One of my goals this year was to do a headstand on my own and I am almost there! I have been practicing a lot lately and feel much stronger in my core so that I can steadily lift my legs on my own without using momentum (which can cause me to lose balance and fall over) or the wall. I'm not confident enough yet to not be near a wall but I am slowly getting farther away and more times than not I can do it on my own. I NEVER thought I would be able to do a headstand so you really can do anything you set your mind to!
Overall, I feel stronger and more flexible in yoga practice. My poses get better all the time and I love seeing the progress. I honestly love what yoga has done for my mind, body and soul and I actually have running to thank for it since I took yoga to help with running. Thank you running!
Everyone has their own set of rules when it comes to running. You just really have to find what works for you. For beginner runners it's a lot of trial and error. Some people like to be critical of others own personal methods but I don't think there's room for judgement in the running community. There should be nothing but support.
I've already done a post on 10:1 intervals which really works well for me but there are a lot of naysayers. Another topic that creates some stir is mouth breathing vs nasal breathing. Personally I do both and they each serve their own purpose.
To give examples on both sides, Scott Jurek, the famous ultra runner, said he breathes through his nose while running easy because nasal breathing "lowers one's heart rate and helps brain activity."
Runners Connect says mouth breathing is by far the best way to breath while running, largely because it brings in more oxygen than breathing through the nose.
I love breathing through my nose because it puts me into a "Zone". It's like a Zen-like state where everything just flows, without conscious effort or exertion. This relaxes me. When I want to run to relax and enjoy myself, I breathe through my nose. Panting through mouth breathing just isn't very relaxing to me. I do nasal breathing on moderate and long, slow distance runs and it has really helped me to enjoy running more.
During speed work I have no choice but to really open up and breathe through my mouth. I am working harder and using maximum effort. There is no way I could breathe through my nose for the paces that take me out of my comfort zone. And that's ok.
Where the progress report comes in is that my threshold for nasal breathing has really improved with this training. I used to only be able to breathe through my nose for speeds over a pace of 7:20 mins/km or so. Now I am comfortably breathing through my nose at about a pace of 6:45. Which is awesome for me! I hope to see it keep improving which will mean that I am getting faster!
Recovery after long runs is noticeably better over last training as well. I usually feel great the next day whereas last time I quite often felt stiff, sore and like a bag of crap. The compression socks have worked like a wonder as well!
During the long runs I am a lot more low maintenance for fuelling. Because I breathe through my nose my mouth doesn't dry out and I don't need a lot of water. I'm also noticing I'm ok without taking a gel. I know the cooler weather makes a big difference since I'm not sweating as much but it's nice to know that my conditioning seems to have improved.
I have leaned out even more since moving to 2 yoga classes per week. My weight has been hovering around 105 and last training session I was around 108-110. When I decided to start running I was 118. I know weight doesn't mean a lot but I thought it was interesting. Now I just want to gain muscle weight!
The most noticeable difference in my body is my stomach. It's my favourite result : )
I still don't have guns but I am noticing some definition in my shoulders. Hundreds of downward dogs are making a difference! I still want guns one day.
There's not much to see in theses pics but hopefully my next progress report will have some baby guns.
Both my toenails have totally grown in and they are no longer black! Yay!! I might actually be able to wear light coloured nail polish this summer and have pretty feet!
All the other topics are going to have to get an A on the progress report but nutrition will have to be a fail. A big fat F. I still don't eat breakfast and don't drink nearly enough water. I still eat whatever I want and love my candy and chips. Sometimes I make healthy choices but it's not a regular habit. I guess it's a good thing that my favourite food is salad!