Awkward pre-facial selfie right after Mark my amazing masseuse did painfully helpful things to my back. He did acupressure on me which was my first time and I will DEFINITELY be doing it again!
When I was having significant pain in my IT band years ago, a friend recommended I read a book about ChiRunning to see if changing my running technique might help. I didn't fully commit to all the tips but I remember a couple of takeaways that stuck with me and have almost eliminated my IT soreness which I'll share with you!
ChiRunning is a technique based on the same movements you see in T’ai Chi. The guidelines are supposed to help reduce injuries and improve your running performance. You can get a lot more information on their site but what I found most helpful were these tips which I need to revisit since I've been slacking on some of them:
It's common for runners to tighten up their shoulders or other muscles as they get tired. But all that stiffness and tension wastes energy and makes you less efficient. When you feel your technique slipping, ask yourself: Where am I tense, and what can I do about it? Sense and respond with the correct adjustments, which might be as simple as straightening your arms and shaking them out or reminding yourself to lower your shoulders.
Here's one last tip which I'm not sure is a ChiRunning principle but I did read it somewhere once and it's helped me make sure I have proper head positioning. Take your thumb and middle fingers and put them along your collarbone, then touch your index finger to your chin. That's the position your head should be in when running. Sometimes I actually hold my fingers up in the triangle if I feel my form slipping. Here's a bad quality photo example.
One thing my masseuse pointed out was that the right side of my back is higher than my left, which he said is pretty common and due to a number of things. For me, I think it's a combination of when I broke my fibula years ago and then started favoring it when I ran, as well as having poor posture. The imbalance can build up over time and create discomfort and inflammation. Minor fixes to this imbalance can be making sure I use my phone equally on both sides of my head, carry bags evenly on both sides, etc. and that I'm strengthening muscles all over. I'm considering returning to pilates reformer once a week because I think it's great for alignment and core strength! Plus the toeless socks they make you wear are a very hot fashion item.
This little cutie started 3rd grade today! He waved goodbye with a smile and got picked up at the end of the day with a smile. When I asked, he gave it a 4 out of 5 on the thumbs up scale (our family's barometer for levels of goodness). I'll take that! It was a family event walking The Dude to school this morning. I love that he is so close to home and we can walk to school rather than drive or put him on a bus.
When I opened the fridge to get my coffee creamer I saw this... I don't know what Croc's fascination is with putting things in the fridge or freezer. It's funny at first until you see your electric toothbrush in there.
We were winding it down before bedtime and Croc asked for a book. How cute is it that his hand is on Jon's shoulder?
Back to reality tomorrow! I know once I get back in the swing of things in the office, I'll be fine but I would give my left arm to be able to re-play our vacation again.
Do you get regular massages? What kind?
What running techniques do you use in your training?