Monday, September 24: off
So yeah, you know how I said that I should really prioritize my recovery better?? Yeah. Well, I didn’t. I have a lot of fun work projects going on with the PrePose Method that I co-created. We have a yoga retreat coming up. We’re developing content for online programs. (PS there is a series specifically for runners.) All that being said, I just focused on treating my patients and other work related tasks. When I got home at 8 PM, I knew I just wanted to make dinner, shower, and go to bed. But I also gave myself this day, knowing that other days I will prioritize it. Yeah, I definitely could have made time, but I didn’t WANT to make time. I really just didn’t want anything else on my to-do list. And that’s ok. But I knew it would be on my to-do list the rest of the week.
Tuesday, September 25: strength training
Purpose: improving thoracic spine and shoulder mobility
PrePose overhead progression
This is one of my favorite warm ups. If you have good overhead mobility, you probably have decent thoracic spine mobility. This is so critical for running. You want to more easily stay upright while running? You want to breath more easily while running? You want to carry your vest filled with 1.5L of water? Yeah, then you need adequate thoracic spine flexibility. I love this progression.
Purpose: level change, core, upper back
Warm up: foam roll glutes, quads, Crab walk 3x50’, supine shoulder ext walk out 3x10
Workout: Pause FS 5x3x3 sec 30k, alternating with windmills 4x10 18#
Cool down: tricep/lat stretch 5x1 min, hamstring/calf stretch 3x30 sec, fire log stretch 3x30 sec
As you can see these strength training workouts are barely even workouts. However, I am focusing this first month on challenging more of my flexibility and reacclimating my body to level change activities. It’s not going to take much to get my body to a threshold where this feels somewhat challenging. I am really focusing on the quality of the movement too. I paused in the bottom of the front squat to make sure that I was contracting my glutes, hamstrings, and quads evenly as I was coming up. My right side tends to be my tighter and lazier side, so I can feel that I start shifting to the left side. I try to be deliberate about pushing my right foot into the ground and consciously thinking about contracting my glute, hamstring, and quad throughout the entire motion. This will translate to hiking or running when I start to get fatigued and find that I’m mostly pushing off of my left side.
Wednesday, September 26th: run
Thursday, September 27th: yoga
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)
This was a short, quick practice just to get me breathing and moving. Admittedly, I was a bit distracted, and that’s one of the reason I practice yoga. My mind was busy with the weekend’s upcoming Olympic weightlifting competition that we run. I was thinking about my patients, making cookies for the competition, and setting up the food area. By the time that I got about ¾ of the way through, my mind started to settle a bit. I knew that if I kept recentering my attention to my movement and breath then my mind’s speed would slow down and I’d become more focused on what I was doing.
That’s what I love so much about yoga and running, specifically running on trails. You have to be mindful of what you’re doing. (Or else you’ll fall ha.) This practice reminded me that as I’m checking off my checklist that I need to be focused on what I’m doing, and ultimately continually refocus when I get distracted (because I definitely will.) It’s more beneficial to be thinking of the one thing you're doing on a checklist than thinking about all of the other things on the checklist as you're doing the one thing. You just kind of end up doing everything less than optimally. So I continue to remind myself to recenter.
Friday, September 28th: run
Saturday, September 29th: strength training
Purpose: level change, posterior chain strengthening, back strengthening
Warm up: umm… I’m lazy. Kinda foam rolled and stretched in a squat position
Workout: Front squat 7x5 at 35k, alternating with 4x12 posterior delt flies 2.5k
Good mornings 3x12 25k
Supinated rows 3x15 20k
I was increasing my mileage, I could definitely tell that my legs were feeling it. That’s why it was even more important to be to be specific about what I was doing in this workout. Like I’ve said in pretty much every workout commentary about front squatting, I was analyzing the symmetry in the joint motion and muscle activation throughout the motion. I continued to keep it simple with level change/squatting, posterior chain strengthening, and some back/shoulder work. We did this after the competition was over, so neither John nor I were looking for a long workout. I stretched a bit before leaving.
Sunday, September 30th: run
Things I’m happy about this week:
Prioritizing more mobility work. I did less yoga, but I did more mobility work. In the way that I practice, they overlap.
Being flexible and adaptable with my training! I am a rigid person who likes structure and control, and I know that about myself. Sometimes it’s useful; sometimes (read: often) it’s detrimental. But in the more recent years and months, I’ve learned to be more flexible, and changing my program to suit the needs for the race and the logistics of my schedule is another expression of that.
Thing I want to change:
I spoke a bit about needing to increase my continuous running time to prepare for the course at Blue Marsh Lake. That got me thinking about other changes that I should make in my program.
I realized that I shouldn’t have designed my plan so that my highest mileage day and largest elevation gain day are in the same day. Part of that is a product of the trails, in that if I am going to increase my elevation, I’ll inherently gain more mileage based on the routes. But some if it is realizing that I’m not at that point quite yet where I can be increasing both on the same day. As I get more of a base, I’m sure I’ll be fine, but I realized that I needed to rework it. I had originally put this in, because that is kind of how I got into trail running. One day a week, I would go for a hike and then run where I could when it was flat or I was going down hill. Now that I’m running more frequently, I need to allow my body to accommodate to the increased mileage.
Also I decided that my cycle will be 6 weeks instead of 4. Part that is drawing on my experience with strength training. When you’re just building a base, you can make the cycles longer and you don’t need a true deload after 4 weeks, because you’re building more a base. Also, logistically speaking, I will be in San Francisco, visiting my brother and his girlfriend, during the end of week 6. That will be a good time to get in a hike at Muir Woods with John and go on one medium distance run.
The Mobility-Doc Blog
Drs. Chloe Costigan and John Giacalone are both physical medicine specialists, former competitive athletes, and strength and conditioning coaches.