Sunday, March 14, 2010

Past two weeks of running

Two weeks ago: 48 miles total, mostly 8 milers with the last indoor track workout of 2 800's 2 1600's and 2 800's at 6:00 pace average. Last Sunday I ran the Freeze Your Buns 5k as my first running race of the year. Then I did another 8 miler in the afternoon.

You would think that I would be primed for a good week of running after that. No, I got lazy and lethargic. I only ran twice this week despite feeling good. I have no complaints or excuses, sometimes other things get in the way and you don't run. Oh well! Back at it this week.

I guess that is the good news. I have no real complaints. My body continues to get more balanced and in sync as I do the postural restoration exercises and other basic strength exercises. I feel good! I have switched away somewhat from the exercises my PT gave me and am experimenting with some of the running related exercises from the postural restoration website (PDF here). The first one seems to be working great as a reset for me right now.

One of the most interesting threads that I follow on is the 3+ year old "loss of coordination in leg" thread that is sometimes disheartening to follow, but also full of great advice and inquisitiveness. This week foorunner wrote:

What are your physical responses to the exercise "hip suck" mentioned in "No glutes=No results"?

Try holding that sensation as u walk and even run; does it change any of the coordination problems?

Also check out the material in the following article, esp the stuff on hip suck, femoral glide and external rotators.....

From pure personal experience, the iliopsoas, glutes and transverse abdominus shd be kept engaged (as opposed to tight) as a unit when you run or perform athletic activities. I realise the labral tear effectively negates proper engagement of hip muscles but there's a reason why yr PT kps addressing those same exercises, its that u have to engage those muscles in activity to increase the time the femur is properly hinged to the pelvis. This gives the labrum optimal positioning from which to heal. Same logic goes for spinal treatment using TVA strengthening.

When u go running next time try engaging yr groin muscles to keep the femur firmly in the hip socket throughout, effectively doing the "hip suck" all thro the run. Chances are your TVA and glutes will co-currently engage. You shd get a feeling that yr quads and hamstrings are 'freed up'and loose, that yr legs r like one of those stick-thin Kenyan runners, and that power seems to be returning to yr lower body.

But with the labrum still disjointed u will not be fully asymptomatic of coordination issues, but do try this and see if it has a more positive impact on yr running. Keep practising and see if there is improvement all the time. This is effectively translating all the strengthening work into movement.

I looked over the "hip suck" and still don't quite get it, but the advice offered referred to the same muscles that I need work on according to my therapist. I replied to foomiler with the "postural restoration" page as the "hip suck" sounds similar in goals to many of the postural restoration re-set exercises. Foomiler is going to check it out. It will be interesting to see what someone else thinks.

I don't have the "loss of coordination" thing that other athletes seems to have (notably Josh MacDougal the 2008 NCAA X-C champion), but I have similar muscular weaknesses and overcompensations.

I have had a slightly weird problem the last month in that my left ITB and quad seems to have a "sleepy feeling" like they have been novacained. It doesn't affect anything and I am told it might be a compressed nerve or something. I only notice it when I put pressure on my leg and it feels like it is asleep.

Speaking of torn labrums (also in the article). Many runners have had to have a torn hip labrum repaired. It doesn't sound like fun! My son, Andrew, just had a torn labrum in his shoulder operated on. He has been in a lot of pain since the Friday surgery. I wish him a speedy recovery.


Kyle said...


I just found your blog when I searched for "nerve flossing." Very good info here. Sounds like you're a runner similar to me: often injured but it's never a simple fix. Looks like you're into Z-Health as well. Fantastic stuff!

Kyle Norman

Jim Hansen said...

Hi Kyle,
You're right there is no simple fix. The postural restoration stuff works better than anything I have tried in the past, but all the dabbling in Z-Health Feldenkrais, and everything else, made it easier to understand and apply the concepts. Now I slowly do a little bit of Z-health and notice where and when it helps. I think it is working better in this way, to fix little things, then to rely on it to fix everything.

Jim Hansen said...

Your blog looked familiar. I bookmarked a page on it a couple of weeks ago (a Z-Health page)so that I could go back and read some more of it. Oh yeah, and the ankle massages. I have been using them. They are really good. Are they your videos or something that you found. I was going to link to them some day. I have had ankle-soleus issues the past couple of years. These are some of the best self-massage examples I have seen.