Stillness is quite the opposite of movement. But if you really think about it, to have a well rounded fitness regimen, you do need stillness (rest and recover days). This picture was taken during my second Ultra Marathon in July of 2015. Ultras are races that are over a marathon distance (26.2). They can be distance events, like a 50K or 100K, they can be timed like 6hr, 24hr, 6 days, and they can be relay format. This Ultra (24 hr) experience was such a completely different one from my first Ultra in 2013 (32 total miles in 24 hrs). I trained properly for the 2015 ultra.
My training consisted of walking and running several times a week, strength training, and yoga. I was able to rack up 43.5 miles (30 miles in the first 12 hours!) over the 24 hours. I had a schedule that I followed during the race. I would walk/run for 3 hours and then stop to eat/hydrate/roll/stretch. I rolled out my lower body and did some yoga (after accessing the body to see what areas needed the most attention) during each and every break. A lot of the yoga consisted of propping my legs up against my car (Vaparita Karani in yoga speak) and more restorative poses. I logged everything that I did during my breaks so that I could go back and review what I did and how I felt in the next running/waling segment. I kept moving during day light hours and started taking longer breaks over night (the dark trails get tricky with just a head lamp).
My first Ultra in December of 2013 was a great learning experience. I learned how I could push myself beyond limits I never really imagined. I also learned how proper training and rest is critical for events like this. I learned that only training with running is not great, as It can set your body up for injuries, which I had developed, and did the race with like an idiot. I used everything that I learned from the 2013 Ultra and a lot of info along the way, to train properly for the 2015 event. When you do one style of training with nothing else (no cross training and little rest days), you are opening the door for overuse injury.
My goal was to make sure that I started and ended the 2015 race injury free. I contribute my many different styles of movement to my successful 2015 Ultra, specifically YOGA! I was doing Yoga 4-5 days a week. I made sure that I was getting into different styles of yoga, Gentle, Hot, Intermediate, Beginners, and Restorative. I was also doing somatic movements weekly as well as functional movements (similar to what we do in Move Fusion). I also had become really good at knowing my body, it’s capabilities and limits, and being able to pay attention and listen to all the signals my body was giving me.
We can think of our bodies as adaptive machines. They get used to specific movement patterns and weight loads. They sometimes figure out “work-arounds” for movements that don’t feel great and they start to re-train themselves in this “off” movement pattern. Smaller muscles can take over the job of the larger muscles and vice versa. Using different styles of movement can help us become more efficient in our movements, in workouts and in our daily lives. Having a variety of workouts and moving differently, often, can also help us stay injury free and even prolong our life span!!!