So on top of all the hard running I am getting in I have added a lot of significant small changes to my days. Since everything is going swimmingly I have no idea if they are all helping to contribute to feeling stellar each day and running better than ever before, but I am just going to have to keep on doing them all because I definitely want to keep the ball rolling! Perhaps these little extras are what it takes to really make a giant leap in training.
1) Hip exercises. I have always had a "wonky" left hip. I am sure this has caused some of my minor injuries in the past from different small compensations made during running. I am guessing that leg is slightly shorter or something. When I do leg lifts or scissors etc that hip is always a question mark for this popping uncomfortable noise. On top of that after long runs, especially marathons and 50ks my hips tend to lock up if I try to lift my knee to 90 degrees. So every night I am trying to get in a minimum of 10 lying down side leg lifts for each leg, 10 bridges, 10 Superman's on each leg, 10 standing side leg lifts, 10 "knee drives" not sure what these are called but I exaggerate running motion in place by lifting my leg with a 90 degree angle at the knee along with the opposite arm.
2) Light Strength Training. I don't want to bulk up but I have been doing 10 push ups, 20-30 bicycle crunches, assorted tricep and bicep lifts with 5 lb weights, and planks and side planks most evenings.
3) Stretching. Along with the hip exercises and light strength training each evening I have been getting in a minimum of down dog, cat/cow, and pigeon yoga poses on top of touching my toes and stretching my side and hips
4) Ice baths. Minimum of once a week for 20 minutes, up to 3-4 times a week for 10-20 minutes. (Also get in epsom salt baths when I feel achy)
5) Massage. Once a month full body massage.
6) Compression Socks. I have been wearing these things like they are a part of my body. I have them on pretty much whenever I am not running.
7) Breakfast before leaving for work. Before I used to sometimes wait and have something when I got in, but I have been making an effort to wake up early enough to get in a bowl of cereal, oj, and a banana each morning.
8) More Sleep. I already get more than most folks, but I was still struggling to drag my butt out of bed in the morning so I have been going to bed an hour earlier with the target of getting in 9 hours each night. And surprise surprise, I am doing a much better job of waking up ready to start the day.
9) Eating Better. Obviously I am targeting a bit of weight loss right now, but I have been watching to make sure I get in the right amount of carbs, fat, and protein and I think this has really helped with consistent energy levels. I plan to keep tracking what I eat and keep hitting the right target ratio of nutrients once I hit race weight to hopefully ensure I keep up this energy high I have been on the past few weeks.
10) Getting stuff done. This isn't directly running related, but in the past I tend to put things off when I get home at the end of a long work day and everything piles up. I am now getting the dishes done and laundry started first thing when I get home, and I think this has lowered my overall stress level which can only help me to feel better all day, especially when running.