Last month, Philippa and I had the honor of attending Finishline's Spring Running Summit 2.0. This summit could not have come at a better time in my life as I am preparing to begin my training for my fist marathon and still feel like a novice within the world of running. The summit covered areas such as your training, nutrition, recovery, and sports psychology. The biggest highlight and take-away from this summit is how important each and every factor is in contribution to YOU running long term and preventing injuries.
Here were some of the breakout sessions we attended and things learned from the day.
Training and Recovery: Coaches Jason and Andrew
Coaches spoke about the importance and focus of prehab and rehab. They expressed doing things more intelligently and training for life, not just a race. They also talked about preventing burnout.
How do you create a training plan/s? Here were some questions they suggested you ask yourself in creating and/or choosing a training plan that is geared towards you and injury prevention.
-What are your goals?
-What are your obligations? What are the ones this year?
-How do you structure your training? Your days?
-What do you do for recovery?
Any specifc time goals or PR?
What does your training week look like?
What about cross training? How often? What about non-running things?
What is your life schedule?
What is your recovery schedule?
Being realistic with your goal setting was one of the most important points made throughout the summit, as well as being okay with modifying your plan as needed, depending on life obstacles or how you are feeling.
Create SMART goals. Be specific, make sure the goal is measurable, attainable for you, realistic for you to achieve this goal, and time specific. Be okay with modification along the way.
Life tends to get in the way at time of our training. This can cause fatigue, illness or even burn out. Stressors such as work, family, relationships, illness, new job, new child, peer pressure from other runners, FOMO from other runners, and social media are just a few. However, apps such as Strava and Instagram can be huge motivators.
Coaches addressed that importance of looking at your lifestyle, especially all your common stressors, before committing to a plan. Importance was also addressed about allow listening to your body and allowing yourself to recover when you are feeling fatigue or tired.
One the biggest take ways from the coaches was that training plans are stressful and that it's okay to miss a workout and NOT MAKE IT UP during your training plan. Additionally, it was stressed by coaches that everyone’s 20 miler is different from runner to runner and the same can be said for recovery. Coaches advised that it’s more important to pay attention to the time spent on running then the actual mileage, so 3 hours run instead of a 20 mile run. Also - don't take into account what everyone else is doing!
Recovery plays a huge role in training as well. This includes foam rolling, wrapping, compression sleeves, stretching, and 3D mobility. Recovery has to be part of your training. It was addressed that its best for you to run 5-10 minutes less and use that time to warm up/stretch then to run a full 50 or 1 hour run.
Always listen to your body and pay attention to how you feel and understand when your body needs a break and take it easy. It's important to not over train, allowing yourself to know when you can push and when not to.
What is consumed during training has a large impact on your training and recovery. There are 3 stages to healing:
Inflammation-blow ups within the body that last for a few days
Proliferation that can last up to 3 weeks , while body is making new cells and can get weak and also can lose more muscles
Remodel and regeneration that can last up to an year while the body is repairing itself and creating new cells and old ones being repaired and body is promoting a lot of repair.
There was great discussion around what food can be consumed to help improve blood flow and the function of immunity cells. Some ideas provided were to consider more fruits, veggies, increase intake of omega 3 and 6 along with intake of amino acid and whey protein. The importance of avoiding such pills like Advil was stressed as these pain killers interfere with the body’s natural healing process and impact injuries.
It was advise to consume more of the formerly mentioned items especially fruits and vegetables such as 1) Broccoli 2) Apples 3) Citrus Fruits 4) Papaya 5) Pineapples 6) Red Grapes 7) Garlic 8) Turmeric 9) Apricot 10) Mangos 11) Red Pepper 12) Spinach 13) berries 14) kiwi 15) Pecans 16) Walnuts.
Dr Mercer also stressed the importance of eating. Just because you are exercising less due to injury or more due to training, you need to eat and eat high proteins and Omegas’. As formerly mentioned, the items suggesedt are very important and help in cell creation and repairs in a faster rate as well as body consumption of these things such as fats and protein. It was suggested that we should be consuming food every 3-4 hours.