There is a lot of talk in running circles, but little consensus, on the value of flexibility and upper body strength to running. Some argue that flexibility and strength training is a waste of time. It would be better if you just ran more, these runners say. Others think flexibility improves form and a strong core prevents injuries. I don’t know the answers to these questions, or even if definitive answers are possible. This is probably another example of the experiment of one. Some of us will benefit in our running from increased flexibility and strength, some of us won’t. Try it yourself and figure it out.
I am interested in greater flexibility and strength, whether it improves my running or not. Towards that end, I’ve started a basic flexibility routine and the 100 push up challenge. I’ll write about both here on occasion.
For flexibility, I’m doing the stretches everyone does, nothing special as, yet. I am shocked at how inflexible I am. I can barely touch my toes. There have been studies that flexibility is genetic, perhaps it is, and maybe I’ll never be a particularly flexible person, but I can definitely be better that I am.
The 100 push up challenge has been much harder than I imagined. I have started and stopped this program a half dozen times, never making it past the second week. This time I am committed to finishing the program, even if it takes much longer than the promised six weeks. This time around the first week went fine, the second week was tough, but in this, the third week, I have met with failure. Last night for the first time, I couldn’t finish the prescribed program. I think I need to repeat at least the day, and possibly the entire last week.
Hard as this is, I’m already seeing some benefits. I’m definitely stronger, I look better, and my form is improving. Getting to a hundred pushups is going to be like getting to a BQ in miniature – consistent effort over time will produce results, just you watch.