I have mentioned a few times how I want to focus on strength and cross training this marathon training cycle and I’m aiming to do 3 classes a week. Through my experiences, I have COMPLETELY fallen in love with yoga. Something you never thought you’d hear a runner say. (Confession, I always make sure to wear a marathon running shirt whenever I go so people understand why I can’t get into pigeon pose… I mean, I want to keep at least a little shred of dignity).
In spite of my inflexibility, one of the lessons of yoga that has really resonated with me is the use of breath. “Link one breath to one movement” and “Breathe consciously” are common instructions in vinyasa yoga classes. At first I thought the instructors were full of shit, “Um, dude, I know how to breathe, I’ve been doing it since day 1, why would I need to focus on how I breathe?”
But throughout these past few weeks, I’ve experienced how powerful it can be to really do just that- to focus on breathing and draw upon it for strength. For me there is a certain physical and mental power to breathing. I become strong enough to power through difficult poses, I stay present in the current moment and all the other noise in my outside life goes quiet for the hour I am in the studio, and I find that after class I am so much more mentally and physically relaxed.
I’ve started to use this concept of breath in my running. My running mantras all revolve around the idea of conscious breathing and I repeat them over and over as needed. On speed days, I zero my mind in on my breath and use it as white noise to block out the little nagging alarm bells in my head that try to say, “OMG we’re going too fast, stop, stop, stop!” It’s very easy to link one breath to one movement during intervals, I just breath in and out with each step. My running mantra is very quick, short, and repetitive.
On long run days, I focus on breath to alleviate the soreness that builds up with the miles by imagining that I am sending the air straight to the areas that need it. My running mantra changes a bit since it is not as fast paced as a speed day.
Maybe I’ve just drunk the yoga Kool-Aid, but these running mantras have helped me so far in training. I can’t wait to try them out in a race. Anyone else use running mantras? Or even just regular mantras?
Week 5 Boston Training Log
Monday: EZ 9. Day’s total = 9.12 mi, 7:50 pace
- AM: Run. The plan was either an EZ 7 or and EZ 9 (depending on if I went with the High Mileage or the Regular plan). Originally I was going to split the difference and go 8 miles but it was just too beautiful out to stop running!
- PM: Barre class. I was actually able to make it through all the tricep dips without stopping!
Tuesday: EZ 8. Day’s total = 8.5, 8:05 pace
- Met with Clocktower at the trough and then ran off to do my easy miles while they headed over to the Grant statue for some downhill work. After a few miles I joined them and did a few Becca Loops, then finished back at the trough. Another beautiful running morning, despite the gross hail-y/rainy afternoon.
Wednesday: November Project + Speed (6x1000ms @5k pace), Day’s total: 8.91
- AM: November Project was full of tricep dips, wall sits, push-ups, skips and mountain climbers. I’ve never climbed a mountain, but I don’t imagine it’s the same.
- PM: Warmed up to the zoo parking lot (did more dynamic drills, yay!) and then slugged it out for 6 x 1000 m repeats. It wasn’t quite at 5k pace, but I was SO happy with my consistency! Splits were 4:07, 4:07, 4:05, 4:07, 4:06, 4:07. BOOM!
Thursday: XT/Rest Day. Day’s total = 0
- AM: Buddah Yoga Burn at Zen Yoga. SO GOOD.
- PM: Massage. I’m really starting to love these no running days. Never thought I would but they are so refreshing!
Friday: November Project + EZ 7. Day’s total = 8.14, 7:29 pace.
- AM: Not much running at NP this morning which was a-ok with me. I wanted to focus more on strength anyway. Did my usual run home but it was a tad too fast for what it should have been. Gotta slow down next week, especially because of the long run on tap for next week.
Saturday: 13 mi. Day’s total: 15.80, 7:35 pace.
- Since the hills of Barrington last week had my pace all over the place, my goal for this run was to go slow and steady to practice consistency. I was doing a great job except a girl who was trying to run with us kept knocking into my feet and causing me to stumble or mis-stride. Finally I turned around and snapped at her to either slow down or speed up- later I felt guilty about it. But the rest of my run went well after that.
Sunday: XT/Rest. Day’s total: 3.15 mi, 8:09 pace
- AM: Rowing. I tried out a new cross training class, Go Row, and thought it was ok. I had never rowed before so I’m sure my technique was not letting me get the most out of the workout, but after class the instructor stopped me and asked about Boston (I was wearing a Boston Marathon zip up) because she’s running it for the first time this year. It was unexpected and really fun to meet someone outside of my normal running groups who is into running.
- PM: Easy run. Initially not planning on running but I just needed to move my legs and get out some of the leftover sluggishness from last night.
- PM: Hot Yoga. Went to Yoga Six for more of a hot yoga flow class since my normal Bikram class was during the Super Bowl. It was alright but I will be going back to Bikram next week.
Week 5’s total: Planned mileage 48mi. Actual: 53.6 mi
- Again I was higher than the plan. Next cutback week I won’t run to the Old Town store, I’ll Divvy instead. I definitely notice more strength this week! 🙂