Move to Free Your Body

We’ve all been there.  Running along and then… a twinge in the calf or a tweak in the hamstring stops us dead in our tracks.

Time to call it quits…or is it?

Not necessarily.

Sometimes it might be a mild reminder that we’re not running in balance, that our gait is not symmetrical or that we’re wearing the wrong shoes or are running on a poor surface.

So how do we know whether to throw in the towel or continue along?

I don’t feel there is one correct answer.  Of course, I’m not suggesting you continue along on a marathon training run after stepping off a curb, rolling your ankle and finding that every step makes you wince in pain.  Rather, just trying to get the message out that the more we tune into our own bodies and pay attention to what our norms are (and aren’t), the better off we’ll be.

I’m an advocate of having regular bodywork and, if need be and if budget allows, even having a team of experts to work on you is fantastic.  I’m fortunate enough to have found an amazing masseur who I see every week, religiously, as well as a talented A.R.T. Practitioner (who is covered by insurance, incidentally, which is quite nice) as needed.   

In the case of injury, having a good PT on hand is integral as well, but ultimately, only you know how you feel and only you can make the decision to train… or not.

I experienced my very first injury two years ago; a Grade II strain of my semimembranosus.  Prior to that, if I ever had a random tweak or twinge, I’d ignore it.  I believe I must have thought I was invincible.   After not being able to run my home marathon (LA) a mere ten days later, a two-week pity party and a frighteningly emotionally challenging time coming back to running, I found myself overly cautious for a while. 

I became irrational and wondered if I’d ever be able to run fast again, or if I’d be forced (by myself) to become a recreational rather than competitive runner.

Ultimately, it just took some time (ok, and a little bit of sport psychology) to get over it, but what I was left with was a more intelligent approach to my training and a better understanding of what is a little bit of tightness that will actually work itself out during the workout, versus a pending injury which I need to sort out with my PT right away.

Know yourself, know your body, know your mind and you’ll be golden!

Oh, and, of course, eat Paleo so your body thrives and flourishes with all the training!