As I mentioned in last week’s Runs & Workouts update, I was not able to stick to my self-imposed running schedule this week due to personal circumstances. I thought not being able to run was going to be tough, but it turned out to be quite a welcome break. I got to do more strength and yoga sessions – I am trying to make it a habit to do some strength or yoga exercises after we put Maria down for the night – and went out with Maria for several lovely albeit rainy walks around the lake.
In fact, I discovered that being outside in the rain can be pretty nice, as long as you’re dressed properly. I was always a person who hated rain and would check the forecast a zillion times before heading out for a run – or for anything, for that matter. While I don’t think I will ever be a fan of those dreary, rainy days, I came to enjoy the deserted town and the fifty shades of gray at the lake. With Maria snuggled up in the pram under the rain cover and myself warm and dry in my rain coat, I listened to various podcasts and songs on my phone, to come back to a comfy and (relatively) warm home.
Another thing I discovered during last week’s workouts was that I needed to focus more on form while doing my ab exercises. Since Maria’s birth I am determined to make my core stronger than even before I got pregnant, but I often notice the front of my hips get sore rather than my abs. A quick Google search made me realize this is a common issue: Many people overwork their hip flexors while doing stomach exercises, especially those that target the lower abs. This website explains it quite well, while this website also gives tips on how to work the lower abs without engaging the hip flexors.
Here is an overview of last week’s workouts:
Monday: I walked with Maria in the stroller to the baby course I’m doing and back, which is exactly 4 km. The weather was gorgeous! I also did 30 minutes of Ashtanga yoga in the evening.
Tuesday: I did a leg workout and 5-minute core workout, following videos I found on YouTube. I didn’t really like the leg workout, so I didn’t keep the link. If anyone knows a good leg workout that doesn’t need any equipment I would love to hear about it!
Wednesday: Today was one of those non-stop rainy days. Besides a hot chocolate at the mall with my antenatal group in the morning Maria and I were home the entire day, and at the end of it I really felt like going out for a walk with her. Despite the rain, I went out and walked about 6 km around the lake and back. It was then I realized walking in the rain can be fun!
Thursday: Apart from walking to the massage course and back (2.2 km in total) I did 25 minutes of strength training in the evening. Some lunges, squats, tricep dips, push ups, planks and crunches, if I remember well, and it was pretty intensive. I did each exercise for 45 seconds and then took 15 seconds rest. I repeated this as often as I could, about three to four times.
Friday: Another lovely 6-km walk around the lake with Maria in the stroller. And we only had one shower on the way!
Saturday: I had a very productive day, running errands across town with Maria. In total, we walked 6.8 km. In the evening, I did my favorite ab workout and found out my hip flexors got even more tired than my abs! Next time I’ll make sure to pay more attention to my form.
Sunday: Back to running, and I returned with a 20.31 km run! I was planning to do a pace of around 5:25-5:35 min/km, but ended up doing 5:09 min/km, because I wanted to be back home as soon as possible. The great thing about taking a break from running is the motivation you feel to go for a run once your break is over! I also did the 5-minute core workout for runners in the evening.
Total: 20.3 km of running and about 25 km of walking, two yoga sessions, and four (!) strength training workouts. I hope I can keep this new habit of doing a little yoga or strength training after putting Maria to sleep, even if it is only 5 minutes. If it doesn’t improve my running form then at least it will hopefully be a good way to prevent injuries.