After having such a painful back for the last couple of days, I finally went to the physio to get it manipulated. It was locked pretty tight and it took a bit of manipulation to get it starting to move. The physio told me that I really needed to find some form of exercise that helped me twist and loosen up my torso. It was quite rigid from ballet and my other sports. He suggested running, and more specifically, running as ‘floppily’ as I could to help relax and loosen the tight muscles around my torso.
I took him on his word, and today after collecting the goose, I went for a run. Not only that, but I started to pay more attending to being relaxed and ‘floppy’ above my hips. I usually run quite straight on and with little twist in my torso. The physio suggested that by being a bit more floppy (relaxed) I would help with the twist, and this would alleviate some of the tension in my lower back, especially when using minimal running shoes and staying light on my feet. He also suggested that I should run at a cadence of about 180bpm because this was the best pace and ensured that I would reduce impact through my legs and knees. He suggested listening to a metronome or some music to maintain.
I decided to give this a go, and with the help of some pounding beats (180bpm to be exact), I went for a run. The weather was beautiful. I had missed the dreadful squally rain early in the morning and it was only cold and windy rather than cold, wet and windy. I went on the same route as previous runs. It’s short enough that if my back had started to hurt, I could abort quite easily but there are also some good hills in it.
My back didn’t hurt! My knees didn’t hurt and I felt really light on my feet by increasing my cadence a bit. However, by focusing on being light, ‘floppy’ and maintaining a cadence of 180bpm, my pace increased a fair amount. I’m not sure that I buy into the argument that it is possible to increase cadence without increasing pace. I was a bit more puffed out on the hills, and had to walk twice to get rid of a persistent stitch in my side. I wonder if this was from twisting more when running?
So, the run was a success. However, my phone’s GPS is pretty crappy right now, so once again it lost signal while I was running. Luckily I took note of when I started and when I stopped, so I can work out an average pace. I definitely felt like I earned my Christmas Eve dinner!
- Distance – 5.1 km
- Time – 33:00
- Pace – 6:51 min/km
I found these sites quite useful for sourcing 180bpm music and inspiritaion:
- Spotify and the giant 180bpm running playlist (theloraxis.wordpress.com)
- New Toys for Training Motivation (chasingtheblackwood.wordpress.com)
- High Cadence (learntoloverunning.com)
- Barefoot Running Update (bluemountainfitness.wordpress.com)