Staying Cool on the Run

Coach Amy Staying Cool on a Hot Run

Coach Amy Staying Cool on a Hot Run

“Bzzz” my smart watch alerted me three miles into a grueling hot and humid run. I looked down to see what all the “buzz” was about: my fitness level was a negative 3! What the heck? Despite all my recent training, my watch determined that my current fitness level was down. URGH!

The fact is my pace WAS slower and my heart rate WAS higher, as was my RPE (rate of perceived exertion). It was not due to lack of training but rather the heat and humidity. I know I’m not alone and it’s completely normal as our weather shifts from spring into summer.

Check out the article on the Roadrunners of Kansas City blog for strategies on how to properly and safely acclimate to running in the heat and humidity.

Glitchy Technology? Temporarily Go “Old School.”

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Imagine this…after a long day at work, you muster up the willpower, throw on your running garb, squeeze your feet into your bike shoes or yank on your swimsuit for a workout. Against every fiber of your being, you pull energy from seemingly nowhere and step outside, hop on the trainer, or jump in the water. You turn on your training device and wah wah wah, it stops working! You don’t receive heart rate, pace, cadence, power…whatever it is that you want or NEED to track. 

We’ve become evermore reliant on technology to provide us with helpful data. Coaches prescribe, tailor and assess workouts based on a number of parameters such as cadence, pace, power, and heart rate. As athletes we rely on this information to meet goals during the workout, but the completed workout also becomes part of our log. We even tease each other, “if your device didn’t record it, it didn’t happen.”

So what to do when our training device fails? It inevitably does, whether it’s a connectivity problem, a battery problem or even worse a software programming issue! Should we take a hammer to the device and pulverize it? Oh, I’ve recently spent several trainer rides envisioning that option when my device kept failing. Thankfully, I didn’t follow through with my grand plans for a temporarily gratifying solution. Several chats with helpful and knowledgeable tech support and a software update later; it’s working and I’m back on track.

When technology fails, what can an athlete do besides exclaim obscenities? Use it as an excuse to bail altogether? My advice is to just press on. Not the “ON” button - maybe pressing OFF would be good actually. What I mean is, just keep going.

Don’t give up. Instead, go “old school.” In the not too distant past we trained with nothing more than a stop watch. In the pool, we used a poolside timer. For heart rate, we stopped and counted beats per second. We didn’t have power output on our road bikes, unless we were in a research lab. 

Use what you have on hand like your phone’s stopwatch (another piece of tech that is hopefully charged and working), and your brain. Do the math to determine your splits. Take your pulse at your wrist: count the beats for 15 seconds and multiply by 4 to get your beats per minute. 

Most importantly, listen to your body. It will tell you what to do. How do you feel? What is your rate of perceived exertion (RPE)? Are you supposed to be pushing your threshold? If so, go for a “feels like” hard difficulty level.  Be flexible, and know it’s not just ONE workout that makes or breaks your training. It’s consistency and effort that lead to success. So allow yourself a moment of frustration when things don’t work as planned, and then let it go, press on and go “old school.” Soon you will get your device working and will have that precious data  back. Even though you may end up without any technological proof of your workout, you know you did it and so does your body, and that’s really all that matters. 

Insider Secrets to Scheduling your Appointments at CoachAmyPT


Best tips on how to work the system to get your PT appointments when you need them! 

  • Book ahead to ensure you maintain consistency with your PT care and secure times that work best for you. Follow-up and tune up appointments can significantly improve the overall results of treatment. The CoachAmyPT scheduling system allows scheduling 4 weeks in advance.

  • Set a reminder in your calendar each week to book your appointments out up to the full 4 weeks. 

  • Get on the Waitlist. When the schedule is full, the best way to let Coach Amy know that you need an appointment is to get on the Waitlist. To do so, select ONE time for each day of the week that you are available. This selected Waitlist time is not set in stone, it simply alerts Coach Amy to notify you if anything opens up on that day. When possible, Coach Amy comes in early and stays late to be sure her patients are seen in a timely manner. 

Coach Amy is Keeping KC Moving - Running, Working, Living

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Coach Amy PT’s Mission is to Keeping KC Moving whether it’s running, biking, swimming, lifting grandchildren, fighting fires or working with animals like patient, Rachel who is a physical therapy assistant for canines!

Rachel had such intense elbow pain that she couldn’t perform at work before coming to CoachAmyPT for treatment, “I am so thankful for Amy! Before I was treated by Coach Amy, my pain was so bad that I couldn’t even squeeze a bottle of ultrasound gel at work. I had dealt with the pain for about 6 months prior to coming to her. I endured the pain and issue for so long, that I wasn’t sure if PT would even help.

Amy’s capabilities with Dry Needling combined with Active Release Therapy (ART), manual therapy, and “at home” exercises relieved my epicondylitis. This combination of treatments really got to the root of my elbow and nerve pain. Within 6 visits my pain was almost gone, and the range of motion in my elbow and shoulder was restored! Amy is so caring, she really paid attention to what I had to say, and she’s always upbeat! She is phenomenal! Thank you for getting me back to where I am today, and back to my job!”

Protein and its Role in Injury Prevention and Recovery


Athletes and patients often ask me questions about nutrition. From my experience as a coach, therapist and athlete I’ve gleaned some knowledge on the topic.  As we all know proper nutrition is key for maintaining a healthy lifestyle.  Our diet not only affects our athletic performance, but it also plays an important role in how quickly we recover from injuries, and helps prevent injury in the first place. 

A protein rich diet is particularly critical for athletes.  Everyone needs protein for rebuilding and repairing the body, but it’s especially important for patients recovering from injury and for endurance athletes. During injury rehabilitation we are trying to repair injured connective tissue (muscle, nerves, fascia, tendons and ligaments). Athletes in training are trying to build muscle at the same time their muscles and connective tissues are undergoing micro tearing. This is where protein comes in! The primary job of protein in the body is to repair tissue, including muscle cells that were damaged from exercising to the point of fatigue.   

Protein is processed by the body in small quantities, so nutritionists recommend that we take in protein throughout the entire day, at every meal and with snacks. Most athletes are aware of the importance of taking in protein after a workout, especially within the first hour. But many athletes do not realize the importance of taking in protein throughout the whole day. The protein requirement for athletes is about 60% higher than non-active counterparts. If we rely solely on stuffing ourselves with a high protein meal one hour after a workout, we do not have enough protein in our systems for repair and rebuilding.  

So what foods are high in protein? Here is a list of a few healthy sources that pack a lot of protein per serving: lean roasted meats and fish, red beans, cooked eggs, low-fat yogurt, skim milk, fresh nuts and nut butter with no added sugar (peanut, almond, cashew). 

One of my favorite go to’s immediately after a workout is chocolate skim milk. I also like gluten free protein balls for snacks. Do you have a favorite recipe high in protein? Share with us on our CoachAmyPT Facebook page. We’d love to have you chime in! 

Run Your Socks Off! FREE Fun Run May 9th 6:30-8:00 p.m.

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Join Roadrunner’s of Kansas City and CoachAmyPT for a walk/run for charity. The event is FREE with a donation of socks for Cornerstones of Care. Bring your family and friends, wear your crazy socks, and walk or run for up to 50 minutes on the Trolley Trail, starting and ending at Betty Rae’s Ice Cream in Waldo.

A raffle, prizes and discount ice cream from Betty Rae’s will conclude the event. By checking in at the registration table, participants are entered into the raffle drawing for a FREE month of RRKC Saturday Group Runs. 

Step up your participation and win some RRKC swag.  Prizes go to:

  1. Participant wearing the craziest socks

  2. Participant who brings the most friends

  3. Participant with the most donated socks

This run is FREE, but registration is required, and all are encouraged to donate socks! All participants must register at the following link below to reserve a spot. 

Event details:·       

  • May 9th, 6:30- 8:00 p.m.

  • Meet at Betty Rae's Ice Cream in Waldo (7140 Wornall Rd, Kansas City, MO 64114), check in at the registration table upon arrival.

  • Run or walk the Trolley Trail north for 25 minutes and turn around. Feel free to run or run/walk a shorter period of time.

Enjoy the outdoors, and spend time with family and friends as we help our greater KC community with this weekday workout!

Can Physical Therapy Get Rid of My Headache?


Yes, physical therapy can help! Headaches caused by restrictions in the muscles, nerves and fascia can respond well to physical therapy. When muscles of the jaw, neck and upper back are tight or weak, they can compromise nerves and blood vessels resulting in regular headaches that are exhausting and in severe cases, debilitating.

Coach Amy uses a combination of Dry Needling (IDN), Active Release Technique (ART), and functional exercise. IDN and ART can improve blood flow and free the nerves and blood vessels from restriction. For successful long term relief and prevention, therapy includes treatment of muscle imbalances with functional exercise and posture training.

Even with the best treatment, stress and overuse in sustained postures with certain jobs, hobbies and sports can lead to “pop up” headaches; monthly physical therapy “tune-ups” with IDN and ART can keep them at bay.  

Not all headaches are the result of muscle imbalances; other factors can contribute. A thorough physical therapy evaluation can identify if there are muscle imbalances contributing to headaches, and determine the effectiveness of physical therapy for treatment.

Active Release Technique (ART) and Dry Needling Can Boost Recovery


Nothing is more frustrating than becoming injured during training. Even with a sound training plan, injury can occur and completely derail race plans and goals. Physical therapy early in the injury process with a practitioner that specializes in endurance sports, can keep athletes training and racing with minimal to no disruption in training.

Lauren, a CoachAmyPT patient, shares this story: “I had a glute/hip flexor issue after running the Dopey Challenge. Between dry needling and physical therapy, Coach Amy put me back together...better than ever. Recently, I twisted my ankle on some ice and snow, and I had a race that weekend I didn’t want to miss. Again, dry needling, ART and physical therapy had me running the 10k two days later without any discomfort. I set a PR for that course!

Because Amy is such a talented athlete herself, she understands other athletes. She is part of my “A Team” of practitioners that keep me running at my best, and feeling my best.”

Physical therapy combined with ART and/or Neurological Dry Needling can significantly speed up healing time and reduce the effects of injury. ART is a patented soft tissue technique targeting the interface between structures, allowing them to move independently thus alleviating discomfort. Neurological Dry Needling is a non-pharmacological method of improving blood flow to boost healing. Combined, these treatments produce powerful results.

ART is covered under insurance, and dry needling is a cost effective “add on” treatment.  Both treatments can be incorporated into a regular PT appointment. Coach Amy is proud to offer these state of the art treatments, and like Lauren, get all endurance athletes back to sport ASAP.

Take Care When Riding Upright on the Trainer

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Who’s guilty of warming up on the bike trainer or stationary bike sitting upright, hands free, scrolling through social media?  Me!  Riding upright in the saddle with unintended excessive lordosis (arch) in the lower back could cause back pain and injury (see photos above). 

Mike Irwin, owner of BicycleFit Rx recently weighed in on this subject: "For triathletes, the nose of the saddle is purposefully adjusted in more of a downward tilt for proper fit, so sitting upright will tend to cause even more anterior pelvic tilt.  Once the athlete starts pedaling in the upright position and the hips are moving, it forces the back into more extension (tilt)." 

So, friends, be aware of proper posture when riding upright and use a strong core to stabilize and prevent back injury.  Otherwise set that phone down and lean forward, hands or forearms on the bars!  

Article Co-Contributor: Mike Irwin