Take care of your body… it’s the only place you have to live.
— Jim Rohn
I am what you call a “cautious risk taker.” What is such a person? Well I am not afraid to take risks but I only do so when I have prepared myself for the said risks. With this preparation, I theoretically reduced my risk or “exposure” to said risk. For example, one of the things I do in the investing world is to trade futures contracts (you can read a definition of such here) which carry a ton of risk – but I do so only with a plan and a system which reduces my risk or exposure. With the preparation I attempt to control the outcomes for the better and sway the risk in my favor.
So after going through another workout Friday with the PT, I realized that my running routine of the last year had no preparation…I just stretched a little and then hit the road. There was no evaluation of what the route could do to my legs or the distance that my legs could handle. The biggest mistake – going through the motions with weak static stretches. No proper “risk management” whatsoever!
NUMBER ONE: Foam roll correctly! Foam rolling is a must for runners and athletes in general. It loosens up those tight muscles that often get hurt when not stretched out but one must do it correctly! I just often rolled the foam under my legs back and forth but never really put downward pressure on the leg which in turn really helped in getting to muscles in my leg. Not applying pressure when using the roller does very little when trying to really roll out tight muscles. Below is some examples of that foam rolling I am doing at the moment.
NUMBER TWO: Dynamic stretching a must! If I have learned only one thing since PT has started it is this: dynamic stretching seems to do much more for me than static stretches. One hamstring stretch, which looks like I am walking hunched over, has been extremely effective for me in loosening things up. If you do not know what a dynamic stretch is, click here.
NUMBER THREE: Work on something with each run! One thing I need to do on each of my runs going forward is “mix things up.” I made the mistake of focusing solely on distance (and some speed) for much of the past few years. Each time I go out, distance needs to be secondary to speed and hill work or something like such. I have been doing some research during this “downtime” in my running and developing a plan of sorts. This includes some daily cross training (as mentioned in the next comment).
NUMBER FOUR: Build up the muscles! Being hurt has forced me to work on other parts of the body – Notably my core and my arms. Running is not all legs but a combination of all three of these parts. I seem to have forgotten this over the past year and predictably my body deteriorated. Since the beginning of January, I have been focused on these areas and I am starting to feel stronger. I can’t wait to see how better my running is when the rehab is over!
NUMBER FIVE: Do other things! Risk management in investing can be accomplished by diversification. The same can be said for ones athletic endeavors as well. Play other sports, work out in different ways and work different muscles. All of this makes you stronger and that should help in keeping the injury big from coming to your front door on a regular basis.
NUMBER SIX: Compression. I have not been a regular user of compression gear but after trying the gear from Legend Compression, I am starting to believe that such sleeves from their company are very helpful as part of my risk management practice.
Thanks for reading. Hopefully this was helpful!