I am 1 day into my 4th week of training for the Fab 40s 5k. I’d like to say I am feeling faster, but I’m not. However, I am feeling strong and I’ve had no pain since I began training – which includes 2 days of easy runs, 1 hill/tempo day, 1 speed work day and a “fast” run (fast, but not too fast). Having no pain while upping my mileage and speed is already a win for me, so that makes me happy. One thing I didn’t think would effect me as much as it has is the heat (My God, the heat!) – bonus points if you get that reference 😉 I never used to mind running in the Summer but I guess I have to re-acclimate to the Sacramento heat, after living in San Diego for a year.
Thinking of how my training has been going and how great I feel, I wanted to share what I am currently doing for recovery. Sure a 5k may not seem like it would be hard to train for – I mean, the mileage is much less than a marathon, but it is intense in it’s own way. I am basically going to be running as fast as I can for 3.1 miles. In July, in Sacramento, at 8:30am. I am expecting it to be hot. So along with training later in the day to get used to the heat, here is what I have been doing for my recovery: massage about once a month. I have the BEST massage therapist in Sacramento. Chiropractor, only once so far. I was expecting I’d need a few visits, but I’ve only had one and it was right before (or around the time) I started training. Hopefully that will be all I need for a while! Then there are the things I can do on my own. First, foam rolling. I do this after every run and before and/or after each strength training session. If you don’t know, my favorite foam roller is also my favorite water bottle, which is my Mobot. I have had my Mobot for over 2 years and it is still a great water bottle & foam roller. It is a little firmer than my trigger point foam roller so I like it for that reason, also it is very easy to take every where with me – which I do. People often think I am carrying around a jar of jelly beans. But jelly beans are gross, so I would never do that.
Another thing I regularly do, or I should say wear, are compression socks. Since finding out about Legend Compression Wear by testing them out as a BibRave Pro (read my review here) I have become obsessed with their socks! I have a few pairs of their Performance Socks that I will sometimes wear while I am running – which is what they are for. Then there are the Recovery Socks. I just got a pair of recovery socks last week and I LOVE them!! They are tighter than their performance socks, which is what you want for recovery (check out their website to learn about their different levels of compression). I’ve tried 3 other compression sock companies since I started running and these are by far my favorite. Please don’t pay attention to the cat fur on my socks. In addition to my 3 kids, I am fostering 4 kittens.
Finally here are a few supplements I’ve been taking. Some of them for a few years, and one for just a few weeks. I started taking BCAAs to help with recovery within the last year or two. My favorite is Gnarly BCAAs because of the caffeine (and it is a good, clean company). Gnarly isn’t pictured because I am currently out and waiting on a shipment! I like to take the Gnarly BCAAs before a long run or a race, or before I have a heavy lifting session – which isn’t often right now since I am running more. I will take the GU BCAA capsules after a work out, sometimes with the Gnarly BCAAs pre workout. It really just depends on what I am doing and how intense it is. Then there are Sound Probiotics – which aren’t technically for recovery, but I wanted to include them. I started using probiotics a few years ago and I’ve noticed a difference in how my guts feel during and post run – meaning I don’t get runner poops anymore. I specifically use Sound Probiotics because they have 8 probiotic strains studied specifically in athletes and it has a prebiotic included.
Finally, something I just started using when I started training for the Fab 40s 5k is tart cherry juice. I can’t remember why I wanted to try this out, but after looking into tart cherry juice benefits I decided to give it a try. After reading THIS blog post from No Meat Athlete I decided pick some up. In his post, and in many articles I read, they discussed a tart cherry juice 7 day challenge. Basically you drink 2 table spoons of concentrate cherry juice, or 8 oz. twice a day for 7 days leading up to race day. What I am doing is drinking the concentrated juice (mixed with water) after a hard work out/run. I started with the juice, but it has so much sugar. Then I checked out the concentrate; I get more for my money with the concentrate and less sugar so that is the route I am going. I only drink it once daily after a hard run, however this week and the week of my goal race (at the end of July) I will be drinking it every day – even if I have an easy run, such as today. My plan was to drink it twice a day for 7 days leading up to my race, but I have noticed such a difference at once a day, about 3-4 times a week that I don’t know if it is necessary to drink it twice a day during race week. Disclaimer: I am not a doctor or anyone who really knows about recovery, anthocyanins or vitamins found in tart cherry juice – I’m just someone who tried it and found it works for me. I am not going to list the benefits of tart cherry juice here – you can Google it if you’d like to learn about it. That is what I did, and after testing it out I think it has really helped my recovery. I am less sore than in the past when I would do speed work, or a tempo run, for example, and my recovery time is shorter. It also tastes really good. I’m pretty excited to have added tart cherry juice to my recovery routine and have been telling all my runner friends about it.
Since this is week 4 of training I have a 5k tune up race this Saturday! I’ll be running No Excuses 5k. I have never run this race before and it is in William Land Park, so it should be a nice race. I recruited a friend to run it with me so hopefully that will help with my nerves. I have no idea why I get so nervous at races lately. It is really annoying feeling like you are going to vomit and shit your pants at the start of the race – like WTF? I think it has a lot to do with knowing how hard it is to race, and it has been so long since I have been able to race that it makes me nervous. Any recommendations to help with calming pre race nerves is welcome!! I’ll let you know how Saturday goes – I am hoping to at least run my current 5k pr, which is 22:32.