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“Should I try to lose weight to run faster? When I was younger I lost weight and ran fast and then stopped having my menstrual cycle and had stress fractures. I never ran that fast again. How skinny should I be for maximal performance? My running buddies are constantly trying a new diet to lose weight. Should I be trying that also?

It is really common, especially among women, to want to be skinnier, both to fit an unrealistic societal ideal and perform better. Wouldn’t it be nice if there was a single resource or equation we could use to…


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photo by Damir Spanic

“I really thought I could run through it when it started 2 months ago. It was a little pain in the back of my ankle. But it is just getting worse and now it hurts to even walk on it and it is swollen. Please, don’t tell me I have to stop running.”

Those are words I hear frequently in runners with Achilles tendon issues. Why does this pesky tendon cause so many problems for runners?

Achilles tendon injury is a common condition that causes pain along the back of the leg near the heel (calcaneus) bone where it inserts…


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Photo by Filip Mroz (Unsplash)

“My hip snaps when I run more than 5–6 miles. I used to be a ballet dancer and my hips snapped all the time, but now when I run I feel it, too. It feels deep in the joint and my husband thinks I have a labral tear, but it doesn’t hurt. Should I be concerned?”

Snapping hip is a very common complaint in runners. It is even more common in dancers so your past dancing may contribute. Most people only feel or hear an unpainful snap, in which case, there is nothing to worry about. However, pain and/or weakness…


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There is nothing like finishing a long training run or bike or swim, better yet, discussing it with your buddies. But there is no joy in talking about the workout where your legs feel like concrete blocks. What is the trick to recovering well? Recovery is essential in allowing your body to increase mileage or yardage and building speed and strength. How does the recovery process of training work? What can we do to maximize our recovery? Endurance exercise, especially running, causes adaptation in many systems of our bodies, including cardiac, skeletal muscle, bone, and respiratory.

Cardiac response to exercise…


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A 45-year-old male runner came into my office with calf cramping while running. It had been present for 9 months. It got worse the further he ran, to the point of reducing him to a walk. At the time he came in, he couldn’t run more than 1 mile and he had been running 50–60 miles a week. He had seen another physician and been tested for compartment syndrome and other muscle problems. We did an MRI which showed a tibial stress fracture. …


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Photo by Brad Granley

With COVID some people are exercising more. There can be a temptation with beautiful weather and less social obligations to increase mileage quickly. Repetitive injuries can develop, including stress fractures. Every spring and summer, I see an increase in stress injuries because of the temptation to be running more in the nice weather. What are the basics of stress injuries, risk factors, treatment, and prevention?

A stress injury is defined by the severity of the injury to the bone. Bone is made up of an outer periosteum, and inner areas of compact bone and spongy bone. Normally bones undergo remodeling…


Many people had a large change to their active lifestyle during the pandemic. Some started a new exercise program and others may have stopped. Some had Covid 19 and may be experiencing symptoms that make it difficult to exercise. So, what if you get Covid 19 and want to return to exercise? How long should you wait? What should you expect during recovery?

One of my patients, an elite triathlete, made an appointment to help decide how to return to training. In mid-March, he had 2 weeks of shortness of breath, fevers and chills, but not a bad cough. He…

Kathryn Vidlock

Dr. Kathryn Vidlock is a sports medicine physician practicing in Parker Colorado. She is an avid swimmer and ultrarunner.

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