Friday, July 24, 2009

My Running Triangle

Last night I took our trusty old pup, Albus, for a run. It was one of those ideal summer nights - a little overcast without covering the tri-colored sunset, a gentle cool breeze, and both of the children were sound asleep so my husband could enjoy the quiet at home. I left the Garmin at home and we just went. We seemed to bound up the first hill (usually a killer), and fell into a comfortable pace immediately. I slowed to a walk a few times to make sure I wasn't over-exerting Albus (he is nearly 9 years old, after all), but each time he looked at me with a glimmer in his eye that said, "Come on, Mom. I may be old, but I've still got it. Let's GO!" It was summer running perfection for the both of us!

But after we got home I realized that while the run itself was great, I shouldn't get too excited about my running fitness just yet. My post-run stretch was a loud reminder from my body that while my strength and endurance are better than they've been in years, my flexibility is at a near all-time LOW.

Further reflection led me to a self-discovery: I've never been diligent about maintaining all THREE elements of my running (endurance, strength & flexibility) simultaneously. In my younger years I was a dancer - I had some endurance, but strength and flexibility outshined it. I discovered yoga shortly after running found me, thus giving me the great combo of endurance and flexibility. But when I integrated strength training into my workout mix last fall, the yoga slowly faded to make room for the weights. So, though my fitness triangle shifts regularly, I have yet to find the sweet spot where all the sides get equal attention!

Maybe this is a casualty of motherhood, or maybe it is because I've never had a formal plan to integrate all three elements effectively. Whatever it is, my plan is to work on it! I've been doing 3 days of weight training each week, but I think it is time to change the plan. I'll keep using the SaneFit strength training workouts, but I'll knock it down to 2 days of weights to welcome at least one day of yoga practice/week back into my life. The running can stay the same at 3-4 times/week. For now. I'm interested to see if increased flexibility will help me as I get rolling with my longer runs.

How about YOU? Do you find that you go through phases where one element of your workouts take over and you neglect other aspects? How do you keep things balanced in your fitness life?

2 comments:

Meg Runs said...

Yes, I was just lamenting my yoga abilities...I am limited to one class a week and I don't really find it easy to do at home...so it doesn't really help me reach my flexibility goal. I feel strong and have some endurance but NOT much flexibility...at all!!

Nice post!

Tina at Gotta Run Now said...

Just today I realized that I haven't been doing running drills (i.e. high skipping) like I used to so I penciled them into my running journal.

Have a great week!