Yesterday was my birthday. I ran, gave ChiRunning® lessons, went out for lunch, received some cool gifts. It was special and low key, just the way I wanted it.
I finished the day by going out to one of my favorite restaurants with a few friends. It was a night of indulgence. Great food, some wine, dessert and I finished it off with a cappuccino. I don’t drink a lot of caffeinated drinks and they usually don’t keep me up. When I got home I was exhausted. I went straight to sleep.
Around 12:30 AM I woke up and couldn’t get back to sleep. The caffeine was working now. So I got on my computer and started reading an ebook on natural and barefoot running.
I was reading the section running injuries, specifically about Plantar Fasciitis which I have had a lot of runners asking me about lately. I can relate, I had it and it took a while to finally heal. I tried everything and I don’t have a great answer on how to heal it without trying everything. So, I started searching Plantar Fasciitis articles.
There are many methods and lots of interesting information. I’ve read most of it before but then I read an article on nutrition and Plantar Fasciitis. I started searching more on nutrition. This wasn’t new information either but it seemed the universe directed to these articles and it was time to reevaluate my nutrition.
As I read these articles one thing kept popping up as an inhibitor to healing and top performance, Refined Sugar.
I am addicted to refined sugar! There I said it.
I mean, I can’t imagine a day without cookies, ice cream, chocolate, tasty blended drinks…sugar. And, that doesn’t even include the foods I eat that are not “Sweets” that are made with refined sugar. I crave sugar, especially at night.
Waking up last night seemed to be a real “Wake up call.” I need to reduce my refined sugar intake and see how I feel.
I am also going to focus on increasing my intake of anti-inflammatory foods. Foods high in Omega-3 and Omega-6 fatty acids. Foods high in Probiotics, more green vegetables, more juicing and more water. I’ll also be using some supplements to help my diet.
As an athlete and coach, I am always learning about improving performance. The training seems to be the easy part for me. Nutrition has been the difficult piece of the puzzle. Cleaner fuel has to improve performance. It’s time to make some different decisions.
To be honest, I’m not completely cutting out all refined sugar, but I am going for a major cut-back.
Today, the day after my birthday, is going to be like the day after New Year’s Day. It’s time to work on this new resolutions and renew my old ones. It’s time to refocus and “Begin Again” as my coach, Steve Ilg like to say. I am going to write down my goals and begin again. Let’s see what happens. I will keep you updated along this journey.
Train Focused, Steve Mackel – Endurance Athlete
Have you ever had your identity just pulled out from under your feet?
Like you spent years building yourself up to be someone only to see someone else in the mirror the next morning?
I have. And a running injury was the turning point.
What seemed like a career ending injury has turned out to be a blessing. And I didn’t even know until I came across the world here to India.
By about this time of the year, runners are preparing themselves for a fall marathon. The last two weeks before a marathon becomes a really important time for recovery and rest.
This article will share some essential tips I’ve learned from years of doing marathons and more importantly, from coaching marathoners.
First a little update on my whereabouts: I’m traveling around Asia, currently in McCleodganj, India, the home of the Dalai Lama, and one of the most spiritual places in India. The brand of spirituality around here is Tibetan Buddhism.
The Dharma runs deep here. Saffron clad monks walk mindfully through these streets (that with cows, dogs, spaced out tourists, and lots of Indians hustling to make a living). Monasteries are all over this Dalhousar mountain range.
I’m having a profound and deep spiritual experience. And still recovering from a running injury and a serious case of RUNNER BURNOUT.
Marathoners don’t realize the impact on your body that running for three to five hours causes. Here’s just a sampler:
- Thousands of foot strikes. So if you’re not landing correctly like I was, wear and serious tear can occur.
- Massive OXIDATION in your cells. This means you’re creating lots of free radicals that can oxidize and prematurely age your cells.
- Lots of pollutants coming into your body from the Air especially in a city like Los Angeles or Long Beach.
The fact is, many people don’t continue doing marathons for a long period of their lives. It’s difficult and puts a serious wear on your body.
Yet marathoners just keep on going. We’re generally tough, goal oriented people. We like difficult challenges, it gives us purpose and makes us feel alive. The idea of slowing down and taking a rest is not something that appeals to our characters.
In addition, with good coaches like Steve Mackel of Solerunners, we learn many ways to keep going even though the body is telling us to slow down. Ways like ChiRunning, good nutrition, message, sugary goos, mental training, yoga, and even lots of post run celebrations.
Toss in a good heaping of pride, your inner drive, the competitiveness of your team, the investment of your race, talk about pacing…and you create an inner drive that ignores what your body is telling you, over and over, again, until…
The body forces you to stop. That’s what happened to me. A running injury. I haven’t written about this before on SoCalRunning.com. I kept it my little secret. I was a running coach. My pride refused to let me admit that my own coaching advice had led me to an injury.
It was a double blow, to my identity and to my body. But now with some distance between that coaching life of mine and where I am right now, I feel I can be very honest with you.
Enough about me. Let’s get down to business. This article is about you. And how you can avoid the same mistakes I made so you can prepare and run your marathon taking the best care of your body.
Here’s some things that will help your recovery in the weeks leading up to your marathon and beyond:
1. Get lots of Rest. Eight hours of sleep (or more) is essential. Cut out the caffeine. Drink herbal teas. Cut off the TV and computers early in the evening. Take days off running after a long run. Don’t run if possible the week before your marathon. And seriously consider taking some time off running after you finish your marathon. Even professional athletes don’t train year round. Don’t push yourself on every run. Learn to take it easy. For me, burning the candle at both ends and not taking at least one six month break from marathoning in five years really put a toll on body that lead to an injury. Getting lots of rest and recovery will make you a faster runner in the long run.
2. Get SuperNutrition. Your regular diet is just not enough to compensate for the demands of marathon training. Runners seem to think a long run is just an excuse to pig out on the weekends, booze hard, and eat what they want to eat. Then they think that loading up on a bunch of carbs the week before the race will get them ready. When Steve and I interviewed Luanne Pennesi and Gary Null a year ago, it was a rude awakening on the nutritional needs of an athlete. And if you’re training for a marathon, YOU’RE AN ATHLETE. You need lots of antioxidants, supplements, juices, and proper rest. If you want to learn more then consider purchasing the interview series called Optimum Performance Athlete.
3. Slow Down. The way I see it. There’s two main ways you can run your marathon. One is to go out there and hammer it for a certain pace, shooting for Personal Record (PR). I’ve done this a bunch. But it takes serious training at that pace. In other words, you need to be close to that pace during all your long runs. Most marathoners way overestimate what they can do on race day (especially as they get fitter and fitter). So if you’re getting super nutrition, lots of rest, and doing long pace runs, great! Go for it! But if not, I simply recommend slowing down on race day, and making your race a CELEBRATION. In other words, make your race into a party. Slow down, interact with the runners and the crowds, and enjoy yourself. Even better, try to help some runners out on the course with good jokes or good Steve Mackel advice. The most enjoyable marathons I’ve run were the ones where I said, “Screw the time, I’m having a good time!”"
4. Get Professional Care early. For about a year, I knew something was wrong with my left foot and ankle. It really bothered me during trail runs and long runs. I hoped it would just go away. It didn’t. It just got worse. I didn’t even think of seeing a doctor. Why? I had a long training run to do, or some race, or a track workout. Anything but to face the reality of what was occuring in my body. And all this running on a minor injury, finally caused a MAJOR INJURY. Finally, I saw a podiatrist, good chiropractor, and then a physical therapist. Between all of them, I pieced together a pretty good picture of what happened to my foot. And more importantly, how to treat it. If you’re in pain, you must stop what you’re doing, and go get some professional care and advice.
Hopefully some of my experiences can help you in the weeks and years ahead as a runner.
It’s very typical in Western societies to overwork, under rest, eat poorly, and then just tough it out. Thinking that this hard work will all pay off. It does, sometimes. But the cost can be high for our lives and the health of our bodies.
There is a different way. Get rest, learn proper nutrition, slow down, and listen to your body.
And if you do get an injury. Maybe it is a signal to take a little time off running. Reassess your life. Try something new. That’s what happened to me. I realized I had accomplished almost all my running goals. So it was time to pursue some other lifetime goals, like seeing more of Asia, particularly the Himalayas.
Which is where I am now.
I still run. My running is much slower and more deliberate now. I run a couple times a week here in India, do lots of rehab for my foot. But more than anything, I’m learning to slow down in all areas of my life and live much more in the moment.
The fast lane is only one lane of the freeway.
What’s in this stuff? Aqua Titanium, I’m not completely sure what it is, but it works for me and a lot of others. I’ve been able to try a new Phiten product, the X30 Power Sleeves. They weren’t really made for the legs but the large fit my lower legs. They are X30, they have 30 times the Aqua Titanium then the regular Phiten tape I was using. This product worked great and I will be running the Ragnar Relay with them on. They aren’t compression socks and I will have to review some compression socks soon but the Phiten Power sleeves kept my claves and shins feeling great and that was running hilly marathons and training runs, very demanding on lower legs.
At a price of $19 each or $38 for the pair and a month of runs, no slippage and my lower legs feel great with them on. You can find them a PhitenUSA.com Take a look.
Train Focused, Steve Mackel – Certified Massage Therapist
I took you vegetable shopping back in the episode below and now I show you, in my small kitchen, the juicing and smoothie process from the machines to the final product. It is a way to eat RAW!
Train Focused, Steve Mackel – Wannabe Raw Foodie
Last week we talked about the specific foods you can include in your diet. This week is about cellular cleaning
Coach Gary and I will be hosting tonight's Holistic Nutrition for Runners with Luanne Pennesi RD MS and Gary Null PhD.
topic is entitled “Performance Nutrition”
Eat Focused, Steve Mackel – Sole Runners Head Coach
Sure, obesity is a problem in this country, but when you think fat, you probably don’t think Miami. So you may be surprised to find Men’s Fitness magazine ranks Miami as the nation’s fattest city in its annual survey. The fittest? Salt Lake City.
You’d never believe the rankings I found.
Two huge surprises I found on the fattest cities list.
You’ll have to check it out.
“To make a change in how you look, you are talking about a significant period of training,” Dr. Kraemer said. “In our studies it takes six months to a year.” And, he added, that is with regular strength-training workouts, using the appropriate weights and with a carefully designed individualized program. “That is what the reality is,” he said.
Changing your body and getting in shape takes time.
This is a good article to remind you of this.
It’s not going to happen within a couple of months.
But day by day you’ll make little changes that will add up.
Keep on the journey…you’ll make it.
Gary Dawson Smith
ChiRunning® is hot with all the marathons coming up and people getting started for their fall marathons, I thought I treat you to a quick lesson on finding the proper ChiRunning® posture.
The Beach Runners Starts This Saturday! We have a ChiRunning® One hour workshop with the Beach runners in Long Beach this Saturday, 7:00 AM
Beach Runners Saturday Group run meets at Marina Vista Park in Long Beach (on Eliot St. near Colorado St. right by the end of Marine Stadium) Free parking on street or in Marine Stadium parking lot.
Train Focused, Steve Mackel – MarathonTraining.TV Head Coach
Originally part of a millennia-old Indian yogic tradition, the practice of nasal irrigation — jala neti — is performed with a small pot that looks like a cross between Aladdin’s lamp and your grandmother’s gravy boat. The neti pot made its way into this country in the early 1970s as a yoga meditation device, but even as yoga became mainstream, the neti pot remained on the fringes of alternative culture.
Finally the Neti pot gets some mainstream coverage.
This has been a secret health tool of the yogis for centuries.
Now even Oprah is using it.
I like to use it every day. Steve does also.
Your nose will never be the same again.
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