Yo VIP let’s kick it….Ice Ice Baby

Now before I start reminiscing of the 90′s and start singing along to Vanilla Ice, I really want to talk about recovering from your long runs.

Footballers do it, elite athletes do it, including marathoners Paula Radcliffe and Meb Keflezighi…. so what’s that I hear you ask. 

Footballers ice

It’s the ice bath. The theory behind it is that by exposing yourself to this extreme cold it helps stop small tears in your muscle fibres and the general muscle soreness resulting from intense or repetitive exercise. By fully submerging your legs in ice it means that a larger area is treated as opposed to an ice pack.

With the shock of ice felt in your body, it helps to constrict blood vessels, flush waste products, reduce swelling and tissue breakdown. Then when the tissue warms, it increases blood flow speeding circulation resulting in quickening up the healing process. Total awesomeness that’s what I say, anything to aid long run recovery. So there are a couple of options :- A bath full of ice, the ocean/sea, a stream and even a wheelie bin (rubbish bin full of ice).

SueGOR Recovery3 crop

The camera never lies hey….. my face says it all, it was freezing cold although I did feel that it did work. It numbed my legs so much, ridding them of any muscle pain.

I’m building up the minutes, as I’ve heard some football players swear by at least 7 minutes in the ice bath after every training session for an injury free football season.

Do you take ice baths, or do you recover from your long runs another way? If you haven’t done it yet, I encourage you to take an ice bath or a dip in the ocean after your next long run, and tell me how you found it in the comments below.

 

 

 

 

Great Ocean Road Wrap Up

If you told me, when I 1st visited Australia, travelling down the Great Ocean Road as a backpacker, that 24 years later I’d be running 23 kms of it, I would have told you, you were insane.

Great Ocean Road 1/2 marathonWell that certainly did happen in the 10th anniversary of the Great Ocean Road marathon. It’s a great weekend festival with Kids 1.5km, 6km, 14km run & wheelchair, 1/2 marathon (23kms), and marathon (45kms).

Earlier in the year, I decided to stretch myself with a bigger goal, and the Great Ocean Road 1/2 marathon with its many hills was it. This run, is by far my favourite to date, running in nature, listening to the waves crash on the shore, spotting 2 koalas in the trees with their joey, amazing scenery and coastal views that you would just miss if you whizzed by in a car on route to the 12 Apostles. And to think the road was completely closed for 3685 marathon & 1/2 marathon runners to experience and to enjoy the 10th anniversary of ‘Australia’s most stunning marathon’.

GOR Half finish 180514What I really got from this experience, is that at the start of this year, this was some out there crazy idea for me. “Who am I to think I can run up those steep hills, that’s pretty daunting” …. but with a plan in place, breaking the ‘out there crazy idea’ down into bit sized chunks, building momentum week by week, overcoming my fears and limiting beliefs, I made it . Not only did I make it, I enjoyed the run, as the hills as I was training on had a steeper incline than the Great Ocean Road, even though I didn’t know that at the time.

Totally happy and speechless as I ran  2 secs slower than my fastest ever 1/2 marathon on a flat course. :)

Congratulations to Alex Matthews, 1st marathoner to cross the line in 2:25, and Kristin Bull, 1st female. John Dutton and Rebecca Rosel were the fastest 1/2 marathoners of the day with 1:16 and 1:27.

So the moral of the story is, however big your dream or goal is, break it down, set out a plan, take action, build momentum, overcome the things that are holding you back, train harder than the actual race…..then have fun on race day :)

And remember… Wish it…Dream it…Do It!

 

 

 

 

 

Preparing for D-Day

So you’ve entered the race, trained for it, you’re injury free and still have butterflies in your stomach 48 hrs out from RACE DAY. Now what……. How do you stop your mind from racing a million miles an hour, wondering if you’ve trained enough, do you carb up or not, that slight soreness in the leg will it sort itself out…… Just Stop, take a deep breath saying “I’m calm and relaxed” over and over, remaining present.

Yes most runners do get pre-race jitters, it takes a lot of commitment, focus, training and in some cases sacrifices just get to the starting line of a race. So here are some tips to prepare for D-Day.

1. Taper

At this late stage, it’s pointless to continue to train hard, be exhausted and overtrained for the race. In the week before your race taper your exercise program, allowing your body to rest and be at its best for Race Day.

2. Rest

Aim to get at least 2 good nights sleep before Race Day.

3. Hydrate

The day before the race, drink more water and juices than you would do on a normal day to keep your body hydrated. This is especially important if you’re running in hot weather.

4. Visualise

Imagine the race in your mind from the start, during the race and successfully crossing the finishing line. Many elite athletes use visualisation techniques, imagining their perfect scenario. The power of the mind is a wonderful thing, so put yours to good use.

5. Lay your gear out

DSC01420Speaking from experience, it’s best to layout your running gear the night before your race, to save the stress, panic and the last minute scramble for everything in the morning. So whatever that running gear is for you – running clothes, shoes, socks, music, headphones, fuel belt, bottles, watch, bottle of water, get it all ready the night before. Remembering also warm clothes before and after the race. Save time and pin your bib number to your running top the night before too.

6. Arrive at the start 30mins – 1hr early

This will allow you time to pick up your race number – if you didn’t receive it in the post, queue for the toilet, drop off any clothes, warm up and get to the starting chute before the gun goes off.

7. Have fun 

Enjoy the journey, running the race and celebrating at the end. You’ve trained for it, you’re ready for it, so give it your best shot with a smile on your dial.

Happy Running :)

 

Super Recovery Fuel

Are you looking for a filling post race fuel that’s guaranteed to put a smile on your dial ….. well you really can’t go past pancakes, perfect for brunch. There are many different toppings you can add, the world’s your oyster really., so enjoy experimenting.

Pancake Prep 040514

Ingredients (Makes 4)

1 Cup of self-raising flour

1 egg

1 cup of milk

Olive oil

Toppings (sweet) – cinnamon, banana, strawberries, honey and/or any other fruit – kiwi fruit, blueberries, blackberries, raspberries

Toppings (savoury) – avocado, bacon, ham, cheese, cherry tomatoes

 

 

 

Pancake Yum 040514Method

1. Whisk the flour, egg and milk in a bowl until the mixture resembles a smooth batter. If you like thinner pancakes, you can add more milk/water to your mixture.

2. Heat a teaspoon of oil in a small frying pan on a medium heat.

3. Add a ladleful of batter, smoothing it out to the edges.

4. When the pancake is golden, flip it to cook the other side until it’s golden too.

5. Remove to a plate and add your toppings.

6. Repeat until all the batter is used up.

Enjoy :)

 

Are You A Fair Weather Runner Or An All Weather Runner?

Does the weather impact your motivation to run or not? If it’s cold, wet and windy outside, would you still opt for your scheduled morning run or stay under the warm bed cover?

Yep they were my options this morning. Living in Australia I’ve been blessed and can count all the runs I’ve done in bad weather on one hand.

Rainbow Eastern Beach 040514

What got me out of bed, was knowing that  the Great Ocean Road 1/2 marathon was in 14 days time, and I needed one more long hilly run under my belt. “Wouldn’t it be good to experience running 20 kms in wet conditions so you’re ready for anything come race day” I told myself.

So with rain jacket, cap, gloves and fuel belt on I set off. By 4km I was pleased that I had made the effort and decided to treat myself with homemade pancakes…. yum……. now that got me moving :)

I’m so glad I did as this beautiful rainbow rewarded me at 12kms.

Pancake Yum 040514So if you’re more of a “I only run when the weather’s good” kinda person, I challenge you to give “all weather running” a go. I think you’ll be pleasantly surprised by your persistence, mental toughness and the beauty of running in the rain. It’s also perfect preparation for Race Day, as there’s no guarantee what the weather will be like.

And remember to celebrate stepping outside your comfort zone too…. maybe with pancakes.

Let me know how you go, by leaving a comment below.