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The Melbourne Marathon is less than a week away. I’m feeling good, all my little niggles (hip, ankle, knee, entire body) have settled down. Taper has been good to me.
I feel like this is a good time to reflect on how much of a miracle it is that I’ve made it this far. When I first started this journey, I was so blissfully ignorant at how much of a battle I’d taken on. Before the start of this year, I wasn’t a runner at all. I hated running. Oh, I’d do the odd 4km fun run every year or so, but that’s about it. As far as physical activity goes, I was more a yoga-and-pilates kind of girl. And before I had kids, I was more of a shaking-my-ass-and-waving-glow-sticks-to-techno kind of girl.
But thank god I was so ignorant, otherwise I wouldn’t have tried it at all.
So I think I’m pretty qualified to give some tips on marathon training for first timers who are as lazy as I am.
Number 1 – Don’t do it.
I’m just kidding.
Sort of. It’s true, if I had’ve known how much work it was actually going to be, how much time, effort, pain and money that it takes, I wouldn’t have tried it. But now that I’m almost there, I have to say that the personal growth I’ve gotten from this journey is incredible. My confidence has soared. I’m really testing my limits for the very first time in my life, and I’m genuinely surprised at how much I’ve accomplished. It’s a strange feeling – I kind of want to try everything now, all of my weird dreams and odd bucket-list items. No matter how long they might take or how hard they might be to accomplish. Because if I can do this one, I can do anything.
So look out world, you’re getting yourself a new indie horror silent film director!
Number 2 – Get yourself a coach
If there’s one thing you need, it’s proper support. I got this guy:
Coach Chris is literally the only reason I’m still going. Here are the reasons why:
- You need the emotional support. He’s always pinging my messenger and leaving notes on my Insta posts, saying encouraging and wildly inaccurate things like “you smashed that run!” and “you’re a champion!”
- You need to be held accountable. Chris is always stalking Strava (the app I use to record and pace my runs) to make sure I’ve done my scheduled run, so he can see how well I’ve done. And if I haven’t done it, he’ll message me and give me a prod. And I’ll make up some excuse, which he never believes, then I’ll feel bad, like when I was a teenager and I disappointed my dad or something.
- You need someone to design your training plan so it’s appropriate for you. It has to be personal, and it has to fit in with your schedule and lifestyle. It has to cover all the long runs, the tempo training, interval training, fartleks, yasso’s and all the other amusing words I’ve learned. You need to cover all these to make sure you build your strength and endurance properly.
- You need someone to make sure you don’t get injured. Chris is always checking in to see how my body is feeling, if I’m sore in any spots, and he works to correct whatever I’ve done wrong. It’s usually to do with low tempo – how many steps I’m turning over – or to do with form – how shit my posture is when I’m running. And we’ll work on it, and he’s referred me to technique coach Nathan at Enfer Running to sort out my form a couple of times. And it’s worked!
In summary, unless you’re extremely disciplined, wildly confident and have a will of iron, get yourself a coach. It’s the best thing I’ve done.
Number 3 – Get yourself a crew
When I met Chris he hooked me up with a running group that meets at 6.05am on Tuesday mornings, appropriately named the 605 crew. Running with these guys never feels like a chore. It’s social, fun and beautiful. They’re all inspiring human beings from all walks of life. We connect over messenger throughout the week, we celebrate each other’s achievements and commiserate the hard times. Getting up at 5.30am to meet them is never a hard thing for me to do, and watching the sun rise on the beach at Port Melbourne is the best way to start the day. For motivation, encouragement, socialization and general goodwill, I recommend you join a crew. Come to mine, we’re awesome!
Number 4 – Cross Train
If you’ve got a coach, this will be in your training plan. You have to make sure you’ve got the muscle strength in your core and glutes to take on this distance. If your ass is weak, your whole body will collapse. On that note…
Number 5 – If a professional gives you exercises to do, DO THEM.
I failed at this one a few times. When I first started, I got the run-down from Functional Movement Expert Michael.
He tested me and picked up weaknesses in my glutes and core, and problems with my hip stability. He gave me exercises to strengthen my weak spots. I did the exercises for a bit then stopped, because, of course, I’m lazy. And I had to face his wrath when I pulled up injured. So now I do my exercises.
Similarly, I saw Nathan at Enfer Running for my technique training when I first started (you can read about it here). But it was a bit hard to change my running style so I pretty much did my own thing after a while, and of course my injuries had me heading back to Nathan for a tune up.
Number 5 – Diet!
You think that running all those kilometres would take the weight off, but for me it did the opposite. I’ve been so bloody hungry the whole time. And because I’m a female over 30, all I have to do is look at a donut and I’ll put on weight. Over the space of ten months, I put on five kilos. Some of it is muscle (I hope), but most of it is because my metabolism went crazy, I got hungry, I justified bad food choices because I was doing so much exercise. And I got fat. I’m short, so a few extra kilos on my frame makes a huge difference, and it’s very hard to carry extra kilos for 42.2 kilometres.
Because I have the kind of husband who’s not afraid to constantly harangue me about my weight, I finally took control of myself and managed to lose a couple of kilos. And now that I’m on taper, I have to watch myself like a hawk. I’m not doing as much cardio, but I’m as hungry as ever.
Number 6 – Recover Well
I’ve been incredibly happy to have access to the recovery centre. If it wasn’t for the ice baths, the far infrared sauna and the recovery pump boots, I think I’d have gotten injured and dropped out a long time ago. When you’re training for something as big as a marathon, recovery is just as important as putting in the hard yards on your legs. Inevitably you’ll get tight, unbalanced, things will cramp up, and you’ll be on the fast track to injury.
Even something as simple as getting on the roller, and rolling out your legs after every session will make a huge difference to your body.
Fluid Health has memberships available for as little as $25 per week for a yearly membership, so you can come in whenever you’ve had a hard session and treat yourself to the contrast baths and sauna, and chill out in the recovery pump boots. If you don’t want that kind of commitment, try a mini membership – $455 for 3 months. Perfect for the lead up to that big race.
So that’s it, we’re almost there! Good luck everyone, let’s smash this mara to bits!
(Book yourself a pre-marathon prep massage, or a post-marathon flush out by clicking here)
October 3, 2017
Prenatal Massage – Pregnancy Massage
Pregnancy is a glorious journey, one filled with hope and love and trepidation. It’s a special time, a whole nine (ten) months where you can celebrate the miracle of being the Bringer of Life. You are a goddess, the gateway of existence, a vessel of pure treasure.
Let’s all take a moment to appreciate how much of an effort it is to grow a baby. Things swell, joints ache, muscles cramp, you get kicked and pummelled, and if the heartburn doesn’t kill you, then needing to pee twenty times in the night just might finish you off.
You need special care when you’re pregnant. That’s where we can help.
Prenatal Massage incorporates both remedial and relaxation techniques to ease some the aches and pains caused by the pressures of pregnancy, providing a multitude of benefits for both mother and baby.
Massage reduces peripheral swelling, soothes the nervous system, helps to prevent insomnia, muscle cramps and back pain, and can help reduce stress and anxiety.
Regular massage throughout the pregnancy is also said to shorten labour time and help with the return to optimal fitness after birth.
And wouldn’t we all love a shorter labour time.
You should take care during the first trimester, but Prenatal Massage is beneficial throughout your whole pregnancy, including in the months after you’ve had your baby. Let’s face it, you’ve now got a tiny bundle that weighs a few kilos that you’re going to be juggling on a permanent basis, so your neck and shoulders are going to get tense.
Your Prenatal Massage at Fluid Health
If you’re not already a client of ours receiving regular massages, we’d want you to take care during your first trimester. You wouldn’t want to start doing something new and different in the first delicate stages, so just take care of yourself and relax. In the second trimester, we can treat you to a beautiful and very therapeutic massage.
We have a special pregnancy mat that we can set up on our massage tables that will allow you to lie on your stomach without any discomfort. The mat looks like a normal massage table, except with an egg-shaped dip where your belly will go. If you prefer, we can perform the massage with you lying on your side, which is also very relaxing. Once the pregnancy is advanced, however, we discourage you from lying on your back as this may cause pressure on deep blood vessels.
Our massage therapist will then perform a relaxing and therapeutic massage treatment based on your needs and comfort level. You’ll walk out feeling a million bucks!
So take care of yourself during this special time. Call us on 03 99391133 or click here to book a pregnancy massage now.
September 27, 2017
Okay, I’ll get it out of the way. Running is hard, running a marathon is ridiculous, why would anyone want to do it, why the hell did I decide to do it in the first place, blah blah blah, oh god please kill me now.
That’s my usual spiel, and that’s how I always feel 3 km into any run I do. Still. But a few things have changed since my last blog, and the differences are incredible.
Yes, my last blog was ages ago. There’s a few reasons for that. But the most important one is that I didn’t think I was going to make it to the start line of the Melbourne Marathon, so I was a bit embarrassed about continuing to blog when I was just going to fail anyway.
Training for a marathon is just not what I thought it would be. I thought it would be hard slog to push myself to run a little bit longer, and a little bit further. Don’t get me wrong, it IS that, but it’s also about managing injuries that pop up when you start to push yourself that little harder.
Because I’m not a seasoned runner, this was bound to happen. Every time I get a little niggle that pops up, I talk to Michael, our functional movement specialist here, and he figures out what I’m doing wrong and gives me exercises to build up the muscles that aren’t working properly. But in his words, it’s like trying to change a tyre while the car is still moving.
What I SHOULD have been doing was running for a couple of years before I started to load up on the k’s. But I didn’t, and I’m still going.
And there’s a few reasons why I haven’t let anything defeat me yet.
Firstly, I’ve got myself a coach. This guy:
Chris Wright breezed into the clinic one day to have a look around our Recovery Centre. He’s an amabassador for Nokkon – active lifestyle services and product company that aims to support those who are out there helping others to live healthier lives. Chris invited me to join a running crew that meets at 6.05am on Tuesdays – all levels, all shapes and sizes. It had occurred to me before that I might need some running buddies for support and motivation, so I said yes and fronted up to meet the 605 crew the next morning.
I got a lot more than I expected. I thought it would be a casual run and some nice chats with people that share running as a common interest.
What I got was an entry into the Running Community – bucketloads of support, truckloads of encouragement, and a whole heap of lovely new friends.
The running community is incredible – they support each other tirelessly. We share and celebrate each other’s achievements and commiserate our low points – after all, we’re all going through the same thing. We all run for a reason, weather it’s to see how far we can push ourselves, or connect with other runners, or to beat back our demons.
The 605 crew gave me an entry into this community, and I’m so glad I joined. If I hadn’t, I wouldn’t have made it this far.
So with the 605 crew having my back and Chris on board as my coach and cheerleader, I was on the right path. Chris designed me a training program to help me get to the Melbourne Marathon without dying. My first big milestone on this path would be the half-marathon. So with my heart in my mouth I entered the Run Melbourne Half Marathon.
The Half was a lot harder than I expected. Mostly because I’d set myself the ridiculous goal of trying to do it in under 2 hours, which is too much for a first timer (especially one that only started running at the start of the year!) I struggled very badly, and made a few stupid mistakes. I took on too much water beforehand, and had to stop to pee twice. I didn’t run with a pacer, and I didn’t have my Strava telling me how fast I was going. I hadn’t trained on enough hills, so every slight incline took it out of me. So consequently, even though I finished the half marathon in an incredible time – 2.04 – I spent the rest of the day crying because I was so disappointed that I didn’t break 2 hours.
So I cried, but it was a nice kind of crying, the kind where you’re disappointed, but also kind of happy that you’re experiencing life and all it’s ups and downs. You know, sad but happy that you get to experience the sad. It was weirdly nice and horribly disheartening at the same time.
And now I have another goal to beat before the end of the year – a sub 2 hour half marathon.
But before then, I have to finish this marathon! Until now, I wasn’t sure I was going to make it. After the half marathon, my body decided to start letting me know that what I was trying to do was ridiculous. First, my ankle was giving me grief, then my knee, then my hip, and now I’m feeling the dreaded cramp of Plantar Fasciitis.
I’m incredibly lucky to have access to our Recovery Centre. I’m in the ice baths after every run, I chill out in the far infrared sauna, and I’m always hanging on our lounges with the recovery pump boots. It’s been essential in getting me this far.
And I’m still going.
And on Friday, I managed my last long run before taper. I ran 35km, and I’m still alive.
I think I can do this. I HAVE to do this.
Wish me luck!