Saturday, December 29, 2012

Advice For a New Year - Part 1

I needed to start filling out my advice section located here, so I decided to focus on what I am focusing on going into the new year. I am taking a years worth of knowledge and putting it to the test. Here is what I have scrolled so far (this is on the advice page for future reference):

12/28/12 - Advice For A New Year

I am nearing the 1 year point in my training, and I feel, with the approaching new year, that I should offer my first advice. Additionally, this page had said "under construction" for way too long, and for that I apologize. Here we go, my advice heading into the new year:

1. Love and protect your knees, feet and ankles - I am currently 1 week into a 2 week rest period from running. I should have done this much sooner, but I was stubborn and thought the injury would go away if I lessened road running and stuck to the elliptical; I was wrong. So, now I am icing and using compression everyday. Additionally, I am having to make concerted efforts to stay off it and just let the healing happen. Let this be a lesson folks - take care of your vital areas. Going into the new year I have the follow plan to help:

A.) continue to take glucosamine, fish oil and maintain a healthy diet that includes natural antiinflamatories (broccoli, blueberries, etc)

B.) continue to work on my running form. I am switching from a minimal shoe to a barefoot style pair of Vibram Fivefingers. I was too much of a heel striker, now I am mid foot - my aching calves will tell you that after every run.

C.) I will continue to do strength training in order to maximize my running form for longer periods. Additionally, the stronger my body, the less my joints will have to compensate! I will even make time for this during marathon training by incorporating two-a-days a few times a week.

D.) Ice Ice Baby! I am going to religiously ice after runs, especially of the long 10+ variety. I have ice packs for a targeted approach, but I have also been advised to soak in an ice bath for 10-20 minutes.

E.) I am going to be more intelligent with my stretching. Stretching is one of those aspects of training that splits the running population in half. Some say to stretch and some say you shouldn't. Some say you should but only before running, while other say during or after. I am having a hard time keeping up, so I am just going to experiment and see what works. I will report back later. The one thing I am going to stretch for sure is my calves, which is in direct correlation to research I have done in regards to barefoot running.

F.) I will use massages. I have heard from various runners that I need to invest in a foam roller and use it after every run. This is said to aid in recovery and help prevent injury.

G.) I will use various forms of compression before, during and after running. I have compression shorts, pants, socks and sleeves for my calves. This aides in the recovery of muscles by helping blood move to the areas it is needed most. Compression can also help get you back from an injury, or help you stay away from the sidelines.

Beyond Advice

As my rest/healing period comes to its half-way point, I had to find things to keep my mind occupied (besides food - ohhhhh the food!). It was decided that a touristy tour of Cleveland was the answer. First came food (of course) of the polish variety (you are welcome grams). Sokolowky's University Inn is some serious business, so I wasn't hungry the rest of the day. The view from the restaurant is pretty great (for Cleveland):

This excursion was followed up by a trip to The Christmas Story house. I loved the movie, and I had been meaning to go for awhile. Fortunately, Groupon answered the call, and it happened at last. It wasn't the most thrilling of experiences, but it made for good pictures (don't worry, I did not shoot my eye out):

Finally, the day was completed at the west side market where I got some highly inexpensive blueberries, which are meant to help in the healing of my knee.

Speaking of my knee, I really think it is making true progress finally. This is the first day where I feel that way. I can't wait to get back out there, even in the cold. I am going to appreciate it so much more!

What advice do you have going into the new year?

What have you learned this last year?

What do you still want to learn?

- Posted using BlogPress from my iPad


  1. Great tips!
    Stretching is something that I never do. I'm not even sure why..probably just never educated myself to DO it.
    Also, icing. It really helps!

    oh gosh, Christmas Story is one of my faves. That's so cool!
    I'm glad your knee is feeling better!

    1. Life in Ohio is a thrill a minute ;) amazing what you learn about fitness and running in only a year. I am excited to keep learning.

  2. Stretching....It's a should for me...but I hardly ever do. I usually struggle to squeeze in a run, so stretching is a luxury. I LOVED the days I followed runs with an hour long yoga class, and it definitely helped me in all areas of fitness, but that just doesn't happen for me this time of year.
    I've heard good things about foam rollers too...I do sometimes roll out my feet with a tennis ball. And I'm a huge compression sock fan. Excited to read about your vibram running...I've been doing some 'sock' running on the treadmill as a warm up to help my form. It sure does a number on my calf muscles!

    1. Sock running... Simple but a good idea! Thanks!

      Yeah, seems like the foam rollers are catching on, but I can probably find a cheap alternative to the real ones at running stores.

      Yoga would be great if I had the time. Plus, I always feel like a creeper.

  3. Interesting that some people say that you should stretch 0.0 I usually do good 10 minutes of stretches after hard work-outs. Not sure if it necessarily prevents injuries though.

    For me I know that I need to work on the sleep aspect. Running really takes a lot out of you and sleeping is vital. A little hard though when I go back to school :S

    I do want to try the foam roller and compression socks...

  4. I never slept when I was in grad school, so I get it!

    Yeah, the stretching debate is complex. I really don't know which way to lean at this point.

  5. The stretching is a tough one for me since I spent 12 years of my life as a classical ballet dancer and stretching was crucial, but I started experimenting with not stretching after reading this artice (he does say dancers and gymnasts are exceptions to his no stretching rule)
    and I have to say, I haven't noticed any difference in my flexibility or with injury. I still get minor strains but I think that I would have gotten them even if I was stretching? I do foam roll regularly though, and get frequent A.R.T.
    You seem to be on a roll with doing great things for your body and overall health! Antioxidant foods, fish oil... good stuff :)
    My advice would be to protect and care for the adrenal glands, especially during training.

    1. Common sense would tell us that stretching makes sense, some find it more and more interesting and baffling that the opposite may be true. It really does come down to time, but I guess it may not be necessary after all.

      I appreciate the approval on my plans and advice. From what I have read, you seem to have your finger on the pulse of nutrition.

  6. Advice for the new year: If your budget allows, set aside $1 for each mile run. It is awesome how it added up and I am using it for races and trips this year. Super motivating. Also, I agree with the foam roller... I actually use "The Stick" rather than a foam roller but does similar things!

    1. I do like that idea, and I have been considering it since I saw your post. I think I would keep it to road running only, but I still like it.

      I do think it would be funny to tell people I use "the stick"... Hmm

  7. Hello!
    Just checking out your blog for the first time! You've got some great advice and some very wise "commenters"!! I feel like I am going to learn lots here. Happy New Year!
    Cheers, Tara

    1. Thanks for stopping by! I love my fellow bloggers, too! Such a great community, and I learn something new from them every day.

  8. I live in Ohio also...not in an exciting place like Cleveland but still Ohio. Things I have learned...listen to your body when it talks aches and pains are talking so listen and take care of them right away.

    1. I don't know if I would ever call Cleveland exciting, haha. I am in the Dayton/Cincinnati area, which I think is great.

      Listening to your body is so important!

  9. Great advice! My advice would be to listen to your body, don't run through the pain, that is definitely not the answer! lol Even though we are all stubborn and have all done it, myself included. Rest days are a must, take advantage! Your body needs it.

  10. Awesome advice! I have a friend that swears by the fish oil and I have been considering giving it a try. I was hoping to get a foam roller for Christmas. Guess I will have to buy it myself! I have heard nothing but good things about it.

    Gotta love the Christmas Story!! So cool that you got to do that!!

    1. Every day that goes by makes me want a foam roller more. My calves are so tight right now!

  11. Add in a stop at Melt and your Cleveland trip would have been near perfect! I'm slightly saddened that the casino is where "Bigby's" (fake) store was. Oh now I'm all sorts of jealous/missing CLE.

    It sounds like you have a good plan of attack for getting running back underway!

  12. We've been to a few of the Melt locations actually; I love that place. Obviously it isn't good training food, but you still can't go wrong.