Monday, April 04, 2011

Keys to my Karma

Thank you lululemon athletica for including me to be part of your blog featuring the lululemon ambassadors from all over "on the road to Boston Marathon".  I love being an ambassador for lululemon athletica in Wayne, PA it has been such a positive experience! And the lemons asked me to be an Ambassador again for this year! It was in my fortune.... fortune cookie that is.

the lululemon 8 mile smile!
Our run club at the Wayne store is training for the Broad Street Run- 10 miles. This is a sold- out and a very popular race in Philadelphia. Its a great group of people! Stoked for their finish line experience. I enjoy sharing tips on the "run". I love working with people who want to achieve a goal. Its all in the training.. its ALL in the training. I remember the phrase, "practice makes perfect" when growing up. Practice, timing, and experience makes for Phenomenal! - is what I refer to now. (Have you read Malcolm Gladwell's Outliers - I highly recommend it if you are looking to be successful at anything)

Ok.. so let me share some of my "out of the norm" training tips from my Marathon Training (can be applied to Broad Street or Half Marathon). This is not take away from the greats of trainers out there.. just dare to be a different, add balance to your training, and do whats works BEST for you!

The Run portion:
I am a believer of 3 days during the week, and one long run on the weekend (if you work on the weekends.. your long run can be switched) The mid-week runs are just as important as the long run. One of those mid-week runs should be a speed workout or hill repeat workout.
The other days should include cross training... swim, bike, yoga, weights, or what ever you love to do in addition to running. Be flexible & don't throw the towel in if you miss one or 2 runs.. pick it back up where you left off in your last run- same if you become ill)
Typical week: Tues: speed/track workout =30-45 mins; Wed or Thurs: 60-90min run; Friday: 30 min tempo run; Sunday: 10 miles (depending on where you are during your training) For your long run - I am believer of throw your watch away, and just complete the mileage on the schedule & its very important to make sure your run route has food, water, and bathrooms.
Me? I would eat a non-fatty meal the night before. Get up, drink green tea, glass of water with electrolyte tablet & eat a banana. About halfway thru my 16 mile run (mile 8), I make a quick stop at a gas station and get an apple juice - 240 calories- contains potassium, some sodium, & Vitamin C- it quenches my thirst & tastes better than gatorade or a 100 cal gel packet-I always have at least one gel on me during my runs.
The long training run- some people never peak over 20 miles during marathon training. My longest run will be at least 24 miles (with the gradual training program leading up to 24 miles that includes a couple of 20 and 22 mile runs). I personally think 6.2 miles is a long distance to introduce to your body on marathon day!

Post Long Run
Cool down walk with my dog, Recovery shake, Shower, Foam Roller & Hot Tea. In that order (sometimes the recovery shake is in my hand as I am walking Vinny)
Cool down Walk- or Jog is important after long. Its very bad for your heart & legs to just "stop", and then sit for a while. Vinny, my dog, gets super excited to see me after my run because he knows "its a walk in the park" time.
Recovery Shake: Whey Protein (20g of protein), 1 banana, handful of frozen berries, 1 cup of coconut water or rice milk.
Shower: I have been training in the winter.. this helps normalize my temperature and feels good on the muscles. No ice baths for me. I prefer the pool or just a salt bath if I am that sore.
Do I wear compression socks? no, I wear skinny jeans. Seriously.
I feel that a pool or doing a handstand would make for a better recovery on my legs. This is my gut feeling. I am sure there are many studies to tell me otherwise. But I worked in healthcare for 20 years now (listening to doctors' teach about their specialties is my job) and compression leggings are used after cardiac caths & compression sleeves are for cancer heroes with lymphadema. Athletes are healthy individuals.. and there is a reason that our own bodies need to recover naturally & on our own time. My 2 cents worth there.
Foam Roller: Every runner must have one of these! My friend Sharon gave me one about 3 years ago. She said to me: Wake up, Foam roller, brush teeth- everyday. She has personally saved my ITB & upper back.
Hot Tea: I prefer tea over coffee, and I prefer non-glued green tea bags. (tea will have its own seperate blog).
Pedicure- O.P.I's color "keys to my karma" & Vinny- my cool down dog!
Phenomenal Effects- the keys to Karma - Self Love portion of training:
Ok lets face it.. some people think running 10, 16, 20, 26.2 miles is crazy and sooo hard on one's body.
It is, especially if its on concrete, paved roads, and extreme temperatures.
So every good runner (athlete), needs to truly learn "self love". Your body is the most valuable piece of real estate on earth. Take good care of your body, and it will take good care of you.
Please don't let anyone tell you that you are being selfish or "pampering" yourself when you are running, working out, training, or any of the following things I am about to list because this is about your wellness, preventitive medicine, maintenance for life, and taking care of yourself... because only you hold the key to your karma- no one else.
Take it to the trails & enjoy the scenery.
Go off-road-  run on a trail- gravel, mulch, or dirt path- take a path that is not paved. This will work your muscles more than your joints when you run. Your joints will learn how to "spring" rather than pound on the run. You will have fresh air (no cars)  that will enhance your breathing and a scenic route to mentally let go. Always go with a partner or a few people when you run on the trails.
Pedicures- will help you keep your toe nails & feet pretty. Ask for an extra 10 mins for $10 on the massage portion. The tendons around your feet need this attention as it will help keep them flexible. Flexible ankles make for faster times, and better strides. Go for the mani too... especially if there is a special! ( I often skip the mani and get the extra 10 for budget sakes). When to get one? After a run is often best- but not if you have any open blisters on your feet- wait til it heals. To keep your toe nails. Cut your toe nails yourself before the pedi, and keep them short (no white length).
Massage- find yourself a "sports massage therapist". Ask your local running store or lululemon for names. During marathon training, you should have one at least every 2 weeks as you get into your 20 mile runs. This helps keep the ITB loose, less pain on the knees, better recovery, and helps you relax.
Swim- don't know how to swim? learn. Just another reason you should get into the pool. Being submerged in a pool elevates your muscles, helps reduce any inflammation by cooling your entire body, easier on the joints, and is a life-saving sport. Swimming and yoga are runners' saviors.
pigeon posing
Yoga- will strengthen and lengthen your muscles- ALL areas. And there are so many poses that help runners stretch out their legs for a better run stride, and better run posture. Besides everyone needs to go into savasana!

Naps- Sleep is the bodies' natural way of recovering. Siestas should be mandatory or I need to move Spain. America frowns on naps or resting.. and we work hard. we are very active and so much stimuli in our environment. Our bodies need to stop, re-charge and the nap is a natural drug prescription for healing (w/out the cost of a pharma ad) But no one will tell you this.. as it may conflict "Tired?- here take a pill, or drink this...", no one will say "take a nap"- unless you're an athlete. Most professional athletes will schedule naps into their training as "business meetings". Ryan Hall is one of these athletes. 8 hours of sleep is recommended.
Something to Look Forward to at the Finish Line: This is entirely up to you... but some of my favorite things that help me get to the finish line is that thought of a cold drink, brunch w/ mimosas, ben & jerry's, or a kiss and a hug from my man. Whatever you desire- make sure you get it when you finish! You derserve a nice treat for achieving your goal!

Marathons need a Veuve Cliquot bar at the finish line (Paris 2012?). Sushi is my pre-race meal for marathons & triathlons.

Are you asking "when am I going to find the time do these things or take a nap or run 20 miles?" 
Well, same as you find the time to grocery shop, pump gas in your car, take a bath, and put money into (or withdraw from) the bank. Starts with a want to do something for your self, self love. Create the time. Practice what you want, timing is everything, and you have the experience to pull it all together... Just Go For It! Its your Karma.