Days 11 & 12: Fall in Love with Loving Yourself

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After we’re done with our long run, we’re usually off and running in another direction. Taking care of family, our kids sporting events, groceries for the upcoming week, cleaning the house, yard work…the “to do” list never seems to end. Whatever direction life takes you, it’s rarely the one that leads to time for pampering ourselves.

Let’s face it, after we’ve “selfishly” taken the time to run, now we feel like we have to give the rest of our time to everyone else. There’s nothing wrong with that, but we also need to find a little more time to pamper ourselves so we are ready to GO GO GO in the upcoming days.

So what does pampering ourselves look like? Most of them we keep up with but let’s go over them again…just in case. 🙂

  1. Strength training: I sound like a broken record right? 😉 We already do lots of strength training, and I am not suggesting we do even more on our long run days. But keeping this important part of the program top of mind is one way to ensure we stay injury-free. Staying injury-free means no PT, no pain, no sidelining injury-related stuff you’d rather live without. Am I right? Here’s the thing, I am firmly in the camp of “strength training as pampering” when it comes to injury prevention. No one wants to be in a boot. But no, don’t go home and do more strength training after your long run.
  2. Get cozy with your foam roller: It might be a stretch to call foam rolling “pampering ourself,” but I’m putting it in here along with strength training because any way to not be injured is the best way to be pampered. Trust me! Pamper yourself with the foam roller, you won’t regret it.
  3. Nourish your body with good food: Throughout our training, we’re burning tons of calories and putting our body through the wringer. Every run doesn’t feel hard, but if you’re doing speed work, hill work, or long runs, our body is working hard. There is no better way to pamper ourself than through food during a training cycle. If you nourish your body with good foods, your body will thank you. Fruits, vegetables, whole grains, lean proteins, and minimally processed foods are the way to go. DON’T pamper yourself by filling your body with crap. You’ve just had a great workout, don’t go and ruin it.
  4. Take Epson Salt baths: Once you get past the stigma of Epsom salts being for old people, an Epsom salt bath is truly a luxurious by-product of a tough training day. If your limbs are achy, relax in a nice warm bath. Add the salts and voila! Pampering at its finest.
  5. Get a massage: After a well-earned race medal, or a grueling long training run, there is no better way to pamper yourself than with a massage. Do yourself a favor — schedule a massage for after a tough workout or hard race. You’ve been training hard. You’ve likely ran through some pain and some tears. Treat yourself. You deserve it.
  6. Practice yoga and do your stretching: Another no brainer but one we need a constant reminder of. Stretching out our muscles lengthens them and allows them room to breathe. After we workout, no matter how long we are on our feet, our legs need that room to breathe. Don’t deny them, they will revolt!
  7. RELAX!: Since we have so many other responsibilities, it’s hard to find the time to sit down and relax. But resting is another very important part of the program. Don’t sit down on the couch after a long run and fail to move again for 12 hours. That will make you tight and stiff. But DO take the time to sit down, rest, and take the pressure off your legs. Not only will your body thank you, but your mind needs a break too.

Mentally, spiritually, and physically…we must fall in love with taking care of ourselves. Because if we do, we are happier, healthier, have more energy…all the things that allow us to be the best we can be so we can take care of everyone else too.

Before we get to pamper ourselves…it’s time to get our sweat on! As always, no matter what your workout calls for. Give it all you’ve got. 1 mile, 5 miles, 10 miles or 20…remember to run the mile you are in.

Take it one step at a time. Channel your #CoreCrew strength and don’t stop till you’re done!

Day 11: Leg Swings, Hip Hurdles & Lunge Matrix, Long Run, :60 Wall Sit, Legs up the wall (5-15 minutes and another great way to pamper your legs), Roll and stretch! 

7 Key Stretches for Runners

Day 12: Active Recovery + Yoga for Runners/Stretching

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