I had a really positive run this morning in downtown Omaha, NE, in spite of the 25mph winds. I know, the Garmin printout below reads "10mph", but I think that's the info it gets from a weather service at the time you begin the run. I checked immediately when I was finished and weather.com indicated 25mph with 38mph gusts. They are calling for 60mph winds later today ... crazy! "Need a little wind here." - Tommy Boy. Downtown Omaha is fairly hilly, so when I'm in town on business, I use it as an opportunity for a hill run. I had almost 1,300ft of elevation gain this morning which is great for a marathon paced run. Anytime I can gain over 100ft per mile, I consider it a pretty good hill workout.
I feel like I'm gradually getting back into form, at least with my pace. For my new "old man" age group of 45-49, to qualify for Boston I have to run a 3:25 marathon, or a 7:49/mile pace. I seem to be able to hold that pace fairly easily right now, for a while at least. The problem is, holding it for as long as I need to. As I work my way back into shape, the endurance seems to be the toughest thing to regain. The added weight obviously doesn't help either, but my diet has been much better this week. So anyway, it was a positive run this morning in Nebraska!
Stretching Ham String Muscles
For as many miles as I've ran over the past few years, I've been very fortunate, and blessed, to not experience any major health setbacks or injuries. Of course I still ache like everyone else from time, and even have little "trouble spots" that tell me something's a little off, or needs attention. Probably the two main things I struggle with are adductor tightness and pain, and tight hamstring muscles ... and wouldn't you know it - one is a result of the other.
When I went to my A.R.T. doctor (a marathoner himself) last year for tightness, and a little pain in my groin muscles, he told me that many ... if not most ... of the issues he treats runners for are hamstring related. He explained how the hamstrings affect the glutes, groin/adductors, and even some IT band & quadriceps issues. He showed me a few stretches to perform after every run to effectively stretch them out. When I'm consistent about doing them, my body seems to feel great, with no groin/adductor tightness or pain. Awesome! When I'm lazy or in a hurry, the uncomfortable feelings and issues creep in.
Lately I've been doing the "hurdler's stretch" a lot after runs. Ya know, the one where you sit on the ground with one leg extended and the other tucked and bent to the side, like in mid flight jumping over a hurdle. This really seems to isolate my hamstrings and give them the stretch they need. I've noticed that sitting for long periods of time can cause them to tighten severely because they are in a constant contracted position. So on log car rides, or after extended periods at my desk when I'm in the office, I try to frequently to stretch them out.
Anyway, just a little tip that really helps me stay lose and pain free. For so long I neglected stretching my hammies, but when I really started focusing on them, my pain decreased, and running improved. Hope your week and running are going well!
... be great today!