The season is finally over so now what!?
With a new season just around the corner this small amount of running downtime we have can be put to good use. It takes months of training to get to the start line, but we can’t forget about all the other things that keep us running healthy.
Firstly we should be letting our muscle recover from a long season of hard training. Beside resting we can utilize this time to get ready for the season ahead. We can assess the weaknesses we had in the previous season and start coming up with a strength training plan to fix them. For some having a few sessions with a personal trainer might not be a bad idea or joining any of the bootcamps that go on around the city. I personally like to focus on my core muscle, my glutes especially, hamstrings and calves. I’m pretty weak in my upper body so I round out my workout by setting a goal every season to be able to do X amount of pushups and chin ups, but my upper body gets very little attention. I don’t need superman arms to run faster.
Next after strength I start to pick apart my diet. Between seasons is the best time to see a nutritionist and start a mini cleanse (cleanse meaning you clean up diet and take out all the bad things – sugars, milk, wheat, gluten caffeine etc). The first few days are difficult but after week one you will feel great. A nutritionist will guide you as to what to take away and what to add in to help support your immune system and create a healthier body.
One thing I am always struggling with is protein and which one to use. There are so many products out there now, but their is always at least one ingredient that I can’t have or shouldn’t have. My biggest problem with most products is their flavours. Why all the masking? I don’t really like the idea of downing something that tastes like a MacDonalds strawberry milkshake first thing in the morning or after a long hard workout. I like no flavour, and simple whole food ingredients. I finally found a product from Omega Nutrition. It’s simple – it’s one whole food protein which is a Pumpkin Seed Protein.
On the bottle it says ingredients: Partially Defatted Certified Organic Pumpkin Seed Protein Powder. I was sold! It’s tasteless, so whatever you put it in will not be affected. So far I have been drinking it with unsweetened almond milk and it’s great. I did put it in my orange juice yesterday and it was even better! Some protein powders are harder to dissolve that others, but his one is not bad. It doesn’t clump which is better than most, but I will be honest it can be a little sandy if you let your drink sit for too long. Sandy is better than clumpy and with a quick stir of your drink it’s fine. If you don’t think you would like the sandy texture then adding this to a smoothy type drink will alleviate the sandy texture. So far I have just been drinking it straight with liquids to get a real sense for how it is on it’s own without any masking agents. I am really enjoying this product and I think you will as well. I like my food simple and it’s been years to find a protein to fit that model. The best part is, if you go online to their website http://bitly.com/pumpkinprotein they have a great selection of recipes you can make using their protein powder. My favourite – Pumpkin Seed Protein Powder Banana Bread. Now for the really good part. Not only it is a simple whole food and works great, it’s only $17.95 a bottle. For a runner who is already shelling out a whack of money on running shoes, gels, clothing and coaching – this price just makes sense and can easily fit into a runners budget.
Now that we have covered strength and nutrition – next is body maintenance. The season starts to close in on you and your life gets really busy and you keep putting off going to see the massage therapist, physiotherapist or your chiropractor to fix or treat that small niggling pain you have been having in your ankle or knee or lower back. Now is the time to while you have it to go and see your specialists. Book those appointments. Get the kinks worked out before you start a new season. Sometimes your body will heal on it own, but some times it needs a little more. If you don’t already have a therapist contact me and I will be happy to recommend some that will work for your location. If your one of the lucky few that had a pain free season, I still think it’s a good idea for you guys as well – get to a massage therapist just to flush your muscles.
Now that you are ready for the next season – set your goals and have fun!
What will be your next big goal race?
Me – I’m going to Chicago for the first time ever. Very excited.