1st Winter Run

Decided to start running again despite the inevitable washing load that each run generates – with four or five layers soaked through with sweat. Started with a very short 30 minute slow run so as to avoid the dreaded DOMS. Running is definitely more suited to skiing than cycling because it involves strong eccentric contraction of the leg muscles – as does skiing – and cycling doesn’t do this. The other advantage of running is that it increases bone density and strength – which is pretty valuable for skiers! Normally when I pick up running again after a lay off it’s tempting to go too far too fast and then there are four days of painful muscles to live with while the legs recover. The eccentric contractions put a violent load on the muscles that really hurts them when they are not adapted. I don’t know why it should be so, but no amount of cycling fitness can protect you from this effect when you start running. You’d think that cycling fitness would help to some extent but it doesn’t.
There is very little snow or ice on the ground this year even in the shade here in the valley at 700m altitude – so it’s perhaps a good winter to exploit that situation. I think that winter running is probably best kept to short distances – about 10k –  to avoid freezing once the sweat soaks everything. Another advantage of running is that it brings variety to exercise and the legs travel though a far greater range of movement than in either skiing or cycling – where the legs are always in front of the body. I find this stretch of the legs behind the body helps to mobilise the lower back and to relieve stress in the base of the spine.

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