During my past two or three runs, my hamstrings have gotten extremely tense, especially while running up hills. It gets to the point that they won't let my legs completely stretch out in my stride and it's not very comfortable. I have been stretching before my runs (I know it's important to strech after as well but I usually forget). Why is this happening and what can I do about it?
Is it possible that I am "overtraining?" I just started running again about a month ago after nine years out of the game. I recently timed my mile at a local track and it was 8:07 so I'm not terribly out of shape (especially for how long it's been). I have been trying to run 2.5 - 3 miles per day with one or two rest days per week. Here's what I have done so far this week:
Monday: 3 mi run, 1 mi walk
Tuesday: 3 full body weight circuits and 6 30 second sprints with 90 seconds of rest between sprints
Wednesday: 1.5 mi run, 1.5 mi walk
Thursday: 3 full body weight circuits, 2.75 mi run, 1 mi walk
Friday: 2.75 mi run, 1 mi walk
Am I just jumping back in too fast or is this just normal muscle soreness that I need to push through? Could it be that the full body workouts and running is too much too soon? Would it be better to ice my hamstrings or use a heating pad? Thanks!
Are you doing static stretching? If so, I recommend you switch to dynamic stretching. I also recommend you follow a good warm-up, no matter what distance/intensity your actual work out is going to be at.
This should definitely help with tightness in your hammies, especially if you're going to be running up hills.
Another wonderful device for tightness is a foam roller. They work wonders, though they can be quite painful.
All those musculoskeletal adaptations your body had nine years ago? Gone. You're essentially starting from zero. Take a cue from couch-to-5K; run 3 nonconsecutive days/week, 20-30 minutes each time, and walk 30-45 minutes on the off days. Skip the speedwork for at least a month, maybe two.
What exercises comprise a "full body weight circuit"?
Yes I am doing static stretches. I know it's bad, it's just habit. I will start doing dynamic stretches and warming up better. I will look into the foam rollers.
Darn, I was hoping no one would say that I have been doing too much but I figured as much. I am not very good at taking breaks. I guess it's genetic. My dad used to run marathons and he would only take a day off every fourteen days (granted he was obviously in better shape than I am and I'm sure he didn't start off doing that). I probably shouldn't follow his lead anyway, since he ended up having surgery on both of his achilles tendons and is now practically crippled.
I do squats with shoulder presses, bent over rows, lunges, front raises, lateral raises, rear raises, tricep extensions, and curls. I do 8-12 reps with no rest between exercises. I use 10 - 15 lb dumbbells depending on the exercise because that's all I have right now. I am looking into getting more equipment and maybe starting NROLFW.