First things first, unless you are a multi-trillionaire and have actually accessed the true fountain of youth, you probably realize that getting older sometimes sucks. I know it’s kind of a bummer way to start a blog post, but hear me out.
I’ve worked in a specialty running shop…shameless plug for Fitness Sports…for 5 years now. I hear it all of the time from people how this, that and the other thing hurt because they somehow looked at their foot the wrong way and like something possed by the devil a tendon snapped, hit them in the face and gave them a concussion and they can no longer run…OK…so that might be a little dramatic…but you know what I’m saying. Heck, I thought about going for a run one time in the middle of the afternoon and I threw my back out. I totally get it.
To be honest, I want to be running long into my 100’s. I love running that much that I still want to be running 61 years from today…do the math to figure out how old I am 😊. I want to be one of those viral videos…if they still have videos in 60 years of the guy who just ran whatever race and became the oldest person to do whatever. It’s a goal in my life that I hope to achieve.
But, as I’ve gotten older I realize that my love for running could get cut short if I focus solely on running and that’s why I’m here to tell you that you need to “pre-hab” so you don’t end up in rehab.
Things, like stretching and rolling out muscles, have been lost with our need to squeeze out more activities in our day, but yet we sit down and watch TV or a movie with a beer and popcorn and say we “don’t have enough time”. If you’ve got 30 minutes to sit down for TV, you’ve got 30 prime minutes to take care of things before our aging bodies take us out of the sport for good.
There are a ton of resources online when it comes to “ideal stretching routines for runners” (5,610,000 to be precise), so I’m not going to tell you stretches that you need to do, but a good routine of stretching and body weight exercises are a great way to keep you strong, limber and hopefully pain free.
For me, I have a routine that works problem areas that I have. Now, every person is going to be different so don’t take my routine as gospel. The IMT Des Moines Marathon works with a lot of partners that can offer up routines and exercises if you are chronically dealing with some area in particular.
I focus a lot on stretching/rolling my IT band and my quads. I do calf exercises and lunges. I do some minor core and back workouts. I have a couple of yoga poses (which I’m awful at) that I do and they work for me. Situps, crunches, and planks. All of the exercises that I’m doing require no additional tools (except for my grid roller, stick roller, massage ball and a rolled up towel) and take roughly 30 minutes. If I’m particularly sore that day or had a super hard workout, I may stretch it out to 45 minutes, but it’s all done while I’m spending time with my family. A lot of time, if my 3 and 5-year-olds are still awake, we even do the exercises as a family.
The point is, yes, we all have aches and pains. We all are getting older. Our bodies hurt, but if you love running as much as I do, you’ll do whatever it takes to make sure that the signs of aging are outweighed by how much butt you are kicking!!!