Simtel mirrors, including WUARCHIVE.WUSTL.EDU (dir = mirrors/msdos/database), OAK.OAKLAND.EDU (dir = pub/msdos/database), and a lot of non US sites. RUNCOACH.ZIP RunCoach RunCoach helps coach people who are running, jogging or racing. It is based on Artificial Intelligence techniques and can produce an optimum training program tailored to the individual. If you are just starting to run, want to enter a fun run or are an expert runner and want to improve your time then RunCoach can help. First you enter some data about yourself, then set a goal race (or ask RunCoach to suggest one), tell RunCoach when you can train and RunCoach will quickly generate a personalised training schedule. It will also estimate how likely you are to succeed at your goal. Ver 0.90 was the first public release and can be found as RUNCOACH.ZIP. Ver 0.94 (RUNCO94B.ZIP) is the latest (july 95) release. It works in both miles or kms, has a better understanding of the taper, has a built in series of running guides and has a built in sports psych, so you can discuss any problems. It is available from a number of FTP sites but as an example try Simtel: oak.oakland.edu /SimTel/msdos/database/runco94b.zip Its running knowledge is extensive and includes the following:- - internally classifies runners into five major groups - takes into account age, experience, PB's, sex, training program etc - able to select days of the week you can run, and your long run day - provides feedback on whether you are capable of meeting your goal time - can suggest goal's based on your individual ability - provides a schedule even if Run Coach is sceptical you can reach your goal - knows about VO2 max, anaerobic threshold, efficiency, long runs etc - has many rules for minimising injury - has a variety of individualised speedwork schedules built in - understands periodisation & complex schedules & selects between them - can predict race results for distances not previously run - can produce a schedule for the complete beginner through to the elite RUNLOG.ZIP - I found this to be a barely usable program. It was not at all clear what I needed to enter at any of the prompts. There was no help key. There was no information telling me what format any times, distances, etc. need to be entered as. This does have a time prediction module. The interface is kind of nice. There are graphical displays of improvement, heart rate, etc. With a better manual expaining what you need to enter, I would rate is usable. At present, I found the other programs nicer. If you figure out what need to be entered where, you can use this program. JOGGR105.ZIP - This is a program of British origin. The interface is kind of interesting. It has most of the data entry options that you would want. It will graphically display your improvement. You can control the menu of courses so that you don't have to reenter distance and course info each time. Most annoying problem: everythin is in British units, so that you have to convert 100 meter dash, 5K, 10K, etc. into milage. This might not be a drawback for some; it is a major drawback for me. The data entry, printing is all nice. It escapes from errors well (unlike Runlog, which tends to bomb). This is definitely usable. RUNSTA11.ZIP - I really like this program and will continue to use it. It is by far the largest of the programs (300K zipped, 3 times the size of the others), so you might go for another if disk space is a problem. However, you get a full featured training / racing log for the space. What I like about it: 1) you can make it as complex or simple as possible. Via config options, you can enter for each race/training: shoes, weather, heart rate, health, hilliness, race surface, temp, calories...or none of these, depending on your preference. 2) You can easily set up a menu of courses to choose from in the race *and* training run entry 3) Race and Training are kept separate, a very nice feature if you want to track training runs and racing in the same database. 4) Multiple database files easily used, special configs are unique to each database file (meaning that you can monitor bicycle, running in the same program) 5) Can display data entries (runs) in a "calendar" format, then select the ones you wish to examine with a keystroke 6) Nice graphical displays Drawbacks: requires more memory than the other programs. Might not run on pre-286 machines, but I don't know. More disk space required. Not sure if it does time forecasting, I need to check. RUNSTAT3 Ver.3.0, Jan. 1995 by Scott Diamond <scott.k.diamond@tek.com> RunStat3 is a Windows program useful to runners The program's main window is a pace calculator. You enter distance and time for your run and RunStat3 calculates your pace for your run and finishing times for a large set of distances and times. E.g., if you ran a 10k run, RunStat3 would list finishing times for 1 mile, 5k, 10k, 1/2 marathon, marathon, etc (you can add your own custom entries). Two listing for finishing times are presented, one based on running at constant pace and a 'realistic' estimate which accounts for slowing your pace the longer you run. RunStat3 also supports an ascii logbook in which users can keep a record of all their runs. RunStat3 includes a searching, plotting and statistics calculator so that you can search your log book and plot all your times for a given course, or total your mileage for each pair of shoes or make other plots. There is almost no limit to the number of entries you can place in your log file for tracking your runs (e.g temp., wt, avg. heart rate, course, shoes, etc.) The program is freeware. For more information, set your web-browser to: <http://www.scottdiamond.com/Running/runstat/runstat.html> =========================================================================== Hashing From: Dweezil the Butt Beaker <daveo@theopolis.orl.mmc.COM> Subject: Rules of Hashing (one version, re: Rule Six) Organization: Orlando Hash House Harriers X-Hhh: A Drinking Club With A Running Problem. X-Hhh-Motto: If you have half a mind to hash, that's all you need. X-Hhh-Philosophy: Carpe Cerevisiam X-Oh3-Motto: We get drunk, we get naked, we give hashing a bad name. X-O2H3-Motto: We have beer, we have cookies, we give hashing a nice name. X-Dbh3-Motto: Daytona Beach Hash House Harriers never run out of beer. X-Dbh3-Motto: We have beer before, during, and after the hash. The Hash House Harriers is a running/drinking/social club which was started by bored expatriates in Kuala Lumpuer, Malaysia in 1938. ("Hash House" is the nickname of the restaurant/bar to which they retired for food and beer after a run.) Hashing is based on the English schoolboy game of "Hare and Hounds"; a Hash is a non-competitive cross-country run set by one or more runners called hares. The hares run out in advance of the other runners (the pack of hounds), and set a course marked by white flour, toilet paper, and/or chalk marks. Hash Rules ---------- 1. A HASHMARK is a splash of flour used to mark the trail. The pack should call out "On-On" when they see a hashmark. Blasts on horns, whistles, and other noise makers are encouraged. Hounds asking "RU?" (are you on trail?) of the FRB's (Front-Running Bastards) should be answered "On-On", which means they are on trail, or "Looking", which means they`ve lost the trail. 2. ARROWs, or several closely spaced hashmarks, are used to indicate change of trail direction. Hound should use arrows different from those used by the hares as necessary to assist hounds further back in the pack. 3. A CHECKMARK is a large circled X, or a circle with a dot at its center (fondly known as a "Titty Check"). Checkmarks indicate that the trail goes "SFP"; that is, the pack must search for true trail. Hounds should call out "Checking" when they see a checkmark. (Checking IS NOT Looking!) 4. A Backtrack is three lines chalked or drawn in flour across the trail, indicating a false trail. The pack, upon encountering a backtrack, calls out "On-Back" or "Backtrack", and goes back to the last checkmark to find true trail. Sometimes a hound will draw an arrow with a backtrack sign at the checkmark to identify the false trail for the rest of the pack. A CHECKBACK is a devious variation of the checkmark/backtrack. A checkback is a CB followed by a number. For example, a "CB 5" means to backtrack five hashmarks, then look for true trail as one would at a check. Also known as a COUNTBACK. A WHICHWAY is two arrows, only one of which points toward true trail; no hashmarks will be found in the other direction. 5. Tradition requires a DOWN-DOWN (chug-a-lug) of a beer after a hasher's virgin hash, naming hash, and other significant occasions, e.g., 25th hash, 50th hash, etc. A Down-Down is also in order for hares, visitors, and for any other reason that can be thought up. While frowned upon as "alcohol abuse", it is permissible for non- drinkers to pour the beer over their head; a soda Down-Down may also be elected. The primary consideration of the Down-Down is that once the mug leaves the drinker's lips, it is turned upside-down over the head. 6. THERE ARE NO RULES. =========================================================================== Interval training (micbrian@ubvmsb.cc.buffalo.edu) First off, keep in mind that the interval part of the run is the rest part. This is where your body recovers and strengthens itself. Secondly, say your goal is to run an 8 minute/mile 10k. Start your intervals by doing 5X400m at a little under 2 minutes per rep. You'll see that an 8min mile is a 2min 400, so to better that, you run a little faster, as I said. Walk or jog between the rep (this is the interval). Remember to keep with what you started at. If you jogged to rest, don't walk during the next interval. Intervals should be challenging, but not defeating. If you are having problems maintaining your form during the course of the whole run, you are doing too much. You should feel good at the end of your run, not ready to drop dead. Remember to warmup and cool down sufficiently before and after intervals. 10 minutes of jogging is suggested. Other things to remember: you can customize intervals to achieve different things. For example, to increase endurance, you can decrease your interval while running the same rep. Or you can increase the rep and still do the same interval. You can work on speed by running faster reps. There are other variations as well, but I don't remember all of them. Lastly, make sure you have a good aerobic base when you start, and don't do too much too fast. You can tire your muscles out, and it will take a while to recover. Your goal is to exercise your fast twitch muscles, those used for speed. I've been doing intervals for about 2 months now, and it has made a difference. The first race I ran after starting intervals, my time dropped by about 15 seconds. I have a race tomorrow, and am hoping to improve on that. I also notice I have more pep in my regular workouts. I get out there, and once I'm warmed up, my body wants to run fast. =========================================================================== Legs Sore knees ( Elizabeth Doucette <ead@nbnet.nb.ca>) When running (also walking, and cycling), the inner most quad. muscle (inner part of thigh) does not get exercised as much as the other three quad. muscles of the thigh. If this inner muscle isn't strengthened by specific exercises, an imbalance of the muscles may occur. This can cause irritation of the underside of the kneecap (chondromalacia patellae) because the imbalance of the muscles can pull the kneecap towards the outside of the leg. The kneecap (which has two convex faces on the back) rides in a broad indentation on the femur. Weak inner quadriceps (M. Vastus medialis) can pull the kneecap slightly out of its "track"; and it is theorized that this is what causes chondromalacia (which I believe is called patellofemoral pain syndrome these days). [edited for correctness 2/19/95 by lmm5@postoffice. mail.cornell.edu (Lucie Melahn)] I had chondromalacia patellae for a long time (and many of my running friends did too) but I haven't had problems since I've been doing specific exercises for my inner quad. muscle. It is tedious and boring but it works. I haven't had knee problems for about 3 years now :-). I should do this every day, whether I work out or not, but I don't always. If I feel any discomfort at all in my knees, I make sure I'm more diligent with this exercise and the discomfort always disappears. I'm always able to prevent a problem now. The exercise is just a leg raise with the foot flexed and pointing away from the body. With this exercise make sure that your back is supported. As your quad. muscles fatigue, there is a tendency to help out with your back muscles. You may not realize that you're doing this until you notice later that your back is a little sore. Sitting on the floor, bend one leg (like you're going to do a sit-up), bringing the knee towards the chest. The other leg is straight. Place your hands behind you on the floor to support your back. You can vary this by leaning against a wall and hugging your knee to your chest with both arms. YOUR CANNOT BE TOO CAREFUL WITH YOUR BACK. For ease of explanation, start with your right leg being straight and flex your foot (bring your toes towards your head, as opposed to pointing them away from you). Turn your leg to the right, so that your toes and knee are pointing to the right as far as possible. The position of the foot is important because it helps to isolate the inner quad. muscle. Now, do leg raises. When I started I could only do 10 or 20 before I needed to rest. Don't do the leg raises too quickly because technique is more important than speed. I now do three sets, each leg of 60 repetitions (alternating legs after each set) for a total of 180 per leg. It takes me about 10 minutes. You can tell if your muscle is getting fatigued because it will start to quiver. Don't push it, change legs. Keep note of how many repetitions you do before you get fatigued and try to increase the repetitions next time. Compare you to you, not to others. Leg presses used to bother my knees. Now that I'm doing leg raises, the leg press doesn't bother me any more. Technique is important when doing leg presses. (Technique is probably more important than the fact that I'm doing leg raises). Make sure that the seat is forward far enough, so that when you press you cannot lock your knee. This makes the initial position feel too cramped. My knees feel too close to my chest. But it works for me and for others (both men and women) that I work out with. Nautilus equipment uses a cam system, such that there is less resistance on your knees in the initial, starting position, so there is less chance of injury. --------------------------------------------------------------------------- Leg Massage (John Boone boone@IDA.ORG) (From Bicycling magazine, pp.76-77, July 1992, Reproduced without permission) MASSAGE TECHNIQUES 1. Full Muscle Flush This surface stroke prepares the muscles for deeper work. It loosens the fibers and increases the blood flow to wash out lactic acid and other toxins. Begin with the calves. Place the palms flat against the bottom of the muscle and stroke toward the heart in a continuous movement. Always stroke toward the heart so the blood containing the toxins isn't traveling back into the muscles. After a few of these, knead the muscle during the stroke by working the bottom of the palms in and out. End with the original flat stroke. 2. Broad Cross-Fiber Stroke After each muscle group has been flushed, use the same palm position at the center of the muscles, but work sideways. Press harder than the flush. The hands are moving acros the muscle fibers, separating them and making them pliable so the massage can go deeper with the next type of stroke. This is a great supplement to stretching. It makes muscle fibers less likely to tear. End with more flushing. 3. Deep Muscle Spress "Spress" is a Swedish term. This technique is also known as muscle stripping. Use fingers, knuckles, or even elbows to penetrate the muscle. [Press deep into the leg where previously rubbing the surface.] Apply pressure until the comfort limit is passed. If there's pain, work slower, or do a few palm strokes before spressing again. Knuckles and thumbs work best. Concentrate on specific areas, instead of stroking the whole muscle. But remember to work toward the heart. SELF-MASSAGE Initial Strokes Self-massage uses the same sequence of strokes as assisted massage, and the same order of muscles -- calf, quads, hamstrings, glutes. But it's usually less effective because self-massagers get tired or bored quicker. The most common mistake is skipping the full-muscle flush or cross-fiber stroke to concentrate on the spress in the sorest areas. If you don't prepare the muscles, you won't be able to penetrate deep enough. [...] Be sure you're applying pressure with both hands. Sometimes one side of the leg gets shortchanged. Going Deeper The advantage of self-massage is that you know exactly where it hurts and can key on these areas. You also know when your muscles are loose enough for deeper penetration. [...] Amateurs usually don't go [deep enough] in assisted massage, or do so too quickly and it hurts. You can find that perfect balance. [...] It's best to use both [hands], but fatigue is a problem in self-massage. -- Austin "Ozzie" Gontang, Ph.D. TEC International 2903 29th St San Diego, CA 92104-4912 hm/off. 619-281-7447 fax 619-281-9468 email <gontang@electriciti.com> Chief Executives Working Together http://www.teconline.com