First of all, I want to wish every single runner in Boston today the absolute best of luck! And, to kick off the first week with my new and improved space, I’m sharing a little more about my own hows and whys of running. It’s hard to believe, but it’s been a little more than two years since I first laced up. The second anniversary mark at the NYC Half Marathon was awesome. But most of my running takes place solo at seven in the morning, and that’s what I want to focus on here!
I began running in my first year of law school. Growing up, I was serious about ballet and stood by the notion that running was bad for ballet dancers, to the point where I got a note to get me out of running the mile in gym class. But now I believe that, while it may not be the best form of cross-training for professional dancers, running is a wonderful thing to do and complement to many different types of exercise. For me, running is my time to get out in the fresh air, clear my head, and forget the world for a little while.
Out on the trail, I sometimes let my mind wander a little too much, and need to remind myself that while that does make a long run fly by, it’s important to keep focused on your running form at all times. I know there are a lot of running trends out there – running “streaks” where you go out every day, wearing different types of shoes or no shoes at all, racing a lot and racing very little. My personal approach to running is pretty simple, though, other than keeping that focus! Running several days during the week and going for one long run on the weekend, plus doing stretches and strengthening, is my happy medium. I’ve tried a lot of the “trendy” workouts on offer in New York City, from SoulCycle to barre, and none of them are really my style. I prefer the benefits running brings for mind, body, and spirit, and honestly there is nothing better than an easy-paced run in Central Park, the wind in my hair and the sun shining (or not – I’ll run in rain and snow!). I don’t feel the need to join the class sign-up rush. When I do want company, I have November Project NYC friends to turn to. They will be outside no matter the weather, just like me. And those workouts keep me working on my core strength, which is definitely important for runners. Nothing fancy, just simple push-ups, lunges, step-ups, jumps, and the like. And stretching, of course!
My current routine works best for injury prevention, and stretching is definitely key. I have a slightly weaker right side, because I broke my ankle doing gymnastics when I was 14, then developed tendinitis in my right knee because I was overcompensating for the ankle, and finally pulled my right hip flexor last summer due to both. Now, I’m careful to work hard to keep my running form in line, and to stretch and strengthen each area properly to prevent future issues. I also listen to my body to know my limits. Certain activities, like hill workouts, simply don’t fit in to my running life, because they aggravate the injured areas too much. So I focus instead on things like intervals for speed, because that’s what my body can handle. My motto is, listen to your own body and heart and do what is best for you!
This week was pretty typical. Just to give you a snapshot…
- Monday: 6 mile run in Central Park
- Tuesday: Rest day
- Wednesday: 5 miles running (1 each up and back, and 3 at November Project), 50 pushups, 50 situps
- Thursday: 6 mile run in Central Park with a friend
- Friday: Rest day
- Saturday: 9 mile run in Central Park (70 degrees and sunny and absolutely glorious!)
- Sunday: 6 mile morning walk along the East River, en route to and back from brunch further downtown
What’s your workout routine?
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