Sunday, April 12, 2015

Hamstring Hurdles


My hamstring is feeling a lot better. Icing did wonders. I think I am almost over this hurdle, as long as I don't try to push too much.
I ran 4 miles on Tuesday and I was alarmingly tight at the end. I could feel a hard tug all night, so I took Wednesday and Thursday off.
Friday I woke up and felt great, so I went out the door to run a 5K before work. It was 97% humidity, but a delightful 50ish degrees. 
I ended doing 5 miles and I was late to work   ¯\_(ツ)_/¯  but it didn't matter because everyone is on Spring break.  It was just one of those runs where I found a happy pace, and I could have gone for miles. 

I walked a whole mile and did a few skips before I started running. I could feel some tightness on the hills that worked itself out while I was walking. Warming up extra long is good when in doubt.

On my typical route, I hit this spot about three minutes into my run. 




It's hard to tell from the pic, but it's a long gradual climb. At the top there's a short dip, then you go up again. It's about 72 ft. elevation gain. I think for my legs at this stage of healing, it's just too much, too soon into a run. 

My before work 5K's are awesome, but don't allow me the luxury of a long warm up, and I think that may have contributed to my hamstring issue. Usually, I walk about 3 minutes and I do a few skips. I always spend about 5 minutes static stretching when I am done. I need to work on some dynamic stretches to get my legs ready to run. 

Saturday I woke up and I felt good again. I walked about a half mile before I ran in the hot sunshine.




I did get the urge to pick up the pace on my last mile, but a half mile in I could feel that tug in my hamstring. I backed it down and started feeling comfortable again. 

My legs feel fatigued today, but no pain (◕‿◕)
Two runs back to back, guess who is worn out?!

I am plotting a new flatter route for my short morning runs, and thinking about the best short warm up I can do. 

How do you warm up before your runs? 
Do you do any dynamic stretches I should try? 


23 comments:

  1. Yea! I'm so glad to hear your hamstring is better. I live in a hilly area. When I need a flat course, I do loops in the park in our neighborhood. It has a wonderful paved trail. I do just a little pre-run stretching. Basically, I put my foot on the edge of the counter and lunge a few times. I use my first mile as a warm up, because I've just rolled out of bed and am still asleep. LOL. Hope you have another great week of running!

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    1. LOL, I haven't done counter stretching but it is a nice height :) Love it...
      I try to be easy on that first mile and shake the legs awake, but typically it isn't slow enough. When it gets hotter it won't be an issue!
      Thanks, I hope this week is better too :)

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  2. I typically ease into my runs the first mile or too. I am a big believer in cool down walks--I go for .5mile with the dogs after every run. It usually works out all the niggles. I stretch in the evening.
    Glad to hear your hamstring is doing better. I agree, a flat course is the best.

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    1. I like to walk after also, sometimes before work it a time crunch thing. Saturday I walked a mile after my run and it does seem to help, the more I walk the better I feel.
      I could walk the hills, but I am hard headed lol

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  3. I used to not pay too much attention to warming up, but this past six months or so I've made a really conscious effort to take the first mile super easy no matter how I'm feeling and I think it pays dividends. By the second and third mile I'm almost always ready to fly. I can't wait to get back to running!

    I'm so glad that your hamstring is really better and that you have found that warming up helps. It's good to know what works and what doesn't. Do you deadlift at all during your strength training? Deadlifting is supposed to be the best exercise for strengthening the hammies!

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    1. I need to work on being easier in that first mile! I try but sometimes, especially morning, I just need to get ready so I am not patient.
      I have not been dead lifting for a long time. I need to brush on on the form and start. I use a straight bar to do glute work and it works my hammies a bit, but not enough.

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  4. I love how we are both morning runners now that spring is here, and we can motivate each other! Let's keep it up all summer:)

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    1. We should be allowed wellness time in summer to run in the morning and shower before we start working :)

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    2. I so agree with this!!! Let's ask our new Principal...:)

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  5. I walk about 1/3 of a mile before each run and cool down with the same. It is boring but I MAKE myself do it!

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    1. Walking seems to be the wining warm and cool down. I know sometimes I will just run to my door, because I am late getting ready and I never feel as good.

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  6. Glad to read that you are running again. Take it easy. Don't rush things!!

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  7. Glad your hammy is feeling better and that you had such a good run! I love those "happy pace" days when you feel like you could keep going forever.

    I always include 1 warm up and 1 cool down mile with all of my runs that aren't already at easy pace. I never used to warm up or cool down except for hard speed work, and now I'm really glad I've gotten into the habit. Although on days when I'm really tired, I find that even 1 mile isn't enough warm up, so perhaps I should do as others suggest and do some walking as well!

    One time I warmed up for a run by doing a bunch of jumping jacks and jogging in place in my living room (this was during the polar vortex). To my surprise it worked REALLY well!!

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    1. I have been there when you run and it takes a few miles for your legs to find their groove!
      A nice long warm and cool down is a great habit :)
      I like the jogging in place - I tend to skip a bit and do a few high knees randomly while walking and it makes me feel awake :)

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  8. Ooooh I hope your hamstring behaves! I am plagued with tempermental ones. I actually partially ruptured mine a few years ago. I do a dynamic warmup that can be found in the Chi Running book. I love it.

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    1. Thanks for stopping by :)
      A rupture sounds very painful! Typically my hamstrings were good before I had this stress fracture, hoping it's just a temporary thing.
      I will have the check out the book.

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  9. Sorry about your misbehaving hammy!! The flatter route sounds wise. You are very prudent though, with your running, Karen. I am sure it will be normal again soon. Perhaps a massage on top of a softball?
    As far as warm-ups go, I like to do a side-shuffle / grapevine combo.

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    1. Thanks so much Raina :) Good idea, I don't have a foam roller at home, I never thought about a ball.
      Side shuffle is a good idea, I don't know why I have't though of it! Grapevine brings back good aerobics memories! I used to do classes all the time :)

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  10. Hamstring's are so not fun to rehab! I have been foam rolling before and every run and that seems to help me a lot! Just started doing that this training cycle and while it's been a hard training cycle this go round I can tell a difference foam rolling before a run instead of just after.

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    1. Rolling before is a good idea- I used to some floor work before I ran but got lazy about that and stopped. I will be by to catch up about your training! Hopefully it will start to feel easier for you soon :)

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  11. Yay so happy it's feeling better! Someone in my running group is struggling w/ a hamstring issue right now, too. No fun! Hopefully it will gradually just keep better.

    And why do hills never look big in photos? I've taken pics of several hills while out running so I could whine about them later on my blog, and when I look at the pictures they look like speed bumps. LOL

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  12. I don't warm up before I run. Usually my first mile is a little slower and that loosens up my legs. I've heard that stretching while the muscles are cold can actually cause injuries.

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