January 28, 2015

Boston Marathon Training: rest and recovery

This is my hardest training cycle by a long shot. My coach has mixed up the workouts to include some hills, and the pace work is faster than I have done in the past.  Obviously this is taxing on my body and keeping healthy is critical with just 12 weeks until race day.  The key things I am doing at this point would be great for anyone during marathon training.

* Foam Rolling:  Use a grid foam roller or any foam roller daily:  There are some great tips on how to foam roll here and here.  and a tip from me would be to keep your roller in plain sight in your home or apartment so you can't ignore it!

I always have company for stretching and rolling!

*  Daily stretching:  Regular post run stretching is highly recommended by most running coaches and mine is no exception.  Lots of Yoga poses give great stretches to your body such as pigeon and child's pose. Yoga is typically considered exercise but the gentle Yoga class I attend is giving me great benefits as a stretching/range of motion activity. I plan to attend this class once a week, and if I have to miss my goal is to practice Yoga on my own at home with help from my Jillian Michael's Yoga DVD! IF you haven't tried her DVD's, check them out.  Full confession here though, you may feel as though she is screaming at you through your TV screen!

*  Sleep:  Most of us don't give alot of thought to sleep, but running on not only tired legs but a tired body can lead to injury, not to mention an unpleasant and unsatisfying run.  Schedule your bedtime and be sure to get off your computer or electronic devices such as I pads and I phones a full hour before bed.   Statistics show that usage of those devices can make sleep more difficult.

A comfy bed is always inviting!
*  Food and nutrition: Gone are all the Christmas goodies and the healthy food has invaded my house!  Eating well during a hard training cycle is critical to recovery and a conscious effort is being made to avoid junk food.  I can't totally give up ice cream, but eliminating other treats has been easier.  And that last box of peppermint bark from Williams Sonoma has been hidden high in the pantry not to reappear until after April 20th!  Perhaps my biggest problem is fueling my body post hard training days.  My answer to this is a shake with protein powder.  I always have frozen strawberries on hand to add to the shake for flavor.  Every once in a while, after a 15 plus mile run, I treat myself to a shake make with Blue Bell vanilla ice cream and protein powder, It is pure heaven in a tumbler!

Any recommendations on any of these topics?  Do you have trouble sleeping after using the computer?


18 comments:

  1. Restorative yoga is amazing for recovery! I'm not sure if Jillian Michaels does any restorative (with screaming I'm assuming not!), but if the goal of your practice is recovery, you can definitely find some great restorative classes & poses online - I'd be happy to recommend some if you need! : )

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    1. Ahh Danielle you are the best yoga resource ever! I wish you lived closer to us! :)

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  2. I think I have the same foam roller - Trigger Point? I also enjoy an easy yoga class post run. I had no idea Jillian Michaels had a yoga DVD :)

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  3. I make sure to roll every single day! And I really need to do yoga. Right now...King Cake that I brought home from New Orleans is killing me! There's only one piece left so it will be gone today thank goodness! Using the computer doesn't really seem to affect my sleep. A lot of nights I read on my tablet in bed and never have a problem going to sleep.

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    1. That is awesome, Mindy! I'm impressed - foam rolling is not so pleasant so I often skip it (this is Christine and I know that's so bad!). Mmmmm King Cake, so delicious. A coworker who is from LA brought one in and I had a teeny piece but then I had to walk away. Delicious!

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  4. I'm a regular protein shake girl but have truly never thought of putting ice cream in it for a treat! I don't know if I should thank you or be mad at you for suggesting it;). Thanks for the links to the foam rolling tips - I never know if I'm doing it right!!

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    1. Haha (this is Christine)...Mom taught me all these tricks and I just laughed. Only she would add ice cream to a protein shake and get away with it. :)

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  5. All great tips! I especially like the one about keeping your foam roller in plain sight...it's true, I forget sometimes, too!

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    1. We both started leaving our foam rollers "out" around the house so we see them and we've both gotten better about actually using them when they're visible. That whole outta sight, outta mind thing is so true especially when it's not a fun task!

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  6. I also uave my foam roller out so I don't forget to use it while I am watching tv. I do not have a grid foam roller though. I wonder if they do make a difference? Ice is another thing that I have been doing lately to soothe my aches and pains.

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    1. Foam rolling and TV are a good combination. I'm much more likely to foam roll if I'm distracted. I'm not sure if the type of roller makes much of a difference...they all seem to have some benefits.

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  7. Thanks for the reminder! I am the WORST when it comes to foam rolling, stretching, etc., and then I wonder why my legs are always tight. I think you're right -- the key is to be distracted. Otherwise, all I can do is ask myself "why am I putting myself through this agony again...?" ;)

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  8. In Boston training, I did yoga from Runner's World Yoga Center after the two speed workouts during the week and then soaked in the waterway after those weekend long runs. It was great for recovery and I assume injury prevention. It's getting so close! So exciting!

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    1. Soaking after the long runs is really important. I finally ordered wet suit booties today so I can stay in my pool for more than a minute at a time. It kills my feet, but otherwise, I think I could stay in a while!

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  9. This year I vowed to add regular yoga and strength training to my routine in order to prevent injury and hopefully become a better runner. I have a foam roller but only think to use it when I'm sore. I'm going to try your suggestion of leaving it in plain site and using it daily. Never thought to use it to help PREVENT soreness as well... duh! Thanks for the great tips!!

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    1. I'm still not getting the yoga in as much as I should, but the foam rolling and stretching is improving!

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