For those of you who follow me on Twitter, you may have noticed me whining all afternoon about my legs following my morning workout. Before I went to the gym, I fueled up with some oats
And my first-thing glass of water!
I went to the gym determined to work on my legs. Back in October, I ran the Bay State Half Marathon. (recap found here) I was so happy to run the race… but really pushed it too far and aggrevated my IT Band like you wouldn’t believe. I had a hard time walking for two days afterward, and not in that “oh, I’m so sore but its a good sore” kind of way. Luckily, we have a friend who is a personal trainer, so I consulted with him and he helped me determine that it is, in fact, IT Band Syndrome. He helped me by developing a plan to roll, stretch, and strengthen the right parts of my hips and legs so that my IT band doesn’t stretch out and get aggrevated. For January and February, I did this routine three times a week in hopes of being able to run a series of three races in February and March. I was able to run all three (3,4, and 5 miles) with NO PAIN.
Since then, I’ve been a little lazy, only doing my IT Band exercises when I can squeeze them in. But, after Wednesday night’s run and feeling a little pain in my hip, I decided to make it a priority again. I don’t think I need to do it three times a week, but once or twice a week on a regular basis are probably smart.
My routine consists of rolling out my legs and hips with a hard foam roller, which is heaven. Then I do some active stretching of my calves and glutes. Then I do some moves to strengthen my legs, like one legged squats, deadlifts, etc. My legs are great for back-to-front movement, but the outsides of them are weak, causing my knees to fold in when I do things on one leg. So the goal is to strengthen the sides of my legs and my piriformis. Note: this routine was developed for me after spending an hour with a trainer to determine my individual strengths and weaknesses.
After that, I tackled Day 4 of the Fitnessista’s 2009 Summer Shape Up Plan (Week 6). I’ve been doing this plan for 6 weeks and have definitely noticed a big difference. I have lost two inches off of my waist and hips, I can see my calf muscles again, I feel stronger, sleep better, and have more energy. I love this program because I get bored pretty easily with workouts (with the exception of running). This program is something different every day, every week. You may repeat moves, but all in different combinations.
However this week was the first week I actually did the leg day. I usually skip this day because of my schedule, or maybe just because I subconsciously think that my running takes care of my legs. When I was done, my legs felt like rubber. You know when you work your legs so hard that you can’t feel them, and you have to catch yourself going down the stairs? That’s how I felt. And on top of all that leg work, I chaperoned the last middle school dance of the year and was on my feet all night. I may or may not have led the rest of the chaperones in the Cotton Eye Joe, which always makes everyone laugh. I think its because I look like a crazy Muppet with my long arms and legs flailing around.
And today… my legs are sore, but not as sore as I thought they’d be. My calves aren’t sore at all, which is surprising. Its mostly in my hamstrings and glutes. But a sore bum never killed anyone! 😉 How do you like to switch up your workout??