400 Meters in Under 60 Seconds Update – Hamstring!

Attempt # 1 at Sub 60 Seconds

Well, I have an interesting update for you all about my little challenge to run 400 meters in under 60 seconds. For the past week, I’ve done really well in running and getting more stamina. On Friday, as I was running and doing my speed work, I felt a little twinge behind the back of my left leg. I slowed down and rubbed it and thought, “Isn’t that interesting?” I finished my running and had some minor soreness with it.

I went biking yesterday, but didn’t do any running. I decided I should rest my leg. Then today, I made the journey to the track here at a high school. I did a couple warm up laps and those went fine. I was good and warmed up and ready to give myself a good attempt at once around the track. I started off, knowing there was still a slight twinge in my left leg, but my speed was pretty good. As I got to about the 2/3 mark around the track, my time was about 42 seconds – very close to a 60 second pace!

It was at that time, that the back of my left leg made a little pop and I immediately collapsed to the ground. I knew I’d strained my hamstring immediately. It was a curious sensation, like my muscles there just stretched further than they should have. I laid down for a couple minutes, but was able to get up and start walking again, albeit with a modified walk. I can feel the pain while just laying here typing this, but it’s not severe. I’d say I have a 1.5 hamstring pull in my left leg.

What I Realize

What I realize is that I have neglected the stretching portion of my working out. Typically I just start running with little warm up or stretching. This neglect has led to my legs being very tight, particularly in the hamstrings. I’ve also not done a very good job working out my legs and thus, my leg muscles probably aren’t up to snuff enough to run at the pace I am trying to achieve. Simply put, I have the stamina I think now to make the time, but not the strength or flexibility.

This is really interesting to me. It’s not enough to just build up my cardiovascular system to achieve this goal. I also need the muscular strength and the flexibility to make it happen. I have 1 out of 3 key areas covered to make this goal happen. But without the other 2 areas, this will never work out. I’ll always have something holding me back until I can get all 3 areas in tip top shape.

Life Lesson and What This Means for This Challenge

The life lesson I have learned from this is that there’s never one silver bullet that will send you to where you want to go. Achieving anything in life is a synchronized effort among multiple skills and abilities. ┬áIt takes multiple things working in tandem to achieve a desirable result. In the case of running the 400 meters in under 60 seconds, one must have great stamina, great flexibility, and great strength. I have the stamina now. I have poor flexibility and mediocre strength.

These weak areas are going to need a lot of attention. I can’t just keep running and thinking that will solve everything. I need to work on my flexibility and strength, particularly in my legs – thighs, glutes, and calves. Because I have good stamina already, I can probably take this next week and work solely on my strength and flexibility with only minor work on stamina. That means walking only or biking if my legs can handle it.

As for the challenge, I’m not giving up on it, but it’s more than likely going to fail. I have 10 days left to make it happen. However, the recovery time for an injury like this is between 5 days and about 3 weeks. Therefore, there is a chance that I will fail at it and not make the goal. But it won’t be because of a lack of effort. It will be because of a lack of knowledge and proper discipline in all the areas needed to make this happen.

What Next?

Well, what’s next is that I need to get my leg healed back up all the way and strong. When that happens, I’m going to give this challenge another go. Until then, I just have to lick my wounds, get healed and stronger, and wait for a time I’m able to tackle this again from the RIGHT position of power, strength, flexibility, and endurance.

That’s life my friends. Sometimes you take a risk and try something and you fail at it. I’ve had this happen before I tried this little 400 meter run of mine. Life is about risks. In my mind, I don’t look at failing this goal as a bad thing, just a learned experience. I’ve had other experiences in my life – some much more intense than this injury where I took a risk and failed. But going through the experience (and the knowledge gained) is so much better than sitting on the sidelines and not doing anything.

It’s funny, I talked about how I will transcend this challenge and accomplish my goal. Life has a funny way of teaching you some things first before you can make a worthy attempt at a challenge. That’s my message to you. Sometimes you realize something in your life. Something you feel is absolutely right and what you want. And you go for it and you fail. It doesn’t mean that what you are going after isn’t right. It just means you’re not ready and you need to work on yourself more and make the situation right for it.

I’ll succeed in this challenge, but it’s probably going to take longer than 15 days as I rehab this injury and work on my strength and flexibility. Sometimes things take longer than you originally intended :)

If you’ve tried something and failed, I’m here to tell you it’s okay. If you’ve hurt yourself or someone else, that’s part of life. Take what you’ve learned and apply it to your future. The good news is that hurt and injury DO HEAL and a time comes when you can try again after you’ve healed. Wishing you the best in whatever you are trying to accomplish in your life.

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