Wednesday, March 20, 2013

Build a Stronger Back

This is the first in a series of posts on steps I am taking to improve my running.

During long runs, and particularly during long races when I wear a hydration pack, I often experience low back pain. And the next day my lower back will sometimes be the sorest part of my body. I'm going to attempt to eliminate this pain by working on two things:

1. Improving posture
When I sit on the couch to watch TV or read a book, I slouch comfortably in the corner, often finding I've slid so low that only my head is still upright. When I drive, I catch myself hunching over the wheel. When I walk, I've begun to realize my shoulders droop. So posture is obviously a problem for me. Improving my core strength will help some in this area, but when it comes down to it, I can really only fix my posture by working on maintaining good posture.

2. Building strength
I don't do strength workouts--or really, anything but run--nearly as often as I should. And I have absolutely no excuse: my husband has spent the last several months filling our garage with enough equipment that we could open a gym and charge membership fees. That's only a slight exaggeration. My lack of weight-lifting is an enjoyment issue: I love to run, and it's not particularly difficult for me. Strength training is hard, and not nearly as fun. I can't do a pull-up without jumping, and even then I can only do one. My solution, which is to not strength-train very often, is a non-solution. If I don't do it, it's never going to get easier. And if it could help my running, I should be doing it!
My goal is to add at least three strength workouts a week, making sure to include plenty of abdominal and back exercises. I'll be doing all the exercises on the nifty chart below, as well as planks, push-ups, superman, and working on my pull-ups.
photo credit: West End Chiropractic and Wellness Blog

I hope that the back pain issue will be a quick fix with these efforts, and I'll find out soon. I have some long training runs coming up in preparation for Jemez Mountain 50k on May 25!

No comments:

Post a Comment