As shown in my marathon training plan there are numerous types of runs used to prepare for a race. In this series I’m breaking down the types of runs, what they mean and their purpose, and also talking about other important such running things.
With 24 days to go until my marathon, making sure I stay healthy and injury free is super duper important! There are a few ways I’ve gone about trying to stay healthy and before talking about speedwork (coming next week!) I wanted to touch on health since speedwork is one of the more common ways injuries happen.
On Sunday I logged my furthest run to-date: 30.8km, or a little over 19 miles. My original plan had me running 30km on Saturday, but I woke up with some aches and pains in my right calf and glute and I knew going for a run would be setting myself up for failure; it was unlikely I’d make it the full distance and I was pretty sure I’d just end up hurting more.
I put in a phone call to my favourite chiropractor and was able to get a same day appointment (hooray) in the hopes I’d be able to run on Sunday without issue (nevermind that I was going out with girlfriends on Saturday evening….). A visit to my chiro and some foam rolling put me in good shape to complete my nearly 31km run on Sunday (just 200m shy!).
When I’m not heavy in training, I see my chiropractor every 4-6 weeks. I’ve been seeing her for nearly five years – I started when I was having huge issues with my back and work and now my visits have progressed to my running injuries. She’s helped me with IT band issues, tight glutes and shin splints. Now that I’m just three weeks out from my race, I’m seeing her ever other week, or when I need to come in, like this weekend.
I’ve had an on-and-off relationship with massage therapy. I love massages (getting my hair done and massages are up there in the top two things I love most in the world) but finding a good massage therapist can be a bit of a challenge. Thankfully I found the most wonderful massage therapist this winter and she’s done amazing work on my back and lower body. I’ve even left with bruises on my butt!
Foam rolling is something every runner knows they should do, but often don’t. I’m that person. However, I know that foam rolling may hurt for the 60 seconds I’m rolling, but once I’m done the pain is gone. A few weeks ago I downloaded an app (PEAR Training Ingelligence) that has a 13 minute foam rolling exercise (under the flexibility category), so I’ve started doing that after every run and it’s really helped things. I’ll also use a tennis ball for my feet and glutes.
After a run I’ll also lay on my back with my legs straight up in the air for about 5 minutes to help drain the fluid from my legs.
FitSugar has a short article on foam rolling and some how to’s here.
I really really hate being cold.
There’s some conflicting data on whether ice baths actually do help with muscle recovery; however, I believe if it works for you then it won’t do any harm to continue to use them. I buy a bag of ice on my walk home from my long run (I have a teeny freezer) and dump it into my bathtub after raising my legs and completing my foam rolling workout. I’ll hang out in the tub with a cup of coffee (after refueling!) for 15-20 minutes and then reward myself with a nice hot shower.
Confession. I suck at cross-training. Heck, I’ve even emailed myself an awesome cross-training workout from Runner’s World and haven’t done it once. Bad, bad, bad.
However, the same app that has the foam rolling workout also has a quick (9 minute!) cross training workout that I’ve started to do after my shorter runs (I do nothing after a long run. Nothing. No thank you, I’m tired). It’s so easy, I have zero excuses to not complete the exercises:
- 60 second plank
- 60 seconds pushups
- 60 seconds leg extensions on stability ball
- 60 seconds lunges x 2 (1 minute each leg)
- 60 seconds squats
BOOM. No excuses, right?!