Headed out for a slow 5 km jog this morning after about six weeks of remediation from injury caused by overtraining. The jog went well- no twinges or pain at all which was a good sign. So far, so good.
Started the session with a series of dynamic stretches for running.
Lesson learnt: more stretching, more emphasis on cool down, work up gradually and don’t overload training.
Looking good for 1 March start date.
Walking back from training this morning I struck up a conversation with Lee. Lee was walking ahead of me and looked a little unsteady on her feet so I asked her if she was alright. It turns out she had broken her back and spine a few years back, but through determination and persistence she was not only now walking again but also looking forward to again returning to her previous enjoyment of sprinting. Inspirational.
I was inspired by her story. The long journey of overcoming a disastrous turn of events, and the slow and gradual road to recovery. Achieving things which she was told she would never do again- standing, walking, independence- things we all take for granted.
She mentioned a quote from Arnold Schwarzenegger, which although not verbatim, is something like:
You have to fail in order to move forward.
Not everything goes to plan, and setbacks should just make you more determined to succeed. Being comfortable marked the beginning of the road to mediocrity. Listening to her story, it dawned on me that the level of discomfort and pain she had endured- physically and emotionally- would have been intense at different times.
I mentioned some minor discomfort with my left calf calf muscle in comparison to what she had overcome indicating that her story had put my injury into perspective. She listened and then suggested that maybe this irritation might be linked to my big toe. She suggested some stretching exercises, incorporation of swimming (for hip mobility), talked about diet and a list of awesome advice which was great to receive.
Lee gave me some insights to improving my training and conditioning- about excelling performance and avoiding overtraining. We finished with her giving me her philosophy to attitude and goal setting. A great start to the day. Thanks Lee.
Last week I took my training easy resting my legs as much as possible. Training last week was spent in the pool mainly doing sprints of deep water running for extended periods and light periods of stretching.
My legs had tired over the previous weeks, and were beginning to show the stress of overtraining combined with a lack of sufficient stretching.
Warming up tonight, and setting off for an initial run I felt as though I had a new pair of legs. Well rested and prepared for the start on Thursday.
Tonight after a warming up of stretches, light aerobic activity and dynamic stretches I went for a slow job followed by interval training of 12 x 200 m sprints along the waters edge of Sydney Harbour. The long nights of daylight savings with the Sydney Opera House and Sydney Harbour Bridge in the background made it very enjoyable.
I finished up with a slow 5 km jog ending with an extended period of stretching. Over the next few days I will focus on my diet and building up fuel for the journey ahead.
Training for the 10 City Bridge Run, I have been following a program designed for marathon runners by veteran running coach Bob Williams from Portland, Oregon.
I wrote to him with details of my training and how everything was progressing, mentioning how I had experienced some discomfort and loss of range of movement particularly in the ankles before increasing my stretching regime.
He wrote back with great advice. I am passing it on here so you too might benefit from what he had to say about The Dynamic Warm Up
I’d definitely employ dynamic stretching to enhance your flexibility.
Coach Bob Williams, Team Oregon
Engaging in a dynamic (constantly moving) warm-up procedure is the most effective method of getting the body ready for vigorous athletic play. This warm up procedure encompasses dynamic movements that will:
- Stretch important soft tissues while priming the body’s central nervous system;
- Increase tissue and core temperature;
- Stimulate balance, coordination and ankle/foot proprioception;
- Facilitate neuromuscular movement patterns that ultimately enhance movement efficiency, power and economy.
Repeat 4-5 times per week.
Before you begin:
- Warm up with light aerobic activity for 5-10 minutes
- Performing the exercises detailed below for 10 m, walk and jog for 10 m to slowly stimulate your heart rate, repeat the exercise, jog for 10 m.
Knee Grabs–knee and hip flexibility
Come up high on toes while brining one knee to the chest and pull knee tightly to chest with the foot dorsi flexed- to stretch the hip flexors, alternate legs as you walk in a straight line, stay tall, land quietly and keep the foot /toe cocked up; Gradually pick up your tempo as you become proficient.
Prisoner Walks–hip mobility
With hands together on the head, take a step forward, bend the knee, bring right leg up to waist level, drop toe to ground and bring bended knee up and swing right leg out to side while keeping the shoulders square and don’t turn the hips. In same motion while leg is coming down, step with the same leg, bring opposite leg up and repeat.
Russian Kicks–Dynamic hamstring flexibility
Arms out straight out to the side, kick right leg up straight and reach to toe with left hand as leg is kicked up and straight–don’t bend knee, keep back straight while twisting to reach the toe, each arm swings back.
Dyno Walks–dynamic and proprioceptive ability
Start standing tall, take a step with left foot and with right hand, slowly bend down to touch near the foot with right leg coming off ground and extend straight out; come back up to tall position while taking another step with right foot and continue the process of touching the toe with left hand and right leg extends straight out behind.
Toe Touches–Sacrum and active hamstring flexibility
Take a step with right foot and then left foot comes together, slowly bend over, locking knees, and reach to touch the toes. With good rhythm, step with opposite foot and bend to touch toes; continue forward with goal of gradually bending further with each step, hands going farther down.
Over and Under the Hurdle–hip mobility
Standing tall, step to the right high over a pretend hurdle, Once over it with right leg, bring the other leg over the same hurdle but do not let the feet cross. Feet must be straight ahead and landing perfectly in alignment; next, step again to the right, drop your butt and the hips low and pretend to step under and through the hurdle. Do not let the feet cross.
Open Hip Skip Reverse–hip mobility and overall coordination
Hands on hips, step backwards while bringing the leg up and out and down while skipping on the toe of the opposite leg that was brought up and out. Bring leg way up and out and down and keep shoulder square.
High Knee Karaoke–body symmetry
Moving the side, step with the right foot over the left and bring the left foot behind the right leg and throw the right leg as high up as possible over the left leg and repeat in a skipping motion.
Lunge and Twist–thoracic spine mobility & chest stretch
With your arms held straight out and hands together, take a big step and lunge by dropping the knee to the ground and twist the body around to the same side with arms extended outward. Keep arms extended out the entire time. Watch hands.
Toe Flickers–ankle linear mobility
Hands on hips, flicking the feet out in front, bouncing on the toes in a straight line.
Ankle Flickers–lateral ankle mobility
Hands on hips, flicking the ankles to the side and feet landing straight out, feet not coming together, bouncing legs straight out.
Crab Walk–shoulder, rotators and patella activation and conditioning
While sitting down extend legs with arms behind you, extend legs out and “walk” forward.
Inch Worm–core strength activation, dynamic Achilles tendon flexibility
Start in push-up position with arms extended, knees locked, and gradually “inch” your fee towards the hands. Keep the legs straight.
Good Mornings (Arm Rolls)–shoulder and body symmetry
Come up on toe with the arms swinging up high and backward with each step.
Go Steps–dynamic body symmetry and coordination
Short sprint movements like the A skips with knees brought up to 90 degrees, moving knees quickly and arms moving at 90 degrees like a sprint position.
Thanks Coach Williams!