Monday, September 17th: OFF
My Monday work days typically start at 7 AM and end at 7 PM, and this pretty typical. So typically I get manage to get in whatever I need to. But on this day, I had focused solely on work. In hindsight, I should have spent a bit of time doing at least some foam rolling, because my legs were trashed. After a day of standing and moving around, they felt particularly bad on my walk home.
Tuesday, September 18th: yoga and running
Purpose: ProPose forward fold (uttanasana)
I had originally planned to do this workout before work just running on the road around Bethlehem with a headlamp prior to work. But like, I said, I was lazy, neglected foam rolling/stretching and made a mental excuse for myself about how much I work, blah, blah. But really, I missed out on an opportunity to do my workout. So instead practiced PrePose yoga in the morning in order to prepare myself to feel a bit better before the workout at night. My calves, hamstrings, and back felt the most tight, so I focused on that with my PrePose yoga progression. This helps to make sure that my pelvis and femurs are moving the way that they’re supposed to, because that’s kinda imperative for running. I’ll be posting more videos on PrePoseMethod.com, and eventually I’ll be creating series for runners! Oh. I finished with headstand. It feels so good on my legs.
I did the running workout in the evening after work. Ugh. I do not enjoy running at night. Actually, it’s kind of amazing how much resistance I feel toward it. You’d actually think I don’t like running. Once I got going it was ok. I was able to just focus on my turn over, what rep I was on, if both of my glutes were firing evenly. Spoiler: they don’t; the right one is the lazy side. I know many of my patients can identify with that ;) The workout itself was interesting in that I added an additional 30 sec to the workout. I was so aware of the minute that I would look down at my watch at 59 seconds almost every time. Sometimes if I tried to hold out, it would still be about 1:11 or so. The last 30 sec or so for the last 3 or 4 reps, I focused on my counting to 10. With each step I tried to make the foot placement, hip movement, arm swing, and muscle firing feel the same. It actually sped me up a bit too, though I tried to control the pace, realizing I’m running at 25k, not a 5k.
Wednesday, September 19th: yoga
Purpose: long duration yoga practice with emphasis on breathing
Ashtanga’s primary series up to the marichyasana 3
This practice, for me, was mostly about just breathing and calming my nervous system down. Mid-week is a great time to do that for me. It is so easy for me (and so many) to get fully engulfed in the wave of momentum of the week. It’s a lot of forward folding, which was a nice way to just let my head hang. At first my mind is filled with so much chatter, but eventually it subsides. It set me up for a good rest of the week.
Thursday, September 20th: strength
Purpose: level change/hip hinge, rotational core, lats
Warm up: foam roll quads, ITB, calves 1 min each, headstand 3x1 min
Front squat 6x5 30kg, alternating with windmills 4x10 18#
Supinated rows 3x10 15kg, alternating with 3x10 z press 5kg
Cool down: Foam roll: quads ITB, glutes 2 min each, brettzel 2.0, ½ supta virasana
My body is doing a lot of adjusting in terms of getting used to more consistent running, with more consistent elevation gain, with more consistent speed, so I’m trying to not blow out my legs. In the spring, I was comfortably front squatting 65k for 5. I’m not conditioned to do that now, and that is also not my goal. It’s really easy for me to pluck out one instant in time where one thing was “ideal” or “preferred” or “the best” and just try compare it in a vacuum to a current circumstance. I can’t really compare my front squat then when I was only doing strength training to my front squat now when I’m running, hiking, and haven’t regularly been lifting. Yet I still do, but I actually just try to not to engage with it too much at all. I don’t even try to “defend” my current self. I see that I’ve made that comparison and then just move on. Nothing good is coming from that, and it’s only distracting me from what I’m trying to do.
This workout is perfect in terms of what I’m trying to accomplish. I want to be able to make sure that I feel my glutes and hamstring contracting when I’m coming out of the front squat. It is great for my hip flexibility in making sure my hips are below my knees. If I’ve been negligent with stretching and foam rolling of my glutes and hip flexors and quads, then squatting becomes much more difficult for me. Then rows and z press are good for back strength to make sure that I’m staying as upright as possible while running and hiking.
Friday, September 21st: run
It was a special treat to be able to run before work, particularly during the fall, because the first light is only around 6:30/6:40 AM now. I saw so many deer on the perfectly crisp morning. I felt really good overall. Maybe it was starting my day that way, being in the woods, knowing it was Friday, or probably a bit of all of those. I was noticing how much easier it is to run the rocky, uphill portions at South Mountain. That was probably the best part.
When I was done I had to pretty quickly get to work. And here is where I need to be more diligent. When I plan my workouts, I need to plan the adequate amount of time to stretch afterward. Stretching afterward is the most effective time to increase the resting length of your muscles. Instead, I got in my car to go home to shower, and then I went to work to treat patients, where I’m either sitting or standing in a bent over position. That’s kind of the opposite of what I want to be doing. I could feel how much tighter my calves and hip flexors were getting as the hours progressed. I realize now that I need to make sure to emphasize to my patients how important it is to stretch immediately after running, because your body is most ready to improve its resting length. Next week, I am going to make sure to hold stretches for at least 1 minute for multiple reps following my run, before I even get in my car. Then I’ll stretch later in the day too.
Saturday, September 22nd: run
This week I added one mile to my longest run/hike, and originally, Ihad planned to do more elevation. However, I’m still getting my bearings with knowing where to add on elevation and how to plan that into my run. I was originally thinking of doing two loops of pulpit and pinnacle, but that would have increased my mileage and elevation too much. So I didn’t really add any more elevation this week relative to last. Oh. But I still ran faster this week, like much faster, like too fast. There was a decent amount of downhills to assist in that, but I still kind of missed the point. I couldn't help but be pleased that I could do that after the 9 mile run yesterday. During the end of this run, I could feel how burned out my quads were from all of the downhill. I went up the tiniest incline right before finishing my run, and I felt like I was going in slow motion.
After this run, I stretched my calves, hamstrings, and quads for 1 minute each for 2 rounds before getting in my car. This allowed my heart rate to come down, and I could feel the unraveling of my body. My quads and hip flexors were particularly tight from the downhills. I was happy I took the time to do it, because when i got out of the car after a 45 minute drive, I could actually stand upright. Later that day I foam rolled and stretched my quads and calves. I also stretched my glutes (piriformis stretch), since those muscles get so fatigued from jostling around on the rocks.
Sunday, September 23rd: yoga and strength
Purpose: long duration hip flexor/quad, posterior chain, thoracic extension
Surya Namaskar A x3 with 5 breaths in up dog (sun salutation A)
Surya Namaskar B x3 with 5 breaths in up dog (sun salutation B)
Padangushthasana (forward fold)
Padangushthasana with toes elevated
Pasarita padottasana 1 and 3 (wide leg straddle)
½ kneeling hip flexor stretch with posterior rotation
Lunge with knee flexed, posterior rotation
Reverse bridge with finger tips forward then back
Area Baddha Palma Paschimottanasana
½ supta virasana with opposite knee flexed, then extended
Mobility wheel for thoracic spine
Box stretch for triceps/lats with elbows extended then flexed with block
Urdhva Danurasana x5
Sarvangasana x1 min
Halasana x1 min
Sarvangasana x2 min
As you can see, this is a pretty long practice. I took this time to do at least 5-10 breaths in each pose. Particularly after running, my neck, thoracic spine, and rib cage area get kind of stuck. I find myself running a bit like a person seated with poor posture. My neck is a bit too extended with my chin forward; my thoracic spine is flexed with my shoulders draping on the sides of my rib cage. So it is nice to unwind it. Also it’s really important to practice slow, controlled breathing, because that isn’t exactly happening when I’m running up a tail, jumping from rock to rock. After that practice I was reminded how much I need yoga.
Purpose: just lift. Do something some level change/hip hinge, something for my back, and some flexibility work.
Warm up: foam roll quads, glutes, ITB, calves
Front squat 5x5 35k
Supinated rows 4x10 25k
Rear delt flies 4x10 2.5k
Lat/tricep stretch 3x30 sec
Then I did a bit of strength training, because I’m committed to 2x/week. I have still kept my volume and intensity pretty low. It actually looks pretty similar to what I did earlier in the week. I felt good. Oh. And I foam rolled. I did a ton of stretching in yoga, but there is definitely a difference in foam rolling vs stretching. I was able to localize those tight areas throughout my glute, quads, ITB, and calves. I was happy that I prioritized doing some strength training, considering I was more than happy to just skip it.
Things I’m happy about this week: lifting twice, foam rolling and stretching more, and
Things I want to work on: do a real warm up, increase elevation. I know that the point isn’t to get a ton of hiking/elevation, because I won’t need that around Blue Marsh. But I like the way it challenges my VO2 max and muscular endurance.
The Mobility-Doc Blog
Drs. Chloe Costigan and John Giacalone are both physical medicine specialists, former competitive athletes, and strength and conditioning coaches.