Changing your routine is literally the difference between night and day.
By Alix Shutello.
Today I dragged myself out of bed so that I could honk out a few miles. Wikipedia says that it should take about 21 days for me to change my habits so that I become a morning exerciser. It’s funny because I am a morning person and can get out of bed and read, write, work, or whatever. The problem is forcing myself out the door to run. I do a mental exercise and think about other people who feel blessed for every step they take. I go low – and think about what life would be like and how fortunate I am to be able to run when so many others can’t. While I am going this I will often unload the dish washer, make coffee, and do some light chores so that I am moving my body around an in essence doing a warm up. This helps me mentally prepare; for the process of making coffee, whether I drink it or not before I go and run, is now, an innate behavior for me. Doing this task, like brushing my teeth, prepares me for what’s ahead. I never drink coffee (or go for a run) without brushing my teeth first.
Where I See Immediate Benefits
1. Need to incorporate dynamic stretching
Aside from the fact that at the end of the day (when I am usually dead tired) I can tell myself I don’t need to exercise, I find that I am training more along the lines of the way I should be. For example, in the afternoon, when I am naturally warmed up from just having been awake for over 8 hours, I can bolt out (or not) and cover the first few miles quickly. The problem with this is that I am usually not finishing my run as strongly as I should. I also don’t stretch as much either before or after the run. The reason for this is that because I need to get my kids I don’t really warm up and then when I am done I usually need to rush off in the car to get the kids.
So day 3 into this morning running/exercising switch, the first mile or so of my run is sheer torture because I can feel all my aches and pains (my nagging hip and bad hamstring which is why the nickname of this blog is “tighthams” for those of you who never figured that out or noticed). I will need to get up early enough to do a more effective warm up because I currently stop to stretch about a 1/2-1 mile into my run when I am more loose. But if there is ever a time for me to do some dynamic stretching; now is the time – refer to my article, Why Active Stretching is Important Before You Run, and the dynamic stretching repost, Dynamic-Stretching from PARATUS Fitness. I am kind of doing some movement exercises before I start by doing chores but I need to be more focused and to actually do the exercises I write about. I do them before afternoon runs so now if I can get myself to them before the morning routine, they will indeed, become routine. This will be better for my nagging injuries.
2. More speed at the end of my runs.
It goes without saying that by the time I am near the end of my runs I am ready for the shower. This means that regardless of how crappy the first part of the run was, I am finishing strong. I felt really good as I blew up the mini hill in front of my house and actually saw my neighbor leaving for work. I waved and continued on.