So today was pretty significant. Why? Well, I officially hit my goal of running 1,000 miles for 2016. I’m excited. Stoked. Proud. Teary-eyed. Although something even more important to note, I am still INJURY-FREE. I didn’t start off the year too well. I fucked up my hamstring tendon in ways that will make you scream in pain even when I sat down for an extended period of time. After months of physical therapy and finally listening to my body so I could heal properly, I did. I got back on that saddle (slowly) and got back to my normal running pace. It took more patience than I thought I had in me, but I did it and I have sworn that I would never let myself be in that position again. Now I can say that I’ve hit my 2016 fitness goal.
Here are some tips that I’ve followed to help keep my body healthy and injury-free. Keep in mind, I’m not a doctor and these tips are just things that have helped me.
- Don’t run every single day. I’ve found that if I pack on the miles every single day without rest or a cross training day, that’s a fast recipe to getting fucked up (queue IT band issues, tightness in my hamstring tendon). As a fellow runner, yes I can see you rolling your eyes from here. Just promise to fit in some non-running days here and there. Your legs will thank you.
- Add strength training to your routine. Doing this will not only help prevent injuries, but it will really amp up your speed. It certainly helped me shave off minutes per mile, especially when I was recovering from my injury and was working my way up to my normal speed again. Also, workout your muscles evenly. Don’t just focus on one muscle group.
- Rest. No, I don’t mean resting bitch face like the one you’re giving right now reading this. I mean really letting yourself recover, especially if you feel like something is off. Believe it or not, rest days are just as important as the days you kick your ass at the gym.
- Stretch. I’ve known some runners to not stretch at all and they swear that they’re fine…yeah well I said the same thing until I fucked up my hamstring. Just give it some time. Now that I’m more prone to injuring that tendon again, that does require me to do more stretching than others. Slacking off in this area is absolutely nonnegotiable whether you’re still healing or fully recovered from an injury. My physical therapist gave me a set of dynamic stretches to do before I run. Check them out here.
- Listen to your body. When your stuck seeing your physical therapist for at least an hour, you tend to engage in a lot of conversation. One thing she mentioned was that if more runners just listened to their bodies more, she’d probably be out of a job. Why? Because runners tend to literally run themselves into the ground until they really injure themselves and get stuck going to PT. The key is to fix what might be wrong before a major problem occurs. Feel some tightness during a run? Stomach upset? Slow down a little! Or really, just stop running altogether. Pay attention to your form, breathing, and make sure you’re hydrated.
Sure as a runner, you just want to get up and go for a run, but if you want to stay healthy and keep up with training then you need to run smart. By learning to run smart, I was able to still log 1,000 miles for this year. Had I ignored my doctor, skipped PT sessions, and didn’t take their advice to heart, my running shoes would be collecting dust in the closet right now. Instead, I get to wake up, STRETCH, run, STRETCH AGAIN, and then enjoy taking post-run selfies. 😀
(This is my it’s really cold out, and my face is still thawing out face.)
And really these tips can benefit a runner at any age. I’m a 20-something and no, stretching doesn’t make you weak, it actually makes you stronger. Again, don’t be dumb. Listen to your body, and run happy!
I’ve been hearing a lot about runners getting super burned out right about now while the heat has been at its peak (minus these past two glorious cooler days). I mean even if you love running each morning, knowing you have to put in so many miles each day to train for a marathon can be a little monotonous. It’s even worse when the only time you can get those miles in is after a rough day at work and the days are getting shorter and shorter! Here are some tips that help me lace up each day!
- I remind myself why I’m doing this to begin with! It’s really easy to get sidetracked when you’re on week 11 of training and your legs still feel like lead from yesterday’s longer run. I always wanted to train for a marathon, but with my cousin’s diagnosis, I decided to run for the cause in his honor. He’s the best.
- Think of all the time and effort you put in already! I mean really, quitting now is absolutely not an option. The marathon (for me) is less than two months away and race day will be here before I even know it! No time for slacking! Unless you’re Apollo…
- Get yourself some new running swag! I don’t know about you, but when I get a new pair of shoes or a new tank I can’t wait to go out on my next run. I mean just look at them….#shoegasm #ohyes
- Running with a training group was also the best decision I made. Not only does it hold you more accountable for sticking to your training schedule, it makes those super long runs tolerable and you meet new people who love to run! (This smiley photo was BEFORE we ran 17 miles…)
- Preventing any injuries no matter how bad they may be is also vital to staying motivated and keeping up with your schedule. I mean sure you can tape up your injury as you run but better to prevent any of that from happening! I purchased these recovery sandals by Oofos and they are HEAVEN on my feet after my runs. I highly suggest them.
- After being a part of this training group, some people are VERY against listening to music during a run, but for me…it’s quite necessary when I’m running alone. I always have one earbud out and keep the volume low. That being said, new playlist jams ALWAYS packs some extra punch into my runs and keeps me going strong from that first mile to my last.
The hubs has certainly been a trooper too throughout my training. I pretty much get home from work and skip out for my run before it gets too dark out. This also means that he’s pretty much on his own for dinner unless he wants to wait until I’m home from my run. These longer runs during the week are getting rough! I definitely envy those who have enough time to run in the mornings.
That being said, despite a few times where I really had to drag my ass out on a run after a long day at work, I haven’t officially faced a burnout. With this cooler weather we’ve been having, I can’t help but imagine that moment when I cross that finish line and soak in ALL of that glory! 😀 Here’s to hoping for a successful race day!
Whether you’re a newbie or veteran runner, we’ve all probably questioned why we feel the need to sign up for races that require us to run miles upon miles that will have us sore, sweating and aching until we hit the finish line. During a race, there are plenty of thoughts that go through a runner’s mind from the start to finish including and not limited to:
- Should I use the bathroom? Will I need to mid-race? Crap look at that line…forget it.
- Everyone better have signed up to be in the right wave. No time for stroller walkers.
- Bro, it’s mile one and you signed up to be in the 8-minute pace wave…why are you walking? STOP KILLING MY VIBE.
- Really, old guy in front of me? I’ll die if you cross the finish line before me.
- Why did I decide to do this to myself?
- I need water, no I need this race to end.
- (People are cheering you on saying you’re almost done when you’re only halfway into the race) Oh hell no.
- There better be bagels at the end of this.
- *Mile 11* I’m never doing this again.
- Keep on going, keep on going, Beyonce don’t fail me now.
- I can’t wait to eat back the calories I’ve burned during this assault on my body.
- Fuck you person who stops short only to walk right in front of me. Side-eyeing you all day long.
- I really rocked this playlist prep.
- My GPS better be tracking my pace properly or else I’ll throw down.
- I can’t wait to have that swag around my neck and take a million post-race selfies.
- I really want to ask that girl where she got that awesome running gear.
- Please IT band don’t give out on my now. Keep your shit together.
- *Crosses the finish line* I DID IT! I CAN’T WAIT TO DO THIS AGAIN!
As I’m currently prepping for some long distance races in the near future, many of these thoughts cross my mind, but unfortunately my prep runs don’t always end with awesome swag and a bagel at the end. #Runnerlife.
Latest Post-race selfie. Rocked.
What are some thoughts you have throughout a long distance race?!