Lazy Running

Back on it.

Unfortunately for my ego I'm not as good as I like to be. Missing is any sort of tolerance to a consistent workload. Backing up running each day is more of struggle than I am used to over the years. However, I'm at where I'm at.

Hoping to hit a minimum of about 10km each day turned out to be slightly too high a level to start with. When put against my running background this appeared to be a reasonably conservative starting point. So why wasn't it?

Of course basic deconditioning plays a role here, but that doesn't explain the level of difficulty I've through the first week. It stems from technique problems that I've developed over the last six months as a follow on issue after hurting my hamstrings. Basically I became a lazy runner.

The body is amazing at finding what it thinks is the easiest and most efficient way of doing something. It also tends to be pretty good at protecting a part that is already injured. At least in the short term. The body isn't particularly good at long term planning.

For my situation I had issues in my hamstrings, specifically the proximal musculo-tendon junction, the origin point along and some related problems with my glutes. Over the last few months without realising my running style had morphed to protect these areas. Now that I was finally paying proper attention I noticed that I was minimising any hamstring and glute involvement during running. This resulted in an abbreviated stride the ultimately reduced stride length, minimised heel lift and was quite stiff legged. It felt quite good when running on slight declines, but made anything that headed upwards poor. It sucked any semblance of power out of my running. Worse still, the stiff legged style failed to absorb the impact forces that a good running stride usually does and has been transferring that force more so into my lower back.

Changes had to be made. Underlying all my running this week (and beyond) is ensuring I develop good technique. In the long run this should pay big dividends. Unfortunately returning to proper running form has highlighted how much I haven't been using my glutes, hamstrings and even my calves. Putting in a few days in a row with bringing the neglected muscles into play has been a significant load for them. On most runs I have been fighting the now natural tendency to resort back to the stiff legged style, but on occasion the better technique has come together very well for an individual run. It is the following day that my legs feel over worked. Also my long run was more of an attempt. Aiming for 20 basic kilometres of comfortable running seemed reasonable. Instead I finished covering on 17km, with a big section of walking as my hamstrings cramped in the second half. This was purely because I was asking a lot more from them than I had in a long time.

Still I have put in a run every day, plus a couple of weights sessions. While not at the planned level, I am happy I now know exactly where my fitness is and what I need to do to improve. Patience, consistency and focus is needed.


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