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