This episode of the A to Z Running Podcast world renowned musculoskeletal specialist, Phil Wharton, joins Zach and Andi to discuss back health. Phil has thirty-two years as a musculoskeletal specialist, working and training hundreds of Olympic medalists, world record holders, national teams, and professional teams – as well as luminaries of stage, screen, and business. His work is considered the gold standard of musculoskeletal health and we get some of that gold here on the show.
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- RELEVANT EPISODES: Improving Posture for Running & What is the best way to mobilize? (Previous episode with Phil Wharton)
World of Running
Fifth Avenue Mile
WHEN: September 12, 2021
WHERE: New York City
FUN FACT: the athlete leading at the half mile mark received an extra $1,000 bonus (regardless of finish position)
- The Scotts took home the prize for both men and women
- Jake Wightman won the men’s race in 3:49 over Australia’s Oliver Hoare in 3:50 (who was, by the way, fresh off the Diamond League Championships from only 3 days before in Switzerland)
- Matthew Centrowitz (USA – Bowerman Track Club) was the halfway leader but had to work for it, throwing down a hammer just before 800m to make sure he got the bonus
- He was then quickly swallowed up, finishing in 14th overall
- Notably, Joe Klecker (USA – On Athletics Club) helped apply late pressure, appearing to lead teammate Oliver Hoare a bit
- Wightman took the field in the final sprint though, apparently running a 52-second final 400m
- The field was stacked with plenty of other notable mentions like US Olympians Clayton Murphy, Paul Chelimo, and Hillary Bor
- Jemma Reekie (also fresh off the Diamond League champs) won the women’s race in 4:21 over USA’s Nikki Hiltz in 4:23
- Alicia Monson (USA – On Athletics Club) took the half way bonus
Great North Run
WHEN: September 12, 2021
WHAT: world’s biggest half marathon (Canadian Running Mag report here)
- UK’s Marc Scott won the men’s race in 1:01:22 over Kenya’s Edward Cheserek and USA’s Galen Rupp
- Stewart McSweyn decided to debut in the half marathon 3 days after the Diamond League championships and finished in 8th
- Kenya’s Hellen Obiri won a tight race in 1:07:42 over UK’s Eilish McColgan who debuted at the distance by running the 3rd fastest all-time for the United Kingdom behind only Paula Radcliffe and her mother (Liz McColgan)
- Charlotte Purdue (United Kingdom) was 3rd
- Molly Seidel (USA) also competed, finishing back in 7th
Diamond League Championships
WHEN: September 8 and September 9, 2021
WHERE: Zurich, Switzerland
WHAT: Championship event of the summer Diamond League track series
- The rivalry continued in the 1500m run
- Timothy Cheruiyot battled Jakob Ingebrigsten yet again, this time claiming the victory in 3:31.37
- Jakob Ingebrigsten was second in 3:31.45
- Stewart McSweyn claimed the third place in 3:32.14
- Followed by countryman and previous podcast guest Oliver Hoare.
- The women’s race had another rivalry set up between Faith Kipyegon and Sifan Hassan.
- Faith Kipyegon further solidified her dominance over Sifan Hassan in the event winning the championship in over 2 seconds.
- Third place went to USA’s Josette Norris in 4:00.41
- The youngster Keely Hodgkinson won her first diamond league event in 1:57.98 over one of A to Z Running Podcast’s fan favorites, Kate Grace.
- Kate Grace closes out her Diamond League experience with a silver and all of her races were 1:59 or faster.
- In 4th from GB was Jemma Reekie who was the winner of the Fifth Avenue Mile within the week!
- Men’s 800m repeated itself from the Olympics in the top 2 positions with Emmanuel Korir as the Diamond League winner and Ferguson Cheruiyot claiming the silver.
- Clayton Murphy ended his season on a high note after a few disappointing races after his US trials win in June.
The 5k at the Diamond League final was run on the most bizarre track. There were hills, the announcers didn’t know what distance they were at, it was very different.
A few other things…
- Athlete disqualified for having too much heel stack after winning the Vienna Marathon
- Ethiopia’s Derara Hurisa was disqualified for wearing the wrong shoes after winning the Vienna Marathon on Sunday. 1 centimeter thicker than the maximum 4 centimeters allowed.
- He specified different shoes when he checked in.
- Ethiopia’s Senbere Teferi set a new women’s 5km world record on the roads
- She ran 14:29 at an Adidas event in Herzogenaurach, Germany
- Basically a solo effort from 1km on
- First to break Joyciline Jepkosgei’s (Kenya)14:32 (notable because that was before IAAF or World Athletics was tracking these records)
MAIN TOPIC: Back Health
Back health is a topic that is relevant to all of us. Even if we are injured, on a break, or in the full throws of training, back health can be improved and it matters to running. Today we have the opportunity to talk with legendary musculoskeletal specialist Phil Wharton.
About our Guest: Phil Wharton
Phil’s path to becoming a musculoskeletal specialist started when he was a young runner and he developed a 33-degree curvature of the spine/scoliosis, which produced constant pain. Through the work he now does, he was was able to end the pain, correct the problem, and continue his running career, later going on to run a 2:23 marathon. The objective of the Wharton Process is to take the mystery and confusion out of attaining optimal health. A key component of the process is education – providing people with the tools necessary to harness and achieve well being. Phil Wharton’s work has been featured throughout national media and the Wharton Health process is considered the gold standard in the field of musculoskeletal health.
Phil has coauthored four books:
- The Whartons’ Back Book,
- The Whartons’ Complete Strength Book,
- The Whartons’ Cardio Book, and
- The Whartons’ Stretch Book. (The Whartons’ Stretch Book, is a health and fitness classic.)
Other recent projects include co-founding and hosting the podcast Intrinsic Drive™ .
After thirty-two years as a musculoskeletal specialist, Phil has worked with and trained hundreds of Olympic medalists, world record holders, national teams, and professional teams – as well as luminaries of stage, screen, and business.
Looking for a running coach, check us out at atozrunning.com/coaching.