TT W5D4: A Minor Discovery About Running

Yesterday’s DOMS from the Monday evening capoeira class was the absolute worst I’ve had in years. My glutes, hamstrings and calves in particular were just screaming every time I had to flex or lift my feet above, oh, 1″ from the ground. I fully admit that I busted out the Icy Hot and stayed in downward dog pose in the living room for at least 5 minutes trying to alleviate the pain. :ouch:

I haven’t been able to get in a decent lifting or cardio workout since the class due to my near inability to, you know, WALK.


I wasn’t very optimistic about my chances of doing HIIT cardio today either, but I went to the gym anyway for my upper body session with Ashlee the trainer (who is very interested in the capoeira class as well since she has several years of dance training and would like to work on her gymnastics skills with an eye to competing in fitness one day). After our session, I headed over to Cardio Row to do some intervals on a stationary bike, but some sort of masochistic impulse made me step on a treadmill instead. I hadn’t run since the 5k on 1/20, my calves were still sore, though not nearly as sore as they were yesterday, and my arms were hanging like limp noodles.

For some reason, I decided to try the full 20 minutes BFL HIIT cardio pattern at 4, 5.5, 6.5, 7.5, and finally 8.5 mph. (Hey, I know those are weak speeds, but give me a break; I’m still hobbling around here!)

My legs were a little sore on the first set. By the second set I no longer felt any pain in my posterior chain leg muscles, and sets three and four were a breeze.

However, the minute I stepped DOWN from the treadmill, my calves were mooing again. Loudly.

So today’s takeaway lesson is this: Running, whether at low (4-6.5) or medium-high speeds (7.5-8.5), doesn’t really engage the calves or hamstrings. If it did, I would have been unable to complete my HIIT session today without a whole lot of screaming and bleeped-out exclamations. 😉

It then (unfortunately) follows that in order to achieve those coveted sprinter’s glutes and hamstrings, I will have to go a LOT faster than 8.5 mph in the future…and most likely have to do so outdoors, because sprinting on a treadmill at crazy high speeds is just not a good idea. :crazy:

2 thoughts on “TT W5D4: A Minor Discovery About Running

  1. Maggie, I’ve been reading your blog for a while now, and been enjoying it.

    I wanted to say that running outside will definitely engage your hamstrings more. When you’re running outside, you’re pushing off of the ground and you’re using the hams. When running on a treadmill, it pulls your legs back for you.

    It really is a big difference, I was surprised the first time I did HIIT (20/40 sprints) outside instead of on the treadmill. Unfortunately its been rainy here lately, so I’ve been inside for cardio. I’m dedicated, but not “run in the rain” dedicated. 🙂

  2. Oh! and also, try taking a bath with some mineral salts in it, then you can stretch too when you get out of the bath. It really helps with soreness. You can get them at wal-mart in the pharmacy section. I used to use them all the time when I did ballet and would be sore from that.

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