I can’t help but suppress a smile as I write this next post…
I’m letting you in on a couple of secrets today. For one, I’ll be sharing how I am able to #momsohard and keep healthy + injury free, while maintaining steady energy level through periods of intense training (i.e. like the marathon that I am currently training for). Coffee helps, but it didn’t make this list:).
First, lets back up 6-7 years ago, to that time I was a complete running junkie (not to say that I am recovered, or ever will be:), cardio queen, spinning machine, kickboxing fanatic, bootcamp addict, group fitness fangirl… you get the idea. It was nothing for me to run 5 miles before work, and then another 7-10 after work, or maybe just run 7 miles and go take a 90 minute bootcamp. I hovered between 14- 16% body fat. I lived for sweat sessions, and blocks of time in my schedule that allowed for me to push myself to the limit. Sigh, that was a different era. I get nostalgic for my crazy workout days, BUT… here it is, that is NOT sustainable. More importantly that is not a “kind” way to care for your body. Long story short, after a decade of living to workout & run I had more than a few injuries and found my way onto my mat.
In yoga there were/are endless challenges, acceptance, and a journey to become the best version of myself. Being the best version of one’s self includes the art of self care. I call it an art because it takes practice + focus on a daily basis to connect with the body and to really listen for what it is asking for or needing. So in some ways it literally makes me LOL that I would be writing a post about this topic, considering my reckless workout past. But then again, experience and mistakes are often the best teachers.
- Reduce Inflammation
So lets just get the ugly truth out of the way, as you train for a marathon you are going to be in a state of inflammation. There is just no way around that fact. For a natural anti-inflammatory supplement I turn to curcumin. I never take Tylenol or ibprofen. Curcumin is the substance within turmeric that naturally combats inflammation in the body. I also take fish oil supplements in conjunction to help with absorption. Nordic Naturals brand even makes a fish oil & curcumin combo supplement. I LOVE the Terry Naturally brand CuraMed curcumin supplements for everyday use, and the Curamin Exta Strength for the days I’m extremely sore from running.
“Legs up the wall,” or up a tree:) A non-negotiable after a run. For extra elevation try a bolster beneath your hips. This simple posture is ideal for runners, as it reverses the effects of gravity and moves stagnant blood & fluids down and out. I also, make sure that I am in bed between 8:30-9:00pm each night.
3. Nutrition and Hydration
Despite the fact that you are running ALL of the MILES while training, you sadly can not eat ALL of the FOOD. You will be “hangry” and sometimes fantasize about the meals you will eat after running, but don’t go there!:) I suggest having healthful portion controlled options stashed in your fridge and pantry. Definitely meal prep if you want to avoid gaining weight while training. I drink tons of water, pedialyte too, and avoid alcohol. I will only have a very occasional 1/2 glass of wine while I’m training. I try and avoid other known inflammatory foods too i.e. dairy,fried foods, sugar, and refined flour.
4. Compression Socks
I swear by these! CEP is my favorite brand. Even after a 20 mile run if I have these on, my calves will not be sore. Sidebar: I suffered from plantar fasciitis previously, and though it affects the sole of the foot, the problem begins with super tight calves. I take no chances having that injury recur.
Turn to your practice. When I first began training I decided I needed to focus only on running right now, and would put my practice on the back burner…. That lasted for about a minute. Even though it is extremely tough to manage the demands of an already full schedule with the training, and being a mom I have found the need to practice more than ever before during this time. My body craves the opening & release of the physical practice, but also I am so focused on pacing and my marathon goals I need my practice to turn inward and be still. I try to get in for 3-5 classes a week (more if I could). I enjoy Hot, Yin, Deep Stretch and for cross training days Vinyasa or Power yoga.
6. Foam Rolling
MELT Method. Sue Hitzman’s revolutionary method of addressing the body’s connective tissue is something every athlete should take note of. I’m obsessed with her specially designed soft foam roller, and the methods she uses for addressing the body’s fascia. I have her book & DVD too, but you can also MELT in a class setting (locally, Yoga Del Mar).
My favorite recovery day is when I schedule a Thai massage. Once a month through training I book a 30 minute session focusing on just my legs. I love Thai massage because there is not only emphasis on the body tissue, but also body alignment. Two crucial aspects of athletic performance.
Do you have any favorite tips for managing high mileage training? I would LOVE to hear.