August – Days 11 & 12: In the Long Run…

The weekends are our chance to stretch our legs and go long, but there’s more than just running involved if you want to stay healthy, injury free AND feeling good for the week to come. Read through the info below now and check out what’s in store for us over the next couple days!

In the long run…

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It doesn’t matter what “long run” means to you. It can mean 2-4 miles, 7 miles, 10 miles, 15 miles, 20 miles…it’s relative to where you are right now.

It doesn’t matter how fast you go. In fact, it’s more important to slow down and find a pace where you can talk easily and breathe without huffing and puffing. To go the distance, especially a “new to you” distance, the slower pace is imperative for building aerobic endurance and avoiding injuries.

In the end, the only thing that really matters is going the distance you told yourself you could reach.

So no matter what that distance is, get ready for it. Plan your route, your running posse, your nutrition and fuel, your hydration. Plan ahead so you make it happen. Plan ahead so you can go the distance!

Day 11 Exercises: Scroll down for descriptions and instructions on warm up drills and legs up the wall

  • Warm up with Leg Swings and Hip Hurdles
  • Long Run
  • :60 Wall Sit & :60 Plank
  • Legs up the Wall (5 – 15 minutes)
  • Roll your glutes, quads, hamstrings and calves
  • 7 Key Stretches for Runners

Day 12 Exercises: Active Recovery / Yoga for Runners

Active Recovery – An active recovery day is like a short cat nap that allows you to feel good for the rest of the day. The day after your long run, you are including activity at an easy intensity to get blood flowing to your muscles to help them recover quicker. You can do a SHORT & SLOW run (20-30 min at an easy pace) or low impact activities like cycling, swimming, or yoga to complement the demands of your high-impact running workouts.

Yoga for Runners: Options with links are below

Leg Swings: “Leg Swings” are one of the moves featured in the Active Warmup circuit from Runner’s World, a workout designed to get your body loose and ready to run!

Hip Hurdles: This dynamic warm up exercise opens up our hips and gets us ready for our long runs. I do this before EVERY run…not just long runs! Watch the video below, then remember that you DO NOT need a hurdle. Hold onto your car, a wall, a bench…whatever is close by and pretend you have a hurdle to get your legs over. Go forward and backward 5-10 times per leg. This is not time consuming but can make a difference with how you feel during and after your run.

Legs Up the Wall: The best thing about this recovery move is its ease. All you have to do is find a wall, lie perpendicular with your butt up against that wall, extend your legs up, open your arms out to the side, and relax. No fancy equipment necessary. You don’t even have to do it for long, 5 – 15 minutes at most.

The pose helps reverse the typical actions that happen in our lower bodies as we sit and stand all day, and it’s especially useful right after a workout. It’s best to do this move as soon as you can after a workout (within 30 minutes) because having your legs warmed up and your veins dilated will make circulation to the rest of your body easier. In essence, this inverted pose aids your overall recovery by draining fluids that are pooling in your legs, while also stretching your hamstrings and relieving a worn out lower body.

Throwing your legs up a wall creates a positive circular flow to your core. Circulation matters when it comes to recovery because lactic acid and waste don’t leave your body very quickly and being in an inverted position helps it to drain faster.

Here’s how to do it: Lie down on your back and try to get your butt as close to the wall as possible, extending your legs up, perpendicular to the floor. Open your arms to the sides, palms up. Flex your feet for an added hamstring stretch. If that’s too uncomfortable, you can scoot away a bit so your legs are at an easier angle.

You’ll reap the benefits holding this position anywhere from 5 to 15 minutes. Start out small with 5-8 minutes and work your way to holding it for longer. The hardest part about this move is making the time and letting your mind relax when you have lots of other things to get to. And let’s face it, you just spent lots of time running and we all have other things to do.

You should notice less soreness and tightness after your harder runs and workouts and discovering a way to have a less creaky neck and better posture are also a nice added benefits.

Yes fellas, this move is for you too. We will all benefit from adding this to our routine regularly. Give it a try!

7 Key Stretches for Runners: Last but certainly not least…time for good old stretching. Again, it’s best to do these stretches while you are still warmed up from exercising and your muscles are supple and pliable. But if you can’t get to it right away, make time later in the day or before you go to bed and work out that stiffness that creeps in after pounding the pavement!

7 Key Stretches for Runners

That’s all for now Crew. It’s a lot of info and a lot of things to fit into our weekend. Remember that planning ahead and making time for yourself is key to getting it all done AND to feeling strong and ready for the week ahead! 🙂

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