I really feel these glute and hip strengthening exercises are working. It might be psychological, but without doubt I have noticed a marked improvement in my running. I set off this morning for a 7K on my favourite route, most of which is along the Thames and as soon as I started the warm up walk I felt a twinge-ette in my right calf/shin. "Sh**!" I exclaimed loudly. I was annoyed because I'd had at least 36 hours without any twinge whatsoever and yet here I was about to streak (not literally) through Middlesex and Surrey and the old leg starts playing up.

But, dear reader, no sooner had I launched into my run concentrating fiercely on keeping my head up, lifting my ankles and landing mid / central foot all the pain disappeared! Like magic. Gone. This gave me great cheer I must say and I gobbled up K1 like a thing that gobbles. ON the start of K2 I was a running GOD! Legs felt they were revolving in a cycle motion, I felt light and nimble and without much effort at all was cruising at a fair old pace. I was wondering how long I could keep lifting my ankles up for, as my usual style was to let my lower limbs do all the work.....BUT THEREIN LIES THE PROBLEM METHINKS, ME HEARTIES! - Sorry....don't quite know why I went all "pirate" on you all then.

I noticed that when I reverted back to "Old Dan Mode" of shuffling along, barely lifting my feet off the ground, the pain in my shin came back. As soon as I lifted my (now stronger) legs the pain disappeared again. Clearly this is what I must do from now on. K3 and K4 were dispatched without incident and I laughed in the face of tiredness, guffawed at breathlessness and dismissed any negative "I'll never make this" thoughts from my brain cell. I was cooking with gas today and tonking along nicely by the river. The sheer solitude of being there and only hearing water hens, duck quacks and high pitched tweeters was blissful. The air temp wasn't too bad either so I was pretty comfortable. K5 is Richmond Bridge - get iiiiin! K6...started to get a bit out of puff here, but still pushed on through and reached Richmond Lock, the final K. Before I knew it I had reached my goal in 42 minutes (and some change) which is about 6 mins per K approx. JuicyJu keeps yelling at me to "Slow the **** down, you mutha!" and to be frank, she's probably right. I find it hard to go too slow though, and yet this is what may be required for me to reach that elusive 10K. I'll reach it one day. I HAD hoped to clock 10K by my birthday on Monday, but it won't be attained sadly. Not to worry though, I'm loving my running at the moment so thats the main thing eh?

So.....NERDIO mentioned a cold bath after a run! I said I'd try it. I went up to the bathroom and filled the bath 3-4 inches full of cold water. Stripped down to my birthday suit and gently lowered myself into the freezing water.

"WHHHOOOOOOAHHHHHH........JEEEEEEZ........FU**........BASTA** BOL******......." (Did you hear my screams at all?)

It was torture getting in, but once I'd lowered myself and I was frozen still.......it felt ok. So long as I didn't move, because movement meant the freezing water would touch parts of my skin that HADN'T got acclimatised to the cold. The scariest thing was that my wedding tackle had almost disappeared in the shock of being immersed in such freezing temperatures! I could only stand this for about 4 minutes so was grateful to eventually fill the bath with HOT water and turn on the jets for a luxurious soak!

Did it make a difference to my legs? Not sure really. Will I do it again? Again, dunno really. I know Tom Dick and Harry weren't too impressed..........

Anyway, have a great weekend running your Park Runs, your solo runs and your marathon training.

All the best



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32 Replies

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  • Dan you never stop entertaining us, (thank god) but ease up on the cold water, tom, dick & harry need to be treated with respect. Do the sensible thing and put the shower on cold just over your legs, its much kinder to one and all :) ;) :) Your running stories will make a wonderful Runners Book one day for sure.

  • Genius idea re shower on legs. Thanks OldGirl!

  • Great stuff, sounds like the technique is working - have you read 'Chi-Running' by Danny Dreyer? He says your legs should relax like noodles... (cold bath sounds horrible btw)

  • Noodles? What like the sort you get in a stir fry? Alas, I haven't read that book. I will look it up though cos I'm intrigued by the noodle thing.

  • He's American so I think it's what they call pasta, but the general gist is to relax anyway, sounds very like you're doing. The book's an interesting read but lots of info for free online, he has his own website.

  • Thanks notbad. I'll have a poke around. How are you these days?

  • Tickety boo thanks Dan, ready for 5x50, are you joining us?

  • :) :) :) :) OMG!

    What more can I say? Well done Dan, we all love you to bits!

  • Thanks Beek :-)

  • Well done Dan, I always do what Oldgirl suggests and use the shower on my legs it's much kinder I also put compression calf guards on for half an hour after and this seems to really help with the aches.

  • Just goes to show we girls are more sensible when it comes to our bodies Mummysaurus ;)

  • Ahhh....I wear compression guards whilst running. Maybe I'll leave them on for a brief post run sesh....

  • Well done Dan! Sounds like you had a brill run. Not sure about the aftermath. Aaaaaghhhh!

  • Not sure I'll put myself through that again....

  • hey Dan another great blog! glad your legs doing better im definitely a shuffler so will have to try more cycling motion ! never tried a cold bath but sounds a bit torturous! hope you have a relaxing weekend :) with maybe some more running too...!

  • Thanks Aliboo

  • Made me smile in anticipation for my 5K park run this morning. Perhaps I may be doing the cold bath thing after? LOL. :-D

  • If you do, prepare to scream the house down!

  • Love your posts Dan, this one was particularly entertaining! I was just wondering where you got the glute and hip exercises from? And the advice about your technique? I am badly in need of this myself, I can feel my old injury returning and I have been told my glutes are not always firing as they should.

  • Thanks YJB1. I get all my info trawling the internet. Here's one link you can check out


    Lemme know how you get on. I find them very good.

  • Thanks Dan - these look good. I had done some web searching but felt overwhelmed by the sheer volume of stuff and know from experience that it can't always be trusted. Good to have a recommendation.

  • Love the blog. Good to hear the exercises are helping the pins.

    So funny that you should mention 'shuffling', I certainly catch myself dropping into a plod some days, and I really have to give myself a kick to get a better flowing leg movement again.

    Glad to hear you tried the cold bath. Works for me, maybe not for all. I have to admit I had a really awkward tight spot, and the cold water just got in there. I am feeling a lot looser now, but am holding off until Monday for my next run. (Today is lovely, and it would be great to get out, but am on call. Did take my phone out once when I was on call, and got called at the end of the run. V. out of breath, my colleague thought I was having a heart attack!)

  • Cheers Nerdio. It IS hard to not "shuffle" sometimes cos your legs get so bloomin' heavy sometimes don't they?

  • Hey just realised you said it was your birthday on Monday. Have a good one. :-)

    That happens to be my 1st birthday for running. Started C25K whilst on holiday in France. Lot colder then than it is now.

  • Cheers! Appreciate it.

  • Love the way you 'despatch' your k's!!... And yes if you went SLOWER you would be doing 10k's no problemo. Nothing like a cold bath to make you feel like a man ;) well done on your progress and happy birthday for Monday!

  • I noticed the "wink" icon after your "feel like a man" comment! Hahaha!.Didn't feel very manly I can tell you. I reckon I could have joined the Bee Gees no prob, my voice went that high pitched!

    Thanks for birthday wishes also. :-)

  • Fabulous blog, not sure about the shower thing though... :-o Happy birthday for Monday!

  • Thaaaaaaank yiouuuuu vixiej.

  • Happy Birthday for Monday.........

  • Thank you!

  • Ooh, that sounds a bit chilly, Dan :O Hope you have a great birthday tomorrow!

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