Posts Tagged ‘ Healthy Running ’

Pilates Power

PilatesEvery time I read up on great exercises I can do to improve my running and come back from my injury I come across moves that I typically do in my pilates class. The only problem is I hadn’t gone to pilates in weeks. Knowing that every week that passed that I skipped my pilates class was a missed opportunity to improve on these areas, yesterday I decided I had to go to class that evening. I threw on my workout clothes, laced up my sneakers, grabbed my mat, and headed out.

I’d forgotten how refreshing going to class was. I felt rejuvenated head-to-toe. And sore! But a good sore, letting me know the exercises were working all the right muscles. It also reminded me how much I appreciate all the camaraderie and support I find there. My instructor is wonderful. Super sweet and encouraging with such a positive energy it’s impossible not to smile even when she’s pushing us through difficult movements. My fellow pilates goers were also quick to give me words of encouragement. I’m already excited to go back. I’ll be back to running before I know it! šŸ™‚

 

Top Ten Strength Training Exercises for Runners

KettleBellSquatWinter is a great time to focus on the weight room, building strong muscles that will keep you from injury and help you to become a more dynamic runner.

While I’m a big proponent of pilates for strengthening muscles, especially core muscles, I also like to incorporate weights into my strength training workouts. There are many exercises that are effective in building a stronger you, but below are my:

TOP TEN STRENGTH TRAINING EXERCISES FOR RUNNERS

Goblet Squat

1001-goblet-squat-483x300

 

 

 

Push-ups

Push-ups

 

 

 

 

Walking Lunge

walking-lunge

 

 

 

 

 

Single-Leg Squats

single-leg-squat

 

 

 

 

Single-Leg Deadlifts

single-leg-deadlift

 

 

 

 

Bulgarian Split-Squat

split-squat

 

 

 

 

 

Russian Twist

russian twist with medicine ball

 

 

 

Pull-ups

pull-ups

 

 

 

 

 

Back Extensions

backextension

 

 

 

 

Step-Ups

Dumbbell-StepUp

 

 

 

 

 

 

As I said, there are many more exercises that are wonderful and also effective for runners, but these are a great place to start. These focus on the entire body, but specifically legs and core. There are many different camps in regards to how often, how many reps, and how much weight one should lift, but I would recommend to start with 3 sets x 10 reps of enough weight that you can keep good form for each exercise while still taxing your muscles. If you can do all the reps with ease, you need to increase the weight. (Sidenote: Just last week I was doing the same exercise as a man twice my size but with a heavier weight!)

Happy running! šŸ™‚

Healthy (Injury Free) Running

As a sad, sad runner who is still working on recoperating from knee/ankle injuries suffered from pushing myself too hard, too fast, I am always interested in finding ways to learn from my mistakes as well as keep myself free from any further injuries.

I stretch regularly after my all my workouts (not just my runs), but stregthening your muscles is also crucial to staying injury-free. I ice every day – 15-20 min, although some recommend more often – and have been increasing my mileage/pace no more than 10% per week (yup, learned that the hard way).

IT Band Stretch

I have also heard the benefits of kenesio tape, which you may have seen at the Summer Olympics or on other athletes. It’s benefits are to add support and increase blood flow to the injured area.

Kinesio Tape

Check out Runner’s World for some more great videos and tips on staying healthy and injury free!

Recovery Time

Went for my first run in a week and a half – although it seems like a lot longer. My plan going in was to run for two miles at an 11:00 pace. When I make a plan for exercise I like to adhere to it as closely as I can and if for some reason I can’t I feel really guilty. But I’ve learned through my injury that part of becoming better is to listen to your body and not run through pain. Discomfort, okay, pain, no. Before last week I thought that I was just being weak and lazy by not running or working out as hard as I could. Instead of listening to my body’s pain I was injuring it further which led to me having to take the time off to fully recuperate.

I walked at brisk pace for 4 min then jogged at a 10:00 pace until my knee started aching. (I probably leaned to the side of caution as I didn’t want to repeat the extended time off from running again.) I finished by walking at a slow pace trying to lengthen my strides and stretch the muscles in my legs. The whole “running” experience was only 15 min, but it felt so good to run even if it was only a fraction of what I was running a couple weeks ago.

I’m taking today off from running and continuing to ice. Tomorrow I plan on running again for a short time. Have to remember to not increase my mileage or pace more than 10% a week! It’ll be hard, but I’ve realized I would much rather run a little than not be able to run at all. šŸ™‚