There are no post marathon blues in this house. Mostly this is because I was already thinking about and planning for ‘What’s Next?’ during my taper. The taper drives a lot of us runners crazy, and so I used my extra time to think about what I wanted to do after the marathon. Top on my list…strength training!
So I enlisted the help of an expert. A new (to me but seasoned and skilled) personal trainer who works with athletes to improve strength and speed.
My main goals are to…
1. Improve my core and glute strength for running
2. Lose some fat
3. Tone my arms and back (my brother is getting married next summer and the bridesmaids’ dresses are most likely strapless…enough said!)
I took an entire week off from activity after the marathon before lacing up my sneakers this past Monday. Tuesday was my first session with the trainer. We did some strength and flexibility exercises and then he took me into my anaerobic zone…a place that my body seems to hate. I’m wondering if this is typical of slow and steady runners like myself. By Wednesday (my day off), I was back to walking down the stairs backwards. I was sore from head to toe minus my neck and calves. Luckily, my coworkers are used to seeing me moving slowly after the marathon and didn’t notice too much. Thursday after work, it was back for training session number 2. Knowing that I was still sore from session 1, he took it easy on me but made sure to fry out my arms and back (toned arms, here I come!). As is the tradition, we ended with 6 long sprints. I am working on my sprinting form but right now, it’s not pretty! Friday, I was sore again but much more so in my arms. I knew I needed to keep moving to avoid stiffening up so I went for a beautiful 5 mile jog. It felt like I was running with cement on my feet and I certainly didn’t look like a sub 4 marathoner, but it felt wonderful to be outside on a gorgeous fall day running without the clock.
Last night, I crashed hard into bed as if I was still in full marathon training mode. This morning, I was still a bit sore, but ready for another run. I did 6 miles at a slow but comfortable pace which ended up averaging just under 9:30 minute miles. Afterwards, I went straight for the foam roll while Cooper played with my toes. Did you know you can foam roll your triceps? It’s not easy (or attractive) but was necessary after Thursdays arm workout.
Next weekend, I am running the Hot Cider Hustle 8 Miler and although I have no time expectations (this is just for fun because I wasn’t ready for my season to be over after the marathon), I want to feel strong and enjoy the day. For that reason, I’m planning on a few more easy mid range runs next week and just 1 training session early in the week. Hoping that will allow me to recover by Saturday. I’m also hoping to make it to a yoga class tomorrow, but it’s possible after this week, I may not want to set a Sunday morning alarm.
So…my winter game plan (and goal) is at least 2 days a week strength training and getting back to weekly yoga. Next up on my wellness agenda…focusing on a clean eating plan with plenty of protein to help me feel (and look) stronger.
Do you change up your fitness routine for winter?
What’s up next for you?
If you live some place warm where this is not necessary…I’m jealous!