Thursday, August 29, 2019

Training check-in: 6 weeks to race day!


As training miles add up and runners are hitting their longest long runs in prep for 26.2 or 13.1 at the Eversource Hartford Marathon on October 12, it’s more important than ever to stay attuned to your body.  Tired legs are to be expected, but take precautions when aches, pains or soreness feels more intense or lasts longer than normal.

INJURY-FREE TRAINING 
Talk to other runners about their experiences – everyone is happy to share what they can to help others make it to their starting line.  Ask questions or follow conversations on Facebook through the League of Injured Runners.  This group is supported by the Connecticut Sports Medicine Institute (CSMI) at Saint Francis Hospital.  You can also tap expert advice in the group from the CSMI physicians who generously give of their time to help you keep running strong and injury free through training and after your race.

NUTRITION
Remember to keep up with your hydration through the week while training and fuel your body with balanced nutrition for energy and to re-fuel.  Some resources we like that offer useful ideas and tips: 
Runner’s World: 6 Simple Rules For Eating a Healthy, Whole-Foods Runner’s Diet 
New York Times: How to Feed a Runner 
Active.com: Nutrition Tips for New Runners 

ALTERNATE THERAPIES
Consider taking care of your tired and achy muscles with therapies designed to help you relax and recover.  Launched by two members of the HMF running community, Imagine Float is a new facility in Avon that offers 4 different alternate therapies: 
Floatation Therapy, Whole Body Cryotherapy, Infrared Sauna and Compression therapy. Through October 14, all participants who book a service at Imagine Float as part of their training plan for the Eversource Hartford Marathon or Half Marathon distance, $5 will be donated to the HMF FitKids program! DETAILS 

Learn more below about the experiences of three athletes training for the Eversource Hartford Marathon.  

Tom Zukowski, runner and fitness instructor 
I am a 44 time marathoner and currently training for the 2019 Hartford Marathon. To date, I have logged over 1000 miles of running this year, and I teach 2 group fitness classes a week. 
I discovered Imagine Float over the summer. I originally tried cryotherapy, it was an interesting experience, but for me personally, I get an enormous benefit from compression therapy.
My legs had felt fatigued with the high mileage and humidity the past month, so I went in for a session last Sunday, and it definitely helped my legs “bounce back”.  It’s a 30 minute session, the staff will assist you in setting up the compression sleeves, and all you have to do is adjust the intensity.  You feel the compression rise through each zone, it gets to the top, then starts all over again.
The facility is clean and beautiful, and Michele and her staff are very accommodating. I have a monthly membership, totally worth the long drive for me to get out there! 

Lisa Wawrzynowski, marathon runner and CrossFit athlete 
I sometimes struggle with low back pain/stiffness because I do a lot of intense workouts that involve heavy lifting and then go at work a desk job for 8 hours.
I went to Imagine Float on a day my back was hurting more than normal. I also had a lot going on at work so was feeling very stressed and anxious. 
I had heard of floating therapy before but was not entirely sure what it was so I didn’t know what exactly to expect. Since I was floating in water, there was no pressure on my back, my body was able to relax and rest at its natural state. When I was done, I felt energized yet relaxed and all my tight muscles from my workouts that week felt so loose! I was able to go home and stretch it out and felt great the rest of the week.
On top of my back feeling better, my mood was also significantly better. It was like I left my stress and anxiety in the room. The float was so relaxing that I pretty much fell asleep and got the rest I needed. I was able to meditate a bit and get into that right mindset to ease my anxieties and focus on positives. It was a great experience! 

Jeanne Corey Marchand - avid runner, coach and pacer for the Eversource Hartford Marathon 
First, I tried the “float” therapy and I loved it!  I went into the session opened minded as I am a bit claustrophobic.  The room where I floated was much larger than I anticipated and I was in complete control all the settings at all times.  I never thought an hour of floating would go back so quickly.  I was given a “noodle” for behind my legs and a small floatation device for under my head.  I never needed them.  The Epsom salt that they put in the water acts as your own personal life jacket.  I drifted to a complete relaxed state of mind.  When I left the room I was greeted by Michele, the owner, to see how I liked it.  It’s hard to explain the euphoric feeling with my mind so clear and cleansed. I haven’t had a good night sleep in years and this was the most refreshed I’ve felt in a long time.
I went back into Imagine Float to try the Compression therapy.  I run a lot of miles and want to continue for as long as I can. I feel that’s a goal for a lot of women as we get older!
The first time I tried Compression therapy was after one of my long runs leading up to the San Francisco marathon.  The typical soreness I experience the day after long runs was minimal, so I scheduled more sessions until my marathon.  The benefits of compression for runners is phenomenal.  I’ve tried so many recovery tools and I feel the compression is something every runner should do.  I not only had a fantastic race, I was able to bounce back quickly and continue with my training for my Eversource Hartford Marathon this fall. 
I highly recommend Imagine float for athletes for recovery, injury prevention and for a clear mind for those long runs!  Happy training everyone!

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