Friday, February 27, 2015

I'm on a roll: Foam Rolling for Runners/Crossfitters

I can take the pain.

Some days I like to inflict it on myself for a good half hour.

Today I added a long-awaited device to my at-home torture chamber – the RumbleRoller. Oh rolling. How you hurt so good.

Gorgeous isn't it? I fell in love with this beauty when I first rolled my right calf over it last year. I can't remember where but I knew I had to make one mine. I looked everywhere but I couldn't find one in Red Deer (not a big surprise). I have others but none that those with dumps that dig right into the sweet spot. Finally I found one at Collegiate Sports Medicine  (great physiotherapy place!).

I've been using a variety of tools – lacrosse ball, stick and soft/hard rollers – for a while now. Runners and crossfitters swear by them for self-myofascial release or soft tissue therapy. (It's basically a self massage using devices to loosen up the fascia and improve mobility.) Here's some articles from Runner's World on how to use them to rehab injuries or loosen up muscles. And another good one from Crossfit Invictis

Mostly I pay attention to my calves and shoulders. It really does the trick! I can really feel my muscles loosening up after a few minutes. I have been told that you should roll on whatever muscle for a minimum of two minutes or longer. To keep myself honest, I use a timer on my iPhone. 

A few months ago, I hurt my shoulder (not sure how) and the injury rears its ugly head every now and then. Mixed with already tight shoulders and gross posture, I am in pretty bad shape. I try to have regular massages but my work plan only covers $300 a year and at $75 a pop, I blow through that money pretty quickly. So having these devices at home can really help out a broken runner (and someone who sits on their butt for most of the day). 

Because I have been feeling especially tight in my shoulders lately and I'm amping up mileage, I am going to amp up my rolling in March. 

Do you roll? How many rollers do you own?

Wednesday, February 25, 2015

Sticking to a plan: Training

I was running by this grassy area near the road when I got the sense that I was being watched.

And I was. A herd of 10 deer - small ones  and bug ones were hanging out and staring at me. I think they were intrigued by my headlamp. 

Talk about cute. Seeing those lovely beauties was a welcome surprise.I stopped to chat for a few minutes then I finished up my 11.2K/7 mile run.

I am in Week 11 of my 50K training plan. It's a 24-week training schedule which I haven't been exactly been following. Of course I have been running and crossfitting but not with the guidance of a script. I thought it's about time that I put a little more structure into my training. I finally broke down and wrote the schedule on my calendar. It's now on my iPad, iPhone, Macbook Pro and my fridge.

My plan calls for 5 days of running and two days of rest. The weekday runs are on Tuesdays, Wednesdays and Thursdays. For the last little while I have been running every other day so this will be a change for me. The long run is slated for Saturday with a shorter run (mostly 5 miles/8 kms to 10 miles/16kms) on Sundays.

Generally I run long on Sundays so my plan is to continue to be flexible on my long run days. Like most people I have other committments. I revisited Relentless Forward Progress for training advice and my schedule. Good stuff in there. While I have read the book a few times, there's no harm in getting a little refresher. 


I chose sleep this week. I haven't gone to crossfit since last Thursday. I've had two late nights (and another tonight). It just isn't worth it to drag my ragged around all day. Sleep is awesome.

Happy Wednesday! 

Monday, February 23, 2015

Ultra Marathon Monday: Update on Blackfoot Training

Two to three kilometres.

That's the distance I need to cover before I start enjoying my run. Lately I've had some minor trouble getting out the door. It's been one excuse and justification after the other. Trust me any runner who says they do not have to drag their feet out the door at some point is bloody well lying!

Oh dear. It's has been awhile since I have given you an update on my training. I promise I have been running and cross-training (via crossfit). I just haven't felt like blogging about it.

My training has been that boring. Seriously.

Every week it's a guessing game with the weather. So I haven't been putting up big numbers. Instead I have been slowly, slowly building up my distance each week. That's been my plan all along for January and February.  

Like my pics? I had some company on Saturday so I begged Steve to take my picture. The one on the right didn't turn out too bad. And I used a timer for the one on the left. A little silly but fun!

Next month I will amp up my training to include more hills and distance. I really, really want to beat my Blackfoot time from 2013. It's a big undertaking but I know I can do it if I focus and train smart.

Anway it's been a great winter somewhat for training. I am only dealing with a minor foot/leg problem which is on the mend.

Knock on wood.

Blackfoot is only three months away! Whoo!