Staying Power: The Art of Listening to Your Body | David Smith

Listening to Your Body and Performing Continual Tune-up

Asking your body to perform at optimal condition over a long period of time given an extreme activity level requires continual assessment and tune-up. Sharpening the ability to listen to your body for both strong and weak signals is an important element of staying power.

In This Webinar You Will Learn:

  • How to listen for warning signs of potential injury before an injury develops.
  • How to respond to warning signs of injury.
  • How to accelerate your injury recovery.
  • Preventative body maintenance before, during and after activity.

Benefits of Attending This Webinar:

  • Experience less injury, more optimal health.
  • Avoid getting derailed from your workout program or activity due to injury.
  • Recover more rapidly from injury.
  • Experience greater staying power on your way to optimal health.

Who is David Smith?

David Smith has devoted the better part of one day each week over the past 20 years to experiencing a mountain trail running adventure. He began in the Pacific Northwest with the Columbia Gorge and Cascade Mountains; then moved to Southern California and experienced the Angeles Crest mountains; then the Northeast where he experienced the Hudson River Valley and Minnewaska; finally in 2016 to Las Vegas where he is experiencing and documenting Red Rock Park, the Spring Mountains (Mt. Charleston area), Death Valley and beyond!

As a owner of David is uniquely positioned to document and post these trail running adventures, however, his dual objective is to support businesses in growth, development and finding new clients.

Webinar Slides:

Webinar Notes:

Staying Power: The Art of Listening to Your Body

Learn the strategy I used to stop a repetitive motion/impact distance running injury in its tracks in just one week!
Apply this same strategy to any sport, any activity.

The Challenge: Demands We Place On Our Bodies

  • Perform at Optimal Condition
  • Long Period of Time
  • Extreme Activity

The same 4-step strategy I’ve developed to heal a sports injury will hep lead anyone to a longer, more active, enjoyable life.

What to Expect

In this webinar you will learn:

  1. How to listen for warning signs of potential injury before an injury develops.
  2. How to respond to warning signs of injury.
  3. How to accelerate your injury recovery.
  4. Preventative body maintenance before, during and after activity.

Benefits of Attending This Webinar:

  1. Experience less injury, more optimal health.
  2. Avoid getting derailed from your workout program or activity due to injury.
  3. Recover more rapidly from injury.
  4. Experience greater staying power on your way to optimal health.

Groundwork for Injury

Personal Story:

  1. 6 months weekly trail adventures.
  2. 7-12 hours per adventure.
  3. Reaching further and further.
  4. 20 lb weight loss to “Ideal Running Weight”
  5. My age: 64


Injury Emerges:

  • Old knee injury.
  • First time in 30 years!

Impact, Feelings

Here we go again –Will I…

  • Lose all my conditioning again?
  • Lose my momentum?
  • Miss opportunities?
  • Lose the lynch-pin of my wellness?
  • Go Into Self-blame: (Charleston example)
  • Have to slow down and accept my age?
  • Gain all my weight back?
  • Become lethargic?

Do you relate to these “death” scenarios?

Determination: Remember My “Why”

  • Apply 30 years of wisdom and experience.
  • 4-Step Systematic approach.
  • Kill my most dreaded injury.

4-Step Systematic Approach to Killing an Injury to Create Staying Power


  • Within 2 weeks my injury was stopped in its tracks!

I believe this approach can work for anyone, any sport, any activity.

1) Listen to Your Body

Listen for weakest early warning signals of injury.

Listening Skills:

  • Good pain vs. injury
  • Traumatic vs. repetitive motion injury
  • Feeling of wrong gear
  • Dangerous activity
  • Unlock body messages

Seize the “Golden Moment”


  • Injury is established
  • Pain cycle develops
  • Mental internalization

2) Trace the Injury to Its Cause.

Identify Each of Multiple Factors

  1. Shoes, Equipment
  2. Technique and form
  3. Stretching
  4. Running surface
  5. Weight gain or loss
  6. Nutrition
  7. Supplementation
  8. Mental, emotional or spiritual state of being. Stress.
  9. Level of exertion
  10. Combination of more than one of these.

Narrowing Down the Possibilities

  1. Shoe EVA layer.
  2. Sudden weight gain or loss.
  3. Technique
  4. Level of Exertion

EVA Layer in Shoe

Shoe Manufacture Date


3) Take Action to Eliminate the Cause

Source your healing internally.

My Plan of Action to Kill the Injury:

1. Strategic Rest

  • 1stweek 60% total distance reduction
  • 2ndweek30%totaldistancereduction

2. KneeSupport

  • 2weeksonlytheweanoff

3. New Shoes

  • Immediately

4. Form

  • Immediately

Apply Proper Form to Any Sport or Activity:

  • Research best form for your sport and begin to incorporate into your activity.
    • “Best form Tennis”; “Best form Golfing”; “Best form Walking”; “Best form Weight Lifting”…etc.

Movie on running form.


Tips on Running Form:

  • 180 cadence stride
    • “A shorter stride should produce lower forces with each footfall.
    • Those who believe in a midfoot strike, which is easier to achieve when your front foot isn’t reaching too far, believe that midfooting also offers some injury protection.” (Runner’s World 1/8/2013)

Additional tips (form on the trails and cross-country wilderness):

  • Ascend by lifting the leg stepping forward, not by pushing off from the other leg.
  • Walking Sticks harness upper body strength
  • Avoid traversing an incline! Exposure to injury from slipping, throws off good form.
  • Observe how animals run (rabbits, deer). They hop. Why? Coming down vertically creates the best most secure foot placement when off-road. Mimic their style when off-road.
  • Downhill on gravel: Watch for “micro-holds”.

Running Form Review

4 Phases to Incorporating Best Form:

  1. Unconscious Incompetence
  2. Conscious Incompetence
  3. Conscious Competence
  4. Unconscious Competence

Progress rapidly, correctly.

Don’t practice your mistakes over and over!

4) Allow Healing

My Results:

  1. Success in just 2 weeks.
  2. No guarantees –just a solid process.

My Injury Track Record:

  • Neck pain
  • Shoulder bursitis
  • Lower back pain/injury
  • Top of forefoot: Loosen shoe laces.
  • Plantar Faucitis: Golf ball; zero drop; arch support

Healing: Expands from a central point. Nurture the growth area vs. focusing on the injured area.

Additional Injury Avoidance Tips

Be Consistent vs. “Weekend Warrior”

  • 15-minute walk or run is better than skipping days
  • Park in the furthest spot, 1 mile away, Use stairs
  • Follow the 10% rule whenincreasing conditioning

Attain Your Ideal Weight

What is your ideal weight? Know that number.

  • My assessment: Extreme workout performance. Trip around Mt. Charleston Loop.
  • How long did it take?
  • Did I get exhausted easily?
  • How quickly did I recover?

Answer for me: 155lbs.

Clothing, Lighting

  • Clothing: Strive for “equilibrium” vs. “staying warm”. Start out cooler than your comfort. When ascending, important not to sweat because higher up that sweat can freeze!
  • Polyester, breathable vs. cotton which holds moisture.
  • Head lamp vs. running blind in the dark.

Nutrition and Supplementation

  • Glucosamine/Chondroitin
  • Protein
  • Aquiline Water
  • Drink lots the week before an extreme workout
  • During the workout: If your mouth feels dry, you’re already 30 minutes into dehydration!
  • Drink lots the following week to replace water loss.
  • Zero Sugar Energy Bar and Drink
  • 30Grams Protein Energy Bar
  • Avoid all sugar the day of your workout or risk painful cramps.
  • Sugar is a poison! Avoid it at all times.

Warm-up / Warm-down / Stretches

  • First 5 and Last 5 minutes.
  • No sudden stops (i.e. for stop lights; when a routine is finished…etc.)
  • Stretches: Gradual steady flowing movement, avoid jerky movements.

Ideal Sleep

  • What is your ideal sleep? Know that number. Should be at least 7-8 hours.
  • My ideal = 7 hours.
  • Cut T.V. Take T.V. out of your bedroom!

Power of a Strategic Rest Day

  • Weekly rest day is as beneficial as a workout.
  • Most injuries in initial stages disappear with 2-3 days of rest.
  • Light run day after extended/extreme workout
    • Breaks down lactic acid
    • Reduces soreness
    • Better than resting the very next day.

Accelerating Injury Recovery

  • Hot / Cold compress (RICE)
  • Cross training (walking in water)
  • Knowing when to resume after an injury:
    • Not too soon vs. not too long.
    • Loss of conditioning after total rest for:
      • 1 Week: 0%
      • 2 Weeks: 20%
      • 3 Weeks: 50%
      • 4 Weeks: You’re starting over!

Wilderness Navigation

Wishing You a Life Full of Active Fun and Free of Injury!

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