Tuesday, February 28, 2012

Good Intense Stretch for Runners

Whenever I hit a situation that is mentally or physically challenging, I usually revert back to the darkest, worst moment I'd faced and survived in order to toughen up. Usually it's a tie between the toughest cliff in Nepal, or the last end of the 190km Melaka ride, or the worst hills I've rode on. But it all goes to mush when I'm asked to hold a pose for more than 5 minutes. These SS class can be mentally challenging. VERY. My legs were screaming in pain and my form was shaking and I was gritting my teeth and my teacher was like, "It's all in the mind!"

Anyway, updates: I injured myself big time getting too obsessive in SS - disc herniation in C5 and C6. In layman's terms, however incorrect: slipped disc of the cervical spine. It was mostly ego and pure foolishness, attempting to do poses my body was not strong enough. Because I thought I was good, and I thought I could handle it.

Practising SS has made me aware of my body like never before. When I run, I am very very aware of my feet landings, how my knees feel, the sides of my upper body, and especially my breathing. It's all about how the body works. I am careful not to extend sitting at my desk for too long - taking water breaks, talking on the telephone while standing up, etc. Every little bit counts.

I want to to share with you one good pose that really benefit runners:

Well, this is the best I could find that clearly shows the foot placement, also, I figure if I put a female stretching in her skimpy clothes it wouldn't benefit anyone heheh. Well, then again...

This is the last - and possibly to many - the hardest variation of the knee to head pose. And this is a very good stretch for us runners or cyclists, as this stretches the hamstrings and opens the hip joints simultaneously. Also, the foot placement externally rotates the knee (caution: do this VERY CAREFULLY and if pain appears, move out of the pose) and works the ankle as well. You would feel it at the ankle, and it should feel good, not painful. This is not the final pose. You should be folding forward from your waist (not upper back) and holding to your extended foot. If you are really flexible, you should be clasping your left wrist (if left leg extended) with your right hand. The point is to get your stomach kissing your upper thigh.

There you go. This is my favorite stretch to do after a run, because your legs are already warmed up and open, and when you bend forward, you reallly really feel this stretch.

Friday, February 3, 2012


Aside from the one week off from workout due to neck/shoulder pulls, here's the menu:

Monday: 5.5k
Tuesday: SS
Thursday: 5.5k, SS
Friday: SS
Saturday: Swim 1.5k
Sunday: Bike, SS

Things have been great. That one week off really put me in a blue mood. But I guess I needed the time off to reflect and rest. I was showing off - too much - in fact in my SS class.

This morning went for a super slow 5.5k run. Time taken: 42 minutes. Actually it is not slow at all in my book. But my definition of super slow comes from the perceived effort. I wasn't struggling, my breath was not labored at all. My legs were ok, I was enjoying the pavements and saying hi to the dogs and their owners. I wish I could take one of the dogs out for a run.

I wish my cats could run with me.

My upper body felt sore from the heavy and challenging workout yesterday. 90 minutes of body weight conditioning. SS, how much do I love thee? So my legs get the workout today.

Last week visited a Chinese Tit Tar. Never heard of it? Neither had I, until last week. Tit Tar apparently means Bone Setters. That guy, Erik did really cool stuff on my neck and shoulder, basically, he put on some 'exorcist' moves on me. I've never heard my bones crack so much, or in another way, how out of position my spine is. It was cool. And I felt so much better.