Starting All Over Again…Again

Kilt Runner

A few weeks ago I started running - again. We, my staff and I, decided that as a way to boost community around the gym we needed a shared goal and, for some reason, it was decided that a 5k was the perfect solution.

It should be noted that while at one time I was a runner, my last official run was the Warrior Dash I ran six years ago.

Six years is a long time. When I started I, naively, thought it was the best way to get fit and made it a regular part of my routine for the first four or five years of my fitness profession. Then I discovered powerlifting and I hung up my running shoes.

Actually, what had happened was...I found minimalist shoes and got caught up in all the hoopla around natural running. I failed, of course, to note that most of the natural runners were 50 pounds lighter than I was. After a serious stone bruise and a near six months hiatus from running, I full embraced the stationary art of heavy lifting and pursued strength. Along with strength came size and I blew up from around 230 pounds to a hefty 275.

With my return, last year, to jiu-jitsu my training became more supportive of that gentle art. I’m now an athletic 260. Running, however, is not forgiving and my re-introduction to the not so gentle art of hauling ass has had it’s ups and downs. I’ve been pleased with my overall cardio, but my leg strength has not been well adapted to running. I’m following a simple couch to 5K program. This is week three - 90 second jogs followed by two minutes of walking for a total of six rounds. There’s a five minute walk on the front and back ends.

For the first two weeks this severely affected my squats. The aforementioned lack of running strength has my inner knees super tight and, while my runs feel good, other athletic activities during the rest of the week have been hampered.

This has led to an aggressive search of the literature and my own musculature for the right stretches and mobility patterns to eliminate the tightness, restore my mobility, and keep me running. Right now that means calf stretches, hip twists, Cossack Squats, Monkey and Frogger movements. After a week of steady application and a good dose of yoga on Saturday I can honestly report that today my knees are half as loud as they've been the previous two weeks. Let's hope I keep it up.

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