Wednesday, February 5, 2014

Wednesday Workout Update

Last week I ran a total of three miles - and it felt fabulous!  I took several days off after the half marathon to let my legs and feet recover...planks and stretching were all that I did until Saturday, so by the time our little group met at 6:30 am, I was feeling good and ready to go.  I ran with Amy, Julia, Arlene (from our knitting guild - we discovered that she's a runner and invited her to join us) and her adorable dog, Remy.  Now that we are finished with the long distance training, Amy and I are working on our goal of running a 5K without stopping, so we tried out 3:1 intervals.  I surprised myself by being able to keep up with it for the entire run - considering we ran longer than normal going uphill (and into some pretty strong winds, too), I thought for sure I'd end up walking part of them, but I managed to run each interval in its entirety.  We had a great time, chatting (naturally) the entire run - Jeff said that when we came in, everyone looked so happy - I think it was a combination of running with good friends plus not running such a long distance.  Ahhh, the off-season.  I love it!

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Along with my goal of getting back to running without doing intervals (at least for the shorter distances - I may still do them for longer runs), the other thing I am determined to do this year is to get my body back to not hurting so much.  I know having a strong core will help me with running, and to that measure I've been doing planks regularly.  But I didn't realize, until I read a great article in the March 2014 issue of Runner's World magazine, that having strong glutes is another really important aspect when it comes to running.  I'm a literal person - to me, running involves my feet and my legs.  According to this article (The Whole Body Fix - not surprising that it caught my eye as the author has been dealing with a hamstring injury for SIX YEARS), you can easily have an imbalance in other areas of your body if your glutes aren't working as hard as they should - and it makes sense to me, because I kept wondering how in the world did I manage to get a hamstring injury when I wasn't doing anything excessive (i.e. I wasn't sprinting or jumping a hurdle when it happened).  I think I was just making it work harder than it needed to be and ended up overusing it each time I ran, and eventually that hamstring cried uncle and quit on me.

So as of a few days ago, I started doing the exercises shown in the article (you can see them here).  And down the road, I may look into doing some sessions with a trainer/join a gym (Planet Fitness is going to open up here soon, yay $10/month memberships!) so I can continue to strengthen my body.  I want to be active for the long haul, and I guess my body is telling me that I can't do just one thing and not expect it to rebel at some point.

18 comments:

  1. off to read the article.
    DONT RUN.
    STILL NEED.

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  2. Oh my goodness, as soon as I read that article about the hamstring injury, I thought of you! Then me! I hope neither of us has to deal for six years. I also immediately wished that I lived close enough to that place so I could go in and get a full body evaluation. Interesting that we both have the same goal to rid our body of aches and pains in 2014. May we both succeed!!

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  3. Yes, good goal! Those are an interesting set of exercises. Some of them are the same as or similar to the exercises that my physical therapist gave me to work on my back. And they are harder than they look!

    Every time I hear someone mention a $10 gym membership, I am so jealous! I'm glad you've found some more running buddies!

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    1. I was surprised, on the third day, to discover that my legs were seriously feeling those exercises!

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  4. No pressure to run long is such a great feeling after training for so long! Enjoy that :) And I'm sure you can get back to a 5k without stopping!

    "I guess my body is telling me that I can't do just one thing and not expect it to rebel at some point." - yep, bingo, but *just* running is definitely a trap that a lot of runners fall into!

    I remember reading about strengthening your gluts in relation to hip flexor pain, but it makes sense that it'd help your hamstrings too. I'm always a huge supporter of working with a trainer, especially if you could find one that knows how to condition runners. At the very minimum, mine have me do squats and lunges, as well as plyometrics once a week to help my running. I feel a lot stronger going into this training cycle than I did in the fall, so I think all of the strength work is paying off (at least I hope!).

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  5. Even reading about your 5K makes me smile, sounds like a great run! I think you'll be running 5K nonstop within no time. You have a good running base already.

    I need to work on strength more, reading this I made the decision I will do one strength DVD at least in a week. I am convinced too that a strong body makes a strong runner. Besides muscles are better than fat and right now I have too much fat and to little muscles :)

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  6. I love the 3:1 interval but lately I have been running 45 sec/45 sec intervals to see if I can build up a little more stamina. I would love to be able to run a 5K without walking too. This has been my goal for years but I just haven't been able to obtain it. Sounds likes you are on your way,

    I have a friend who is a personal trainer who has put together a series of workouts for me to do at home to help with my strength. It has really made a difference especially in my glutes and core area. But I have a long way to go.

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    1. How nice of your PT friend to create the workouts for you!

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  7. Yay for good runs! I really have to keep up with core work for my back. Even with a strong core, I still have back problems, which makes me wonder how bad they would be if I didn't do that stuff. eeek?

    I still love to do squats and deadlifts even though I cycle a lot because cycling can make you quadcentric (which I think running does as well).

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    1. Yes, running does make you quadcentric. Quadddcentrrrric. Francisssco. Oh sorry, I just had a Buddy the Elf moment there. ;)

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  8. For my longer runs I do the 3:1 intervals and it works great. I use to do 3:30 run and :30 second walk but as I started upping my mileage I wanted a bit longer walk break!

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    1. I totally get wanting that longer walk break when you're running a lot of miles! Sometimes the timer would go off and my feet would be all NOPE. Still walking over here.

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  9. Yep, weight training and core work will help no matter if you are a runner, swimmer, etc. Maybe you should do a yoga class like Helen did!

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  10. My gym just relocated (about 50 yards east) into a building with no windows. I don't like it. I've been considering going to Planet Fitness, which I toured last year and liked as far as concept goes. It's not literally around the corner from my house, but it's close enough. Added bonus is the trainer sessions the membership comes with. I think I'd like that.

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    1. I'm hoping our new Planet Fitness is as nice as they seem to be. Not sure how I'd like being in a windowless building. Seems rather dreary and very old-school.

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  11. Love your blog and the inspiration that you give your readers. I will say you are a very diversified person with your running and knitting. I have knit for years and years but never tried hats mainly sticking with sweaters and am enjoying all your posts about your fun with selecting yarns, etc. Makes me itchy to visit our new, beautiful yarn shop and do some selecting.

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  12. Hi Shelley! I really enjoy reading your blog and think its great that you're getting back into running! They recently opened a Planet Fitness near me and at $10 a month its hard not to be curious. Let me know how you like it.

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