fitness running running 101

The runner’s first commandment: Thou MUST stretch

Thursday, 28 November 2013
Yikes

Yikes

I’ve done it again. I have not stretched enough even though as of September I have increased Crossfit to 3 x week and started doing 20km runs again on weekends.

How do I know that I haven’t streched enough? I went for a run yesterday and my legs did.not.move. I ran 19km with a pace of 5:57 min/km. To put that into context, that is the slowest run I have EVER done, from the time I first started running almost 4 years ago. My hips felt so tight, I just could not lift my legs :|

I realise that every run is different and that every runner has ups and downs and slower runs and faster runs. That’s just how it goes. However, this run yesterday (and actually my last week’s little 7km run) did not feel nice. I so hard tried to make it my ‘home’ run, my rest and recovery run, but instead of seeing around 5:40 on my Garmin at the start, I saw 6:10 and more for the first 7km and of course my mind was full of irrational thoughts like “what if I’ll never run faster than that again.”

The scenery was nice even though the going was tough

The scenery was nice even though the going was tough

Then I thought that maybe my Garmin was broken.

Turns out it’s my body that’s a bit broken instead. I had a sports massage in the afternoon and my ITBs, hip flexors AND my glutes were so tight I cried.

The trouble with not stretching is that when you exercise, your muscles shorten and if you don’t stretch them out afterwards, they eventually become kind of stiff and you risk injury or just can’t move as well as you should/could. I KNOW all of that but still slack off at the end of runs, streching for 2-5 min at best.

Weekly Bikram sessions are awesome but I think they’re not quite enough right now with all the exercise I’m doing. I’m therefore printing out this very helpful illustrated stretching guide from Runner’s World and taping it somewhere on the wall in my living room so that I can’t ignore it.

Not stretching enough is the mistake I make all the time and I do it repeadedly. I wonder what it takes for me to make stretching properly a part of my routine and something I would/could not skip.

Do you stretch enough? Do you get weekly/monthly sports massages? Do you do yoga? How / how often do you care for your muscles?

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  • MuMuGB Monday, 2 December 2013 at 12:10

    I think that running and yoga are very complementary. I knew you would like Bikram yoga!

  • Raina Friday, 29 November 2013 at 19:44

    I stretch after every run but I do it only maybe 3-4 minutes and as I do them still outside I’m not laying down but I do the calves, and no 2(standing), 7 and 8. My husband never stretches though so must tell him to start

  • Lesley Boniface (lilbeeloo67) Thursday, 28 November 2013 at 21:09

    Yes “thou must stretch” – I’ve learnt that lesson. Thanks for the handy link to the stretching – I will also be pinning that somewhere prominent when I’m back running!

    • MrsB Friday, 29 November 2013 at 09:58

      My living room not only has foam rollers and tennis balls in the corner, it now has stretching photos taped to the wall :)