Half The Training

With the Mystic, CT. Half Marathon coming up next week, I wanted to write a little about what else goes into training other then logging miles.

What do I really love to run?  A good well planned, organized entertaining half marathon.  5ks are always over too soon and full marathons seem daunting (just having 1 in my race calendar this year has me excited but terrified).  10ks, 15ks, 10 milers, and such are fun too and usually come with a lovely course and fun bling (it’s all about the bling).  Still,  that 13.1mi is something special.  You can cover a lot of ground in 13 miles and have a lot of time to think about, well whatever pops in your head.

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Side sit-ups on the barrel 

But what about all the pre-race work you should put in to be ready for an enjoyable race day?  What do I do?  Aside from training runs of various distances and paces-  A LOT of cross training.  No no, not cross fit, I’d probably be dead… no, all various types of cross training- weight training, strength training, stretching, toning… you name it.  My go to?  Pilates classes.  About 10 weeks out from the next planned half, I splurge on my physical health and wellbeing and purchase myself a 10-pack of Private Pilates Equipment Sessions.  I schedule with my trainer for the next 2+ months and put it in my scheduler.  I’m ready to go.  I enjoy working with the same trainer because she knows my body, what I need, and where I’m weak (or injured).  She can be another set of eyes assessing my physical progress and giving me tips along the way.   What do I work on? Core strength is a BIG one, and my personal fav.  Also a lot of inner and outer hip stability and strengthening, upper body (arms and back).  Some days, especially if I”m going in after a long training run, we will do what I describe as “Therapeutic Pilates”…. stretching tight muscles and back articulation.

Is that all?  Definitely not!  I’ll get myself out from behind my desk and get into a good yoga class to keep my body flexible and my breath focused.  Yoga can, and will, be it’s own many posts, but in general I like a level 1 class.  I’m in no need of hot yoga, I sweat plenty on my runs.  I’m in no need of a flowing cardio driven Vinyasa… again, get all that in my training already.  What I do need is a class that opens my forward rolling shoulders and releases my hip flexors.  A level 1 class can be as hard as any flow.

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Challenging stability, control, and core strength on the Chair.

 

 

On my own time at home or in the park before/after a run I’ll several squat series and functional reaches.  Working to strengthen and activate the muscles of my legs and hips help the running part of things drastically- when there muscles can function properly, extending and contracting to their fullest in proper form, I know my body can cover the distance… then it’s all mental!

I’ll save that for another post, but tell me: what do YOU do to cross train?  It could be very different from my plan depending on what you want to accomplish.

On Wednesday (5/11/16) check out my Q&A interview with my friend Akeem (IG @akeem.lifts) to learn more about lifting, his goals, and his thoughts on cross training!

Always,

C

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