Cold dark wintry days make running outdoors challenging. We may be a little more careful about wrapping up well, warming up properly before heading out on runs, and ensuring we pay attention to post-run rituals. We may even turn our attention to strength and conditioning work. This blog post is a summary of 12 daily messages I sent in December to those who attend my strength & mobility classes, attend my coached running groups, or train with me 1:1 – my Christmas gift to each of them. I hope you enjoy the summary version provided here.
Day 1 – How do you feel today? Ask yourself this before and during training. Listen to your body and act accordingly.
Day 2 – How do I adjust my training based on how I feel today? A little organisation can help to ensure our training meets our needs each and every time!
Day 3 – I’m always carrying a niggle! Why me? We can do something about this but it requires us to listen to our bodies and act accordingly, rather than being driven by external forces (e.g. slavishly following a plan or the ‘go hard or go home’ ideology).
Day 4 – I run well – don’t I? Well….maybe! Yes, it is possible to have our running form assessed or to get technical or other coaching. However, simply listening to our bodies and ensuring our training matches our ability to train is a good place to start. Often, just slowing down on longer runs is the key step so our running form doesn’t deteriorate and predispose us to injury.
Day 5 – Post-run routines – These are relatively important in helping to prevent injury and to improve recovery. Develop simple practical routines.
Day 6 – Basic Breathing Meditation. This is a very brief introduction to secular meditation (I usually provide it 1:1 in 4 one-hour sessions over a one-month period). https://youtu.be/Ksbgq6jzDvU
Day 7 – Oh NO! I’ve got that pain in my Bu** back! (aka High Hamstring Tendinopathy). The risk of getting this rather common problem can be reduced … but much relates to HOW we run.
Day 8 – Freddy (Mercury) said ‘I want it all, I want it all, I want it all and I want it now’. Freddy and I may not be on the same page here, but it’s worth considering if our approach to training and life smacks of this form of ‘cakeism’.
Day 9 – Learn to look after No 1 (i.e., YOU). This may be one to consider if you are often thinking ‘Why am I always exhausted!’
Day 10 – Be Grateful. Yes, think, each and every day, about a small area of your existence for which you feel grateful.
Day 11 – Try NOT comparing yourself to others – Be YOU.
Day 12 – Grounding. This is an ancient traditional meditative technique putting us in contact with Mother Earth. https://youtu.be/OmAKtAFp-a0
Even if only one of the above items catches your eye, even if you know about these items already but now might actually take some action to bring about changes in your routines, these messages may help you to make a positive start to 2022.
My approach is holistic. I believe that we are all individuals with multifaceted lives. We are not just a physical body that needs training; we are humans with a need to be nurtured and enabled to make progress in our own unique way. Progress comes about by working on the weaker aspects, be it our nutrition, sleep, muscular strength, speed, running form, mental well-being, stress management, or whatever. Hopefully, the summary of the ’12 days of Christmas’ messages may give you food for thought!
If you think I can help you make progress in 2022, please don’t hesitate to contact me.