March 18, 2011
For the past three weeks I’ve been avoiding any form of running whether on the road, on the track even on the treadmill. I just didn’t have the heart for it after BDM 160.
Instead I enrolled myself in a gym and participated in as many group exercises as I can in order to stay fit.
Photo Credit: Maricar I. Durano (with combat warriors @ Fitness First Cebu Patsy Canete, Edcel Seniedo, MF, Maricar Durano, Conny Selma, Benedict Roa Go)
I’ve done body combat a.k.a taebo, body jam formerly known as dance aerobics, spinning, yoga and pilates.
Photo Credit: Lindy Tan (Body Jam class)
I’ve also been doing TRX training or using your own body weight with the help of straps in strength training. Last but not least, I've also been religiously lifting weights in Bodypump class hoping to rebuild and strengthen muscles in my legs, quads and hams with all sorts of lunges (didn't know there were many kinds) and squats.
Photo credit: Maricar I. Durano (Bodypump class)
Of all these workout routines I find Yoga and Pilates most challenging and most revealing about your actual fitness level. As a runner who has run farther than most, I’ve always thought myself to be in tiptop shape and expect myself to score high in the physical fitness evaluation.
How wrong I was. I scored only 14 over 24 with my body fat vs. muscle ratio and poor scores in the balance and flexibility tests pulling me down. This poor balance and flexibility is underlined more brutally in Yoga and Pilates classes. While attempting to hold a pose I realize that my knee, leg and foot on the left side are weaker than I imagined.
Balance and flexibility (more than speed and strength) are two very important aspects of physical fitness runners often ignore or worse don’t even know about. This is one lesson I learned and remember clearly from Coach Jim Saret when he came over for the Cebu City Marathon series of runners’ clinics in 2009.
Balance and flexibility are important because they are key to injury prevention especially if you’re a runner who wants to enjoy running for a long long time. And so, I continue to do strength training and attend as many body balance and yoga classes as I can before plunging again headlong into training for next year’s BDM 160 which will be held during the last few cold days of January 28 and 29, 2012.