Running quote of the week

“We run because it makes us feel like winners, no matter how slow or how fast we go.” – Florence Griffith Joyner and John Hanc, Running for Dummies

Tuesday, March 30, 2010

Pre-run dynamic stretching has its merits

Today's workout (treadmill): 2.5 miles at 9:05 (2% incline)

Ugh. That describes the wet weather outside and my experience on the treadmill this morning. Long Island is getting 4"-6" of rain over the next 24 hours on top of all the rain we've seen since Friday night. Yesterday was a nice break from exercise and I really needed some rest. I had been experiencing some slight pain in my right knee and intermittent pain in my left abductor muscle that may have been related to extra mileage on hills over that last two weeks. With any thoughts of an outside run washed away with the steady rain, I turned to the treadmill for my run.

I had just read in Running Times about dynamic stretching. This method differs from static stretching in that it activates muscles rather than relaxing them. As it happens, my pre-run stretching is already dynamic. Using a couple of of exercises that AG taught me I usually do a few leg swings and knee cradles before I start. I decided to add a few more to the mix today and I did feel very loose before I started my run. The treadmill belt is still unstable and we're waiting for a new motor that will theoretically resolve the slipping and jerking issue. I am able to avoid that for the most part by keeping to the left but the possibility of a slip is definitely an unwanted distraction during my run. I spent a couple of minutes warming up at a slower pace and then hit the start button on the Garmin after pushing the speed to 6.6 MPH. I'd also set the incline to 2% and the combination of a relatively brisk pace (9:05 on the treadmill feels like 8:40 on the street to me) and the slight elevation made my first mile difficult.

I settled into the run and managed to tough it out long enough to cover 2.5 miles at speed before I switched off the Garmin and cooled down for another ten minutes at a slower pace with no incline. It wasn't an enjoyable experience but it was a good workout. Additionally, I finished the run with no knee or muscle pain. The air was especially dry and I really appreciated the coconut water that I used for re-hydration. I'm really hoping that by tomorrow morning conditions will be favorable for an outdoor run. Much as I like the new treadmill, it doesn't provide the satisfaction of running outside.

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