I’ve mentioned a few times how I have difficulty not doing too much and have had to take it down a notch at times. My running and fitness classes are not only my exercise but also my social time. If someone wants to try out a new class or hit up an extra yoga class, I am there! Sound familiar? This strategy worked for a long while until it didn’t anymore. I’ve learned a lot the last few months about taking better care of my body with some more focused recovery strategies. Today I am sharing a little of what I’ve been doing to keep myself up and running.
In the past, I’ve had a few races that I felt I trained and trained (perhaps overtrained) for only to end up being disappointed on race day. After many tearful discussions with my trainer, we re-evaluated some of my training techniques and I started listening to him more about more active recovery strategies. I’ve been doing a few things differently the past few months which I believe have really helped me.
- Taking a complete full day off one day a week-This is a tough one for me. I know I need the rest but I get so antsy sitting around. This is usually my grocery shopping, cooking or laundry day so not sitting just not exercising.
- Rest– I am really making an effort to go to bed earlier and have been trying to get close to 8 hours a sleep each weeknight.
- Massage-Regular massage is really important for me to keep those little aches from becoming big aches. I try to go every 2-3 weeks in addition to being stretched by my trainer twice a week.
- Stick to the plan-If my plan calls for a long run of 8 miles, I cannot do 10 miles. Sounds simple right? When out on a group run, it’s easy for me to feel peer pressure to go that extra mile if others are. I have been good about not doing that the past few months. I have to have easy run days too. Currently running 3 days per week with 3 strength train/cross train days.
- Foam rolling and stretching -Too many times I’ve been in a rush to get somewhere and put off the stretching only to realize at bedtime that I never did it. I always pay for that!
- Warm Epsom salt baths-This has been key for me post long runs. I’ve noticed a huge difference in my recovery.
- Fueling my workouts-Listening to my body and eating more carbs when I feel that I need them especially before long runs.
- Rest part 2–Reducing my training volume and and intensity the 3 weeks before my race. Essentially tapering yes. While increasing my run mileage, I simultaneously cut some of my cross training workouts the day before my long runs. Having fresher legs for my long runs has made a huge difference.
None of this is groundbreaking or new and I have done all of these things before just never all at once. I feel that the Epsom salt baths and the easier workout day before my long run have been key for me. It’s now been a year since I’ve had an injury and I can’t remember the last time I’ve felt this great running. (Insert happy face)
My next goal is to figure out how to add in my tri training into this plan.
These are the strategies that work me for prescribed by my trainer/coach they may not be right for you.