A Self-Massage Survival Guide and Running Through the Holidays

You know how I was saying not too long ago about runners being in a sort of constant pain from one thing or the other? If you want a real laugh take a gander at this chick the first few steps of any run…*snap crackle pop*…it isn’t coming from the Rice Krispies.
old person
I know I’m not the only one, it’s hilarious (in that kind of way) because regular runners and even record holders/world-class athletes alike have a tendency to look a bit like Frankenstein before they are ‘warmed’ into that run.

On-going ‘this’ or ‘that’ is part of the game but we’re riding a thin line between a flare-up or actual injury that can keep us out. Staving them off is a bit of a battle, if you will, and the best way to win is to stay ahead of the enemies…err, game…err, injuries…hehe.

In case you missed it in the January issue of Running Times I did a piece on one of the ways to stay ahead of the game and be proactive in staying healthy: self-massage. The article is now available online if you want to read it HERE: Self-Massage the Runner’s Way. We all can’t afford regular massage therapy sessions, although I think we’d all LOVE it, but we have two hands and can put them to our own use. :)

Moving on because there has been to much bummer injury talk as of late and there are much more happy and exciting things to talk about! Namely the holidays…no matter what you celebrate I believe there is at least one thing or the next that warrants holiday status.
dogs at christmas
I’m really lucky that this year I don’t have to do any of the big travel…I’m not a fan of being stuck waiting in lines for eternity at the airports or having a security check that’s just short of a body cavity search. I jest, never had that pleasure, but for whatever reason I’m ALWAYS that unlucky ‘random’ person who has to go to that separate line and have the personnel unstuff and sift through my bags. I’m beginning to think I must look like some kind of creeper??

Though when it comes to the holiday season and traveling, people admit to sometimes finding it hard to squeeze in their workouts. Personally it would take something short of the apocalypse for me to not do something, but then again I’m also rather lucky to have a family who are pretty understanding as they too are fitness enthusiasts.

But if you’re NOT from a family of runners or have some extended travel plans, here are a few tips and tidbits:

* Get up early. Or that can be even earlIER if you’ve got a morning flight. I’ve gotten in runs outside of 4am to hop a flight…it’s not easy prying yourself out of bed but at least you don’t have to stop for any street traffic. The getting up an hour earlier also comes in handy if you’re staying with people who don’t ‘get’ the whole running thing; if you’re up and done before it ever effects them or impede plans that can win you some brownie points or at least help you avoid getting any flack.

* Adjust. If you’ve only got a short window of time and you want a quickie interval workout, then opt for faster farleks. You can bust out a good speedy 8-10×200 meters (200 recovery jog), with a short warm-up and cool-down in that time and it’s a quality workout that you could use anyways.

* Rope in others. A big thing with the holidays is of course family and friends, do the whole ‘kill two birds’ thing and go out for a run…everyone likes some company, right?

In the end though, if you end up needing to scale back your workouts or *gasp* miss a few days it’s not the end of the world. Consistency over the long haul is the most important thing, and there ARE bigger things in life than running in the end…hmmm, even if that was a bit painful to admit. ;) jk.

1) Do you do much self-massage? Are you lucky enough to go in and get actual massages from others?

2) Best thing you do to be proactive on the running injuries front?

3) Are you traveling for the holidays? How do you get in your runs or do you take planned time off?

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8 thoughts on “A Self-Massage Survival Guide and Running Through the Holidays

  1. I loved that article you did! I definitely don’t have the $$ for a professional massage, so I rely on self-massage! I usually foam roll and use the stick daily, as maintenance…I’ve had to roll my butt on a tennis ball a few times too haha! Anyway I definitely learned some new techniques from that article and as I start increasing the running I’ll probably be needing them a bit more frequently than usual haha. And oh holiday season…I’m lucky in that my family doesn’t travel much, and I have much more time since Christmastime is always a break from school. I’ll need to re-work that when I have my own family I guess…unless I train all my future kids to be runners, obviously :-P

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