Friday, June 11, 2010

Guilt goes a long way

I never want to be standing at the starting line wondering if there was more I could have done.

Today, my brother Ryan planned on going to the gym. I only planned to do a short run in the afternoon, but I knew if that if I didn't go to the gym in the morning, I would lose my only chance of the day. The guilt kicked in, and I hopped in the passenger seat to head to the Y.

To train for a marathon requires more than just logging miles. Yes, it is possible to "just" run and complete the marathon that way. But it is the ancillary things which can make a significant difference, not just in your finishing time, but how you feel in the final miles. Once I added weights, I found my quads handled miles 20-25 of the marathon a lot better. When I added swimming, my muscles relaxed and it gave them a chance to heal after long runs. I've slowly been adding core work, which is hard, and why I think most people (myself included) are reluctant to do it.
The bird dog is a great overall core exercise that not only strengthens the abs and back, but also involves the glutes and improves balance and stability.
I did the bird dog at the gym, holding the pose for 90 seconds at a time on each side. It's quite tricky, especially as the abs start to "shake." But it's hard to deny the positive effects of such exercises, especially when it's proven that the abs can help a lot in running. More guilt, but ultimately more good effects, too.
Perhaps there is more guilt than necessary, but the marathon is an investment. The way I do it, I only get a few chances each year to do it, so I want to make sure I am prepared on those few occasions. So, even if I grudgingly start a new regimen or take on other forms of training, I know in the end it will help.
What has guilted you into good?

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