My Saturday began with 15 miles in cool, crisp Fall weather. I came home, ate, showered, and headed out to Malvern to cash in a Groupon for a 75-minute therapeutic massage.
The massage was heavenly. I don’t like half-assed massages. If I’m getting one, I want my muscles to be kneaded and worked on. A hurts-so-good massage.
What I didn’t expect was a lecture after the massage. I was told my neck and shoulders were a “hot mess”. This isn’t news – every time I get a massage I hear about my tight and knotted neck and shoulders.
I was then told that I shouldn’t run as much as I do, although I never told her how much I run. She told me it was unhealthy to carry around so much stress. I told her I wasn’t stressed by anything in particular. She kept doing this…
Do I walk around like this? Run like this? (via)
Maybe she has a point (but not about running too much!). I politely listened, smiled, and thanked her. Now I’m hyper-aware of my apparent shoulder shrug syndrome.
On Sunday I did a fun little fartlek run I saw here. I’m tired of my same old tempo and progression runs. This was a perfect way to prep for my 5K next weekend.
Although I misread the workout – it was supposed to be 2 minutes “on”, not 1 minute – it was challenging without being too taxing.
2 mile warm up
5 continuous miles of 1 minute “on” followed by 1 minute “off”. My “on” was a well controlled sprint, focusing on my form (shoulders down!).
2 mile cool down
Your heart rate during the “off” portion never returns to “easy run” heart rate which makes this workout so great. Very similar to decreasing your rest intervals on the track. Try it! Side note: for marathon training I would increase the “on” portion to a few minutes at HM or 10K pace.
Ever do fartleks?
Like getting massages (is there anyone that doesn’t?!)? Do you have shoulder shrug syndrome like me?
I’ve never tried fartleks before, but I’ve wanted to!
I don’t know if I shoulder shrug while I run, but now I’m wondering if I do. My shoulders are always pretty tight after longer runs.
Beth @ RUNNING around my kitchen says
I definitely hold tension in my shoulders and have to be conscious of “checking in” on that. And I love firm pressure on my massages – what a waste otherwise 😀 Fartleks are fun and this post is a good reminder!
My neck and shoulders are very tense but not from running! They are the worst at work. Maybe I should stop going there????
I, too, think I am a shoulder-shrugger as my shoulders and neck always seem to be tense. I think it’s from carrying around an 18-pound baby, though, as I haven’t been running nearly as much as I’d like.
Love fartleks. So good for you! I haven’t been doing much of those lately, either, as pushing a running stroller WITH an 18-pound kid is a workout in itself.
You’ve inspired me. I’m going running today (I should say “we’re” as Alice will be joining me 🙂
I go for 90-minute massages about once every month and they are the best! Not only to work out the kinks in my legs when I’m in the middle of a training cycle, but mostly because my neck and shoulders are always *so* tight. I blame my desk job mostly, and I try to stretch out my shoulders and neck regularly (even after a run!), but it seems to be a chronic thing for me. Going to regular massage helps keep it manageable so it doesn’t turn into a painful pinched nerve (WORST THING EVER), and I think my massage therapist might even be making progress!
If I paid someone to massage me, I’d expect them to keep their judgmental remarks to themselves 🙂
oooh, I love fartleks! I have a workout planned for tomorrow – 6 x 3 minutes on (10k-HM pace) with 2:00 rest in between. never done it before – hopefully it goes well!
That is weird about your masseuse. I went to a chiro once that did something like that, but it was really just because he wanted to give me a ton of reasons to come back and give him more money. lame.
I love fartleks. They’re such a nice way to break up normal running routines, plus there’s no need for any special course or mile markers which I really appreciate.
I like fartleks every so often – I find them to be low stress because I dont run them with a Garmin so I have no idea of my pace, I just go off of feel…can be nice! I like them especially when just getting back into speedwork and such.
Kate @ NaturaStride says
Oooh, thats great you got a massage. I am getting a sports massage TODAY in about 4 hours. I obviously can’t wait. I agree – hurts so good massage is the way to go. Make it count.
Yoga has helped with tension in my back – if you’re interested!
Love fartleks! Make runs go by super fast.
I feel like I’m out of touch since I’ve been locked up in my house. You’d think I’d have more downtime being away from work, but NOPE — not when you have a 1-year old running around non-stop. It never ends. 🙂
You really are amazing. I can’t wait till you coach me next year. Hmm… I have to see what marathon I would run. Oh, and I need some good tips on NYC since I’m running in in a few weeks. Gasp.
Runner Dad says
I always used to get stiff necks / sore shoulder blades after long runs for running scrunched up as I got tired in the later miles of the run. Even had to go to PT for a while for it. I say keep up the massages…relaxing and well wroth the money!
I used to get massages when I figured skated and I haaaated how much they hurt. Lately though I’ve been thinking about getting one again. I think I’m much more into that “hurts so good” mentality than I used to be.
I’ve never tried Fartleks because until recently (like last week recently) I thought they were a lot more complicated than they actually are. I thought they were really structured and you had to know your pace all the time blah blah blah. I might try them soon. 🙂
I’m the weirdo that doesn’t! I’m super awkward about people touching me. I’m not a “hugger”. I don’t remember who now but I know I warned a blogger that I hate hugging before I met her in real life. Now if Eric wants to massage me, game on. Other than that, no thanks.