As some of you may know, I’ve been training for a half marathon recently – well since March really!
Lately I’ve had a few issues with my training. It started in mid-May, I’d just run my first 12km distance in my preparation, and suddenly I had very tight, painful glutes and upper thigh areas. What to do?
Firstly, I thought it was my trainers. When I began this journey, I was running in trainers that were more suited to bushwalking than road running, but I persisted with them, mainly because they were relatively new. My thinking was I’d go for some “you beaut” running machines about 5 – 6 weeks before the race, giving me time to ‘break them in’.
Well, when I checked out my trainers, I could see quite a bit of wear on the outer heel, indicating that I was putting my foot down on the outer edge when running. So, try new shoes. Well, as it wasn’t quite time for a brand new road running pair, I tried the pair of same shoes that I had waiting in my cupboard. This didn’t seem to fix the problem. Week one of not training well!
Secondly, I then discovered I should really be stretching properly before I run and also after. Something I had not been doing very well it would seem. So, the following week, it was time to ensure stretching was occurring regularly and of the correct muscles. This seemed to help the problem a lot, so I was back into some training. Week two of training better, but not back to full steam yet.
Only to be suddenly halted again.
Nope, it wasn’t a physical injury this time – it was the COMMON COLD!!! How embarrassing, I’m a natural therapist and it appears I had forgotten to look after myself well.
Oh well, sometimes the body needs to do some quiet resting and regenerating. This resting and regenerating came about for me over the next two weeks while I took the time to recover, using my homeopathics and regular essential oils to ensure that the recovery was steady, even though it wasn’t as quick as I had hoped.
See my last post on Secrets to Winter Living to read about the different homeopathics, essential oils, dietary changes and herbal teas I used to ensure I managed a full recovery.
By this time, I had now purchased my “you beaut” running shoes, a great looking pair of New Balance shoes, complete with nitrogen filled soles (so the sales lady told me – she was lovely by the way, looking after the newbie that I am!)
Time to start running again. Well, for the last 2 weeks, I’ve been back on the road again, making sure that the stretching is happening pre and post training, that the shoes are not wearing, that I’m running more on the ball of my foot rather than the outer of my heel.
However, I am still feeling tight muscles in my upper thighs and glutes areas.
What to do? Well, the obvious answer is to go for a massage. As an Aromatherapist, I truly know the benefits of massage to release those tight feeling muscles. My issue is that I’m not a fan of deep tissue massage, and I feel that most therapists would be suggesting this to me once they knew what my issue was.
My way to overcome this? Well, as an Aromatherapist, it is to create a blend that is warming to my muscles, a pain reliever of the tight muscles and all while easing the tightness in them too.
The joy of the essential oils is that a nice way to apply them is to have a massage, but essentially, it is the oils that are getting into the blood stream and hence into the muscles to work their own special kind of magic.
Thirdly & finally, my step last week was to create an essential oil blend that I can apply to my legs pre and post workout, to ease the tightness that is being created, to warm the muscles, to overcome fatigue, to relieve pains, to be uplifting and energising during my training.
That blend is:
Black pepper (Piper nigrum)
Ginger (Zingiber officinale)
Lemon (Citrus limon)
Frankincense (Boswellia carteri)
in Sweet Almond Oil
If you’re making this at home, please contact me about the correct dilution and never put the essential oils directly onto your skin without a carrier oil.
I have now been using this blend for a week with my runs (my training partner informs me it smells of honey!) and my muscles are certainly not as tight, they are recovering well from my run and I am stretching further than I was a week ago. I am also back up to running my 12km training on the road (with 9km and 6km runs between), looking at 15km next week, 18km the week after, then the half marathon (21km). Very exciting indeed!
All up, I would recommend this blend on your muscles pre and post a training run to assist your muscles in recovery.
Do contact me if you would like a bottle of Workout Blend!