Prevent Injury with Quick and Easy Strength Routines, Warmup Exercises, and Recovery Method From Rocket PT's Irina Stiasny
Irina is a rockstar physical therapist and a valued member of the RaceMob and Too Legit communities. Her nickname is Rocket - and she recently opened her own business - Rocket Physical Therapy.
On today's episode, we dive into Irina's start, and how she got into one of the most prestigious PT schools in the country. We dive into the lessons she's learned from years of running, and over a decade of working with other runners. She tells us the short daily routine that can help prevent injury, why dynamic warmups are so crucial, and the important post workout routine that speeds up recovery.
Plus - we dive into how this busy mother of two finds the time to train for Boston, and start a new practice in the midst of a pandemic.
Links For the Show
Podcast TranscriptionThe following transcript is provided for your convenience. It was created through a program, and may not be entirely accurate to our conversation.
Guest Quote [00:00:00]
My suggestion is don't wait. I feel like a lot of runners would wait like, oh, let me just take a couple days off.
Irina Stiasny: [00:00:05]
Let's see how I feel. I'm like, and they don't do anything. And then they get frustrated. With the system or with the therapist or a trainer, whoever they want to go to.
Um, but I'm like, and my question is like, well, what have you done in those two weeks, two days? Cause sometimes with running. As you guys know, rest might not be the best scenario, right? It could be an ice bath. It could be a stretching. A lot of it is just weakness, overuse. So, my biggest thing is what I try to tell him, reach out to a trainer, a PT sooner than later.
Episode Intro [00:00:43]
Bertrand Newson: [00:00:43]
Hello and welcome to the RaceMob podcast. This is episode number 56.
I'm Kevin entrepreneur technology and fitness nerd. And I'm joined by the head coach of RaceMob and master motivator. The incomparable Bertrand Newson. ### Guest Introduction [00:00:56]
Kevin Chang: [00:00:57]
Irina is a rock star, physical therapist, and a valued member of the RaceMob and two legit communities. Her nickname is rocket and she recently opened her own business, rocket physical therapy. On today's episode, we dive into arena start and how she got into one of the most prestigious PT schools in the country.
We get into the lessons she's learned from years of running and over a decade of working with other runners. She tells us the short daily routines that help her prevent injury, why dynamic warmups are so crucial and the important post-workout routines that speed up her recovery.
Plus we dive into how this busy mother of two finds the time to train for boston and start a new practice in the midst of a pandemic.
You can find all of the show notes online at RaceMob dot com slash podcast and without further ado here's our conversation.
Start of the Interview [00:01:49]
Hey, RaceMob crew! We're so excited to welcome the one and only Irina Stiasny to the RaceMob podcast.
Irina is a physical therapist, proud member of the two legit crew probably got in from a Hammertime workout this morning. So she's probably been up since very early, , proud mother, , busy as all get out.
And thank you so much for coming onto the show and sharing your wealth of knowledge with the RaceMob audience this morning.
Bertrand Newson: [00:02:16]
Yeah, our sincere pleasure! Boy, I've been looking forward to this conversation for awhile are gonna, you've been a huge supporter of, uh, RaceMob into legit fitness. You've been our resident. Physical Therapist, you've really helped many of our athletes being, participating in our town hall, Q&A's. And now we have an opportunity to share your knowledge with many other members of our running community.
Irina's Origin Story [00:02:38]
So let's jump right in. First about you, the individual, you are a physical therapist, how did that, and helping others being happier and healthier versions of themselves, how did that get on your radar? And then kind of take us through your experience in getting into running and, and we'll go from.
Irina Stiasny: [00:02:53]
So I was a very active kid originally I'm from Soviet union, uh, Moldova. So when I was about eight . I try out for track and feel local team. I made the team, but then you need a physical, well, when you go to the doctor and then that's when I got diagnosed with a heart murmur and then pretty much my running career at that time was over according to that physician.
So no running. I still play street soccer with my older brother, as you can tell, I can stay still. So that started as a childhood. So , I was on medication, , for a few years and then we immigrated to U.S. in 1996 and that's the first place we went as to cardiologists because I told my mom, like, I feel fine.
Like I want to be active. I want to play other sports. There's gotta be, I mean, maybe a us medicine is better. That's what I was. I was just needed like, uh, somebody telling me what I want to hear.
And I did went to cardiologist and then he cleared me. He's like, "there's nothing wrong with you." I mean, kids have heart murmurs, like G feel out of breath and I'm like, no, And my mom had a hard time be like, just don't run, even now.
I'm like, okay, I'm trying to find marathons. Like, just take it easy. Just have fun. And I'm like, mom, I'm trying to for Boston. She's like, no, no, no, but just be careful. I'm like, mom, I'm fine. Like it's okay.
But racing, I didn't get in until grad school and undergrad, I went to the university of San Francisco. Initially, actually I wanted to be MD. So that was a pre-med track until I took organic chemistry, and the I'm like hmm, maybe not.
And then I went to a local hospital to volunteer and that just didn't like the patient-physician interaction at bedtime. It's like, not something I was looking for. I'm very personable. Like, I'm all about building relationship.
Like I want to know like kind of watch people journey and not like, okay, here's your pill. I'll see you never type of... That's just not me personally. And then I changed my major to. Kinesiology. And I was always an athlete and heart, and I felt like that was kind of like my calling. , so I just follow that, track that into USC at the time.
I did not know it was number one 15 in the nation that kind of just like here's the five schools. My parents were okay for me to go from like Sacramento to LA my family is very supportive. You know, they were behind me all the way. USC was tough.
It was probably the toughest three years. Um, very fast paced program. Um, it's all year. So you don't get summers off, but yeah, um, very challenging, but very rewarding. And that's when I got into racing.
Like my first half marathon was I think it's still called surf city and orange county. I believe. And that's when I did all the newbie mistakes, you know, cotton socks, and I'd be like, oh, you're giving me a goo, let me try it. And I'm like, oh, not that one. I'm not going to say what happened. You can use your imagination.
Um, but I finished it. And after that I was like, okay, I, this is like my stress relief. So like, I would be at school from 7:00 AM in the anatomy lab. 7:00 PM in the last class. And then I will go home and be like, there's no way I can study, like brain is fried. So I will go for a run and I just get out of Burbank and that just run for whatever miles and then come home and I feel refreshed and then I can study.
And then that kind of just clicked. And then I got people to run with me and then I did about 20 or 30 halfs and then I'm like, okay, I need, maybe I can
Kevin Chang: [00:06:27]
20 or 30, 20 to 20 or 30 halfs? Oh my god!
Irina Stiasny: [00:06:30]
Yeah, Yeah above. above. And then I'm like, okay, I think I can do the full, but I figured I need like, I'm part of the team. So that's when I did the team and training. That's how I know some of the two legit, like Victoria, and Iraj got into it few years when I got out.
But yeah. And then leukemia lymphoma is close to heart because Rob's dad unfortunately passed away from lymphoma way before I met him. Um, so it's a big thing we've donated every year, raising money for that. So, um, so that's kinda how I got into it.
### Precautions as a Female Runner [00:07:02]###### Kevin Chang: [00:07:02]
talk to us a little bit, I guess. I mean, you had mentioned that USC is not in such a great neighborhood. What did you have any fears when you started getting into running as a, as a female runner, um, running in that area, did you take any precautions or have any thoughts around.
Irina Stiasny: [00:07:16]
So the actual school isn't that in a good neighborhood, but I live in Burbank Glendale, which is suburbia. So I didn't feel like, and there's actually like a trail right behind like a park, which had like a thing, like 5k loop. So I just kind of going around. But yeah, I was very cautious. At that time I didn't trust myself with the pepper spray, so I would run with my car. So I hope I never have to use it, but just for protection.
But I will never run like early in the morning or late at night. It was always like when it's light. Cause I'm very much aware. , and I always run without music at the time. , I only run music now and my, one of my plugs that always off, just so I'm aware at all times of my restaurant.
Team and Training Program [00:07:59]
Kevin Chang: [00:07:59]
That makes sense. Talk to us a little bit about team and training. You know, I always see the purple shirts out there. Uh, uh, it's, it's pretty fantastic. Organization, they donate a lot of money towards the leukemia lymphoma society have got to know a number of people who have gone through the program. A number of people who would have ever thought about completing their first marathon were not for team and training.
So talk to us about how you got into the program, what they kind of provided you throughout that whole journey.
###### Irina Stiasny: [00:08:27]
I signed up 2008, this summer. That's when I was studying for my, my boards, but unfortunately my grandpa passed away very suddenly from stoke. It was just like complication from an open heart surgery. He was determined to do surgery so he can fly to USC for graduation. And then unfortunately got a clot and passed away a few days after my birthday.
So my birthday has not been the same ever since that, but because of that, I was just not into it. So I had to. Tim and training. Cause I just, I needed to heal from, you know, take my time and just do much. So I studied for the boards. I passed my boards and then I knew I haven't finished business. I might quit, but I'm not going to quit all the way I had to just start it again.
So in 2009 I joined and that's when I met Juana. Repeat. Couple other Too-Legit friends that, I mean, we have friends ever since it's been like 11 years. The biggest thing for me is the community.
As you say, like you need people that thinks the same, that elevate yourself. So I need, and that wasn't a fast run of event time, even though if you asked me a PhD disagrees, but I still talk to them for my friends that I used to run it.
I mean, my first marathon of his legs, six hours and seven minutes. And that mile 23, I was texting my boyfriend husband at the time. Why am I doing this? Like, uh, we're done and you know,
Kevin Chang: [00:09:48]
We've all been there. yeah. We've all been there.
Irina Stiasny: [00:09:50]
It was Nike. And there was Nike marathon. So, you know, I don't know if you guys know the route it's,
Kevin Chang: [00:09:56]
It's hilly it's, hill.
Irina Stiasny: [00:09:58]
It's San Francisco it's hilly, but the, the last, like 19 to 20 or 30 miles, you're going around, like Marcet and people call it for a reasonable like it's "more sucks". I mean, it's just.
And I will never forget on mile 19. Those, I mean, God bless that child has a poster, says you almost there. And then my mentor was, Jennifer was right next to her, like try to ignore the poster, you know, you get in there. And I was riding with, uh, what, a friend of mine. Um, and she was hurting.
I mean, it was to the point where like, I knew that if I stop, I'm done, so I just needed to move. And, um, I love you, but I got to go like, like lane again now, like I finished it, but, and then of course you do the same thing. Every runner, I'm never doing it again. Never. I am done like one and done, you know, my father was there for me.
It was more like running from my grandpa. So like I knew I had to get it done because I wanted to do that in 2008, but mentally I was just not there, but even now, like I still donate. It's a special place in my heart, you know? And then I became a mentor.
So then I mentored people for two more years, but we still get together once in a while and go for a run. And unfortunately, because of COVID, I think they're not trying right now. It's all online.
How did the Program Work [00:11:16]
Kevin Chang: [00:11:16]
I guess, how did the program work when you were a part of it? Was it meeting once a week meeting a couple of times a week. Do you have training plans?
Irina Stiasny: [00:11:23]
Yeah. So on Tuesdays were track workouts was run by, I believe they were willing to coaches. I actually don't know. And then you have a mentors where you just in a keep in touch, you email and you're like, you know, do you need anything? And then on Saturdays is our long runs.
And then you supposed to do, thursday like buddy runs, but there were not, um, let's say as organized as like we do into legit, like, okay, we'll meet on a Monday here. It's five 15. Let's go. It was more like, you should do this and you should do this cross-training. But you know, as a newbie, you're like, yeah, yeah, yeah. I'm busy. I have to go to work.
And I mean, then reality hits. Right. But then you learn when you get on the marathon and you're like, I should've done that.
Bertrand Newson: [00:12:08]
Irina Stiasny: [00:12:08]
And I should've done that. And my, you know, maybe Nike frees are not a great shoe at the time, but they look cool. It's a cool color. It's orange. Yeah. And then you take a little bit more classes about running a therapy and you're like, oh.
I did this wrong. And I did this around and I did that. Right. You know? So like, so now that's why I'm a big believer. Like I try to get the beginners before they get in trouble. Um, that way they can miss all the mistakes I've done. Um, but luckily I didn't have major injuries, so I was very lucky.
Kevin Chang: [00:12:42]
That's great. Yeah.
And we do hear a lot of stories from people in Team and Training who have gotten injured . Sometimes even though you have that buddy system, or even though you have that advisor system, you do need some professional advice or actual advice from physical therapists or from people who have been there, done that before I'm been there multiple times.
Advice to Beginners and Beginner Mistakes [00:13:01]
So, I mean, now that you've worked as a physical therapist for a number of years, now that you've worked with runners for over a decade, Talk to us a little bit about some of the advice you do give to beginners and some of the things or the most common mistakes you see beginners.
Irina Stiasny: [00:13:16]
so the biggest thing I feel like for beginners is it's hard to differentiate "am I having soreness from a workout or am I having a pain, actual, sharp pain from an injury" Right? Cause you know, I don't want to say run in hurts, but like when you run, like, yes, I just came back from a track workout. Am I sore? Yeah, I am. But I know it's not pain, but I feel like a newbie won't know the difference.
My suggestion is don't wait. I feel like a lot of runners would wait like, oh, let me just take a couple days off. Let's see how I feel. I'm like, and they don't do anything. And then they get frustrated. With the system or with the therapist or a trainer, whoever they want to go to.
Um, but I'm like, and my question is like, well, what have you done in those two weeks, two days? Cause sometimes with running. As you guys know, rest might not be the best scenario, right? It could be an ice bath. It could be a stretching. A lot of it is just weakness, overuse. So, my biggest thing is what I try to tell him, reach out to a trainer, a PT sooner than later.
And a lot of people think like, well, I don't have insurance or I need a prescription. While in California, you were partially direct access. So you can see me as a PCU or anyone else. Without a prescription from a physician, you can just walk into the clinic and say, I have knee pain and we can see you for 12 visits or 45 days, whatever come first.
But a lot of people don't know that. So then it's like, well, I don't want to go to the doctor to tell me what, what is the doctor's going to tell you, stop running. That's the number one thing they tell you as a runner myself. I don't want to hear that. You don't want to hear that. So I think part of that, um, and lack of strength, training, crush, training, I mean, all we want to do is running.
So for me, the way I see it running is easy is what are you doing the time that you don't run that keeps you running for 10, 20, 30... I mean, I want to run until I'm a hundred. I just saw a video. Somebody posted a couple of days ago on Facebook. It's a sprint Joan she's 86 years old and she started running.
Bertrand Newson: [00:15:26]
Irina Stiasny: [00:15:27]
I'm like, I want to be like that. Right. I don't care if I have bionic knees and hips. Hopefully not, but that's also what people think. Right. Or like, oh, you're run so much, Irena. Aren't your knees going to hurt? Like, didn't your grandma had replay. I'm like, yeah, my grandma had a replacement, but she didn't do any activities. That's probably why she got in the problem she had.
So my biggest thing, like I crossed right. Probably as much as I run and coach knows that.
Kevin Chang: [00:15:55]
Yeah. I mean, we've seen you do the pushup challenges and all sorts of other strength training workouts that you post on onto Facebook. So we know that you're a big proponent of cross training.
And I agree with you there when you mentioned that. People are sometimes too afraid to ask for professional advice. They, you know, just sit on the couch, they think it'll go away. They're just doing running. And they don't realize that there are other things, other mechanisms that can help them get back into running quicker if they do it. So both from a playability side, from a strength side.
Common Injuries for Beginners and Recommended Workouts [00:16:26]
So talk to us a little bit about some common injuries you may see. From beginner runners and maybe some of the workouts or some of the exercises you may prescribe or ask a runner to do in order to get.
Irina Stiasny: [00:16:37]
So for beginners, the biggest thing is shin splints. I used to be a strength trainer at Montevista high. But a lot of it is choose. So number one, you want to have proper stew and I'm biggest believer. Like you have to fake your feet.
It's not like, Ooh, coach has new Nike's, let's put them on. And I think my feet is just going to go in there. , for me personally, Nike is just the one. Bidwell for me. , it's a great shoe. It's just not for me.
And go to a store in your town. Like for me, Ranya revolution, Chris is my go-to. I literally refer every client, every runner, every parents, every teenager there, just because I trust his knowledge and he can look at your feed and be like, oh no, this is not your shoe.
You should get this. And I'm like, okay. And it never fails. , so that's one thing. And then. Stretching strengthening calves. I feel like as a runner myself included, we kind of forget about them. We always be like, oh, let's do dead list for hamstrings and glutes and hip strengthening.
And we kind of forget the little muscles in your feet and calves, since, you know, calf is to muscle. We do a lot of heel raises, but I, we hit in the soleus. They actually helps you with speed. So when you sprint, you might strain that. And I had strain calves in the past. So I'm full believer, doing heel raises pretty much every day in a different position.
sitting to get solace and stand in, you get even like a toe grabbing, like grab marbles for my toes. Cause you don't really strengthen your toes. They work pretty hard when you run and the mobility of my big toe. That's also important. Cause you got to push off of that to get your glutes involved.
It's just your body is as one, right? It's never like...
Kevin Chang: [00:18:21]
Yeah, it's not isolated.
Irina Stiasny: [00:18:22]
Kevin Chang: [00:18:23]
None of your muscles are isolated.
I guess people would be surprised to hear for shin splints that you're looking to activate calf muscles, or you're looking to work out calf muscles.
Shin Splints [00:18:33]
Is that the case that if you saw somebody with shin splints or somebody who is starting to feel some pain and again, like what is the difference between just some ache in the shin versus some actual, you know, damage that might be happening in the shin?
Irina Stiasny: [00:18:47]
Yeah. So Shane is, it's kind of a delicate, right. Because you can get a stress fresher there. So how would, you know, like, isn't it just, the shin was a stress factor, right?
So my biggest thing, like if you have pain walking you in trouble, like then I will be like, you know, if you alter your mechanics. Like if you limping, like if you start running and you feel like you overcompensating, then I will refer out for an imaging.
I'd rather be, you know, raw. And I'm fine being wrong. I want to be wrong. Cause I don't want it to have a stress fracture versus like, oh, if it's like for a long. So a lot of times like stress fresh as you run, you're going to have pain. If it's just inflammation of attendant on the muscle, as you run more, it feels better.
Like if, like you say tendon Achilles tendonitis, the first step, you're like, oh my God. Like, uh, but as you kind of go, you warm up and feel better and then you run 10 miles and then you, okay. And then the next day you're like, oh. You know, it hurts again. So that's kind of where I go.
And a lot of times also with shin splints, it's the core, if your pelvis, like, how hard are you hitting your ground? Like, can you unload? What are the muscles? So a lot of times people have really weak core, like your abdominals, your transverse abdominis, like how good are you keeping your hips level versus like, are you hitting the right more than the left?
Cause it's, there's always one chin hurts more than the other, but at least from my experience, it's never both. And then if you touch it, like if you touch it, is it like a hotspot? Like, are you like, oh my God, if somebody comes to any closer, you like punching them, then I will think a stress factor
and then young kids kind of prone to that because all they do is run, run, run, run. They don't stretch. They don't ice strengthening is like, I don't have time for that. I have to study for chemistry or whatever class they're in.
Bertrand Newson: [00:20:33]
Not just kids. Not just kids!
Irina Stiasny: [00:20:35]
Yeah. It's not kids Yeah. I know someone. I'm not going to blast them here.
Kevin Chang: [00:20:41]
Irina Stiasny: [00:20:41]
But that's what I'm saying. Running is easy. You put shoes on and you go outside. The other stuff is hard. That's when you find the time. So what I started telling my clients is because I'm busy too. Right? So break up your routine. I give you 10 exercise.
I didn't tell you to find 45 minutes in your day. I asked you to find two, three minutes in the morning, during the day between you zoom. I mean, everybody now is on zoom, right? So it's like, you can stand up and do heel raises while you're talking to your boss, you can squat five times while you're washing your dishes.
It's like add it to your routine. I mean that honestly, that's how I get all my stuff done. Everything is scheduled. Like if it's not in my phone, it never happened. Like everything's scheduled. I mean, pick up my kid.
I mean, I have two kids with distance learning. It was very hard. I mean there's days, you know, tears and screaming. I mean, you know, and I don't sugar coat, like people like how you do it. I'm like, it's not easy. I mean, I, I'm lucky I have my parents, um, local, they encountered.
I mean like today, I'm like, I need you to pick up Tahlia. I have to take my layer to the doctor, my pet, my dog game. I mean, that's what you do. Cause my husband works really long hours. He was going for promotion, fingers crossed. He gets it and he said, I'll be less stressed. And I'm like, mmhm.
Kevin Chang: [00:22:00]
Yeah, never the case. Right?
Irina Stiasny: [00:22:01]
That's never the case. He's in the tech world. You know, it's always revolving, but, but he's very supportive of the way you know.
He's not a runner and people like, oh, don't you want him to be around him? Like. It's like, why not? Because I want to run. He takes care of the kids when I run, but I didn't want him to be active. And it's, it's a process. I think as kids get older, you know, we'll go out on the bikes, he's a biker. He likes to bike, play tennis.
But he's very supportive and, I mean, that's what helps out. Otherwise it's hard to be away for three, four hours when you run 22 miles this weekend.
Kevin Chang: [00:22:33]
Yeah, that's absolutely true.
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Prehab Workouts [00:22:47]
I wanted to get into two different subjects, one around the prehab sides. So, you know, we've talked a little bit about injury, injury, recovery.
So, um, you mentioned some of these like two to three minute exercises, some of these workouts, and hopefully I think we'll have a PDF or something that our, our RaceMob audience can download ,that they can work on a couple of these strength training exercises, and sprinkle them in throughout the day.
So I wanted to get into that. And I also wanted to get into how do you take time, , as a busy mother, to find time to work out and some of it you've already sprinkled in having a husband or having a significant other that is supportive, that allows you to do some of these things, kind of scheduling some of these activities as well.
Let's first get into the prehab side. So I'd love to get into some prehab workouts. Maybe you can talk through or describe a couple of workouts that you think are great for prehab activities.
Irina Stiasny: [00:23:40]
The thing with running it's a forward motion, right? So I'm, I'm former believer to get your abductors. So like, sidestepping is good with the band, a lot of balancing, like single life balance. You'll be surprised. Gray runner super fast can not balance at all.
Balance is very important. Like single leg squats and former believer to do single legs. The body is it's amazing for, to compensate.
So you can do squats, but then your left leg, for example, will dominate most of the motion. And then you wonder like why the right side is always get hurt or something like that. Right. And then the core, I mean, planks side planks. I do push up for up a body more for me. Cause I have a goal of doing pull up and I already can do one.
Now I have to change my goal. So, um, um, and my seven year old Matthew, you know, he's like, mommy, look, I can do it. I'm like, yeah, yeah. But you only 40 pounds. You only 45 pounds or whatever it is.
Bertrand Newson: [00:24:35]
Irina Stiasny: [00:24:35]
But hey, it guess my husband and my son to be competitive. I mean, I love it. I'm like mean. Between you and I, and that's why I bought it because I was hoping that it will happen organically.
So balance hip strengthening, , but a lot of all my exercises and standing, so it has to mimic running. So if you do like laying down, it's important if you that way, but most of us are not super weak, but I like to mimic everything kind of like smell like running looks like running and then add the balance.
And then you have to think about like, are you a trail runner? Are you like, where are you running? Because then we have to make sure your ankles are even more stable. So you don't, you know, the last thing you want is to go to Rancho for the first trail run. And then you're like, oops.
And now you're out for two months,
Kevin Chang: [00:25:22]
Yeah. How do you, how do you work on ankle? Do you work on ankle pliability or, what are you working on with ankles?
Irina Stiasny: [00:25:28]
So I do both, um, balanced in general. So you can put like, um, you know, Dinah, disposable, so do a lot of squats. They're single X squads there, or like they will just stand and you throw something on them, like a bowl or a medicine ball. And then, um, like John's kinda like CrossFit thing, right? Like you have a box and you jump cause how you trained plier, you got to do them. Right.
I used to go to a track and just jump off of the benches stuff like that.
Kevin Chang: [00:25:57]
So that's the, that plyometric, like Explosive. movements that you're...
Irina Stiasny: [00:26:01]
Yeah. Especially if you're a sprinter, right. You've got to kind of, um, former Bolivia, you've got to train, do something that you kind of mimic while you're doing it. So if you're a sprinter, you're going to train sprint one. And if you a distance, like if you run a marathon, you're not going to train for 5k. Like that doesn't make sense.
So same with the exercise you got to, they actually just have to mimic the sport that you play. So if you play soccer, you've got to do a lot of agility, you know, different directions for running. It's also important, especially if you, I feel like a trail runner, you got to go in and out and watch the rocks and all of those things too.
And a lot of us don't do it. I mean, how many runners do you know that goes to the gym and gym box jump, unless you go cross fit
Kevin Chang: [00:26:39]
Yeah, that's true. Yeah. Not a lot of runners are training the plyometric, but we've heard it from a number of different experts that, that is very important. Both the activation side of things. So, you know, a couple of things that runners don't do, one, like find the muscles that they're not using and try to activate them.
So a lot of runners myself, I'm not using my glute muscles enough, the back hamstrings enough. And when I'm running, so working more on activation from that side to working more on strength. So that maybe, I guess I'm a little bit more like ecentric movements or finding ways to really strengthen some of those big muscles and then three the plyometric side.
So I think a lot of runners aren't, aren't running, working off of those explosive movements that can really help them in their, in the running and training. So, um,
Bertrand Newson: [00:27:22]
Question. I get all. Um, as, as, as a running coach and I'm sure you do too, uh, Irina, the PT also Irina the running coach recently. Got your RRCA certifications. Congratulations.
before run or don't stretch before run?
Irina Stiasny: [00:27:37]
It's funny, they ask I am strong believer, dynamic stretching before the run, and then static stretching after.
Like Kevin just mentioned, you want to prep prime, your muscle that you bought to use every that's why I always say like, okay, we're going to start running a six by 5 45. We got a warmup and we're doing a warmup.
So I kind of forced to legit people do what I do. So I do like squats and lunges and heel raises. Cause I'm gonna, I'm about to run, like whatever it is, 18, 20 miles. If you don't want to feel like that, you know, three first, three miles is a torture you want to warm up.
And then that's usually when the injuries happen, like, you know, you sleep, you know what let's just say, average 60. And then you wake up, you know, you, hopefully you eat breakfast, get in the car, you drive an hour. If you go to like Santa Cruz, for example, to run your 19 miles, which I do last week, you've got a warmup.
So, you know, I jog back and forth a Jew squats. I do lunges, heel raises, bup, kicks, high knees, just, you know, warm up my back, low back, just everything. I, and then also for me, I warm up my upper body cause I tend to carry a hydration pack. So that gets tiring. And then you mid back is kind of stiff in the middle.
So just trying to not be a patient
Bertrand Newson: [00:28:53]
It's very good, very good feedback. And the examples of the exercises even better, but what is the harm in stretching before running?
Irina Stiasny: [00:29:03]
like static stretching, there is a belief that if you statically stretch, you can micro tear. Some of them. But the idea you want the blood flow into the muscles before you warm up. And I personally feel the difference. I remember when I was a new runner, they were like, okay. Right. Run. And I'm like, I guess so, oh my God, that first 5k, I used to ask him, like, this is just me.
Like, why is it hurts? And then, you know, and I knew it wasn't like injury hurt. It was like, yes, everything is so tight. And then you're like people talking to you and like, I can't. This is sucks, you know? Um, so, you know, as I, you know, and I was an avid PT at the time and, you know, just starting out running something like that, gotta be something in that.
And of course, then I started reading more books, reading experts, and then I'm like, Ooh, well, yeah, duh physiology anatomy. It makes sense. Right. But at the time you're like, I don't have time. Like I just gotta go.
Dynamic Warm ups [00:30:01]
Kevin Chang: [00:30:01]
we talk a little bit about the dynamic warmups? I'd love to just dive in a little bit deeper on it because. The, the things that you're trying to do, one warm your body up. So will you go on like a little bit of something to just elevate your heart rate? Something like a, a, a small jog or something before you get right into the dynamic stretching?
And then, I guess from your perspective, you just jumped right into dynamic stretching, or do you try to get the blood moving or blood pumping before then? And then with the dynamic stretching, are you trying to elongate or prep your, I guess tendons, ligaments and the elasticity of that, or are you trying to, um, stretch the muscles themselves?
Um, talk to me a little bit about, I guess, what you're trying to do before the dynamic warmup, and then during the dynamic warm up.
Irina Stiasny: [00:30:46]
So for me, I actually like jog a little bit like around my car, just to kind of get warm blood pumping, especially if I like I drove for X amount of miles to whatever destination. And the idea is just to get the blood flows. So you get a little bit worm, so you're not pulling whatever tendon or muscle, cause we all have soreness and aches and pains, you know, in a way.
Um, and then I run like before the sun comes out, I mean, 5:00 AM. So I'm like half asleep. Let's get real. You have to sleep.
Kevin Chang: [00:31:18]
Irina Stiasny: [00:31:18]
So I want to be warm up and then I get into, you know, 10 squats. I'm not trying to tire my body out. I mean, it's just five squats, 10 squats, you know, lunges. I do hip openings because I did have a hip injury, so I know what I need to do.
And then, you know, bud kicks and all of those things just to prep it. And then I, I do take the first five miles kind of just take it easy. I'm still kind of warm it up. I will never be. See you later, like rocket style as people call me. Um, you know, but at the end I spit up just if I want to, if that's the plan.
Um, but yeah, the idea is just, you've got to warm up your body to kind of prep and ready, and you basically tell your glutes, your hamstrings, your calves. Hey buddy, wake up with ought to do some work. Are you ready? I would strongly advise to do dynamic stretch and it really takes the time like that five, 10 minutes will make a huge difference instead of being like, well, I just don't have time, I got to get home by whatever.
Well, and then you're going to pay for it the next day.
Kevin Chang: [00:32:23]
And I like what you mentioned there, there's a little bit of both muscle activations. So when you're doing squats, Are you doing some of these exercises that you're just trying to incorporate more muscles or more, more muscles into that dynamic movement. And then you're doing some things like butt kickers are doing some things that are kind of pushing your body to be a little bit more flexible, a little bit more pliable, but the key here is nothing too strenuous, right?
So you're doing body weight movements. You're doing things that are very simple, very easy. You're just trying to activate some of those muscles. You're just trying to. You know, get a little bit more movement out of your body before you're doing something a little bit more strenuous, that down the road, 15 miles in R is going to take a toll on your body.
So, um, love device. I think that's good.
Bertrand Newson: [00:33:09]
And with everyone being busy and, and, and press. She said, there's going to be some times you have appointments on the front end and back, and you picking up the kids, zoom meetings, et cetera, et cetera.
Cool Down Stretching [00:33:18]
Kevin Chang: [00:33:19]
You mentioned that you like to do static stretching on the cool-down. So , why static stretch? During the cool-down. What are you trying to gain?
Irina Stiasny: [00:33:28]
Well, I want to Ellen gait, the muscle I just used, right? Because I'm muscle has to be not super long, but not super short. Is that magic fibers here. That's when they're going to find the most. The game that's where you get in. Um, so for me, it's tough.
Like for me, from my injury standpoint, I feel cool down and ice bath is so critical from recovery standpoint. I always, I told coach is like, I have this seven minute yoga routine from YouTube and I religiously. And when I don't, you know, I feel it, I'm not gonna lie.
I'm like that hip it's like gripping up. It's like, hello, you haven't stretched me in a couple of days. You know? So I will say, you know, um, that's why I, I don't S maybe not socialize as much right after some of the workouts. Cause. It's the time I'm like, okay, I got, I started doing lunches and wake up kiss, but that seven minutes it's mine.
You know, sometimes I even put, you know, Tahlia in the high chair and she's eating her Cheerios. I'm on the floor, you know, stretching while Matthew, I mean, that's the reality of my life might be watching TV in Cheerios, but I get my stuff done.
Kevin Chang: [00:34:38]
The, the yoga that you're talking about, or the static stretching that you're talking about, is it long holds? Is that kind of the style of that yoga ?
Irina Stiasny: [00:34:46]
Um, it's small. Like you go through, um, some of the stretches, but it's not long. It's like maybe 30 seconds to 20 seconds
Kevin Chang: [00:34:54]
So it is more like a slow flow
Irina Stiasny: [00:34:56]
Slow flow, kind of like calm you down. It helps me to kind of start my day, especially in the morning I run. So it's fast, like track, for example. Your heart rate is up and then you come home and I do that and I feel like I can, cause I'm all warm. I can open up my hips a little bit more, elongate my hamstrings.
And I find that I'm not as sore the next day, even if I don't do my icepack, which I'm formerly believer that I spat is ice bath, not the pool, not the ocean water there's phrasing because you
Bertrand Newson: [00:35:27]
Are you saying you've been called out by a coach before the past, by suggesting that a, a pool is ice bath or getting the ocean? Won't say any names.
Irina Stiasny: [00:35:36]
Yeah, we won't say any names, but, um, but yeah, I do ice baths and my kiddo is helping me. He said, mom, more? I'm like, give me a fun. Oh no. And he'd dumped the whole thing. I'm like, um, but I'm not gonna lie. I mean, my recovery is just like that.
After a long run I mean, if I do it, I, the next day, if I have to run out. Um, it's, it's pretty shocking. I thought it was like, oh yeah, it helps a little bit. But then I tested, I did ice bath three times one week. I couldn't believe it. I was like, my long run was like 18, 19 miles and I felt great. And they did workouts, you know, IBM hill and all of that. And my legs were fresh. So it does work.
Keeping Active While Busy [00:36:18]
Bertrand Newson: [00:36:18]
In what we're hearing arena. And, uh, you know, Kevin's earlier points that we wanted to drill down on being a mother, a working professional, uh, private business owner. A very active runner. How do you do at all?
And one thing we've heard is calendar. If it's not on the phone, not on your calendar, then it's tougher to navigate for those people who are looking at wanting to get active and saying, I just don't have the time. I can't do it. You're finding a way to, and others are as well. And there's a common denominator.
And if you can share what is that, that, um, you know, secret sauce for you and being able to navigate, um, you know, managing a business family, And getting all your, your fitness, uh, activities in a calendar.
Irina Stiasny: [00:37:02]
Um, so a lot of my running happens super early in the morning before my husband or my kids ever wake up. I mean, I'm talking to my wake-up call. I'm going to as early as four I'm in as depends how early the team wants to meet, but 4, 4 30.
So a lot of my rounds are early, even on the weekends. Like for example, you know, I have 22 miles this weekend, wake up call at four because I started at five 15 and I run to Rancho. We have this, you know, long route.
Um, so when I come home, the kids, I know it's 11, right. Maybe new. And if, if I decide to grab lunch, But everything is planned for me. I'm very goal oriented. You know, once I decided Boston is in front of me and, you know, 20, 25 nuts, I just decided that's probably the year it's going to happen.
Um, now I'm just chipping it away. And for me, it's running is my therapy. It's therapeutical, like that's my stress reliever. So I plan everything and then I have a gym. I go to invalid land. So that's also in a calendar.
That's partially why I started my business. I wanted full control of my life so I can plan every I'm a planner plan, everything around.
So my suggestion is put a goal on a calendar and just try to do it even if it's five minutes, you know, and don't compare. I think a lot of it, we tendency to compare it to others. Like, oh, this person run faster.
I'm very much like, you know, rocket. I run against myself. So like when I have a goal, I'm not trying to, you know, I'll run, let's say Raj or another teammate. It's more for me. Like, can I go, can I chip off 10 seconds? Do I feel stronger today? Even if the pace is less like it, my injury gone or whatever my goal is.
But it's, everything's planned. I mean, I put everything in my calendar and there's the, you know, I have a to-do list. I'm going a hundred things, but I only pick three each day.
I'll say, I'm going to do, you know, a podcast today. I have a client of one, you know, and I'm about to move all my morning runs to lunch because I have to train in the heat.
So what do you do? You get a buddy and you ask, Hey, your schedule is not very flexible as mine. You will tell me when you.'re off. Cause you live down the street I can run to your house for three miles and then we pick up do the rest for an hour.
So buddy system is great. I mean, you got to get into communities, everything. I mean, RaceMob to legit. I used to train alone. I have chain big sir, alone. What a stroller and my daughter for 18 miles. The one time I even had to call Robin, like I can't do it.
I'm so sore. I just can't. It was so hot. You know, Tahlia was asleep the whole time. And I'm like, and everybody's like, oh, you can do it. You're so good. How many moments? Yeah. Two more months you can do it. I'm like I tell her, I was like, just, just made me at the end just in case because I didn't think I can make it five more miles to go from Almaden to my house.
And he did pick me up and I think a lot of it for me when I was pregnant with Matthew, a lot of my friends like, forget about it. Right. Your life is about to change. I'm sure Kevin people telling you this, and I'm going to tell you and your wife, that's a lie because you just get a running stroller.
You're just going to put your, you having a daughter, right?
Kevin Chang: [00:40:17]
Irina Stiasny: [00:40:18]
You're going to put it daughter there and you, and then you take the dog and you just go, you know? So my philosophy is when you have kids, you bring them into your life. They're not going to change your life. I mean, I traveled my, my cans. I, I just, I was determined not to lose myself in it.
I still work, you know, full time. I was lucky enough, my mom, like I said, my parents are around. But that's why I tell all my friends that are pregnant. Like, ah, I can forget about crossfit and everything. I'm like why? Most gyms have kids clubs, you know, you don't have to, you know, so I was very determined.
Like I'm like, no, no, no, no. I mean, I take zoom calls while I'm watching Matthew and TaeKwonDo yesterday, you just have to be creative and flexible. And I think that's the biggest thing I learned in 2020, like stuff happens. And you just have to navigate, you know, I left corporate job after 10 years.
And it was a tough decision, I'm not gonna lie, but it's one of the best decision I made. It gives me so many opportunities like today. And, you know, I mean, who can say like, it's 10 o'clock in the Wednesday morning and I'm on the computer and you know, I can go for a run if I want to again, but I'm not, but it's the planning. Planning and just do it.
I mean, there's always going to be excuses. I'm too tired. I oversleep and I'd rather sleep. And, but if there is a goal and also accountability, like a buddy is waiting for you, he told you that he's going to show up a 5:15 instead of 6:15, just for you.
You kind of feel bad. You're like, okay, I'm going to show up and why don't you do it once or twice. And then it's just a routine it's kind of. And then my body now just wakes up at four 30 every day, even when I don't need to. And I'm like, well, I guess I should just do something.
And then I do work or I, you know, do cross training, but yeah, I'm kind of already in that you got to get into a routine and then you'll be surprised you kind of just miss it even on vacations.
My husband's like, I'm just going to slip into my no, no, you sleep, sleep. I'll go for a run. It's like, it's a new place. It's Hawaii, hun. We've been here before.
You know, and I actually plan my routes before I leave. I like contact people that live there. I'm like, okay, give me a ride. Um, like my in-laws are coming for two weeks and I'm taking time off from work, but I still gonna wake up early in the morning.
Cause now there's no time, which thing they will take care of my kids. Yes.
It takes planning, you know? , and I tell people that like, oh, you don't have time. I'm like, oh my. If I can run a business, if I can, you know, take care of kids, the house is on me. I mean, let's go on and on and on. But if I don't run in the morning, I don't know what it is. Universe is telling you, like you should have done it.
And then it's like meltdown from kids, you know? Um, so it doesn't go the same, you know what I mean, so...
Kevin Chang: [00:43:06]
great advice. Great advice. I mean, I think especially for all of us busy folks out there, Finding your routine, finding time to exercise, I think it improves your entire life and improves everything else in your life. And, uh, and you've mentioned that time and time again, and even finding time, even when you're on vacation to go explore a new city on that run.
I mean, I think that's excellent advice as well. , I've done that a number of different times and, uh, , we've mentioned a couple of different times that you started a new private practice. , so where can our audience find you? If they have questions, if they have, you know, something that maybe an ache, maybe something else, where can they reach out to you?
Where can they find you and get advice from a professional ?
Irina Stiasny: [00:43:49]
I'm on Instagram @runrocketpt. Um, you can search me on Facebook. I'm big on that post a lot of stuff. Um, search Irina Stiasny, you can find me there. Um, I do have a business page, Run Rocket PT and Wellness on Facebook as well. Pretty easy to find me.
Kevin Chang: [00:44:06]
Awesome. Yeah. And Irina gives incredible advice to runners of all types and you don't have to be injured. So reach out to
Irina Stiasny: [00:44:14]
No. So that's the thing like don't wait. I mean, if I have to biggest. You know, if there's anything, um, and you don't need to be injured, just prevention. I'm in a huge component of prevention. Like why wait until you enjoy them, then you're out of commission and now life races are coming back, which I'm super stoked about it.
It's like, you gotta be ready. And that's my thing, you know, stay ready. That's why I try. Why are you playing and why are you running? It's 20, 20. I'm like, what do you want me to do? Wait until, you know, race, come in. And then a week later you're going to run. You gotta be ready any day. Like, like if the coach will call me, like, Hey, the race is nice this week and you want to try?
I'm like, yes. Why? Because I'm ready. So I will, you know, questions even which exercise to do or what shoe to buy. You know, I'm always approachable and ready to give an advice. You know, they can send me a message, you know, friend me.
Bertrand Newson: [00:45:09]
We truly appreciate all of your support. You've been again, a huge supporter of RaceMob and Tula fitness. And arena. One of the things that really resonated with us with what you said earlier, and Kevin pointed out to it. If we can just commit, put an event on the calendar, look at three months out, six months out.
When you come out of pocket and pay money, it's just a different level of accountability and having a supportive community like RaceMob or two legit fitness barrier run crew. There's a running buddy. There's a running crew that can help support you on your way. So you'll be surprised. And with libraries is coming back.
It's just a good time. Have a higher level of accountability hat fund on your training process as well.
Kevin Chang: [00:45:46]
Well,with that, I just want to say Thank you so much arena for joining us. Obviously we will be in touch a bunch we're always in touch. So thank you again for
Irina Stiasny: [00:45:56]
Yeah. Thank you for having me. I Appreciate it.
Bertrand Newson: [00:45:58]
Episode Outro [00:45:59]
Well, I hope you enjoyed this episode of the RaceMob podcast. Check out all of the show notes or find a running buddy online at RaceMob dot com. Please subscribe to us on apple, Spotify, Stitcher, or wherever you listen to your podcasts and leave us a review. Until next time, keep on moving.