This is my last Tuesday Training Tip. I’ve been doing them for a year, and I think that is a good amount of time and a good number of training tips. I’m ready to move on and hope you are, too. I haven’t decided what, if anything, will take its place, but I have a few thoughts and I am open to suggestions as well. One idea is to share a quote, excerpt, poem, song, picture, or whatever, that caught my eye or ear or imagination. Another is to recruit stories about motherhood/life from others — although my track record with recruiting submissions is a little bit pathetic so I wouldn’t bank on that one. I have a few other ideas, but would love to hear your thoughts as well. What do you think?
Next week I’ll be sharing my thoughts on the future of the Mother Runner. Some long discussions, life changes, and realizations about where I am and where I hope to be have me thinking about how this blog plays in my life and if I am using it as well as I could. So look forward to that! Ha.
But finally, on to the last Tuesday Training Tip: Learn to relax.
Yep. Relax. You could take this as a call to not get so worked up about missing a workout, or to put running and training in perspective in the grand scheme of life, or to breathe deeply and meditate every now and then. Or you could take this as a reminder to loosen up when you’re running. Tight muscles mean wasted energy mean tiredness before the finish line. And it’s actually about this second means of relaxing that I’d like to talk about. Or, more accurately, I’d like to give a very real, practical, concrete, easy way to help you relax when you are in the middle of a run.
And it is this: lightly rub your thumbs against your index fingers as you are running. It is very hard to do this if your fists and arms are tense, and yet very easy to tense up this way since most runners run with their hands rolled into loose fists, and tightening them up is something we often do when we’re trying to work really hard. Anyway, a couple of weeks ago I was running home from the store with a bag of groceries tucked under my arm and I could tell I was running tense. So I tried this little trick. And it worked, at least for the side that was not clutching the bag of groceries. That side didn’t have a chance. If it had relaxed, there would have been cans of enchilada sauce rolling down the street. (I don’t recommend running with cans of enchilada sauce tucked under your arm — unless you are running to catch a bus. Or running to beat a bus to your house. Whichever.)
So relax. Enjoy the scenery. And if you’re not sure you’re doing it right, just rub your fingers together.