Saturday, December 7, 2013

Under-estimating A Good Warm Up No More

Lately, I've begun to appreciate a good warm up before a run. Considering I've been running quite a while, I'm surprised it took me this long to learn this, but better late than never.

The simple truth is that I have discovered that I run better when fully warmed up than when not.

A good warm up had never been that important to me. I'd get to where I was going to run and...well, start running. If it was a fartlek run, I'd get off the car and start fartleking. If it was a tempo run, I'd get off the car and start tempo-ing. You get the picture. I'm sure I'd been risking injury all this time by just starting cold, but I guess I'd been really lucky.

No more Mr. Don't Warm Up guy!

When I say warm up, I'm not talking 1/2 mile or a mile. I'm talking a couple miles...maybe even 3. Yes, I've noticed (that for me) the longer the warm up, the better the run. Some of my best runs have been after a nice and easy 3 mile warm up.

When I finally decided to give warming up a try, my thought was that I shouldn't get too fatigued - I still had my workout/run/race to do. I needed to be "fresh" before starting. Nothing could be further from the truth. I've discovered I can warm up at a nice/decent pace and still have plenty in the tank for when it counts.

I'm still trying to incorporate more stretching into my routine as well, but, for now, this'll have to do. Little by little, it'll get done - it's a work in progress.

Sunday, December 1, 2013

Running Happy!!!

The last month of 2013 is upon us, and I think I am ending the year on a few positive notes:  my running's really coming along well with few (if any) running aches/pains. Plus, I'm also seeing some significant improvement, and I'm hoping to carry this over to some trail runs in the near future (specifically, Bandera 100k).

I'm also really looking forward to this week for a couple reasons and thought I'd share:

1.  My long Cross Country season finally comes to an end. I love coaching, but I'm looking forward to ending my day at 4:15pm and going run, of course. Yes, I'm being a bit selfish, but it's been quite stressful at work, and sometimes I do wanna make it all about me. I will admit that some days are so stressful that Cross Country practice is my outlet - especially since it usually means I will be running with the team. Nevertheless, it'll be coming to an end, I had quite a few of eager young runners, and they all improved from week 1 'til now.

2.  Later this week I find out if I (and/or some of my buddies) get selected to run Western States 100. The lottery/selection takes place on Saturday, and although we have a 6.4% chance of getting selected, I'm still thinking about a loooooong shot.

3.  Tomorrow I start coaching a local group of runners locally a few times a week: Running 101, and I'm really excited. Meeting new people interested in running always excites me. Perhaps, it's their excitement - it's contagious.

4.  Finally, tomorrow I (finally) start running with some friends at 5am...well...I'm a little flexible on this one, but as of right now, I am in!!!

Run happy, y'all.