Saturday, 2 June 2012

Running, and why you should cross-train

When I started running about 2 years ago, I became addicted to it. The dog got some exercise, I got exercise, I could listen to my favourite music, get out of the house, make time or distance goals and work towards breaking them, and basically life was good.

Because I was running a lot I could feel my legs get stronger. My thighs became like steel, and it was great (I love muscles). So even if I did weights or strength training at home, I wouldn't really bother with leg exercises. Why should I? My legs were strong, and I didn't want to overuse them.

This, it appears, was a mistake.

I finally attended a physio about two weeks ago, and it turns out that I have issues with my ITB. ITB syndrome is a very common issue for runners, and in a nutshell, it means that my muscles are both very tight and very weak at the same time. Awesome.

I now have a raft of stretches and exercises to do to both relax the muscles and build them up. In particular, my glutes are very weak so this week there's a focus on them.

The moral of this story people? Cross train. Make sure you're stretching and strengthening everything. Simply running won't just make you magically strong (sad but true...)

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