Interesting. I guess there’s no need to debate about whether or not to stretch after all?
Runners who usually stretched and were assigned to the no-stretch group had a 40 percent increased risk of injury, while non-stretchers who were randomized to the stretch group had a 30 percent increased injury risk.
The most common injuries were groin pulls, foot and ankle injuries, and knee injuries, but there was no significant difference in injury rates between the runners who stretched and those did not for any significant injury location or diagnosis.
I had wanted to try running for the longest time before I actually got the guts to get started. See, before I’d gotten pregnant, I was fairly active. I’d tried my hand at some sports but I was never good at sticking to them.
When I was still thinking about what to do to get healthier, I wasn’t fat, but I wanted to feel fitter and stronger. I knew that I didn’t want to invest in a gym membership, and I also wanted something that I can do on my own — a sport where you don’t need a partner or special equipment. Since I knew a few people who had just taken up running, I asked for their advice and eventually gave it a go.
I invested in a good pair of running shoes that were the right type for my overpronating feet, looked up a good program for beginners, and I was off.
My first run was very humbling. I don’t think I was even able to finish 20 minutes of running and walking, and I honestly, honestly thought that there was NO WAY I’d ever be able to run for 30 minutes straight. But I kept on. And one glorious day, after maybe 2 months, I finally completed a run without walking. That was like a major milestone for me.
And one year, two 5Ks and three 10Ks later, here I am! I’m the first to admit that I’m a slow runner, but that’s okay. I’ve long given up my dream of getting a podium finish anyway. ;)
Since I discovered running, I’ve found myself wondering more than a few times how good I’d be now if I’d discovered it 10 years ago. Then again, I’m thankful that I still have (hopefully) more than 10 years left to enjoy running. This year, I want to do more 5Ks and 10Ks. I want to focus on getting speedier first before tackling the longer distances. Cheers to getting fit!
“Running reminds me that there is more to me than what is readily apparent much of the time. I don’t always need to see it, but oh how I need to know it’s there. Like having an alter ego, or a super-cool super-hero identity.”—Kristin Armstrong, author and runner
As a child, Stefaan Engels was diagnosed with asthma and told not to exert himself. Instead, the now 49-year-old Belgian started to run. A lot. But Engels needed a new challenge. So he decided to run 365 consecutive marathons over the course of a year, a new world record.
I conquered two flyovers last Sunday and it felt great. I didn’t get to set a new PR but I enjoyed every exhausting bit of the race.
Assembly time for 10K runners was 5 am. My sister generously offered to drive me, so we left the house a little after 4:30 and got there just a little after 5. The emcee gave some last-minute reminders then fired the gun at exactly 5:30.
I started out too fast, and before I knew it we were going up the Skyway. I trudged on and made sure to enjoy the quiet scenery. Sometime after KM 6, I started feeling winded so I walked until I felt like I could run again. Around KM 8, I spotted the next hydration station and saw that they had sponges. I swear the ice-cold water saved me and gave me that much-needed boost as I “attacked” the Buendia flyover.
By the time the finish line was in sight I already felt drained, but I dug in and sprinted through the last few hundred meters.
Things I Liked: 1) Marshals were present all throughout the race course and they made sure that angry drivers wouldn’t run over the runners; 2) there was a hydration station every 2 kilometers — which made me almost regret having brought my trusty hydration belt; 3) the cool medal, of course; 4) the free popsicle.
What I Didn’t Like: Not a single photo of myself on Marathonphotos.com!
When it comes to races, only 2 things are important for me - the presence of helpful, able marshals and well-stocked hydration stations. The other things - singlets, freebies, even the course itself - are not that important for me.
They’re versatile and can be used to loosen up before a strength routine or after a run. They’re fun because you are actively engaged in remembering what comes next. And they’re functional in that they lengthen and stretch the hamstrings, calves and low back, and strengthen and stabilize your shoulders and core. Try them. You just might like ‘em…