January 30, 2017

What Will Make Me a Better, Faster Stronger Athlete in 2017

Hello! I'm still moving along on my return to running plan and am up to running TWO WHOLE MILES. Yes, sarcastically because I have had a couple runs this week where I just want to keep going, but then my mind is like BUT THE PLAN and then I think about how I don't want to be injured or in a boot again so I stop. Being able to run 2 miles is way better than 0 miles. I am still trying to work on changing my running form which is proving to be hard and might not happen, but at least there are things I think of like squeezing my booty to engage my glutes every so often and lean forward a bit to prevent over striding.  

I have been really wary of registering for races even though I have 2 half marathons on the books in the spring because coming back from the injury and getting my mileage up is a slow process. Therefore I am still thinking about 2017 goals (besides not getting injured) as well as what I want to accomplish outside of fitness. So that post will be later. 

There are things I have been doing that I want to continue with as my mileage slowly but surely increases to make me a [harder] better, faster, stronger athlete.  

Yoga

I was always on this blog talking about how I need to do more yoga and how yoga is so great for runners. Finally completing Yoga Sculpt teacher training at CorePower Yoga and then starting to teach at the Harbor Point studio has been a little blessing. It gave me a nice outlet when I was in the boot and couldn't run. Also teaching has made me do yoga more besides the obvious reason. It helps that as an instructor I get free classes at CorePower (which is AMAZING), but it is also easier to practice on my own before or after I teach as well as take other classes when I am already at the studio. Besides the physical benefits, the mental and spiritual benefits for me have been missed and are much needed when I am busy with school and work. It's always good to be reminded to slow down, breathe, and stay present.  I am finally getting back into yoga and am loving it. 

corepoweryoga-federal-hill-whyiyoga

Stretching/ PT Exercises 

This one is kind of a no-brainer, but I need to carve out time at least 3x a week to continue with some of my theraband exercises from PT for my glutes and hips once I am no longer going on a regular basis. I also have been valuing a warm up and cooldown to my runs. For me that is walking a bit before and after a run. Stretching during the week is important to. I mostly stretched well after long runs during this past marathon training cycle, but taking the time multiple times during the week is so important. I like this quick stretching sequence from Runner's World. 


hamstring-stretch-miles-and-pace

Strength Training

I am slowly starting to add more strength training into my life. Having days on my plan where I am not supposed to be running but can cross-train has forced me to get back into the weight room. I forgot how good picking up and putting down heavy stuff can be. I've been doing some killer squats and lunges with weights at PT, but also want to focus on my core and upper body. My upper body lost some definition after strength training took a backseat during marathon training and frankly for much of the year before that started.

lift-heavy-stuff-peanut-butter-someecard
And running. Really too much to ask? 

I miss having more definition in my arms as well as feeling stronger. I also know that it makes me a stronger runner and overall athlete when I am lifting weights. With my future job as an occupational therapist who will have to support and transfer patients, it's also important to be strong. So strength training for the win all around!  Here's some good basic strength movements to get started that I often do when I'm in the gym without a plan. 

Is there anything you want do more of in your fitness routine this year? What is your favorite way to cross-train? 

12 comments:

  1. You know I am a huge fan of strength training--I truly believe that the strength training I do has kept me on the road. I also believe that it's the fountain of youth...so there's that!

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    1. Based on how strong you are-I believe it! And will keep lifting!

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  2. I will definitely focus more on strength training. I haven't been running in a long while and I'm anxious to get back at it. I know I need to be patient so I can run smarter.

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    1. Exactly-the patience and running smarter is so hard when you are just really anxious and excited to get back to your running routine again!

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  3. specifically the more squats i do, the stronger runner i am. (at least under my novice eye)

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    1. I believe it! My PT had me doing those, and I know I REALLY need to keep it up to make my lower body strong!

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  4. Well, considering I've pretty much only been walking.... there is a lot that I should add in! I've already slightly tweaked my hamstring on my second run back. DOH

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    1. Yikes, lady-stay healthy. Injuries are no fun.

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  5. i've been doing the theraband exercises before heading out the door for a run. Super easy, just walking sideways and forward and warming the hips up and then i'm done! Maybe that would be an easier way to add it into a regular routine?

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    1. That's a good idea-I need to pick a few to do before a run instead of trying to do it all after or squeeze it in other times.

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  6. I officially started half marathon training on Sunday, so I'm trying really, really hard to actually do my PT exercises now that it REALLY matters that I keep my foot/ankle/lower body in general happy. Fingers crossed for both of us that we can remember to keep it up! This training cycle, I plan to do three days of running and three days of cross training, one of which is the dance class I take weekly, but the other two of which will hopefully be split between yoga and strength training. I know once a week for each of those isn't much, but hopefully something will be better than nothing.

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    1. Yes girl, operation stay healthy 2017! I think that's a good idea-I'm hoping to at least do the same once I ramp up my running a little more.

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