IM CDA: Loosening Up My Left Hip

For some reason, this season my left hip has been extremely sensitive to heavy efforts. This weekend racing Escape from Alcatraz was no exception. I was worried that my hip would tighten up and sure enough it did, although it was less severe than in the past months. It actually stopped tightening up for a while but now it was back.
Having a tight hip doesn’t feel good. It doesn’t hurt, but it feels like my muscles surrounding my leg at the hip area are dragging my whole leg upward, restricting movement and reducing severely its ability to absorb running shock.
When I went out to run with a tight hip, it feels like I’m thumping on the ground with every left step; very bad for shock absorption and I hated knowing that with every step I was transmitting that much more shock into my hip bones and structures. Definitely a possible cause for hip fractures! Thus it was important for me to get that hip loosened up as much as possible.
ART and Graston helped immensely. Self massage with a softball and lacrosse ball also helped, as did foam roller and TP Massage Rollers. But ART really helped loosened up the hip and I wish my ART practictioner would come with me to help loosen it up before the race! But alas, that is not to be.
So some massaging with balls and rollers, and then some self applied scraping with my own Gua Sha and STARR tools, and then some fast cycling on my trainer working through my pedaling efficiency workouts has really loosened it up some. I hope that in the few days to come before the race that it will completely get to normal so that I can be at least start the race loosened up.
Mostly, it’s important to be loose for the race. I need to have zero muscle restriction so that my legs can just move fast. I have practiced this all season during training, which is to use minimal energy to swing or cycle my legs either on the bike or run. I just want to fire my muscles just enough to make it move through the next cycle and no more. Contracting further just wastes energy. I’m glad that it’s starting to relax and hopefully by race morning it will be gone.

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