I confess, I often make snarky comments about running. Some of this is based on genuine concern, as running not done correctly is very likely to cause injuries. And the truth is, I’m somewhat biased against LSD, aka Long Slow Distance running, because I find it too time-consuming, and have various other small complaints with it. And sometimes I’m just going for cheap laughs.
But I know that many people enjoy running, and more power to them! I used to run all the time as a kid. After working up to some personal bests in kettlebell work and other indoor exercises, I felt that I needed a change, and began to have some nostalgic feelings for the running days.
First I walked over to the field right near my house, and just did some short, full-out sprints. Though I decided to finally run again, I felt the need for speed, and was not going to replicate my previous slow running technique. Despite warming up pretty well, I over-reached a bit the first week, and ended up with a little hip flexor pull on one side. Serves me right for my rude running comments! So obeying my body’s request to slow down, I backed off and re-assessed what I was doing. I stopped quickly enough to allow it to heal up fast, and decided that max speed was not the way to go yet. I rested my legs, doing light stretches, and spent the rest of that week doing upper body exercise.
All healed up and ready to go again, I decided to head for the track nearby at Sunnycrest field. That’s a beautiful track and setting, and the feeling being there made me realize what I had been missing for a long time. A good quality track is easier on your joints than concrete, by the way, though concrete ends up being most people’s favorite (or only) running surface. There are often teams practicing there, sometimes with parents watching, so there’s a spectator element to running there. There is also a smattering of other runners and walkers on the track, so it’s somewhat convivial, which I don’t experience working out at home. A by-product of this is that I’ve noticed this strange new thing, sunshine, and I think my skin may actually be changing color(!). Another funny thing I had forgotten is that when boy’s teams practice, there’s this humorous sound of young guys trying really hard to lower their voices and sound manly.
This time I went for interval sprints, interspersed with push-ups. The idea was to get a very vigorous workout, very fast. I slightly overdid this routine as well, getting a slight hamstring pull. Dude, back it off!!!!! Hamstring pulls can take forever to heal if you really do a good one. So after a couple days, Mr. Hammy was fine, and I went back to the track, this time going at about 70 percent of sprint speed for the running intervals. This proved to be the magic number, with a very thorough workout, and no pain afterwards.
There’s a friendly guy I’ve seen there and spoken to a couple times. He’s not in the best of shape, and he said that he lives near there and goes there a lot to walk, but hasn’t worked up to running yet, fearing he might get hurt. He may know something I don’t know, like about a pre-existing condition, but I think he deserves a lot of credit for getting out and being active in spite of that. Apart from exercise being clearly difficult for him, many people avoid exercise because they’re really embarrassed to be seen with some extra pounds, or they’re regular-sized but still feel enormous, or what-have-you, so kudos to him and other people like him going through the same thing.
I’m going there a few times a week now. Anybody want to join up for a fast run? I’m the Eurasian guy with black hair without any designer track clothing. Maybe I’ll see you at Sunnycrest!