Remember to Rest between Running Days this Winter

Runners and hockey fans have an opportunity to race in a winter 5k, and score a Nashville Predators ticket in the process.

The Nashville Predators Fangtastic 5k, presented by Adventureworks, will begin at 10 a.m Saturday, Feb. 4, at the Bridgestone Arena plaza, 501 Broadway, Nashville. Adventureworks will provide a $20 voucher for all Fangtastic 5k registrants that can be used for any Adventureworks activity (ropes course, zip lines, adventure teambuilding and more).

Race participants will also receive a ticket to a Nashville Predators game, good for either Feb. 4 vs. St. Louis, Feb. 7 vs. Vancouver or Feb. 14 vs. Chicago.

For more information on the race, e-mail sweaver@nashvillepredators.com.

Run hard, and run often! However, realize the importance of rest days in your training routine.

The day after a run, let your muscles absorb the stress from the previous day’s workout and have time to repair and process the changes that a consistent running plan will surely cause.

Drink your water, let your fluids replenish, body repair and mind relax.

Better yet, go beyond just resting your body, and stretch those muscles; do a yoga routine on your non-running days.

You’ll feel the muscles that are asking for stretching. Listen to them. The muscles on the top of your feet may be sore; from a standing position, stretch one leg behind your body with toes pointed. Bring the foot towards the ground and stretch those top-of-the foot muscles. Roll just enough of your weight back towards the extended foot to really stretch it out.

Stand up straight. Raise your arms to the sky and gradually bend at the waist. Keep slowly leaning forward until your arms are hanging straight down. Hold this position, doubled over at the waist, and feel the legs, butt and back stretch. Do not be discouraged if you do not immediately touch your toes or if there is a little discomfort. Hold the position and as your supporting muscles relax, let gravity take over and pull your hands closer to the ground.

The hamstrings (backs of the legs) can get incredibly tight. To further stretch them, lay on your back with your butt up against a wall. Have your legs resting against the wall so your body makes a 90-degree angle.

Use a pillow where you need to, but hold this position for quite a while. If you run for 30 minutes, why not stretch for an equal amount of time the next day and truly show those muscles that worked so hard the day before that you care.

One trainer says that if you get comfortable enough in this 90-degree position, it’s okay to go to sleep and take a nice hamstring nap.

Speaking of sleep, when you push your body to change, it will require more time to rest.

Many regular runners not only report sleeping deeper, and but needing more sleep than when they did not exercise regularly. Do not let this scare you from running; just be sure and allocate an extra couple of hours to get a decent amount of sleep each night, and consider it an investment in your heart, lungs, muscles, mind and future. A few extra hours every week invested in running and resting now could yield a return of years of quality, healthy time added to your life.

Looking ahead, Murfreesboro Medical Clinic has announced that they will present a new race on March 31 to benefit Special Kids; they will stage 15k, 5k and one mile races. More on this in March.

Now, hit the road!

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About the Author

Bracken, a 2003 graduate of MTSU’s journalism program, is the founder and publisher of The Murfreesboro Pulse. He lives in Murfreesboro with his wife, graphic artist and business partner, Sarah, and son, Bracken Jr. Bracken enjoys playing the piano, sushi, Tool, football, chess, jogging, spending time in his backyard with his chickens, hippie music, climbing at The Ascent, bowling, swimming, soup, tennis, sunshine, revolution, defiance and anarchy. He can cook a mean grilled cheese, and can fry just about anything.

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