Thursday, 10 December 2009

How hip are you ?

Railway path to Chryston and return.
47.13-6.02 miles
Started quite slow as I was a bit stiff this morning but once I got the joints moving things were fine and the pace was about same as the last few days. At this moment I am staying away from any sort of interval sessions  and just concentrating on steady runs, getting some miles in  and staying free from any serious injuries. I missed 6 weeks training from the end of September to mid November with sore achilles and a sore hip which I had struggled with all summer. While in America at the start of October a magazine called Running Times had an article about how a lot of injuries in the lower legs and knees are a result of weak hips and core muscles. Without going into things in great detail, they took 283 injured athletes and gave them a series of exercises to strengthen the hips over a 8 week period and the results were dramatic especially in people who pronate inwards causing strain on the knees and achilles. Participants experienced 57% less pronation at the ankle joint, a large increase in leg strength and lower leg stability. I did the test to see if I  had weak hips.  The test was to stand on one leg and bend the free leg behind you then squat on the other leg. The leg you squat on should remain straight from thigh down to your toes and not collapse inwards, I failed miserably so I started the 6 exercises and at first it was shocking and my attempts to complete them left my muscles screaming no more. As the weeks went by and  I increased the reps to 3 times a day I started to feel the difference as my hips and the surrounding area became more flexible and so much stronger.  The sore achilles I had since June was gone as I started jogging and for the first time in a year the hip pain had nearly gone.  I have continued to do the exercises every day and even though things aren't 100% they are a lot better and I know they have made a huge improvement to my hips and surrounding muscles. You will be able to see the set of exercises in the web site of the magazine when that issue becomes available on line (issue 372). It is a very good magazine aimed at the serious distance and ultra distance runner and issue 371 has a article on The Western States 100 where Jez  Bragg finished 3 rd this year.I believe you can subscribe to it from the UK and the subscription telephone number is 001-610-967-7290.

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