Week 1 is in the books! So here’s what I’ll do in my weekly post: I’ll obviously recap what my running workouts looked like, but I’ll also detail what I did in terms of my yoga practice, recovery work, and strength training. Then I’ll give a short little impression of the day and the week as a whole in terms of what worked and what needs tweaking. As always, feel free to comment and ask questions!
Monday, September 10th: Yoga
Purpose: posterior chain flexibility
Yoga is a great way to start my day. It is something that I can do when I get up early, and with the later sunrises, it doesn’t affect my ability to practice. Being someone that is pretty neurotic, it is so helpful to start my day with finding my breath and flexibility. That way I can come back to my breath and be figuratively flexibility throughout the rest of the day. That’s in theory of course ;)
While I’d much prefer the trails, I figured a weekday speed work would be able to increase my VO2 max given the time constraints of the week. Monday through Thursday, I’m practicing physical therapy 10-12 hours per day, and Fridays I treat patients 7-12/1 and then have meetings and do admin/managerial stuff in the afternoon. So this is perfect for me.
Wednesday, September 12th: Yoga and recovery work
Purpose: hip flexor/quad length
If this table makes no sense to you. That’s totally ok. It will make more sense. I co-created The PrePose Method which teaches you how to move mindfully in any activity. This is the PrePose Yoga progression. Click here to learn more!
Thursday, September 13th: Yoga and mobility
Purpose: thoracic extension and breathing
So this practice was all about relaxing and finding my breath. By Thursday, I’m already so amped up from the week, I find it really useful to try to calm myself a bit.
Friday, September 14th: yoga and strength
Yoga purpose: thoracic extension flexibility with shoulder external rotation and scapular protraction
This idea of shoulder ER, scapular protraction, and thoracic extension is something that I talk about a lot. It is so important if you’re going to be doing anything with your upper body, even swinging your arms while running. The better you’re able to position your shoulder and spine, the less likely you are to do that body-cross swing while running. That just wastes energy. You want to be moving forward, not side to side when you’re running. That seems obvious cognitively, but your body doesn’t always listen to that. Therefore, I work on it.
Strength purpose: finally start strength training again.
It is soooo easy for me to totally forget about strength training while running is in my forethought. I much prefer running and hiking. I like being outside. I do like weight training, though it inevitably falls by the wayside when I start doing any type of endurance activity. So let me try to be consistent with it. Clearly I wasn’t that consistent considering I only did 1 day this week. But next week will be 2. It felt good to front squat, though I knew not to push it considering I was going to be super sore. And yep. I was. Just in time for my long run/hike
This is why I like trail running. I like hiking and then running what’s runnable. I just love being out in nature for several hours. I’ve run/hiked for around 3 hours several times throughout the summer, and each time I try something slightly different when it comes to hydration and nutrition. I am someone who ran 15 mile long runs without water or food when I was in college. I also am aware of the fact that that was nearly a decade ago. So I take a 1.5 L pack and some salt tabs. I eat breakfast before hand too. I have taken some fig newtons and a lara bar before, but lately I hadn’t been eating it. I’m thinking that if i went any longer than 3 or 3.5 hours, that I’d need something more. So I’ll keep that in mind for the future. Suggestions are welcome!
By running at South Mountain, I could still get on the trails with some technical pieces and elevation while still being able to run the whole thing. I could definitely feel my legs from the previous day. That’s mostly, because I was lazy about actually doing anything to prepare myself to feel remotely good the next day. But surprisingly I warmed up pretty easily. I was definitely ready to be done. And you would have thought that I would have learned my lesson about not foam rolling or stretching after, but no. I may tell my patients all of these sorts of things, but sometimes I don’t even listen to myself when I know better. And I definitely paid for it after standing and cooking all day on Sunday afternoon. But, at least, the run was good!
Things I’ll do differently:
Overall, I’m really pleased with my first week particularly given the fact that I had just gotten back from vacation and was pretty jet lagged. Next week will build on this week with similar runs but will have an increase in volume or elevation or intensity. I’m already looking forward to it.
As always, please leave any comments or questions! You can also email email@example.com!
So I’ll just come out and say it: I’ve started training for a 25k trail race. (For those of who don’t think metric, that’s 15.5 miles or so.) I wanted to use this space to share my weekly training with you, but I first wanted to start by sharing a bit about myself in terms of my athletic background, my inspiration, and my training plan
I ran competitively for 10 years, and when I stopped racing, I pretty much thought that I was going to be done forever. To say that I was a headcase would be an understatement. I’m generally a less anxiety-ridden person (extra emphasis on generally and less). I’ve also been able to put racing and training into perspective. When i get into something, I get really into it to the point of total consumption. For 10+ years I only ran. Then I decided that I was inflexible so I started yoga, though running was still the most important part of my day. Then I decided that I was weak, so I almost exclusively did some type of weight training for 4ish years. I would still periodically come back to running, because one thing that I couldn’t deny was that I loved the feeling. Over the last few years, I’ve done a mix of running, yoga, and weight training with the addition of hiking, but even then, I would be consumed by 1 of them for a few months. Temperance is not a strong suit of mine.
More recently, I have been so inspired by so many of my patients. I hear about their training; I’m a part of their training and recovery; I get invested in their training and racing. First, it got me to transition some of my hiking to some running, and I quickly fell in love with trail running. So gradually, I’ve been doing a bit more of it. Well really, I’m kind of a weekend warrior. I choose to work long hours during the week, which leads to the majority of my running/hiking to the weekends. Regardless, I’ve been really enjoying these past 2 or 3 months. I’ve been enjoying telling my patients about it, and they’re all quick to ask what race I’m training for. Well nothing really. But over the past 3-4 weeks, with each passing inquiry, route planning, run, and discussion of my run, I’ve been getting more and more excited about trail running. It’s all because of my patients. The people that I’m helping are helping me.
My training plan
So since I’ve been feeling more inspired, I’ve been thinking about transitioning my running into something with more structure. I started thinking about it being more like training. I think training implies that there’s a plan. I currently have no plan; my schedule looks like 2 massive mileage days on the weekends (about 23-27 miles over 2 days, hence the weekend warrior status), 2-3 days of yoga, walking to/from work, and inconsistently lifting weights.
So I decided to create some structure and simultaneously practice some temperance. I regularly help my patients to balance their endurance activities with mobility and strength work. I should really be no exception, so I want my training to be balanced between running, yoga, and weight training. So here is the general idea:
3 days a week of running/hiking
4 days a week of yoga
2 days a week of weight training.
I will detail my training each week. I realize that what I have planned is a general template, and that it will need to be adapted. I only wrote 4 weeks right now for that very reason. I will get a baseline in this first month. At the end of each week, I’ll be writing a post about my training including what I did, how it went, how I felt, and if anything needs to be adjusted. I hope you follow along, and I welcome any comments, suggestions, and questions!
The Mobility-Doc Blog
Drs. Chloe Costigan and John Giacalone are both physical medicine specialists, former competitive athletes, and strength and conditioning coaches.