Spring is here so that means soccer is back! This is the pre-game parade to the stadium.
We went to the opening game Sounders v Philly Union and had a blast. Ok, it was wet and cold and windy but it was still fun. The Sounders played pretty well. I think they have a bit of work to do. Philly played rough. there were a lot of yellow cards. We will probably only go to a few more games throughout the season but we are really looking forward to watching them again this season plus there is World Cup this summer!
I like to get there early enough to see the players warming up. This time I paid close attention and was really struck by the thorough warm-up they do. Ok sure. They are paid to do this and they are elite athletes. But there is no way they can do what they do on the field without that careful warm up. It usually starts with a little bit of jogging and they get a ball out and gently kick it back and forth. Then they bring out these things which look like big road turtles (or bott's dots) and do these warm up drills. Since I'm dealing with some tight hips/low back and hamstring issues right now, all i can think of is that those drills would really help loosen me up and i'm always wanting to try them.
Hmmm. There is certainly a lesson here and one I'm trying to think about how to incorporate into my routine. I've really noticed this training cycle that it is harder for me to get up first thing in the morning (i start running by 5:30 am after getting out of bed at 4:50-5:05) and get in a good faster workout.
Friday I ran an easy 5 miles and at the end of that 5 miles i finally felt warmed up and then my workout is over. That makes no sense. for Saturday's long run, i ran 4 easy over some hills and then felt warmed up enough to start marathon pace miles. It might of been good to do some easy drills then to get my hips/hamstrings looser before starting those marathon pace miles and the long run.
Right now I try to do a few strides (gradually speeding up to not an all out speed but quick with good foot turnover) once a week. I do a few high skips and skipping at the end of my run. but I feel rushed as it is to even get in a quick stretch. Hmmm. So my goal in the next few weeks is to (gently) try running a few miles and trying a couple of the drills to see what they are like. I can get up 10 minutes earlier. Really.
And it's even worse when i'm about to race. I run a mile or two very slowly with a few strides and do a bit of hip/hamstring stretching. And that's it. I don't think it's enough of a warm-up. That reminded me of an interesting article on warming up in Running Times from a while ago. I know it's easy to lose range of motion as we age. I just think it's a good thing to remind myself that i can and will need to do more to keep that range of motion. Use it or lose it!