running blog

Clive Whaley

Back Breaking

Marathon Training Day 15 - 35 mins easy

It's great to be able to say that for the last 2 mornings in a row I have got up early and been running by 7.30 am or thereabouts. That is an achievement for me and a significant step towards conquering my psychological struggles to get out of bed. But what has really plagued me both mornings is a really stiff and uncomfortable back. It feels like I've got a huge solid plank - like a railway sleeper - shoved down the back of my running shirt. It eases up a bit by the end of the run but it's still a bit worrying.

It never helps when I go for a run first thing, because my aging body needs a bit of time to free up during the day but I think (and I'm hoping this is the case) it is mainly a result of the Gym work I've been doing. It was at it's worst on Monday morning and I had done my latest weekly strength session in the Gym the day before. I do these things called 'Russian Twists'. Although it sounds like it could be part of a plan to influence the US Presidential Elections, it is in fact an exercise done sitting on a mat with a medicine ball. You swish it from one side to the other whilst trying to stay balanced on your bum with your legs in the air … err … more Trump analogies are coming to me … Actually I don't think this exercise was the main culprit, it was probably the 'Plank' that had more effect - the one where you lie face down but propped up on your forearms and your toes, keeping your back and the whole of your core relatively straight. After 30 seconds of this my whole body starts shaking uncontrollably and the name says it all - the next day it turns my back into one hell of a plank.

It is early days for all of this stuff and I am hoping that my body will adjust and eventually benefit from these new punishments. Two early morning runs with an uncomfortable back at this stage in my training plan and only a day or two after new gym exercises is probably predictable. I really do hope that this sort of discomfort will fade and be replaced with a new spring in my step and a much more fluid and flexible body. I'm talking in 'relative' terms here - I don't think I'm ever going to be VERY fluid and flexible but just more so than I am now.