Posts Tagged ‘ workout ’

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! 🙂

 

On the Mend?

runstrongToday my hip flexor felt a lot better. I’m hoping that it’s not temporary, but that it’s truly on the mend. Every day I think of ways to expedite the healing process and get back on the road running. Yesterday I focused on my legs and, because it wasn’t causing me any pain, worked them to fatigue – i.e. I did exercises until my legs felt like jelly.

I researched leg exercises that might help me strength the weak areas of my legs – namely, my glutes and hip abductors and aductors. These included side squats, split squats, and hip ab/ad machine. The side squats were especially challenging, but I stuck them out because they focus on all the areas of my legs that are the weakest.

I don’t know if it’s strange or not but I feel like I’ve gotten a good leg workout if it hurts to sit down or walk down stairs the next couple of days. 🙂

I’ve also been laying off any cardio – SO, SO, SO hard to do! – until my legs get to a point where I can run without pain. I really think it’s been helping, so as hard as it is, I just keep reminding myself that it’s all for the long term benefits.

Happy running! 🙂

 

Are Newtons the Next Running Craze?

   I have a confession to make. I’m a sucker when it comes to neon workout gear. So when I saw the latest issue of Runner’s World and its article on Newtons running shoes with all the glossy, brightly colored photos of brand spanking new shoes, I was a goner. Utterly. Hopelessly. Done for. I am that person that advertisers hope to attract. The raccoons of the human race. The ones that see something bright and shiny and must have it. Ok, maybe I’m not that bad, but that was my initial reaction. And that coupled with my interest and intrigue with the concept of minimalist running, made me want to read all about Danny Abshire and his neon shoes.

Without reiterating the entire article, Abshire wanted to make a shoe that would “Make you run like you were born to run” (a slogan on the Newton website). After years of research and development, Abshire made the latest addition to the Newton family of shoes, one that has a lower heel-to-toe drop that promotes a forefoot strike. Ideally, one should run on her forefoot not her heel which, developed properly, will make you more efficient and less prone to injury.

One of the problems of transitioning from a cushioned shoe to a minimalist one (be it a pair of Vibrams or Newtons) is that users are often still running with the same gait as before and therefore not running more naturally and still run the risk of injury. But if a shoe can almost force your gait to change, like the Newton heel drop design, then maybe that’s a good thing. I’m not convinced one way or the other in regards to minimalist shoes vs. more cushioned running shoes, but I do think that Newtons are going in the right direction. Maybe my next pair of running shoes will be a pair of neon Newtons. 😀

Happy running!

 

 

Is It Running Season Yet?

   My Pilates teacher asked me during my last class if it was running season yet to which I replied – “It’s always running season!” But I do understand where she’s coming from. It’s tough running, or doing anything really, outside during the short, cold winter days. Especially for those who just beginning to run and aren’t fully into the addictive power of the sport yet.  Now, as the days grow longer and the weather warmer it’s easier to get outside and be active.

But if you still need motivation to move from your bum and into a healthier life, here are some things that might give you the kick you need.

1. New workout gear – I’m not saying to go buy an entire new fitness wardrobe, but having clothes/shoes that make you feel good about getting outside for a run/bike/swim. I highly recommend going to a running or sports store to try gear on first or read reviews before purchasing as every person’s body is different and you want the best support and comfort to make your workouts as enjoyable as possible.

2. Find a routine – There are some great programs for those looking for that extra push toward their fitness goals. For example: Couch To 5k (C25K) that encourages participates to ease slowly into running to prevent injuries and burnout from going too hard, too fast.

3. Workout Buddies – Find a friend to partner up with and get your butt in gear. Having someone who will keep you accountable when you don’t feel like working out is great motivation to stick to your plan. If none of your friends schedules jive with yours then hit up your local gym, running or biking store where there are often group runs, rides, or people searching for workout buddies.

4. Rewards – I know how easy it is to get sidetracked on the way to reach your fitness goals, so build in little rewards along the way to keep you motivated. A new piece of clothing, a new download for your Kindle, or some dark chocolate. 🙂

5. Setting a goal – Having a goal helps in making sure you stick to the habit of exercising on a regular basis. Maybe, like with the C25K, you sign up for a race in a couple months, or a bike ride or a sprint triathlon (a very short swim, bike, run tri).

Most importantly – have fun!!! Make your workouts fun and before you know it you’ll be wanting to get out and moving! 😀