I’m running my 8k soon! I don’t feel ready for it, but I am looking forward to being on the other side of this challenge. My favourite thing about running isn’t the running itself, but the pride I feel when I smash my records.
During my training, one of the problems I ran into (heheh) had to do with my shoes. I knew when I started training that I should probably get new shoes because I’d been using the same ones for over a year. I’m pretty sure you’re supposed to replace your running shoes way more often.
But I didn’t! I honestly didn’t really think about it back when I committed to run this 8k. As I’ve continued training, I’ve noticed that my shoes have begun to really bother my feet. I can only get one or two miles in before my shins feel exhausted and my arches get sore. When I’m done a workout, it’s such a relief to just take the shoes off – I can’t even wear them for half a day without my feet feeling really sore afterward.
It’s a bit too late now to replace the shoes, though. By now, it’s a matter of choosing either to push through and do the race in these painful shoes or to buy new ones and have to break them in during the race. Neither is ideal, and both will probably hurt. Even now, my legs tend to hurt more after my workouts, but I’ve found that stretches are super helpful.
I try to maintain the habit of doing dynamic stretches before a workout and static stretches after. The difference is that dynamic stretches get your muscles moving and help you warm up, increasing your range of motion slowly so that it’s less jarring for your body when you start a workout. Static stretches, when you hold a muscle in the same position for a few seconds, aim to relax the muscles and increase flexibility.
Here are some of my favourite leg stretches to do after a run!
Thigh stretch: hold the top of your foot behind you and pull your foot towards your back. You should feel a stretch in the front of your thigh. Keep your legs and back straight. Hold for ten seconds and repeat with your other leg.
Calf stretch: Step your right foot forward and dig your left heel into the ground behind you, keeping your left leg straight with your right leg bent. You should feel a stretch in your left calf muscle. Hold for ten seconds and repeat with your other leg.
Lower back stretch: Lie on your back with your knees bent and your feet flat on the ground. Pull your right knee towards your chest. You should feel a stretch in your lower back. Hold for ten seconds and repeat with your other leg.
Been studying for hours? Take a break and do these stretches and remember to wear proper shoes.