Yes, I know I owe you Part 2 of Strength for Endurance…for all ten of my devoted readers eagerly awaiting, know that I’m busy violating my 1000 word rule for Part 2. I thought you might be interested in the meantime in checking out something new and crazy. Well, not that crazy, really. But definitely new.
If you weren’t aware, I have some severe shoulder mobility issues. It made me a slow swimmer, but these days my biggest beef with my shoulders is the amount of pain I develop in my rear delta towards the end of a run. In fact, most runs, when I finish I can not lift both arms over my head without doing some weird cheating. Longer runs (like marathons), it’s borderline debilitating, and I consider my shoulders my biggest limiting factor. If you’ve seen me at the end of a long run, you’ll see me go to a position of comfort where I lean over and try to completely unload my arms because my shoulders are typically in screaming pain.
Its gotten worse as I’ve gotten older, and in the past few years I’ve tried a lot of different approaches. but nothing helped until I checked out the video you see above. Mobility WOD’s basic deal is that we should all be able to perform basic maintenance on ourselves. Simple, yet elegant, considering that “maintenance” mostly comes in the form of mashing on our soft tissues to break up years of nasty crap.
It only takes a few minutes to do the whole routine, and I’ve been pleasantly surprised at the results. I try to do it before most runs, or at least once a day. I’ve found that when I do it before a run, I can actually lift my arms over my head at the end no problem. My shoulder pain on long runs has been far less severe, and if anything I’ve noticed a sensation of warmth in my shoulders post-routine. Which tells me I probably have mobility-restricted tissues as a result of fascia buildup somewhere in there, and the tissue manipulation that occurs in the routine is helping restore blood flow.
It’s worth checking out, and MobilityWOD’s link is to the right. There’s a lot of good info on the site, and I’ll probably be trying some more mobility work in the future. Just remember that certain kinds of mobility are critical to running performance, but you don’t need to be a level 99 yoga ninja-master to be a good runner.