Take care of yourself AFTER the Marathon

I have a lot of friends who will be toeing the line at the Bank of America Chicago Marathon on Sunday. The weather should be perfect! I’m a little jealous and a little sad I’m not running this year.

By this point, everyone running Sunday should know what they need to do inorder to have a successful race. You know about warming up, pacing, nutrition and hydration. But what do you need to do after the race?

I’m not talking about your finishers photo or complementary Goose Island beer, I’m talking about recovery. I wanted to get you some of the best recovery info out there, so I asked the most knowledgeable people I know to get you some tips!

First on the panel is Coach Jen Harrison. Jen has been my coach for the past 2 years and made sure I got through 3 Ironman 70.3′s, 1 Marathon and Ironman Wisconsin.

Jen’s recover tips are:

  • Wear recovery socks post marathon
  • Take and ice bath 10 minutes cold/10 minutes hot – you can repeat this
  • Sit in a hot tub and stretch out the beat up muscles
  • Eat lean protein and healthy whole grains to recover – Beer is OK (That’s why I love you Jen!)
  • Re-hydration
  • Cross Training to aide muscles in recovery – Swimming & Cycling
  • Foam Roll
  • Get a massage

Dr. Rick Kattouf II is a fitness and nutrition expert and has been named one of America’s Premier Experts. He’s the creator of  5-Round Fury and 5-Round Fury Fitness.

Dr. Rick’s tips:

  • Take a number of days off of running. Even if you feel like you’re recovering well, the body is still beat up from all the training and the race.
  • Roll out the body using a foam roller or similar. Focus on the quads and IT Band as these took a beating and they need some love and attention.
  • Refuel the body…getting in the proper fuel will help to facilitate recovery. Eat small frequent meals/snacks all throughout the day starting from the time you awake and every 2.5-3.5 hours thereafter. Each meal/snack should consist of 45-55% carbohydrate, 15-30% fat, 15-30% protein.
  • Drink, drink, drink…water that is. Consume 15-20 ounces of water immediately upon awakening and 15-20 ounces with every meal and snack.
  • Make sleep a priority…put as much effort and energy towards getting 7-8 hours sleep as you did preparing for your marathon
  • Future goals…be sure to have another goal set. All too often, when individuals do not have goals set past their marathon, they tend to lose fitness and motivation and gain weight. Having another goal set will keep the runner more focused on all of the above tips which in turn will lead to a faster recovery!

Next up is Coach Jeff Kline and the Coaches from PRS Fit Nation. I’ve followed Jeff on twitter since I first started training for the Chicago Marathon in 2010. He has always been great about answering questions and his blog is always very helpful.

The PRSFit Team’s tips are:

  • Keep moving after the finish. Don’t just stop and sit down. The body will have a tendency to tighten and lock up. Walk around keep the blood flowing.
  • Take an ice bath.
  • Eat whatever you are craving for the next 24-48 hours post-marathon.  Go ahead, have beer and burgers, completely guilt-free.  Allow yourself the foods you wouldn’t eat during training.  Then, continue on with good nutrition, which your body needs for recovery.
  • Stretch and Foam Roll.
  • Wear compression socks/sleeves, even to bed that night.
  • Light easy Yoga to stretch out and relax.
  • Nice and Easy Recovery Bike Ride. Either on a spin bike, trainer or on the road. Gets the blood flowing and opens up the hips a little.

Last but not least is Kate Galliett from ProKine performance. Kate is a trainer, runner and coach. I got the chance to go through a workout with her and partner Drew a little while back and It was awesome!

Kate’s tips are:

  • Sleep. As much as possible without getting fired or divorced. There is a ton of recovery (growth hormone production, tissue repair, etc) happening while you sleep so skimping on it skimps your recovery. I’d aim for extra sleep for the next week to really max out recovery.
  • Get feet elevated above heart as much as possible, even when you sleep. While there is disagreement these days on whether ice is effective for soothing inflammation, elevating the feet so circulation is assisted is definitely valuable for recovery!

A common theme here is stretch and foam roll. Personally in addition to my foam roller I like to get a massage. And really who doesn’t love to get massages? Usually after the Marathon you can line up behind the other 45,000 runners to get a free 15 minute massage. But who wants to stand around all afternoon!

My good friends at Massage Envy are hooking you up! I have TWO 60 massages to give away! If you’ve never been to Massage Envy you’re missing out. Much like your health club, Massage Envy offers memberships. As a member you can get one 60 minute massage a month or combine months and get longer or specialty massages. How cool is that!

The week following Ironman Wisconsin I booked myself for a 90 minute swedish massage to work all the kinks out of my body.

To enter to win one of the two 60 minute massages, leave a comment below with your marathon or racing goal!

Thanks to all the coaches and trainers who contributed! And thanks to Massage Envy for donating the massages for the giveaway!

Have a great race everyone!

Endurance Sport Speaking Events

While you’re sitting on the bike or mindlessly doing laps in the pool your mind is probably wondering. This time of year is a great opportunity to hear from some of the best and brightest in endurance sports at various speaking events around the city.

So while your mind is wandering, it might as well be thinking about something that could help you come race day. Here are a few good speaker events coming up!

Trek Store of Highland Park
Meet Mat Steinmetz on January 25th 6pm – RSVP Here 
A performance advisor to Ironman World Champ Craig Alexander, Mat will talk about his coaching and training experinces with many elite athletes like Juile Dibens and Mirinda Carfrae. He’ll also talk about the importance of a bike fit and the large role it plays into an athletes success.

Running Away Multisport
My Coach Jen Harrison and my buddy Dan “Cubicle Dad” Malinski will be guest speakers at Running Away Multisport Clybourn Store on Feb 1st, 7pm. Dan and Jen will be talking about his weightloss journey as well marathoning. You can trust me when I say there are no dumb questions to ask Jen… becuase I asked them all already! You can RSVP for this event on the RAMultisport Facebook page.  

Garmin Chicago
This isn’t a speaking event, but it can be really helpful. The Garmin Store on Michigan Ave is offering a GPS Academy. So if you got the new Forerunner for Christmas and need some assistance to utilize everything it offers Garmin is here to help. You can schedule a 1 hour one-0n-one session to learn all the tricks of your new device. There is a charge of $15 ($8 if you have your receipt), but that’s a small price to pay for a tutor! You can make an appointment here.

Fleet Feet Chicago
Hows your form? Each Tuesday Fleet Feet Lincoln Square offers a Good Form Running Clinic at 6:30pm.  Learn how to run fast and more efficiently by doing running drills while getting instruction on how to improve your form. You’ll also get a video analysis of your running form and how to improve it. Each class is limited to 20 people, so make sure to RSVP!

Runners High ‘n Tri
Runners High ‘n Tri is holding some Biomechanic and Dynamic running seminars. During the 4 week course participants will learn more effective and individually beneficial biomechanics. There are 4 sessions 2-times per week and a registration fee of $120. The current sessions are full but you can keep an eye on when new ones are starting on the Runners High ‘n Tri Facebook Page.

ProKine Performance
Jessie Stensland of MovementU will be coming to ProKine Performance in St Charles April 14th & 15th. Jessie will be doing day-long camps showing Stratgies for Speed & Sustainability in swimming, cycling and running. You can register here. Plus check out the ProKine website to learn more about their TRX functional strength classes and training.

Start the off-season right with a FREE Core Workshop!

For most of us in Chicago out racing calendar is coming to an end. With the exception of a Turkey Trot or Rudolph race, we’re all going to slip in to this horrible winter maintenance season.

But with the help for ProKine Performance it won’t be so bad!

I got a chance to workout with ProKine trainers/owners Kate and Drew a few months back and it was AWESOME! They’ve moved their high energy sweat show to a new facility and they are opening it up to ChicagoNow readers for a FREE camp on October 22!
This is a great way to get some hands on experience learning core function and getting a professional to help identify your kinetic imbalances, which in turn will improve your overall performance come race season!

All the info you need is below! Hope to see you out there!

Motivating weekend at performance camp.

Hey, did you miss me? How do you like the NEW ChicagoNow?

I’ve written a few draft posts that I never published in the past two weeks. They were about my recent lack of motivation to continue training.

It was a funk I couldn’t seem to shake. I felt like I was just doing the workouts just to get them done instead of doing them to perform better.

But after this weekend I feel like I was put back on track!

I kicked off Saturday with an easy 15 mile bike ride before I headed north to Algonquin for a morning of performance training at ProKine Performance Move like a Pro camp.

The camp is run by fitness pro’s Drew Whitehead and Kate Galliett. Kate is also Coach Jen’s performance coach. To be honest I was pretty unsure of what to expect.

The camp started out with everyone getting there picture taken to assess your body’s imbalances. The picture was taken while doing an overhead squat. My squat felt fine, so I assumed it looked fine to Kate & Drew.

Before Front Before Side

After picture time we went through a series of stretches to help open up our hips, shoulders and other joints. Throughout each stress our coaches would talk us through proper form to get the most out of the exercise.

The stretches were followed by a series of lunges and body weight squats that Kate kept telling us would “wake up our glutes.”

Stretching it out at ProKine Performance Camp

From there we worked on some trigger point techniques. WOW those were painful! Using a lacrosse ball and golf ball I was able to pinpoint all the little knots in my feet calves and hips. We also worked on a variety of balance exercises using a BOSU ball, stability ball and TRX bands. I could use some serious balance work.

The final workout consisted of 2 circuits working your core. Kate had mentioned at the beginning of camp that “Core work” is mentioned a lot in gyms, but it’s often very effective.

The workouts we did at camp were KILLER! what seemed like very short stations the 1st time through seemed like an eternity on the second pass.

After the circuit we took another picture doing an overhead squat then Drew came around and went over the pictures with us individually. You can see there is a drastic difference between my two pictures. In the first set but body is pretty crooked, my arms aren’t straight and my shoulders are coming forward.

After Front After Side

The second set of pictures shows my body in better alignment, my left arm still dips a bit, but my shoulders are back and knees aren’t coming out as much. It’s a pretty drastic improvement for just 4 hours of training!

Kate put together individual workouts for everyone based on the result of the pictures. By continuing to work on correcting all these litte imbalances I can get my body moving correctly and more efficiently which will help me perform better in races and training!

I left camp exhausted and full of new knowledge. Throughout the day I could feel a little soreness creeping in, but Sunday morning I got out of bed and almost yelled

Oh THATS what they meant about my glutes being sore! WOW! My ass hurt an still does!

But that didn’t stop me from meeting Dave from Pace of Chicago for a nice ride 40 mile ride. Dave took me along, Sheridan road, or as I like to call it the LX.TV Open House Chicago Tour. It was a great ride considering how sore I was from ProKine Camp… and that soreness was about to get worse.

Dave has told me about this moster hill a few times. He said he’s only ever see one guy complete the climb. So as we’re riding he asks “Do you want to see THE hill?”

Umm yeah!

As we’re approaching this hill all I could see was a ledge, not the path down it… Have you ever seen The Plunge at Noah’s Arc in Wisconsin Dells, it’s like that but concrete.

Coasting down it, you have to ride the brakes… but you’re still moving… I knew there was no way I was making it back up this thing. At the bottom Dave readies himself for the climb. He looks up the hill and says “I’ve been fighting you for 30 years.”

He takes off and fights up making it over half way. The whole time I’m thinking where a respectable place to start walking would be!

I mount the bike and….

THAT was exhausting!

After a breather we headed back, I struggled to keep up towards the end and eventually made it home completing a total for 40 miles. I was really a good ride and I was wiped, but it felt great. A jam packed weekend like this is really what I needed to help get me motivated an back on track to focus on the races ahead.

A big thanks to Kat ena Drew from ProKine Performance for kicking my ass Saturday morning. And as always thanks to Dave form Pace of Chicago for riding with me on Sunday!

Today is a (well deserved) rest day. I’m going to hit the hot tub and the foam roller. Tomorrow I’m back in the pool and strength training.