Anyway, so last night I was at Yoga and I was struuuugggling. Every time we went into a one-legged pose, I would have to start over because I realized I couldn't balance. This is obviously not a picture of me, but what a one legged pose might look like. I was getting so frustrated with myself, because I just want to be lean and strong. At the end of class though, my teacher commented that I had done pretty well for it being my fourth class of yoga ever.
So, this article in Runners World talked about the same kind of issue I was having. Let me explain. They followed a particular "subject" (a female runner) during her training schedule, and how she would often have calf cramps, which is where I feel my pain in training as well.
A pro, aka a specialist in Sports Medicine, named De Angelo, had this particular runner perform a series of one-legged balance exercises, which revealed weaknesses in both the hips and glutes. "If your hips or glutes are weak, the calves are going to have to absorb a lot more force than they should," he says.
De Angelo's analysis proceeded directly from the hip to the foot. "The foot and the hip are best friends," he says. "They depend on each other, and if one's not happy, the other's not going to be happy." Sure enough, he found a lack of flexibility in the foot and ankle, which was causing tightness in her calves—which in turn, led to the inability of the glutes to fire efficiently. De Angelo recommended active-release stretches for the calves, hips, and groin, along with multiple sets of Bulgarian split squats (performed with one leg on a bench) and straight-legged runner's lunges.
Holy cannoli!!!!! This is exactly my issue and exactly what I need to work on.
So it turns out the "American College of Sports Medicine's guidelines call for two resistance-training sessions per week—that is, eight to 10 exercises working the major muscle groups; eight to 12 repetitions per exercise. Runners should pay particular attention to the core muscles, the glutes, hips and lower back, as well as the legs and upper body, says orthopedic surgeon Vonda Wright.
Wright recommends working your muscles differently once or twice a week with something besides running, like Spinning. "It's an intense cardio workout, you're using your butt, and teaching your muscles to fire faster."
While some studies have shown that stretching does not reduce the incidence of injury, Wright believes in dynamic stretching after warming up. She recommends gently stretching your calves, hamstrings, hip flexors, butt, and quads after every run. Another option: Pilates or yoga classes typically incorporate both core and flexibility work, so either is time-efficient." Thanks Runners WORLD! Because now I know the importance of my yoga sesh's. Remember that potential runners, strong core and a lot of flexibility make you a better runner overall.
Ok now lets move into some randomness.
Let me tell you about my snowday in the city. Sara and I randomly met up with Steph at her work, where we schmoozed and ate lunch together. We then said our goodbyes and Sara and I then headed to Borders where we sat...for two hours!... chatting and checking out books. Look at the selection I wound up purchasing.
YES how awesome! I bought a trader joe's cookbook where I vow to make one recipe per week, and then also purchased "What the Dog Saw" by Malcom Gladwell, who wrote "The Tipping Point" and "Blink"....two awesome psychology/business books.
Sara and I then met up with her boyfriend, Tal, at Stoddards on Temple Place at Downtown Crossing. I had an awesome drink called the French 75 which consisted of Gin, Champagne, Simple Syrup, and Lemon. It was an amazing drink in a beautifully decorated bar/restaurant. Seriously, the atmosphere was phenomenal. Finally, Sara and I ventured into Chinatown to grab sushi at Ginza, which I also highly recommend. Since, I was so close to southie, I cabbed it back, pushed Sara out at the Broadway T stop and came home to not one, but TWO Runners World magazines waiting for me. What an AWESOME DAY!