My hamstrings have been tight the past few weeks. They generally feel better after 2 or 2 1/2 miles, but they're tight at the start of every run, and I notice them even when I'm not running. I asked my yoga teacher to work on hamstrings last Friday. I sit on the heating pad whenever I'm on the couch. Nothing helps.
I finally realized - maybe it's not the hamstrings because my glutes have been tight as well. I Googled "runner sore glutes." It's a fairly common problem, but the main remedy is rest. Stretching is good as well, but not running is the big one.
It also recommended cross training. It's funny. I stopped cross training because it seemed to be nothing more than extra work for my already exhausted legs, but I guess it's beneficial for more than just building heart and lung capacity.
It's good this is happening this year and not last year, because I built a huge foundation last year that I can continue to draw from. I don't NEED to BUILD cardio capability - I already have it, I just can't lose it.
So I have a new plan for the next few weeks, perhaps through the end of February. Do the long Saturday runs following Hal Higdon's novice 2 program, but otherwise no running. Instead, break a sweat and work my heart via biking 2-3 times a week. I'll have to do it in the gym, which is the last place I want to be for the next three weeks while all the New Years Resolution people are swarming around. Nevertheless it must be done, especially if I'm going to accomplish my 2013 schedule:
Indianapolis Monumental marathon
Columbia City marathon
Goofy race and a half
Time wise, my goal is to drop 10 minutes from my PR each season. In other words, my target time for the spring is 4:48, and for the fall is 4:38.
Whew! Going to be an exhausting year!