Tuesday, September 14, 2010

Marathon. Yoga. Same thing?

Running a marathon and doing yoga might be pretty much the same thing. Strange, but true.
Me, sitting with my legs crossed going Ohm might not look like me dragging my bum across a finish line, but they're actually a lot alike. Here's why:
1) "I've been thinking about doing that."  If you tell someone you've run a marathon or do yoga, the response will often be the same.
2) Mind over matter.  Both practicing yoga and training for a long, hard run will make you want to quit, at some point. In both cases, the only reason to continue is because you decide to you can and will.
3) Sweat.  They're both exercise; get ready to sweat by drinking a lot of water.
4) Stretching.  Both yoga and running are better if you stretch. Note: yoga, in and of itself, is not stretching. See photo. This position is called "Flying Monk." It is a stretch of my skills, but not my muscles.

5) Admire, strive but don't compare.  Seeing someone do a sport well is inspiring and, I think, worth watching. But, we suffer when we compare ourselves to others. When doing, look inward. When seeking a new goal, look out.
6) Dress for success.  Take yourself and your sport seriously. Wear the right gear for the exercise and you'll be more comfortable and able to go longer.
7) Breathe.  Deep, steady breathing is key to both yoga and running.
8) Nice bod! After training for a marathon or doing yoga for 4 months, a new you is going to be walking around - leaner, stronger and able to do things you only once imagined.
9) Anyone can do it. Pregnant women, heavy-set guys, amputees and you all have something in common - you can do a marathon and yoga. A couple of weeks ago, an 80-year-old man completed the Pikes Peak Marathon the day after running the Pikes Peak Half Marathon. Do you still think you can't do it? See number 2.
Newsday team before a Long Island Summer Run
10) Solo or group? To improve your form, get motivated and maybe share a few laughs, practice yoga or run with others. For a more introspective, quiet time, leave the crowd behind. 

If you think of more, share!

See you on the trails!

Wednesday, September 1, 2010

What to Wear to Physical Therapy

I've been injured (Achilles Tendonitis) for almost two months. I'm determined to run again, and soon, so I regularly go to physical therapy. It's helping.
Being me, I couldn't help notice that half the people at PT don't seem to know what to wear. Shoulder-injury guy lifts weights in a dress shirt. Hip-injury chick rides the stationary bike in tight khaki shorts and a flouncy tank top. And, I admit, the first time I went, I wore jeans and a sweater.

Sadly, I'm now practically an expert and here's what I wear:
- Nike t-shirt
- Under Armour shorts
- My new Saucony running shoes

Really, the only difference between my PT outfit and my running one is the lack of hat and sunblock.

Does it work? Yes. Physical therapy is a trip to the gym, massage therapist and doctor, all in one. Your therapist needs to be able to see your body and how it moves. He or she also needs to be able to access your injured area for icing and maybe electrical stimulation (my favorite part - it's like jump starting an old car). You will probably do some light to medium exercises, which means sweat and a need for mobility.

If you're injured, I'm sorry! Go to physical therapy. It might not always seem like you're doing a lot but this is my third round (I'm a little too active, perhaps) and every time it has made a difference.

Get well soon. See you on the trail!