Handle With Care

When I tell people about Ann’s Running Commentary I tell them it is a blog that is meant to motivate and inspire people to lace up their shoes and get out the door. It is not a site where they will find a lot of “how to” running advice. But there are exceptions to that rule. Today I am here to offer some very important advice. Your body is what gets you through the miles. You body is what gets you across the finish line. Handle with care.

Since starting my new job I have noticed a disturbing attribute of runners. We want to put in the miles and run the races. But we do not want to do what it takes to take care of our body throughout the training process.

Runners proudly tell me that they don’t stretch, they avoid the physical therapist, they know they should work on their core but they just don’t have the time and worst of all they run injured.

I can complain about these statements because at some point in time I have been guilty of all of these statements. I have skipped stretching, avoided the physical therapy the doctor prescribed and I have run a marathon with a fractured tibia.

But in 2012, when I ran my Ironman I took a different approach. I decided to take care of what http://runrunlive.com/ refers to as my machine. I decided to stretch at the beginning and end of every workout. I used the foam roller before and after every workout and I had massages once every two weeks in the weeks leading up to the race. I took care of my body because I was asking a lot of it.

Unfortunately, having done that I know how much work it can be. I know that it takes a lot of time and we honest to God do not always have the time.

But taking care of your body does not have to be as extreme as what I did for Beach to Battleship. Five minutes of stretching before and after every workout can mean the difference between an injury-free season and 6 weeks in a boot.

This year I am committing to taking care of my machine. It may mean small steps but every step counts. And yes it is easy for me these days because I work in a running store and have the tools I need at hand but you can do it too.

What are you doing to take care of your machine? What changes can you make to make it through 2015 injury-free?