yaninasmarathon

See it, aim for it and do it. Stretch yourself and grow!

Archive for the tag “massage”

Back after a long silence….

So I have been rather remiss about writing my blog entries. I can honestly say I have been feeling that lethargic that I have not wanted to put thought to keyboard and type out anything for a while. Whether this has been because of the dreadful hay fever I had been having or simply a silly season overload, or even a delayed after marathon “depression” I am not sure, but never mind, I am back and feeling really good all of a sudden!

I had been trying so hard to stick to my training routine over Christmas and New Year, but we went away, and sleeping in a totally poked bed hurt my back, in fact it turns out I strained the QL muscle which was further aggravated by going ice skating after not being on the ice for about 15 years! One should not try and do things you were once flicking out easily, and trying to jump like the spring chicken you once were is seriously not a good idea!

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So with all the other “stuff” going on with me, this injury further put paid to a happy running effort, as well as putting me in the mood to write. Needless to say, everything felt like pulling teeth. That was, until yesterday!

I still had a sore back, I had been to my Chiropractor and finally booked a massage (why I had been holding off I have no idea) but things were not progressing quickly enough for me. The week prior I had had to leave my long run in the shoe box as there was no way I could do it. I was feeling pretty similar again on Saturday past, as I had tweaked my muscle drying myself getting out of the shower! So I was facing another cancelled long run. The discomfort in my back had been so sore that I could not sit properly. Anyway, I think my obstinacy took over as when Sunday dawned and the alarm went off, I hobbled out of bed and decided “sod that, I am running anyway, and I couldn’t care if I fall to pieces”. So I ate breakfast, applied a heat pack to the offending area and rubbed in some hot rub.  And set off for a hour and fifteen run…..

…….which hurt…..initially, and then started to ease, and then when I got back I felt quite good, and continued to feel better and better all day, which continued into today. I did my scheduled 30 minute jog this morning and all felt fine. I am now sitting almost comfortably in my chair, typing this and thinking to myself “Go figure!”

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Thoughts on a marathon journey

I think I have a slight cold…

This is not unusual following a race like a marathon. Apparently your immunity is lowered from excess physical exercise. While moderate exercise has been proven to help your immunity, more prolonged vigorous bouts actually lower it. This is because any exercise places your body under stress, and stress increases your levels of cortisol – not a good thing.

This last week has been interesting, I have felt quite tired and when I finally did go for a (very short) run, it felt like I was lugging around a sack of potatoes. Interestingly, over the weekend which we spent relaxing in Colville, I went for a short bike ride and that felt okay. My running muscles are obviously tired.

Anyway, I thought today I would make a list of the top 10 things that helped me on this marathon journey.

1)      Good support from family and friends – without this I would not have been able to complete the hours of training, and calmed my panicked mind, nor able to physically do the long runs.

2)      A well planned training schedule – I can’t stress the importance of getting those hours on your legs. Also you need a good running base before attempting such a long run. Your tendons and ligaments take about a year to become strong enough to handle the stresses of such a race. Sure, you can do the distance with less training, but your chances of getting injured are far greater. This becomes even more of an issue as you get older.

3)      Good nutrition and hydration throughout the whole process. During your training, during the race. Practice how you will do this during your training runs so on race day you have it all sorted.

4)      Get enough sleep.

5)      Self motivation and mind control. You need to be able to talk yourself through those last 10K of the race, and you need to be able to get yourself through your training runs. This means getting up early if needed, running in the rain and wind, even when you don’t feel like it.

6)      Good running shoes – a vitally important factor. Get your gait checked by a specialist running shop. And buy two pairs and rotate them.

7)      Get regular massages, they help to iron out any niggly bits before they grow into full blown problems. I also got regular chiropractic adjustments so do something like that as well.

8)      Don’t just run, especially if you are older. I do strength training as well to help with all the running muscles and build balance. Luckily for me, I am a personal trainer so I can set my own program, but I would highly recommend getting someone to draw up a proper program so you target the correct areas.

9)      Towards the end of your training journey, in the final four weeks, supplement your diet with anitoxidants like Vit C. I took 1000mg a day, and still got sick, but the severity was far less and I recovered a lot quicker. While I was ill, I took it three times a day!

10)   When race day comes, remember this is your race and enjoy it. Just do it the way you want, don’t get hung up on time if it is your first race. There are so many interesting things to see while running for such a long time, take time to look around and have fun. The spectators can really give you a boost along the way, and interacting with them helps to take your mind off the task at hand.

I have one final thing to add that I believe is very important. Have your post race plan in place a few weeks before, and plan your next challenge. It doesn’t have to be another marathon. So saying, I have mine and here it is:

http://www.colvilleconnection.co.nz/

On massage and breathing

I have had an interesting week which has made me realise even more that training for a marathon makes you aware of all sorts of things going on with your body than you would ever imagine. I get regular chiropractic adjustments, and last week the cramp in my diaphragm/abs seemed to be coming from my thoracic spine area. I also go for regular massage, and so had a massage on Wednesday. Here comes the interesting bit….

I have had cramp in my abs on my last three runs and have been trying to figure out what on earth it could be, thinking something out in my spine, tight muscles maybe? And, yes, I did have these things going on, but they were not the cause of it all….

During my massage, my therapist found that my muscle above my scapula was so tight that when she worked on it, it felt like she had stabbed me in the back with a sharp knife! This particular muscle had not been causing me any problems while running so I was confused as to how it could possibly have become so tight. The answer came the next day, when I went for my run.

I decided to give my planned run a miss as it was a speed-strength workout which consists of plyometric type exercises and 400m intervals, so as to give my upper back a rest. So I went for a slow 8K trot instead and discovered while doing that, that my breathing was all up the whack and I had quite literally forgotten how to breathe normally. Instead of my tummy going out on my in breath, my chest was going up, causing tension in, you guessed it, my upper back and shoulders! So I spent the rest of the run reprogramming my breath, and it required a lot of conscious thought on my behalf. I have not run since Thursday, have a short run today before 16K tomorrow, so I shall see how I go……hopefully it all settles down! There are only two weeks left until the big day!!

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