Thursday, January 19, 2017

5 Things I'm Doing Differently This Winter

Happy Friday! So the topic this week is "Winter Activities," but we don't have a whole lot of traditional Winter here in Nashville, so I'm going to take a rather generous interpretation.  Since I never really wrote about my resolutions (or goals - apparently resolutions can be a polarizing term), I'm going to tell you about some of the little things I'm doing differently this year (i.e. they are starting as Winter Activities).  For me, major life overhauls don't work, but small differences can become sustainable, so I try to make a few every new year.  So here we go!
1. Epsom Salt baths post long run (perfect for the Winter). Epsom Salts are amazing for all kinds of reasons, but they can help speed up recovery after tough workouts. To help my body move on from long runs, I'm going to try and help it out.  No one likes getting back into their weekly routine still sore from their long run.  To make it even more fun, I picked up some lavender essential oils to add to my baths. Ah! So relaxing!
2. Fueling prior to early morning runs. I recently read an article that talked about the benefits of having something, even a little something in your stomach before morning workouts.  Typically I don't eat anything, just roll out of bed and jump right on the treadmill.  The article said that having a little fuel could help have better workouts and even support a little weight loss (win-win).  Given that I have a sensitive stomach, my options are limited, but Honey Stinger Waffles fit the bill; quick to get down, not too many calories, no gut bombs, etc. To see my review of Honey Stinger Waffles v. GU Stroopwafel's click HERE.

3. Plank post run.  I have to admit that I got this idea from my girl Jenna. In an attempt to help build up my core, my goal is to at least do one 30 second plank after every run. Obviously, I would like to build from there, but I feel like this is a great minimum and will definitely help me. Baby steps!
4. Mini strength twice a week. It's no secret that I'm not a fan of strength training. I don't like it much and I just don't have a ton of time (if I have time to work out, I'm running).  That being said, strength and stability work is so important and can help make all of us better runners. To give myself a goal I have a prayer of meeting, I'm going to keep it small.  Twice a week, I'm going to do a 10 minute routine using body resistance that I got from Runner's World.  I have it printed and laminated, set up so that I can pop off the treadmill and add my 10 minutes to my workout.

5. Resetting my sleep patterns. I'm one of those people who can't survive on a mere 5 hours a night and I have periodic bouts of insomnia. The holidays really threw off my schedule and I've had trouble getting back on track. I've started drinking a lot more herbal tea in general, but have a few varieties that are supposed to be good for sleep (Sleepy Time and Chamomile/Lavender). I also picked up some melatonin to naturally help me get to sleep as well. Here's hoping because sleep is so not an optional Winter activity!

So there you have it! My 5bWinter Activities that I'm hoping I can keep all year round. Thanks to Fairytales and Fitness and Running on Happy for hosting the Friday Five 2.0 Linkup!

Are you trying to make any long-term changes starting this year?
Do you make resolutions or goals every year?

20 comments:

  1. I need to do more planking and pushups!

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    1. So if my planking goes well ... maybe I can try and insert pushups mid year? Baby steps :)

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  2. I agree with putting a little something in the tummy before going out for a run. A few bites of yogurt do the trick for me. Thanks for reminding me about Epsom Salts. I need to do more of that! IT's ME TIME as well.

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    1. Yes! Self care is so important. It feels so luxurious and after our long runs, we certainly have earned it! I think you're smart to eat before your runs - I think it's really been helping me :)

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  3. I tried Epsom salt baths last year when I was marathon training. I'm not sure if it really helped with soreness, but it was nice and relaxing!

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    1. Hey, it might be all in my head, but as long as it's working ... :) It does take more Epsom Salt than I originally thought to be right for my soaker tub, but so worth it. One of my new favorite things - especially after cold runs!

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  4. I'm an avid Epsom Salts person. But I bruise easily and it has always helped me for that! Gonna steal the planking idea though!

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    1. Oh I had no idea that it helped with bruising! I get my fair share of them (bit of a klutz), so hopefully that will help me, too :) YES to planking! I stole it as well and think it's a great idea!

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  5. Nice list! I have yet to try Epsom Salt baths. Love Honey Stinger Waffles! I'm doing a plankaday of at least minute each day. :)

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    1. Thanks! Hopefully one day I'll be at your one minute per day plank level! I really do like Epsom Salt baths - good for you, but not one of those "painful, don't want it do it, but feel like I need to" good for you things :)

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  6. I love Epsom salts and have been using them quite often lately works wonders

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    1. That's awesome! Let me know if there are particular brands you think work especially well!

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  7. I do soak in Epsom salt baths often but I'm not sure it makes a difference. It may be just a placebo for me..haha

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    1. Hey, the mind is a powerful organ of healing, too! If we feel like it helps, then I guess it does right?!

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  8. I haven't taken an Epsom salt bath in FOREVER. But they were amazing. Maybe it's time to reignite that fire!

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    1. Oh I would highly recommend, especially with some really nice smelling things involved! Definitely gives me something to think about/look forward to while logging the miles ... especially cold miles :)

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  9. Those are great changes! I've been taking more epsom salt baths as well. They are quite soothing. I'm also being mindful about what I eat and have been journaling. We'll see how long that lasts.

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    1. That's a really good one - I've tried journals ... and then stop when I eat something I really don't want to write down. I suppose that would be the point though haha! Don't judge me too harshly!

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  10. What, no ICE BATHS????? Just kidding, I really hate them and much prefer a civilized Epsom Salt bath in warm water.

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    1. Hahahaha yeah ice baths are not for me - I'm so not tough enough. I don't even like using ice packs! You're right, Epsom Salt baths are much more civilized!!!

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