Monday, January 07, 2008

Stretching and Strengthening

This being a rest day, 0-3 miles, I’ll fill in the time with a post for Thomas and others that are interested in my stretching and strengthening routine.

Early last Fall, I made a decision to mend running ailments. There were bothersome hips, limited range of motion, inner shin that hurt with each step. Do you remember that mess?
I got fitted for new orthotics, a general physical exam, and new shoes. Next, was physical therapy.

December I started the PT, 2x\week. The therapist listened to my story and provided the following exercises.

“Clams” side lying with knees bent rotate top thigh, hold 5 seconds and repeat 30 times, each leg.
Side-lying Hip ABDuction – abs snug, legs straight, raise top leg, hold 5 seconds and repeat 30 times, each leg.
Hamstring Bridge – place heels on a physioball while lying on your back. Perform a bridge lifting your pelvis off the floor. Do three variations by moving the calves and the knees onto the ball. 30 times each position.

Knee to Chest Stretch, Hamstring Stretch, Hip Flexor, Piriformis. Hold for 20 seconds, 3 x times per set 1 set per session, two sessions per day.

The best I felt was on the fourth visit where the PT provided active stretching. I walked out of there across the parking lot with the full range of hip motion. That sold me right there on the value of having someone else help you.

On the fifth visit, the assistant argued with me that running 70/miles a week needs to stop in order for the hip to get better. The assistant never provided active stretching only minimal guidance. Just seeing to it the hour was spent doing some sort of strength/stretch routine. I could do that on my own!

Over the next day or so, the hip issue returned, but continuing the exercises and later snowshoeing has cleared it to this day. I never went back for a sixth visit. It really makes a difference who runners select for their care. My thoughts are without the mind sense of endurance training a provider is missing the key insight to their patients.

Runners World has an excellent reference on injury preventio with some really good videos. These are the kinds that one would typically pay for. Here's to your healthy running!

Training: Rest Day, I’m going for zero miles.


  1. Great post! I've been doing some more stretching while lying on my back. I've found it takes the strain out of it while allowing some good stretches.

    Of course, it's 3 in the morning and lying down is only natural...

  2. Thanks Andrew, it is amazing how one can find time to stretch, even a little here and there fit in helps me. Sometimes, it's the two-three a day that help.

    To do a session takes a full hour, that by far is hard to schedule in our busy schedules.

  3. Excellent stuff! Thank, Mark, for taking the time and writing it all down. Appreciated!