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

Friday, April 25, 2014

Restarting from less than zero

Years ago, I decided to go back to the track and start training to run a mile. Doing 20-30 repeats of 200 meters at current mile pace with one minute rest intervals was what I once thought of as easy, but I planned on 8 repeats with 3 minutes recovery to start. The first one was much slower than expected. The second one, I started out very hard to do it in the right amount of time, but still fell short. I took about 10 minutes to recover, started a third repeat... and got injured. I thought, well, once I recovered, I'd go back and regain lost fitness a little at a time, but it would take forever. It didn't work. It looked like I was done.

There's a running sloution to every running problem... until there isn't.

Then I decided what I needed to do was work on my top-end speed to get me where I could run comfortably at a faster speed. The common way to do this is with facilitated sprinting, such as runing downhill - but the landing forces for that would get me injured, so I had to start by uphill sprints. They were awkward, my style was bad, and I never improved.

I couldn't even stand properly, much less run, so I checked with a bunch of experts, got a bunch of answers (which overlapped a little) and tried everything. Eventually, I found someone who said I could solve most of my problems with a few exercises that would take a few minutes per day; I soon decided he was right - because I couldn't do any of them properly. For example, one of them is called The Scorpion: you lie on your stomach, arms stretched out to the side and alternately try to bring each foot to the opposite hand.

Someone actually doing it on a track!
When I attempted it, I'd get a muscle spasm in my right erector spinae.

What's the point? Training is specific; when does one ever make a motion like that when running? Well... when that muscle's weak and you get tired, you start to look like this:
Zumbro 100: I loathe this photo.
The solution would appear to run with proper posture, but even when not tired, my posture was off and I couldn't fix it.

That's not a pot-belly; that's a swayback.

 Spending each day standing, sitting or lying with my back in the wrong position made it impossible to straighten it to the correct position.

So... if you can't run, can't even stand properly and can't do the corrective exercises, what's left? The last resort is corrective exercises to get one to be able to do the corrective exercises one needs to do! For that erector spinae problem, I needed to break up some scar tissue and did that by rolling around on a hard ball.

A little lower and to one side.
The Zen of non-running running training

Of the 1100 posts I've put on this blog, more than 300 have been on running training: what to do, how much to do, why one workout rather than another. I intentionally omitted anything that you see on most running blogs: where I went, what I ate and what I wore. I didn't write about stretching or strength training or cross-training, because that's ALL that others wrote about, when what people needed to do was run.

Now I finally have an excuse to explain all the stuff you need to do if you can't run.

1 comment:

it's all about pace said...

I think that you might be ready to look at this site...

life changing.