Getting my run back on…

BW by DarkMatter

Tomorrow is the day. First run since the last week of April. I had some sort of runner’s knee/IT Band syndrome/bursitis issue with my right knee that popped in my last 10K. I felt like it was starting to get worse. So I shut it down.

Truth be told…I haven’t been doing my strengthening exercises like I should have over this month. Truth be told…the lack of running in my life hasn’t made for much physical exertion on my part at all. Apart from a few random workout sessions, I’ve basically taken the month off. And it’s time to get rolling again.

10/25 may seem like a long way off to you. But it’s very much on my mind. That’s the date of the marathon I’ve signed up for in the fall. And if it’s gonna happen, the training needs to start in earnest now. I’m very worried that the knee problem will show up again. Let’s see how it goes.

By the way, I found a couple of interesting articles about running. Check ’em out.

Running vs Walking. It’s from the NY Times…so you need to be registered to read it. But it’s free. So why not? And this is definitely the way I’ll start my running routine back up…at least until the 5K I’m set to run on June 20th in Greensboro.

Shoes vs Barefoot. Did I waste $100 on my shoes? Don’t answer that.

Born to Run. Are we doing it all wrong?

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Published in: on June 12, 2009 at 4:54 am  Leave a Comment  

Maybe we’ve been doing this all wrong.

runner-stretches

This look familiar? It should. It’s the way that most of us have been taught to loosen up and stretch before any sort of vigorous physical activity. It goes all the way to my PE days back to Mowat Middle School. It’s what we’ve all known. But some new research says it may be absolutely the wrong thing to do before you exercise.

“If you’re like most of us, you were taught the importance of warm-up exercises back in grade school, and you’ve likely continued with pretty much the same routine ever since. Science, however, has moved on. Researchers now believe that some of the more entrenched elements of many athletes’ warm-up regimens are not only a waste of time but actually bad for you. The old presumption that holding a stretch for 20 to 30 seconds — known as static stretching — primes muscles for a workout is dead wrong. It actually weakens them. In a recent study conducted at the University of Nevada, Las Vegas, athletes generated less force from their leg muscles after static stretching than they did after not stretching at all. Other studies have found that this stretching decreases muscle strength by as much as 30 percent. Also, stretching one leg’s muscles can reduce strength in the other leg as well, probably because the central nervous system rebels against the movements.”

Take a look at this NY Times article called “Stretching: The Truth” (you must register, but it’s free) and read much more about this. There’s also a video in the sidebar and some graphics that give you what is supposed to be a better way to dynamically warm up your muscles. Make sure you watch the guy do “the Spider.” If I pull off that move before playing ball with the guys, they’re gonna think I have lost my mind.

Published in: on February 13, 2009 at 10:58 pm  Leave a Comment  

On My Way To My First 10K.

greensboro-gobbler-runners

For those of you keeping “track” of my efforts, I ran my first 5K back in November in Thanksgiving Day. And we had a great experience (my brother blogged about it here and here). The plan at the time was to continue training through December for the Disney Circle of Life 5K, which ran through the Animal Kingdom, and better my original time of 28min. Unfortunately, an emergency appendectomy in early December derailed my plans. And not only was I not able to do much exercise, I did a whole lot of eating and gained a whole lot of weight.

circle-of-life-5k-signage

I did end up at least run/walking the Disney 5K. But it wasn’t the experience I was hoping for. It was also a Disney World thing. So we still ended up consuming WAY more calories than we burned running that week. So now, I’m aiming for the next level…the 10K. And the race we’ve chosen is the Run to Register 10K, which features both the roads and trails of Marine Corps Base Quantico up in Virginia (just south of the Northern VA/DC area). There’s actually an opportunity for race finishers to register early for the Marine Corps Marathon, which is run in October through and around the historic sights of Washington, DC. But we’ll worry about that after we’ve finished this race.

So now that I’m back up and running, I figured I’d show you guys just how anal-retentive I am by showing you my training schedule. I put this together using three things. One, www.halhigdon.com (thanks JMac) is a great place to get some really basic info on running and training plans. Second, my brother’s spreadsheet and his thoughts about what our long runs should be on weekly basis. And third, I just used my own expectations about what I’m actually capable of doing.

febmarch2009_10k-training-plan

I’m really excited about actually following through with this. My two biggest challenges are pretty simple. One…actually getting up out of bed and doing the work every morning. And two, getting through the next month and a half and staying relatively injury-free. Yesterday was my first time lifting anything more than 20 pounds (post-surgery restrictions) so I’ll definitely take that part of it easy for a while.

Published in: on February 13, 2009 at 5:42 am  Comments (2)