Running with Rage

Eric Rutin discusses running, life and other semi-important things

Gotta stretch

January 13, 2013

Eric Rutin stretches like a cheetahWell I don’t have any marathons or even halves on my calendar for 2013 yet.  As a result it has been hard to stay motivated or to push myself.  I have just been running a couple of days a week just to say I am running but I am slow and I don’t have much endurance.  My usual run is three miles and my long run is four.

Therefore I realized I need to focus on something else.  Just what that something is hasn’t revealed itself.  Well that is until today.  Even with my low mileage running has been a pain in the ass.  Literally.  My piriformis has been a constant nag.  I have decided to do something about it.  I have never been one that stretched much, before or after runs.  I figured daily runs kept me loose enough and I have been blessed with only one running injury in my running tenure.  A tweaked hamstring that kept me sidelined for two months until I had electricity zapped through it a couple of times.  But for the most part, I lace the shoes, open the door and run.

I am now 45 and things are starting to move a little slower and ache a little more.  I decided earlier today I am going to start doing some stretching and core exercises.  I am modest or maybe an under-achiever, but I am going to go for 3-4 times per week.

I started earlier with some basic exercises to just start a routine.  I have had several people tell me about planking and how it is an awesome core exercise.  I admit I was skeptical as it looks so simple.  People talk about how two minutes is awesome.  I thought easy.  Well I learned that planking is a lot harder than it looks.  I ended up doing 4 sets of :20 seconds.  I did 4 sets of a great piriformis stretch, some side planks, leg lifts and a couple of yoga poses – downward dog and prayer stretch.   This isn’t a lot I know, but it is about 15 minutes more of stretching and conditioning than I have been doing.  Maybe as my core gets stronger and my hamstrings loosen up I will increase the frequency and intensity of my exercises.  My goal is not to have six-pack abs, but rather keep my running enjoyable and relatively pain free as I get older.


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