Last December I decided to train for a half marathon which I completed in April. Here are 5 things that I loved and that helped me during my training months :
1. The Book Running Like a Girl by Alexandra Heminsley has been a great guide. Alexandra's book offers such a relevant and fun portrait of what it is to be a runner. Throughout her personal journey I caught so many advice and often recognized myself. I have never been looking for a book which tells you about specific trainings, techniques or nutrition plans. What I was interested in was how someone felt as a runner and what it meant for them, exactly what Running Like a Girl is about. Her description of what running can do to you is spot-on, like when she sees it as an "emotional Botox" for your confidence or how it made her "develop the kind of mental discipline only sports could inspire". On a more practical plan Alexandra is also the one who made me understand the crucial importance of an excellent sports bra.
2. Epsom Salts in a bath were my little reward after trainings. Epsom salts are not actually salt but a mineral compound of magnesium and sulfate which can have anti-inflammatory benefits. They can help relieving your muscles and joints. Scientific research on Epsom Salts is limited but what I know for sure is that a warm bath with lavender salts relaxed my muscles a lot.
3. Yogi Muscle Recovery Green Teas were, just like Epsom Salts, a small bribe that I was looking forward after a run. This tea is a blend of soothing roots like Turmeric and Devil's Claw which are known to relieve joint pain. Lemongrass, rose petals, blackberry leaves make it super interesting in terms of taste. And as you may know there is a different quote on each tea bag :)
4. Kinesiology Tape became a good tool towards the end of my training. I already knew I had a weakness in one of my knee but it became a problem while I was coming closer to my goal. So I tried Kinesio tape for the first time and it brought me support. The elastic strips have to be placed in a specific place with a specific degree of elasticity. Everything was very well explained on KT Tape website.
5. Finally a Runner Friend! I was happy to have a friend who knows what it is like to train for an event like this. I could talk about my running sessions, progress and feelings during this process. It was seriously the best feeling to have someone who got excited (or at least made the effort to look like it!) about my 4x800m or the latest update on my knee status.
It was overall a fulfilling experience, very empowering and interesting. As Alexandra wrote in her book with this race "I had proved that I could set a goal and meet it." So satisfying.