And just like that … February is behind us and another month of training is in the books. Despite the constant rain and the frequent cold, I’ve managed to consistently increase my weekly run mileage while maintaining my cross training schedule. That’s easier said that done with Cincinnati’s unpredictable winter weather, but I’m now two full months into 2019 and I’m still enjoying #nodaysoff.
Last Friday, I stopped by Beyond Exercise for an hourlong massage with Ean Walker, BE’s licensed massage therapist. I’ve found massage therapy to be tremendously helpful in managing my plantar fasciitis flare ups, so I now make deep-tissue and sports massage a semi-regular part of my fitness regimen. It’s been at least two or three months since I’ve had an appointment with Ean, though, so I was very pleasantly surprised to hear him say that my legs – and particularly my feet – have never felt so problem-free.
Ean asked what I had changed in my training and recovery methods and I told him that the biggest change has probably been Peloton. Not only has the stationary bike made it easier to keep up with my cross training, which has undoubtedly helped to improve my overall fitness this season, but the bike has very specifically guaranteed that I’m getting a very deep stretch in my lower legs after each day’s ride (and I’ve continued to ride for at least 10 minutes every single day).
Peloton uses LOOK Delta-style pedals, which mean that riders are “clipped in” to the bike via the cleats on their cycling shoes. My road bike utilizes the same type of pedals, but the benefit of the stationary bike is that I can get an incredibly deep calf stretch by standing on the bike and pressing my heels down while I’m clipped in. Most of Peloton’s instructors actually end their classes with a guided series of these kinds of stretches and I think they’ve made a world of difference for me this season. This past weekend, I was able to knock out a nearly 19 mile long run on Saturday followed by a nice 5.28 mile run on Sunday with no lower leg or foot pain. That’s nearly unheard of for me.
We’re only 63 days into 2019, so there is still plenty of time for things to go “south” … but I’m happy with the foundation provided by these last two months of training and I’m going to remain cautiously optimistic that I might finally actually hit some of my racing goals for the year. As we enter the first full week of March, Spring seems less like a wild fever dream and more of an eventuality with each passing day, so I’m looking forward to another month of #nodaysoff.