Category Archives: Recovery

Not the best start to our running year & Bath Half Marathon tomorrow!

Unfortunately Irina suffered a stress fracture in the hip during a late December run, and I suffered a muscular injury on the same run, which kept niggling away at me throughout January and into February.

This has resulted in a LOT of forced rest for Irina and plenty of rest for myself. (Although we have taken to the swimming pool to work the body, more to come on that…)

Before Christmas we both entered the Bath Half Marathon after enjoying our first ever Bristol Half Marathon in September so much. Our plan was to increase mileage through January and February in preparation to attack the Bath Half on 3rd March and beat our 2 hour time from the Bristol run last year.

The forced rest has meant that Irina is nowhere near able to sensibly take part in the run tomorrow, although she is now fully healed up (properly) and back on the road again, fighting fit, fully motivated and with new lessons under the belt!

I was able to get some running in through February, although due to a crazy busy schedule (including my dreaded night shifts) and re-niggling of the muscular injury, mileage was limited. I completed 9 miles a week ago, which went smoothly, although it is clear that the full 13.1 miles is going to be hard work tomorrow!

It will certainly be a challenge, but I want to complete it tomorrow for Team PI! Irina will be there to support me, and carry the all important post-race food and drinks. 🙂

Looking forward to enjoying a new experience and I’ll be blogging about it tomorrow or Monday.

Wish me luck!



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(Un)planned Rest Days

Two Rest Days in a row? Not for me…. Unless…

Since my last 10k on the treadmill in a stuffy gym (which to be honest with you, I regret now, as I think I’d “opened myself” to the germs), I am feeling unwell. First I was aching all over the body (I am just not good running on the treadmill). And now, I came down with a cold…. again. Despite healthy eating and loads of fresh fruit/vegtables, especially citrus fruit, I got the common cold. (no, I don’t want to feel sorry for myself…. :)). As a very determined person, who schedules runs, TRX, course work, full-time job and of course some quality time with my man a whole week in advanced, it is a bit of a set back for me not being able to follow it through. But from past experiences, I am more sensible now and know when to stop and have an extra rest day. Let the body recover and heal!

But never the less I think I found a way to do some exercises and get the muscles working despite not being 100%.

Today when I got home from work, I was very cold (I was freezing cold all day, despite having worn layers). The scheduled 6k somehow didn’t seem to be a good idea and my throat is very sore, which certainly the cold air wouldn’t do good. So I thought to myself, why not have a hot bath and after that do some stretching exercises and foam roller?!

That is exactly what I did. 20 minutes in the hot bubble bath, out, wrapped up in warm clothes and a hat (I know is a bit silly to wear a hat in the house) and on the floor. It felt great! Not only because I was doing those exercises but also in the mind which is also a very important factor to me.

Hope my body will appriciate the extra Rest Day and I will be on the road in no time.

Happy stretching/foam rolling! 🙂


P.S. We bought this travel size massage roller which is great. You can controll the pressure better if your thighs are particullary sore.

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Posted by on 28 November, 2012 in Health & Wellbeing, Recovery, Running


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Timing your running, eating & stretching

We regularly read the excellent Runners World magazine, and I’ve just read this brilliant article on their website about the Perfect Timing for training, eating and stretching to improve overall running performance. Well worth reading through if you’re increasing mileage or frequency.

Of particular interest to me is the mention of the foam roller, which is a tool we’ve been using recently, although I don’t really use enough. I will be trying their suggestion of using it before every stretching session, even the pre-run, dynamic stretching, hoping to see an improvement in range of movement and improved recovery.

If you’re becoming serious about running longer distances, or training for an event, then fitting in some speed work is also essential. In this article is talks about the rest periods between these type of sessions, and even suggests a pattern to include them in your weekly routines, very helpful whilst getting to know your body and how it reacts to increasing mileage and speed.

Obviously everyone is different when it comes to how soon before a run you should eat for maximum energy availability and comfort in the stomach, so that is something to experiment with yourself.

Another great article from Runners World… it makes me want to get out there and run!



Posted by on 31 October, 2012 in ReBlog, Recovery, Running


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Self Massage for Runners

We’ve just come across this short article on the Runners World website about self massage, which has some good tips to get started.

We’ve definitely felt great benefits from doing this kind of thing. We also use our large firm foam roller on the hamstring area, which we’ve found is a tough area to get a really good stretch into, and after long runs Paul in particular finds this a sore area when stretching. Using the roller regularly (when fully warmed up) has really helped improve flexibilty and recovery speed, and after those longer runs the area is not as sore now.

These self massages also help you to get to know your body and where it hurts most after running and will help speed up recovery and increase flexibilty. We highly recommend this, especially as you increase mileage!

Paul & Irina. 🙂

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Posted by on 18 October, 2012 in Injury, Recovery, Running


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Runners Knee

I’ve had to overcome some knee pain in the past year or so and this video posted on Runners World helps explain the issue and gives some good techniques to alleviate it. Often new runners will have an issue with the knees.

When I first had pain I used ice to relieve it immediately after the run and began doing more work on strengthening the muscles around the joint. More recently Irina purchased a firm foam roller, and this really helps with that as demonstrated in the video. Slowly but surely my knee issues have all but gone. The roller has also helped me sort out my over sensitive hamstrings too!

Some people can be put off by the added cost, but we found a great website, Physio Supplies, with a good selection that are not too expensive…

This is an essential piece of kit for a runner!


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Posted by on 11 October, 2012 in Health & Wellbeing, Injury, Kit, Recovery, Running


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Proof – Half Marathons are good for you! (And bad for you!)

Good for you:

So today was only my second run since taking part in my first ever Half Marathon 10 days ago. As a bare minimum I run 4k each run, mixing up the route and distance a bit each time. My usual pace for a 4-5k run before the half marathon, and the two months of extra training miles required to prepare for it, is around the 5:15 minute per kilometer mark… today I started out slow and steady, but was surprised to hear my RunKeeper shout my pace after 1km at 4:56!

At that point I decided to try and keep pace for the rest of the run, which got tricky over the last uphill km. But I finished a 4.6km run in 22:37, average pace 4:54 per km. I was very happy with that! In general since the half marathon, I’ve also been feeling pretty good and had a noticeable bounce in my step. Admittedly my now two black toenails, one of which has mostly fallen off, would disagree that I came through it completely unscathed, but they did not hurt at any point during the run, nor do now even though they don’t look to good… 😉

Not so good for you:

On the flip-side since our Half Marathon run, Irina has been poorly with a head cold bug. 😦
After only one full rest day (where-as I had several) she was back in work and dealing with hundreds of newly enrolling students in a huge hall for days on end. After a major physical effort like a half marathon, the immune system takes a hit, and even with our disciplined approach and upping the vitamin C intake, she did not get away with that unfortunately… Luckily it’s not too bad, but it still sucks!

Lots of hot lemon, ginger & honey tea’s are on the menu… get well soon babe! 🙂


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Posted by on 9 October, 2012 in Health & Wellbeing, Recovery, Running


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