Okay I’m going to have to try and keep this one short today. Why? Procrastination. Yup, I’m the queen of it, but I will say I NEVER miss a deadline and in fact with work type things I tend to be early. I also say I work the best under pressure, I guess forced productivity and all. But this time I’ve procrastinated in getting the whole Father’s Day things in order and two days after that is my bro’s birthday so I’ve got to get cracking on things.
Let’s see, so for today I did an easy run after yesterday’s harder workout. Came out to be a little over 8 miles, and again I’d like to note how that whole easy day term gets thrown around way too loosely. Trust me that first mile was a symphony of cracks and pops, and it felt like it. Then, not gonna lie, I was counting down the minutes of those last three miles! But get er done. Finished with core/abs and stick a fork in me.
I am also notoriously tight. Not a tight@$$ I’d like to note, although my adductor has been a beast lately and it’s really tight way up north so maybe I am. At any rate I’m HORRIBLE at keeping up with the whole stretching. I know I’m paying for it, I feel it, and running in fact makes you tighter. So I need to start getting better and forcing myself to do it.
It seems everyone has their own personal views on stretching: when to do it, how to do it, what kind to do it. I will say this:
DON’T stretch cold muscles. You’ll tear something, you always see people doing their little quad stretch before going out for a run, that’s actually not a good idea. Stretch after your run/workout or at least once you’ve warmed up and already been moving.
DO hold static stretches long enough. Fun fact of the day: for a static stretch (one that you just hold a pose) to be effective at all it has to be held at least 20 seconds. So just reaching down to your toes for 15 seconds isn’t gonna give you anything, sadly there’s no ‘A’ for effort there. Guilty for that one.
DON’T be a weenie like me and avoid doing it because you’re already inflexible, you don’t like stretching to begin with, it’s uncomfortable and you suck at it.
DO dynamic stretching. Actually I like this kind a little more because you’re ‘doing’ something with the stretching. These are the kinds of stretches that work on range of motion/flexibility through the stretch; think leg swings, torso twists, donkey kicks, the like. These are the ones that you look like a dork doing but are really good for you. Oh the price we pay in the name of health and fitness.
* Forward leg swings: Stand to the side and hold onto a wall or post for balance. Now swing your left leg in front of you and then back behind you in a swinging motion. Aim to reach your leg higher in front of you and further behind you the more swings you do. Work into getting more of a stretch. Do a set of 10-15 and don’t forget the other leg. (Check yo I did this one today.)
* Lateral leg swings: Again steady yourself with your hands on a wall or post but this time you’ll face the wall. Swing your left leg across your body this time, first across your body and to the right,then back to the left side in a big sweeping motion. You want to feel the stretch in your legs but also in your glutes and work on opening up your hips. Again work on getting your leg higher with each swing. Do a set of 10-15 on both legs.
* Torso circles AKA ‘the creeper': Put your hands on your hips and do a full circle with your hips. Make that circle wide peeps, look like a total creeper, but you want to really work on that range of motion. Do 10 hip circles clockwise then 10 counter-clockwise.
* Donkey kicks: Get on your hands and knees (Charlie Sheen really enjoys this one), take your left leg and tuck it in close to your tummy then keep it bent at the knee and lift it back and up towards the ceiling. Repeat 10-15 times then do the same with the other leg. A nice little bonus is it works your glutes a little bit too.
* Butterfly (static stretch): I think we all did this in gym, sit on that butt of steel you have, place the soles of your feet together and try to get those quads as close to the floor as possible. If you saw me there would be about three feet between the floor and my knees, sad picture.
* Straddle reach (static stretch): Pull the mind outta the gutter here. Sitting down you’re just going to spread your legs and reach towards your left foot, hold, then reach to the right foot and hold.
* Quad flamingos (static stretch): Stand up and grab your left foot with your right hand. Lots of people do this one but hold their left foot with their left hand, but you can get a little bit better stretch if you do it with your right hand and with your leg across your bum. So try it that way if you please. And don’t forget your other leg.
* Calf on a wall (static stretch): Stand again facing the wall, place your hands there for support and then with your legs a few feet away from the wall. Keep your left leg straight and the heel of your foot planted flat on the floor and hold. Now bend at the knee with your heel still flat on the floor. You’ll feel this in a slightly lower spot, your calf is made up of two muscles: the gastrocnemius and the soleus. The straight leg stretches the gastrocnemius the bent knee the soleus. Don’t forget your other leg. (Couldn’t resist putting this picture up, could this chick be in a dorkier ensemble? Makes me look fashion forward.)
Wow, okay so much for a shorter post, sorry. Got carried away. That said, also remember that for all those static stretches you’ve got to put in your due time, longer than 20 seconds. 😉 I know, I’m a lazy bum when it comes to stretching and will skimp out if I get a chance. I wish I were like the people who really dig on all this and are complete yogi masters but alas, I’m just a runnerchick with a tight @$$.
On to trying to figure out these gifts and cards that are in order…wish me luck! What are you all getting your pops and grandpops for Father’s Day? I’ll share what I come up with even though you really may not care all that much! Mwahahaha!!!
1) Do you live close to your dad/grandfather and plan on visiting come Sunday?
No, but I wish.
2) Do you find stretching one of the banes of your existence like me? Do you also kick yourself in the butt every time you get a soreness or niggling injury BECAUSE you skimp on stretching like me?
3) What shoes are you currently rocking in?
Nike Structure Triax baby! Have been a fan forever, BUT not gonna lie they did a major overhaul on them a few years ago and they’ve never been the same. I say that in a negative light. PS- I happened to run into one of the guys behind the overhaul and he gave me the reasoning behind it all, maybe I’ll say more about that in a later post. BUT, I made sure to tell him that I, for one, was not a fan and that I wasn’t the only one who thought so. I’m pretty sure I intimidated the heck out of him. 😉