I’ve always been told about the importance of stretching, strength training and cross training in addition to running, but only recently bought into it and realized how much balance helps me as a runner. With a never-ending string of shin splints, calf strains, shin splints, I was desperate at the start of the summer to do WHATEVER I needed to do to get back in running shape. Thanks to PT and an amazingly patient therapist, holding myself accountable for doing my PT exercises at home, and focusing on stretching and icing, I know I am getting back to where I left off with my running. And it feels great.
During PT, I realized that I have a hard time balancing (bosu ball torture taught me something 😉 ) and that if I want my shins to feel good during and after running, I need to make sure my hip flexors, knees and ankles are STRONG. After a run, the first thing I want to do is gorge myself on animal crackers, and the last thing I want to do is resistant band exercises….but ya gotta do what you gotta do. And I want to keep having great runs like this
For me, strength training means resistance band exercises at home and focusing on strengthening my legs when working with the trainer at the gym. Foam rolling has found its way back into my life as well, and while it isn’t so comfortable it definitely helps. A lot.
Moral of the blog post: you need to keep your body strong to run. And I need to run to keep my mind strong.