"There's only one hard and fast rule in running: sometimes you have to run one hard and fast."

Tuesday, September 29, 2009

Calling All Experts

If.... and I mean IF.... I do another race of 50 miles or more, I'm going to have to work on my posture. Long hilly races have plagued me with lower back pain and left me stooped (ask anyone who saw me at Zumbro - I was shaped like a question mark). Pictures of me this year all look like I'm pot-bellied, but it's partly a postural thing. The photo in the header shows the problem in all its glory (note too the hand swell).

So... This blog's read by nurses, doctors, physical therapists, trainers, coaches, a chiropractor, a pilates instructor a yoga instructor and a bunch of people with a lot of experience with runners like me who won't listen to reason. Where do I start to correct the problem?

[BTW. Did anyone else notice the strange parallels between the last episode of "House" and my life? Spooky. The eating ice cream while watching "The Biggest Loser" scene and the experimental cookery has me wondering if I know one of the writers. Also, BTW: "The Biggest Loser" is now officially a freak show.]


wildknits said...

Having the tendency to stoop myself when tired(like I need to look any shorter!) I try to remind myself to stand up straighter, shoulders back and to quote my massage "guy" - "lead with your heart" (Ie: chest up/out - can't think of the best way to describe it). Helps a lot. But visualization works pretty well for me. your mileage may vary.

I would throw in there: allow for some recovery time. Getting older means a bit slower time to rebuild from each effort (as much as I hate to admit that 40's is older, apparently it can be a downhill slide after your 30's).

See you at Wild Duluth or Surph the Murph?? ;->

Glaven Q. Heisenberg said...


If you were REALLY like House, you'd diagnose your own problem online.

He> did.

phillip said...

I'm none of the professional categories you list as eligible for responding to your inquiry with ideas for non- stooping . . . which makes me want to do it even more.

Since that is very much a Steve Quick type of response, I am perflexed if I should continue, but, lacking better judgment, here goes:

The answer is easy to answer, more difficult to execute . . .

Strengthen Your Core; that's right, strengthen your core, your mid-section, the belly-a-rama, chunky-cheese, and all of that.

This means for most to do leg lifts, crunches, deadlifts, squats all of which will strengthen the stomach muscles while simultaneously tightening other muscle groups.

One can use surprisingly light weights to accomplish this. Do the leg lifts with you but-teria on the edge of a bench, legs out in air, and hands back over your head holding on the the bench sides. Slowly lift and lower legs from straight out to straight up; then down, slowly now.

You're welcome :)

nwgdc said...

1. Does your back hurt, leading you to slump, or does your slumping come first and result in back pain?
2. Want to go running on the Mystic Trail this Saturday? I think I've got a friend who's located it.

Ross said...

Improved posture is one of the benefits of yoga. I don't do it myself, but...well, I don't do it until my back starts hurting and then I start up until the pain stops. It's an evil circle.

Helen said...

Yoga, yoga, yoga... for back problems specifically - Hot yoga, Hot yoga, Hot yoga...

Seriously - there is a sequence of 4 back postures in the middle of the Hot series that WILL strengthen your back. You could just look up the Bikram series and do those exercises independently but you would miss many of the benefits... The complete sequence of postures is important building upon each other and of course there is the heat and humidty - which don't just prepare you for hot weather conditions but also for stressful conditions/situations in general.

Yoga, yoga, yoga...

RBR said...

Note to all real runners and ultra-enthusiasts: Please ignore the following silliness:

SteveQ: You had me positively swooning with your coining of a platypus specific adjective and knowledge of the hard-fought captive breeding battle endured by the platypologists (hey, making up words IS fun!) of recent history.

I was ready to pack up, move to the land of perma-frost and follow you around as your ultra-groupie.

But then...I read what could be construed as a negative assertion about being a monotreme on G's blog made by YOU! Say, it isn't true. Restore my image of a fellow platyphile. Or you shall feel my wrath, as well.

(And you can go ahead and feel my wrath. I am WAY more femme than Glaven. Even though his boobs are bigger.)

Get Primal said...

While I absolutely LOVE the success stories and the positive emotions the contestants feel, I can't watch Loser any longer either. The continuous in-show commercials, the horrendous diet advice, the smug trainers. I'm done.

Oh, your question. Dr. Davis from heartscanblog talks about 'wheat belly' occasionally. Any chance there's some of that involved or is it all a posture thing? After I started reading about it I started seeing it everywhere...even in people that are considered extremely fit by others.

Bill S said...

I'm not an expert in much, but I know what works for me.

I agree with the cause-and-effect approach of NWGDC. I also agree with PHILLIP: The cause could be weak core and overall upper body strength. If I can say so, you look like you could benefit from general strength training. In the past 6 months what have you been doing besides running? Whatever happened to you and Yoga?
Oh...and what the hell is the Mystic Trail?

DCS said...

I'm in the "expert" category as you define it and I second the motion of Phillip regarding core strengthening. That seems to be the consensus of trainers and therapists about how to reduce lower back stress no matter what the cause. I don't think you have to join Lifetime Fitness. You can find core strengthening exercises on many websites and they mainly employ using your own weight as resistance.

SteveQ said...

Personally, I think the problem is the stomach muscles being stronger than the back, which would cause the bending forward. I think that I bend forward going uphill from the back rather than from the hip, which is a problem and I bend forward going downhill at the shoulder and neck to see where my feet are landing. Several hours of being bent forward cause tightness in the back which then aches.

So - I guess I need to do some core strengthening.

RBR, please accept my apology for mentioning a duckbill in the same sentence as the horsetoothed stackcrawler.

Bill and Nic: I once posted the exact latitude and longitude of one part of the trail on this blog. The whole thing's less than a mile long, but finding it is a lot of fun. Try starting on Burlington, addresses around 550; the trail goes by a fire hydrant.