While perusing Facebook today, like every other day, I came across an article on Triathlon.com that featured a picture of Miranda “Rinny” Carfrae. Rinny recently won the Ironman World Championship in Kona, HI by having one of the most stellar marathon performances ever. She came from behind and passed some of the world’s best athletes to take the title for her second time, breaking her own run course record by laying down a 2:50:38 marathon time.
I always pay attention to an article if Rinny is the example they’re using because clearly she’s doing something right! I watched her run towards 1st place as Ironman streamed the race this year and just watched in awe and amazement at her effortless stride and strong posture. I think this year’s race placed more attention on her race than it did the men’s race which is very nice to see.
Anyways, back to the original topic, the Triathlon.com article “The Glutes: Your Biggest Asset” provided some valuable insight on my lingering issues. Since I’m sidelined right now with plantar fascitiis and achilles tendinitis, I can only dream and think about running but I’m in the weight room lifting and building strength back up just no cardio right now. As I read the article I came across the factoid that weakness in the gluteus maximus or your butt, can lead to the issues I’ve been dealing with! Now, I’ve known that having a strong core and glute muscles are important to athletic success but it hadn’t really crossed my mind as to a major stemming factor of my current situation.“With weak glutes comes the threat of running’s most common injuries — everything from IT band syndrome to plantar fasciitis can be linked back to the butt.”-Bryan Hill, physical therapist
Hmm, IT band troubles-check, plantar fasciitis-check.
The article provided a quick test to see if your glutes are in fact weak.
Do this: a single-leg squat as low as you can go. If you can reach an angle of 80 degrees or more (90-degree knee flexion is optimal, says Hill), you’re likely efficient at loading your glute properly while running.
So of course I immediately got up of my chair that I sit in way too much and tried both legs. Not only did both legs really burn from the exertion but if I could guess my knee flexion I would say about 75-80 degrees…not good!
When I was doing CrossFit, we rarely had to do pistols but when we did I could never do them. A pistol movement is a one leg squat with the free leg stuck out in front of you. Those things are damn hard to do but I understand why their important to incorporate.
Since I’m not running and focusing on rehabbing on my own, I’m going to add in a lot of glute and hamstring work so that come the new year, I’ll be stronger and more flexible and hopefully eliminate or at least ease a lot of pain and tenderness as well as get my body more symmetric.
Next week I go back for my check up with my doctor. I don’t think anything will be discovered nor do I think we’ll need to do any further testing. I’m expecting him to say I can start jogging again by walking a block, jogging a block and building up very slowly. I’m going to hop on the bike trainer this weekend for no more than 20 minutes to see how things feel. I also want to get in the pool and swim some to get some cardio but will avoid pushing off the wall so I don’t add stress to the achilles.
I’ve been not running for 3 weeks and by next week’s appointment it will be 4. In a Runner’s World magazine issue from this month, the Ask the Experts column explained that you should expect your body to take at least 3 weeks to regain your fitness when you’ve been injured or sick for 3 weeks. So that’s what I expect 3-4 weeks to probably feeling 80% and then on from there.
I’m still registered for the Donna Marathon but clearly the 26.2 isn’t happening in February but I’m seeing if I can do the half now but the main priority is being healthy entering the 2014 triathlon season as my date to officially begin training for IMLP looms closer and closer.
One final note semi-related to all of this (because he provided me 50% of his genes) is that today is my dad’s birthday and wanted to wish him a HAPPY BIRTHDAY!
PS Can’t believe its been 3 years since my graduate class crossed the new Amway Center’s basketball court at half time to be honored for our graduation. Craziness!
PPS The director of my graduate program, the DeVos Sport Management Program at UCF, Dr. Richard Lapchick, wrote a wonderful article for ESPN.com on Nelson Mandela’s significance in sports and racism. The two were friends and so it was sad to hear of the passing of Mr. Mandela yesterday. Click here to read the article
RIP Nelson Mandela
Exercises for strengthening the glutes as posted by Runner’s World: