I can’t remember where I first heard the quote “If it doesn’t challenge you, it doesn’t change you”, but it’s something I have kept in mind with my running for several years now. I remember thinking about it on some of my toughest training runs. Mile repeats definitely stand out in my mind as a time when I thought about this:)
Lately this has brought on a different meaning, as I have been humbled by learning new exercises and doing them correctly. You guys are always so nice, saying how great it is that I do all this core work and everything. But the truth is that I have been doing that stuff for years. I would change it here and there but I’m sure if I was doing one exercise wrong I was doing them all wrong.
Even in PT the most guidance I got was to “think about engaging the correct muscles”. When I told them I didn’t feel my glutes, they would try to give me different things to do but it wasn’t like I was visibly doing the moves incorrectly. I just couldn’t feel them working.
With the exercises I am doing now, it’s a whole new ball game. I am doing things I have never done before. My posture is being monitored by a dowel across my back (to make sure its straight) or a foam roller/water bottle/other random item that I need to balance on my low back to make sure I don’t move. The exercises are broken down piece by piece, with cues like “relax your neck” and “turn your toes out slightly, pretend your gripping the floor” and “lift up your hips one inch”. It can take me 10 tries before I even do the exercise correctly.
Let’s just say this can be extremely frustrating at times. I like to be good at the stuff I do- I mean who doesn’t? Especially with running related stuff. I do things that I feel like I can be good at. And it’s hard to be told over and over that you aren’t doing something correctly.
But here’s the thing- I have probably done a million clamshells in my life and hours upon hours of planks and I still don’t have a strong core or strong glutes. The body is amazing in the ways it figures out how to compensate.
So the point of all this is, learning to do things correctly its hard, especially when you find out you have been cheating all along and didn’t even know it:)
On another note, I made my way to the track yesterday for the first time in….well pretty much forever because I didn’t have a real track where I used to live! I wanted to do 400s. 3 of them were on the road and 3 were on the track (since the track is 2 miles each way I needed to incorporate my workout into the run there and back). 400s are tough…I don’t even know how fast I am supposed to do them but they felt hard yet I was relatively consistent, and that was pretty much my goal.
It’s felt good to add some faster running in. I actually think my form is better when I run faster, so it might be beneficial to do some speed work even though I’m not really training for anything. However, ask me again in a month when its 90 degrees and I may not be feeling the same way:)
What is something that has challenged you and therefore changed you?
How do you feel about 400 repeats?