24 June 2019

RnR: 5 tips to maximize your soul for sole

Rock n Roll     :     Rest n Recover     :     Rude n Rowdy     :     Rad n Ragged

We live in a world that suggests that we can go full tilt all the time; "sleep when you're dead."

#SpoilerAlert!     .....     .....     .....     .....     We can't be all that... Sorry. (Not sorry). 

I went from "nothing" to running 4 x 100 milers inside 11 months. Washie (July '18), and Addo / UTD / Mac Mac (2019 March, April, May). This included a 147 day run streak between 5 Dec and 28 April. Now I am IPOS (an @UltraRunningMemes term: Injured Piece of... ?Steven?). (PS, if you don't follow them on #Instagram, do it now... you'll learn lots!)

Did it go wrong for me? Yes, and no. It was a challenge I couldn't resist: a first of its kind in South Africa. I was "ready", but not as ready as I hoped. (Read why with Ilona Hearne Biokineticist.)

The head is strong, the body is stronger than it was and showing its frailty. And part of the Reason: No Rest. The head is also tired, as was proved by running 3 hard, long runs in 3 months.

We're designed to rest and recover. Up and down, black and white, light and dark, race n recover. They go together, even if they're opposites.

1 - SLEEP: this is so important... get enough of it. Sleep has all the benefits backed by science. Good sleep is predicated by things like enjoying a solid routine that may or may not include sunsets like the headline photo here :)

2 - DIET: what you put in is what you get out... and each of us is different to a degree. Do what works for you (sometimes that will see you benefit from an extreme choice, but most times it is just "following your nose"). I do supplement. I have for nearly 20 years; and been on antibiotics 4 times in that period (twice when #LancasterLight brought home play-school bugs). Prior to that I was on them dang tings thrice a year at least! I hate sinus and generally eat and drink a diet that is sinus-friendly. Lower calories and higher vitamins/mineral/value content in your food is better in your recovery period. Brussel sprouts and beetroot are favorites of mine! And pizza... #JustSaying

3 - STRETCH & ROLL: Long distance running in particular is hard on the tendons and muscles... ease them out. It doesn't help if you sit a lot on the job (like me). Take the time... streeeetch!

4 - EXERCISE: There are benefits to varying exercise routines and to run streaks... find out what works for you, your family, your friends and your body! But most importantly in your "down time" recovering from "A/B events", take it easy... especially after multi-day events! Give your body time to catch up to itself.

5 - BRAIN: yes... you have to brain hard in a run/race. You need to find other ways now to embrace your brain. Engage different areas and interests... maybe you're a social runner? Now is the time to get some space. Maybe you're a lone runner? How about a party, Christmas in July? (Drop me an invite...). I throw myself into work: Cellucity business sales in Nelson Mandela Bay. There are special projects that keep me interested and engaged, like #RazeABar and the ONE12run... click the links... you know you want to support!

Now to answer a couple of questions...
a - how long does it take to "feel a spring in my step again"? After Addo 100 it took me all of 12 hours to playing with my toddler around the firepit at the prize giving ceremony! After Washie it took me 6 weeks... and after Mac Mac it is taking me just as long. I guess it comes down to 2 things: how prepared and fresh you were before, and how much time you've been able to put into your recovery in between. So 6 weeks between Addo and UTD wasn't really enough, and 4 weeks from UTD to Mac Mac was insane (in my case)... but for Rene Vollgraaff, who didn't get injured, she cruised Mac Mac. Her recovery strategy was also aided by support and modern equipment. I will add one or two things to my strategy for the future (like ice baths... or cryo recovery). But for now, I'm getting there nicely.

b - do I train for these runs? Yes. Definitely. Preparation is 90% of the success. However, it may be different to what you think... I'll be booking a half marathon to ultra training weekend in November! Be sure to look out of it and join me as I share my tips and tricks...

Go on... kick back in my favorite socks with some quality dark chocolate, coffee and a great day!

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