Tuesday, July 8, 2008

Being Flexible

There are two kinds of flexibility that are crucial to proper training - for any event.

Flexible Muscles
I love the feeling of stretching but I've always sort of disdained the amount of time it takes to complete good stretches. On my weight training DVDs (which have gathered a little dust in the last month...) they devote a full 10 minutes to stretching. That doesn't seem like a whole lot, but in my head that over another mile run.

I'll usually cheat by stretching in the shower after a workout, but with a small tub, you can imagine (but please don't) how contorted and ineffective that can be.

My second thought about stretching is that it should be done after a workout and not too much before you start. Stretching cold muscles is painful and you aren't getting too much out of it. You should stretch them after you warm up, but really, are you going to stop 15 minutes into your run/bike/lift to stretch? No.

But it is very important to stretch afterward. Ward off stiffness and soreness, cool your body down, and reward your muscles for the hours of pounding they have taken.

Flexible Schedules
Last week was a great workout week. Lots of time, lots of miles and just enough rest. This week is more of a juggle and struggle. Monday was a day off because of the 4 major workouts over the holiday weekend. Today, Tuesday, I've got a wine tasting at one of my boss's houses tonight and tomorrow I've got dinner and drinks with a grad school friend. I know I can devote Thurs and Fri to the usually 6-mile midweeks, and I have carved out a chunk of time on Saturday for a group run (hills) and a Disneyland training run with Amie, so that's another 8-12 miles there. Sunday is always an option for a long run.

It's there on paper, the time it takes to get the miles in. But I still stress a little about deviating from my Tues-Thurs-Sat-Sun running plan. I don't like back loading the week. I'd prefer to get half of it done before Friday. But to be successful both in running and in Hollywood, I've got to find a balance between my running and my after-work commitments. I guess when it all boils down, it's another way of running, eating and sleeping, just in a different setting. They say change will do you good. Man, I hope so.

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