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If you’ve been reading my blog, you already know that I’m the type of person who runs despite bad weather, lack of motivation, travel plans or other factors (so long as it’s safe), and that I always strive to push myself as hard as possible during races and other challenging runs.

But what about those days when my body just isn’t feeling right? Like this morning, for instance?

Respecting your body’s signals is a key part to training wisely and to reaching your running goals – or, as Bart Yasso proclaims in this video on his three running commandments, “Rest is part of training.” If you ignore a niggle and proceed as normal hoping it will go away on its own, or if you train every day instead of giving yourself at least one day of crucial rest, you will certainly risk injury. In other words, “Don’t run too far. Don’t run too often. Don’t run too fast.

Does all this sound a bit obvious? Sure, in theory it might. But in practice, how many times have you ignored these simple rules and pushed yourself just a little too much, or gone on that run you probably should have skipped, because you really REALLY wanted to get out there? I certainly am guilty…there have been days when I KNEW that going on a particular run would ultimately set me back, but I still struggled to keep myself from doing it. Thankfully, and in part because I worked with a great coach who specializes in injury prevention, I’m training more wisely these days! Quality over quantity, as with many things…

Now that I’m not working with my coach, I have to be very self-disciplined when it comes to heeding my body’s signals. However, it’s not always clear what you should do. For example, when I woke up this morning feeling a bit sore, I wondered whether or not I should postpone my VO2 max session to another day.  The soreness was more general (from spin class and weights) than acute, but I had experienced shin pain the previous week after doing the same session, which concerned me. I also shouldn’t have done my lower body strength training the day before a hard run – better to have a day in between, and do an easy run instead. In the end, I decided to go ahead and do it, because I felt okay overall and didn’t want to mess up my training schedule.

After a pretty strong session and nice long stretch, I was very pleased with myself. But now, hours later, I’m feeling it – and not in a good way. My shins are tight again, and my right ankle is sore. Nothing extreme by any means, but still, NOT GOOD. Something that can grow far worse if I’m not careful.

So what am I going to do?

Ice the sore areas, stretch, and NOT run home as planned. Get a good night’s sleep, have a nutritious dinner, and NOT run tomorrow as planned. Instead, I’ll go to yoga class, which I had hoped to do anyway, followed by some upper-body strength training. Friday will remain my rest day, as scheduled, and then, I hope, I will be recovered enough to tackle a tough training weekend, which includes a hill interval session and a 100min off-road long run. But if I still don’t feel great, I have to remind myself – Rest is part of training – and do a gentler activity instead. The frustration I will feel from a missed run certainly can’t compare to the potential disappointment of having to pull out of my half-marathon! I’ve never pulled out of a race, and I hope to keep it that way…

Lastly, I’m going to have a sports massage on Tuesday morning. The verdict is still out as to whether or not sports massage actually improves running performance, but in my opinion, it’s CRUCIAL. Hour-long sessions every 3-4 weeks got me through months of tough marathon training, not to mention the fact that I simply LOVE massage, of any type. It’s pricey, but it’s my main treat to myself. Well, not counting my mission to travel as much as possible and my running gear addiction… 🙂

So my goal for the rest of the week is to keep the Big Picture in sight – and to really enjoy my next two days of “training,” which shouldn’t be too difficult at all!!

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Welcome to FFR

Hi, I'm Claire! I’m a Registered Dietitian Nutritionist (MS, RD, CDN) and a Road Runners Club of America certified coach. This is where I share my latest adventures in running, racing, food & travel! If you'd like to work with me, please visit my professional website, Eat for Endurance.

My PRs

Marathon (Chicago): 3:33:18
Boston Marathon: 3:36:14
Half-Marathon: 1:37:21
10M: 1:14:52
10k: 44:52

My latest photos

Another solid 30min run, this time on the treadmill post PT session @finishlinept. Did 5min easy, 20min @ slightly faster than MP (8:00min/mile), 5min easy. Next time, bumping up to 35min! After months of frustration and feeling like I wasn’t making much progress, I finally see and feel my body getting stronger. Gotta trust the process. Thx Finish Line PT! Snack attack! Half avo sliced on @wasausa crackers with feta cheese. Hit the spot. 👍🏻👍🏻 Sunday morning = pancakes! Usually I make them from scratch, but I had another @kodiakcakes mix to try - pumpkin & flax. Made with an egg to bump up the protein, and added berries instead of syrup, since there already was a little sugar in there. Super tasty! And of course you know 👶🏻 who stole a few bites. 😀 (FYI - pictured is two servings). Why wait until lunch to eat your veggies? Breakfast scramble with 2 eggs, 1/2 cup broccoli, sprinkle of feta cheese, sundried tomatoes, and 1/3 cup black beans with 1/4 avo on top and 1/2 cara cara orange on the side (they are amazing right now). #eatforendurance Refuses to eat her own delicious breakfast, proceeds to try to steal mine with every bite! 🤣 Cottage cheese (full fat, she’s a big fan like me), cinnamon, banana, coconut flakes & seeds. My clients often hear me talk about meal composition and balancing macronutrients, and I know many buy lunch on workdays from fast, “healthy” places like Sweetgreen, Dig Inn etc, so I wanted to provide a visual of how I make my plate. Here’s my lunch yesterday from @thelittlebeet: 1/2 plate of non-starchy veg (kale and Brussels sprouts), ~ a quarter is something starchy and rich in fiber (I chose lentils, as they also give protein; exact portion rec for starch will vary based on your goals/needs, but watch out here as the portions they give esp with grains can be large), and a healthy protein source (I chose Salmon for a dose of omega-3’s), with additional fat from oils in the veg, slivered almonds and tahini sauce. Super filling, delicious and nutritionally balanced meal! My one complaint to the recipe team - why were there so many dried cranberries in the kale? Sure a few for taste, but there were a ton and it adds so much sugar (I plucked many of them out)! #eatforendurance #thelittlebeet #review #balancednotclean

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