Walking the talk, even when it hurts, on National Running Day

beachrunner

So there was this thing called National Running Day yesterday. A bit of an artificial construct, but a useful one, in that it might get people up and go move. I like that.

I posed this question to people via social media: What are you doing for National Running Day?

I got some good responses:

“I’ll observe the day by thinking about my legs running as I sit in my chair,” Jennifer responded. My guess is running is not her thing.

“RUN,” was the answer from Cole, who might know a little about the subject (he’s heavily involved in the Leadville 100).

From Steven: “Yard work.”

And from David, “Took a nap, watched some movies, and tried my hardest to not skin myself alive.” There’s a story behind that answer.

“Hopping on a treadmill to celebrate now,” said Kelly, a coworker of mine. You go girl!

So a variety of replies.

But this one was the best, via a former co-worker and current journo prof, Kenna, who wrote this not as a response to me, but as a status update:

“Your stupid proclamations of National Running Day made me go to the gym on my run day when I really wanted to skip. Well played, Facebook friends. Well played.”

Yes. Pretty much what I was gunning for.

You might be wondering what yours truly did. Something epic? Insane? Inspirational? Mundane? Or did I hypocritically tap out?

Well, any good athlete (and even some bad ones) will tell you that before embarking on the ages-old sport of running you should do a good warm-up. Right? So I did. It looked something like this…

Three sets of calf extensions, with pauses, escalating weight.

Four sets of barbell squats (heels to butt!), escalating weight.

Three sets of dumbbell lunges, escalating weight.

Three sets of dumbbell step-ups, escalating weight.

Three sets of Romanian deadlifts, escalating weight.

One drop set on the leg press, 30 reps.

Stretch and postural alignment exercises.

Great warm-up, right?

You are probably thinking what a stupid warm-up that is. All legs, going heavy, lots of sets, just before what should be a statement-making, pavement-killing, awe-inspiring run to beat all runs on National Running Day. You’re shaking your head right now, aren’t you?

Well, here’s the deal. National Running Day fell on my leg day at the gym. As much as I am loathe to skip a run, it takes injury or a pending long-distance race for me to skimp on leg day. It’s the most important lift of the week for me, crucial in maintaining and gaining strength, athleticism and mobility. No way I’m skipping that.

But I felt somewhat compelled to do something for Running Day. So here’s what a “run” (I use that term loosely here) looks like after leg day:

1.5 miles.

10-minute pace.

A flat course with only one hill climb.

And a “Thank God that’s over” when it was, indeed, over.

So what do you get out of this rambling of mine? Well, first of all, this is a good anecdote as to why you don’t run on leg day. Performance suffers. You suffer. There just isn’t much to be gained.

Secondly, know that if I’m going to talk the talk (“Hey! What are you all doing for National Running Day?!?”), I’m going to do my best to walk the walk. Even if it hurts, which it does.

The things I will do for you people. 😉

Bob Doucette

On Twitter @RMHigh7088

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