A blog about my life, fitness and fun! (...and maybe a few cat pictures...)

A blog about my life, fitness and fun! (...and maybe a few cat pictures...)

Saturday, January 31, 2015

Ready To Run Book Review Part 3 (Chapters 13-19) THE FINAL SEGMENT!

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After being plagued by chronic IT band/knee issues, I finally went back to my chiropractor (who performs Active Release Therapy) in hopes of some relief. He recommended the book Ready to Run, by Dr. Kelly Starrett. I immediately bought it off Amazon and got to work reading it. I will provide you my review, thoughts, and anything else I have to say about the book as I am reading it. I have no clue what I will think of the book. All thoughts are my own and are in real time as I read through. 

No one is compensating me for this book review, and I spent my own $18 to buy it. (Okay, it was a gift card. Thank you piano student!!!!)

Chapter 13: Standard #10: No Hot Spots

Nagging pain during a run? Tweaky/sketchy feelings in your muscles or joints? This should not be. Starrett calls them hot spots, and they should be fixed.

I love what Starrett says here because it is SO TRUE: "The culture of running through pain and its badge-of-honor quality are interwoven into all sports that are categorized by the word endurance. When the athletic test revolves around how much can be endured, lines get crossed. Running through hot spots over months and years can lead to devastating consequences."

In big, bold type, he also says, "If you feel pain during or after moving, then what you were doing was not functional movement.

Starrett gives VERBS to fix these hot spots and recommends using the Voodoo Floss Band as compression to help this problem. Here are some ways the Voodoo Floss Band can help:

1. Restores sliding surface function
2. Restores ROM in joint
3. Floods the area with blood
4. Reduces swelling and revives the joint

Here is one session of me flossing my knee:

 If you are interested in flossing DO NOT USE MY VIDEO AS A HOW TO. Get the book or watch Starrett's Youtube videos. My video is not a how to! I am still a newbie and working on exactly how to wrap it correctly. ALSO: My chiro is undecided as to whether he thinks this works or not. So I am actually thinking about not doing this anymore...

Time Factor: Since I have an acute, nagging injury, he recommends flossing up to 5 times a day. It takes about 3 minutes from start to finish of one flossing session, so I am doing about 15 minutes of flossing right now. Dang, injury rehab is more time consuming than training for a marathon!
Money: Voodoo Floss Band- $14 (already purchased).

Chapter 14: Standard #11: Hydration

I wrote all about this standard here!

Time Factor: Just filling up the water bottle!
Money: $0

Chapter 15: Standard #12: Jumping and Landing

Dr. Starrett requires that you be able to jump and land with good mechanics. Since running is essentially an "endless series of jumping and landing", it important you can do it correctly to minimize any negative impact on your joints or tissues.

Test #1: Jumping onto a box.

Basically, a box jump. I jumped onto my front stoop. I have honestly never done that before. And the only time I ever did box jumps was a couple years ago when I saw a personal trainer. Box jumps scare me! But to my surprise, I was able to jump and land on my front stoop solidly. It's not a very high front stoop, though. (Sorry no video! I did this in the dark hours of the morning!)

Test #2: Single-leg jumps.

Starrett wants you to be able to do 30 jump rope rotations on a single leg. I felt confident I'd be able to do it on my right leg (my good one) and I was right. When I tried my left leg, I could do THREE. I knew it would be horrible but I didn't know it would be that horrible! I wasn't about to give up, and once I warmed up, I was able to do 30 on my left leg. The thing was, it felt so weak. I need to figure out how to get my left leg stronger! (Again, no video. It was dark out!)

Time Factor: I am unsure what to say about this. I am sure my mobility work will help just all around making my knee not sore and thus, my leg stronger.
Money: $0.

Chapter 16: Introduction to Mobility Work

In this chapter (quite a long one!), Starrett outlines some guidelines, principals, and techniques for mobility work. Mobility work could be anything from specific stretches, deep tissue manipulation, compression, strengthening exercises... It really is a catch all phrase, it seems.

There are some tools that can be used for mobility work and he outlines them here as well. They are things you may have in your house (tennis ball, resistance bands), or expensive items you might want to buy at roguefitness.com. I invested in some monster bands, a voodoo floss band, and the Supernova.

I am skeptical when anyone tries to get you to BUY something as a result of their book. But I do have to tell you the Supernova is one of the best things I ever bought! If the foam roller is not doing it for you anymore, I really recommend this!

Chapter 17: Mobilizations

So throughout this whole book, I have been testing myself on Starrett's standards and finding out where I'm falling short. In this chapter, each mobilization is demonstrated so you know exactly what to do and what tools to use to get your body READY TO RUN. There is quite a lot in here, and I didn't read everything. I only read about the mobilizations the will help my specific needs. At the end of the chapter, he gives a sample 28 day mobility overhaul plan- which is basically just a generic "tune up" plan. The whole point is to PREVENT injuries from even occurring in my first place. Sounds good to me!

Chapter 18: Attacking Common Running Injuries

This chapter briefly covers what to do if you are experiencing the following common running injuries:

plantar fasciitis
runner's knee
IT band syndrome
shin splints

I would have liked more information out of this chapter.

Chapter 19: Turbocharged Sports Medicine

Dr. Starrett shares two principals with us in this chapter that he firmly believes in:

1. "All human beings should be able to perform basic maintenance on themselves." -AKA we should not need to see our chiro or PT weekly just to be able to run. We should be able to help ourselves, too!

2. "When you visit a chiropractor, physical therapist, sports medicine clinic, or other body worker, go in with some hard-won knowledge to share." -AKA, be able the share what you have been doing on your own to combat the problem.


At the end of the book, Kelly shares a parting word, gives an example of a 4 week movement/mobility work plan, and shares some other resources for runners to educate themselves. The main point is that being Ready to Run is a journey- a constant journey of maintenance and taking care of your body!

My final thoughts: Coming to you in a future post!


  1. I found this part of the book to be the most helpful I think since it had practical suggestions. Im not sure about the Voodoo floss but I have been using it to help open up my hips. I feel like its one of those things that doesn't see to do any harm, its just hard to say how much it really helps.But the idea of compression makes sense. Looking forward to hearing your final thoughts on the book!

    1. Right, the compression definitely makes sense. And there are people who swear by it. Maybe I didn't do it enough? Who knows. I think I will keep trying, and if it doesn't work, oh well there goes $14.

  2. Thanks for the final review. Look forward to hearing what you think overall and how much you feel this helped get back to running pain free!

  3. Hmm...the flossing seems interesting - are you going to keep it up awhile longer just to see what you think? I like that so much of what has been suggested in this book is free or uses materials that most of us already have around.

    1. Exactly. When I have to spend a ton of money, I get skeptical and think... are you just trying to make money off me? I don't know about the flossing. I am actually not going to be able to work out this coming week so it may be a good time to do the flossing. That way if my knee is pulsating from it, it doesn't matter!

  4. The flooding of blood to the injured area thing is interesting. It reminds me of a simplified version of this procedure Kobe Bryant gets done for his knee injury. From what I understand he gets his blood drawn, the doctor adds some things to his blood and then re-injects it into his body weeks later and this supposedly helps his injury.

    "the blood is removed from a patient up to three weeks beforehand, mixed with other substances and then re-injected. "


    He swears by it!

    1. Paul has told me about that! I didn't remember what the procedure was, but I remember Paul telling me how Kobe went to Germany to get some sort of thing done that they don't even do here. :)

  5. I know you like when advice comes in the form of VERBS and how to actually fix it a problem! It sounds like you're getting a lot out of the book.