Tag Archives: recovery

Must Do Post Run Yoga Poses

Not every run is a challenge but the same things always feel good afterwards.  A cold glass of water, even in the winter, taking my sweaty socks off and hitting the floor for a few post run yoga poses.  There are a ton of poses out there but not all of them stretch out those hard working running muscles in my legs and hips.  Here are some of my favorites:

Child’s Poseyoga poses:  This pose gives my whole body a break and lets me hit the ground with a little bit of grace.  It gives my hard working core a chance to relax while releasing my lower back and stretching my feet.

Downward Facing Dog:  After a minute in child’s pose, it’s into down dog.  Even if I just jogged a nice recovery run, lengthening my hamstrings and chronically tight calves always feels great.  It’s also a good pose with lots of room for the lunges to open and close.  It helps me bring my heart and respiratory rates down with big deep breaths.

Pigeon:  This big hip opener is another chance to give my just worked legs a break.  Stretching out my glutes and hip flexors is important for making sure I stay loose for my next workout, whether it’s later that day or 24 hours away.yoga poses

Low Lunge:  Another awesome hip stretch, low lunge might be tops on my list.  I love reaching back to open my hip while taking big belly breaths.

yoga posesLegs on the Wall:  I’m not sure if this really counts as one of my ‘yoga poses’.  My legs are propped up on a wall and I’m totally relaxed.  I’ll use time in this pose to reflect on the workout I just had.

I use a different variety of poses for my morning and pre-run routines.  While my pre-run sessions gets me loose and the blood pumping, these post run yoga poses help me relax and regroup after a workout. 

Meredith

Do you have favorite post run yoga poses?  Which ones and why?

 

Injury Free + Back to Training

I’m finally injury free!  While I never took any total time off, I did back down significantly from hard workouts and specific exercises.  Last week I incorporated some of the things I had been avoiding back into my routine with success.  My glute wasn’t extra sore, my gait was totally normal and everything felt good.

My transition back into real training started Monday with an OK Murph.  For those not familiar it’s a Memorial Day tradition performed in honor of Lt Michael Murphy that includes a one mile run, 100 pull-ups, 200 push-ups, 300 squats and a final one mile run.  Wanting to save my energy for the challenging workout I failed to warm up as much as I should have.  My glute gave me some trouble through the first mile but settled in with the squats.  The second mile was an improvement.injury free

Tuesday my legs were, not surprisingly, beat up.  A few easy miles helped them freshen up and again, I had no pain with a totally normal gait after warming up properly.  Yay!  Wednesday was also a few easy miles but this time in I also had the pleasure of being pouring rained on.  My shoes were finally dry by Sunday.

Thursday it was an attempt at the long run.  The humidity Thursday morning was a doozey but I felt good about getting the run done.  I started easy then picked up the pace as the sun rose to burn it off.  With my last few miles at marathon pace, I finished with negative splits.  It was a great first long run back and I couldn’t have been happier.

Friday my legs felt like lead and I took the day off.  Saturday was mile repeats that weren’t exactly on my previous pace but solid for coming off an injury.  Sunday I was back in the gym for strength training.  All in all it was a good welcome back week.  My glute held up without any pain or strain and left my feeling positive about how the rest of my summer will go.

My next race is the Allen Stone Memorial 5k.  I’m not expecting a spectacular performance but want to run well.  I have six weeks to prepare and am looking forward to working hard again. 

Meredith

How do you celebrate being injury free?  Sign up for a race?  A long run?

Long Warm Ups + PT Discharge

I’ve officially been discharged from physical therapy but that doesn’t mean I’m all better.  My right hip and glute are definitely feeling fatigued from all of the concentrated work they’ve been doing.  This has lead to some longer than desired warm ups on more intense efforts and it’s a little bit concerning.  The last thing I want to do before a race is have to run four miles.

Yes, four miles.  It takes me almost four miles (thirty+ minutes) to really feel like I can run hard for more than a mile.  Not only does that mean extra miles, it’s a little bit upsetting.  I usually run a 2-2.5 mile warm up for everything except a long run (shorter) or track work (longer).  It all started last Monday with an ugly run.  I went out for an easy hour and spent the first 30 minutes fighting ankle and shin pain.  I stretched, I squatted, I activated my glute the best way I could.  Then, boom!  The second half was great. 

A similar situation occurred this past weekend when I went out to tackle my first mile repeats since One City.  The first two repeats my right leg felt heavy and I carried a decent amount of tension in that ankle.  The second two?  Great.  I’m hopeful this means my glute and hip are very beat up right now and a little rest will set them straight.warm ups

I really need them to get straightened out, too.  The Elizabeth River Run 10k is coming up next weekend and I want to race.  Am I in PR shape?  No.  I want to get out there, push myself and get a solid idea of where my fitness is heading into summer.  So here’s to a little rest, longer warm ups and a solid race day.

Meredith

How long are your warm ups?  How did you feel after finishing physical therapy?

EquiKids 5k + Still Not There

I raced one of my favorite events of the year last weekend, the EquiKids 5k.  Not only do I love volunteering at the farm, racing through the trails each year is always fun.  The cross country 5k is preceded by a 1 Mile Run with the Hounds that Jordy was more than happy to participate in before hamming it up for the camera.equikids 5k

It’s the only cross country course I’m guaranteed to run every time it comes around and I usually don’t perform well.  Maybe it’s because I don’t train on trails very much if at all or because I get too distracted by all of the adorable kids, dogs and horses.  Any way you slice it, I was looking to turn my history of EquiKids 5k performances around this year.  I didn’t.

In spite of finishing as third overall female, it wasn’t a good race or even the race I wanted to run.  Due to some serious rain my schedule got a little screwy in the days before the race.  My final workout was hours later than it should have been.  I definitely could have been fresher at the start line but I also could have been less injured.

My glute injury is feeling much better.  It has had some unexpected side effects, however.  The different, more powerful, movement in my right leg has been leading to extra work for my right Achilles.  That has caused some definite stress on the tendon as it strengthens.  I ran a one mile warm up before toeing the starting line but failed to warm up as completely as I usually do because I was feeling fatigued.  Little did I know I’d pay for it.  About halfway through the race that right side felt like it was about to snap.  No, thanks.  I paused to rub it for five seconds then continued on.  It was a scary moment but felt fine the last 3k.

It was disappointing to realize I’m not where I thought I was in terms of bouncing back.  I understand the lumpy, muddy, ankle working course probably made things a little bit worse in that ankle.  That doesn’t make it feel any better.  The EquiKids 5k curse continues and I’m looking toward next year already.

Meredith

How often do you race on trails?  Love it or hate it?

Slowly Coming Back+ Time to Adjust

Training rolled on last week after another round of physical therapy.  I’m definitely feeling better and can tell a difference in my gait.  A solid, positive one.  Of course, if hopping right into race shape for this Saturday’s EquiKids Cross Country 5k was that easy, none of us would be very concerned about injuries in the first place.  But it’s not.  And nature has it out for me.  It’s like coming back from an injury wasn’t bad enough, so the heat got turned on last week.

I really want to race well this weekend.  It’s one of my favorite events and I usually don’t put in a great performance on the dirt trail course.  There’s something to be said for actually practicing.  I do 95% of my running on roads since that’s where I race, except for once a year but maybe one of these times I’ll get it together.  My biggest concern, however, isn’t the race’s surface.  It’s my grumpy right glute and staying calm (easy pace) enough to not get re-injured.coming back

I did some speed work last week, keeping myself in check and staying within 30 seconds of half marathon pace for anything over 800M.  I definitely feel more out of shape than I am and don’t expect coming back to take too long.  Except that it’s 90 degrees out with 90% humidity and barely a breeze.  Talk about a double whammy!

It could be worse.  I could be 100% healthy and trying to prep for a fast 5k in rough training weather.  Luckily coming back from injury is helping me keep things slower and safer in the warmth.  Eventually I’m going to have to adjust to the summer’s heat and humidity.  It might as well be right now. 

Meredith

How do you handle coming back after an injury?

Plantain Chips + Marathon Recovery

Marathon recovery is moving along nicely and I’m all ready to race the Shamrock 8k tomorrow.  I wasn’t too sure how I’d be feeling about tomorrow’s race after hitting my marathon goal last Sunday.  The good news is a week of rest, yoga, body weight exercises and light running has me ready to go.  I’d like hit a new 8k PR since it’s been quite a while since I’ve raced at that distance but the weather doesn’t look too good.  Rain with some reasonable wind might hamper my efforts a bit.

No matter what happens at Shamrock, I’ve had my best training cycle yet this year, learned a lot and am in a great place to hit my goals for the rest of 2017.  I’m ready for a little post race down time then kicking things back up later in the spring.

Since I had a quiet workout week, I hit the kitchen to try something completely new.  Plantain chips!  I’m not too familiar with plantains but received some from a friend and figured it couldn’t hurt to play.  My first thought was plantain chips since they’re simple and probably hard to muck up.  This experimental recipe is a mash up of others for both banana chips and plantain chips but it turned out well.  I hope you enjoy it, too!plantain chips

Cinnamon Plantain Chips
Ingredients: 
1 plantain, peeled and sliced thinly. 
1 tablespoon melted coconut oil. 
1 teaspoon lemon juice. 
Cinnamon as desired.

Instructions:
Pre-heat oven to 350.
Line baking sheet with parchment paper.
Toss plantain slices with coconut oil, lemon juice and cinnamon until coated.
Place evenly spaced plantain slices on lined baking sheet.
Bake at 350 for 15 minutes then flip over for 5-7 additional minutes until edges are browned.

Meredith

Do you like plantain chips?  Have a favorite plantain recipe?  Share it with me!

Training Recap: The First 5 Weeks

It’s time for a training recap!  I’m five weeks into my 16 week One City Marathon training plan and feeling great.  I was a little bit nervous kicking things off because the mileage of this plan is higher than I’ve ever faced before early on.  Even with the extra miles each week, I feel fresher, stronger and more ready to run than this same time last year.  Here are the lessons I learned between crossing 2016’s finish line and starting to work towards 2017 that are making all the difference.training recap

Run easy.  I have a hard, hard time taking it easy.  I can run faster, so why aren’t I?  Running hard or medium hard all the time really hurt my training last year.  There’s a definite struggle on my recovery runs to keep the pace as gentle as it should be but I’m learning to like it.  Joining multiple weekly group runs and slowing down to chat has helped me immensely.

Eat more.  After reviewing last year’s early training recap with a focus on what I was eating, I realized I was probably not eating enough.  Based on the higher intensity of most workouts at that time, my caloric intake was lower than it should have been.  I definitely paid in soreness and exhaustion.  This cycle I’m doing a much better job of getting the types and numbers of calories I need.

More salad.  A big part of those extra calories is more veggies.  I talked about cleaner eating earlier this year and it’s paying off.  Crappy food isn’t even mildly appealing anymore (mostly).  There’s always cake or pizza for a treat.  And beer, of course! 

Lift less.  Last year’s training recap feature some pretty heavy weights a little too often.  Since I still love my time in the gym and won’t give it up, I’ve compromised with myself.  I’m lifting based on last year’s numbers and not going for any power or Olympic lifting PRs.  Lots of variety is keeping me challenged, and sore, so I know it’s helping me out without hindering my ability to perform on quality running workouts.

My legs feel great and my recovery is faster than ever before.  I’m feeling very positive about how the rest of this training cycle will go. 

Meredith

How often do you do a training recap?  Do you find it helpful?

 

I Have Tired Legs + Racing

When I started running again last week, I didn’t actually do much.  I jogged and played without ever even thinking about accelerating.  But this week, this week I decided to go back to work.  Nothing too crazy.  I wasn’t aiming to prevent tired legs since I do have a race this weekend, the tired legsJoggin’ for Frogmen 5k, and I’d like to finish in a reasonable time.

Do I really think I lost that much fitness after 18 days without a workout that got my heart rate above 60% of max?  No.  My head and attitude are doing just fine.  I do have tired legs, however.  Maybe I dove back in with too much enthusiasm?  Probably.  I hit deadlifts Monday and might have gone a little too hard on Tuesday’s long intervals.  A very easy thirty minute run filled Wednesday’s schedule since my hamstrings were not happy to be back at work.  There was more light lifting on Thursday and an easy 4 x 400M Friday morning.

Definitely not my usual 5k race week plan and my tired legs prove it.  I’m rolling and resting tonight then just going to get out and have fun tomorrow.  I’ll be with my Team RWB friends and racing on wet grass (assuming it rains tonight like the weather guessers say it will).  It will also be 55 degrees with 20+ mile an hour winds on a course that covers an airport runway and large grassy fields after a week spent training on roads with temps in the 70s.  Definitely focusing on the fun this time.

I have a few more weeks before marathon training kicks off and I hope this event is a highlight.  Tired legs are expected when I step up my miles, intensity and strength training so I’ll try to enjoy them while they’re fresh.

Meredith

How do you bounce back from tired legs?

New Training Cycle + I’m Sore

My new training cycle is in full gear.  Even though I’ve been ‘racing’ all month, the events have been more workouts than actual races as I’ve been slowly building my mileage back up.  Since my off season three weeks ago, I had weekly miles of 12, 16 and 20.  My goal this week was to hit 25 miles and add in some tougher sessions.

Monday was a rest day but I got things going with Tuesday’s Crossfit and the first official strength training workout of my new training cycle.  I definitely missed lifting weights while prepping for and recovering my marathon so it felt great to be back in the gym.  The WOD included back squats, front squats, kettle bell swings, burpees and overhead squats.  I dropped the weight for all exercises way down knowing I’d be sore as heck the next day and had fun.

Nailed it!  Wednesday morning I was pretty darn sore.  My quads were very unhappy, my shoulders mildly unhappy and luckily the rest of me was mostly neutral.  I did an easy four mile run that afternoon at 8:30 pace to shake out then spent twenty minutes with my best foam roller friend.  My legs felt much less sore Thursday morning but were still a bit touchy.

I debated swapping my schedule around since Thursday was supposed to be the second tougher workout of my new training cycle.  Speed work didn’t sound super appealing but I decided against moving the workout and hit the track for a better than I thought session.  Not that I was expecting much with my quads still less than 100%.  I almost forgot how much fun running those two curves can be.new training cycle

This morning I hit the gym again for strength training but focused on upper body to give my legs a breather.  Tomorrow is a rest day while I travel to Delaware for this week’s long run at the Coastal Delaware Half Marathon.  I’ll be pacing the 1:55 group and look forward to picking up an extra mile or two before the race to hit my 25 for the week.

All new training cycle soreness aside, it feels good to be getting back into a groove.  I know I’ll regain my fitness quickly and have a long summer to work on becoming a better athlete for my fall races.

Meredith

How do you deal with soreness?  Have you started a new training cycle?

Off Season + Scheduled Rest

Well, I said I was back and I meant it.  The problem is I’m just not back to very much.  I’m taking a serious off season right now and honestly not missing hitting the gym or road hard.  With four easy ‘race’ weekends in a row heading my way in a few short days, I’m enjoying the extra time off seasonto relax and working better scheduling rest in my training calendar.

While it might be true a runner has no off season (thanks, Pinterest), it’s been over seven months since I’ve taken more than six days in a row and I paid for that in my marathon training.  Post marathon recovery has been going well since right now I’m enjoying some slacker time working on mobility and little else.  I don’t know if two weeks counts as a ‘season’ but it sure feels like it.  Before now I never really thought about scheduling an off season, it always just kind of happened.  I’ve also never been through a harder training cycle than I just was.  Resting one day per week was always easy for me.  Listening to my body when it says it needs an extra was never a big deal.  Taking two to four weeks as an off season is totally new to me and it feels like forever since I’ve run hard, run fast or lifted heavy.

Lucky for me, I’ll have the opportunity to work on this all summer long.  I’ll be scheduling at least a week of rest every seven weeks as I work through my mid-May to mid-August base building phase. My weekly mileage will increase somewhat by default after taking full advantage of my current off season this week.  I’m tackling four easy ‘races’ with two pacing events, one lazy half marathon and one ‘let’s see what I’ve got right now’ 5k over the next four weekends.  After that, it’s two more weeks of scheduled easy workouts to officially wrap up my off season then get back to work for fall.

I’m also hoping these easy runs in fun race environments helps me get my mojo back.  This first intentional off season of not working out has me feeling funky.  My body feels good but I’m not that motivated to get back in gear.  I could go out for a short run whenever I want, the weather’s pretty great right now.  I’m just not chomping at the bit to get out there.

Meredith

Have you lost motivation during an off season?  How do you schedule rest?