USA Track & Field (USATF)
L2: Endurance, Sprints, Hurdles, Relays, Youth
L5: Elite Coaching, Endurance
Certified Running Coach
Find us on Facebook: The-Kids-Running-Project!
- Begin in a seated position, contract your abdominal muscles and core (suck belly button into spine), and lift your legs up to a 45-degree angle.
- Try to balance on your butt bones ;) bend your knees to help. And keep you back straight (don’t allow your back/stomach to cave in). If you need to let your feet touch the floor to keep your back, that’s fine to start.
- Maintain good core posture and a strong spine.
- Hold this "V" position for several seconds to begin. As you get stronger, hold the position longer.
- Return to your starting position slowly.
- Just before you reach the floor, stop and hold the position for a few seconds.
- Repeat this entire movement several times.
A Facebook friend recently posted a comment/question about the difficulty of determining one's best distance. This got me thinking: I believe this issue, of finding what one is truly good at goes to the heart of much in life, including running.
When I was in 5th grade I remember trying to earn a badge for the President's Physical Fitness Test. It was this experience that made me all too aware of what my strengths and weaknesses were, and still are. At that age I had no concept of inborn propensities or talents, but I soon learned that there were some things that came to me more easily than others.
Take, for example, the 50 yard dash and the 600 yard dash (Yes, this was so long ago that we ran yards not meters). My memory of the 50 yard dash goes something like this: Lots of kids lined up across the track. The gym teacher says "Ready, set, GO!" - and off we go. Or, at least everyone else goes. It seems, if memory serves me, that all the other kids were crossing the finish line while I was still pushing off at the start. I'm really not exaggerating here! I really sucked at the 50 yard dash. Next, I found myself starting, shoulder to shoulder, with the other kids for the 600 yard dash. Here's how this memory plays back: We start, the others take off like a shot while I do my darnedest to keep up, but then something truly unexpected happens - the other kids start slowing down, but I don't. I just keep plugging away at it, feeling good, passing one gasping runner after another until, miracle of miracles, I'm in the lead. And that's how the race goes. Hmmmm. I think this should tell me something. Today I remember that experience as formative for me as a runner. I knew from that day forward that I could not run fast, but I could run for a long time. I understood something about myself that I did not know when I woke up that morning.
So here I am many many years later still well aware of this fact - one of the few truths I'm fairly certain I know about myself. In other areas of life it is not so clear and simple discovering what one is naturally best at or drawn to. However, there's a catch to all of this. While it's all well and good to work and maximize one's strengths, often we improve the most by working our weaknesses. Again, this doesn't just apply to running - it applies to careers, relationships, parenting, friendships, and on and on. I know that I often get in my own way. The problem here is that it's rather unpleasant to work on the things you are not good at. I'd much rather go for a cruising 20 mile run than run 6 half-mile repeats at 3k-5k pace. I dread half-mile repeats. Why? Because I suck at them and because they hurt. But at some point, when we really desire to push ourselves, to see how fast we can run a particular distance, to beat or best ourselves, we must acknowledge that it is probably our weaknesses, not our strengths, that make the crucial difference.
So, what will I be doing this coming week?: One session of half-mile repeats. And, I really will be a better runner, and perhaps a better person, for it.
Video: The First 15 Minutes
The best post-run practices to maximize recovery
Masters coach Pete Magill and star runner Grace Padilla demonstrate a 15-minute post-run routine guaranteed to leave you fully recovered from today's workout and ready to run again tomorrow. Says Magill, "If people just did the towel toe curls, IT band stretch, and Daydreamer, their lives would be so much better!" ~ Running TimesBy Pete Magill