Back in June, I thought my left hip and hip flexor muscles were injured, only to find out it’s just a bad case of sciatica. Now that I’ve discovered what’s going on in my body, I can start thinking about my comeback. I’m still on pause with running, even though I’m mentally ready to dive in so hard. Instead, this comeback is about finding balance. Thanks to my lovely acupuncturist, Dr. Kate, we think a lack of balance added to the cause of injury.
What exactly was out of balance?
Well, lack of proper hydration and nutrition, rest/recovery, and cross training could be all be the culprits here. So now, starting from the bottom, before focusing on miles and speed, I’ll focus on hydration and food, muscle recovery, and strength training workouts.
The workout plan
While injured, I’ve been doing a ton of yoga. The caveat to all the yoga I thought was so great for my body is that I could have overstretched where I was feeling the effects of sciatica the most, aggravating the nerves even more. So I’ve backed off (minimally because I can’t not hang out with the Flex and Flow tribe) for now.
I did get the OK from the PT to start running if there was no pain, or at least to do things that will rebuild the muscles in the hip, glute, and quad areas. And you know the first thing that popped into my mind? HIIT & Flow.
HIIT & Flow is Jamie and Flex & Flow’s signature workout that combines yoga poses and flows with the strengthening and conditioning moves of HIIT for a full-body, muscle burning and shaking, sweatiest workout of your life. It’s perfect if you’re wanting to get stronger and faster, all in one hour (or less) sessions. It’s efficient, effective, and really hard. In my mind, this was the perfect way to get the cardio endorphins AND muscle strengthening I crave and need.
I put together this quick sequence of moves I use quite a bit in my own HIIT & Flow classes and am now prescribing it to myself. My main focuses are to strengthen my core to prevent future low back and sciatica aggravation and strengthen my lower body so I can get back on the trails sooner than later.
HIIT & Flow workout:
Repeat each move 10 times and repeat the entire sequence 3 times.
- Mountain Climbers
- Plank Tuck
- Mountain Climbers
- Plack Tuck with a push-up
- Cat-Cow Lunges
- Hover Lunge
- High Crescent (hold)
- Hover Lunge
In between leg sequences (right and left)
- Mountain Climbers
Want to HIIT IT with me? Get your gliders out (or socks or paper plates) and check out the video here.
The recovery plan
Rest and recovery were minimal before the injury… rookie mistake. While yoga was such a big part of my every day, I was mainly taking power vinyasa classes, which provided some stretching, and way more strengthening.
This round is different and my plan involves more:
- Rest, at least one or two rest days per week. Sometimes, less really is more.
- Sleep. And I’m very excited about this one. 7-8 hours of sleep, every night.
- Active Restoration class; Yoga that is more restorative and less intensive. I’m going to get my bum into at least one class every week.
- PT homework; Do it, do it, do it.
- Eat more whole foods. Recovery fuel is a real thing, and something I lacked before the injury. I’m adding grocery shopping and meal prep as necessary additions to my gameplan.
The hydration plan
This blends so well with the workout and recovery plans above. I think muscle exhaustion from dehydration definitely played a part in my injury. I was basically running myself tired because I wasn’t drinking enough water. Yikes.
I’m upping my water intake to 90-100 oz a day. I’m excited to see what running will feel like with a very hydrated body. Not sure how often I’ve experienced that – HA!
And now, thanks to Gerolsteiner Sparkling Mineral Water and the upcoming Sparkling Detox, I’m upping my intake of water AND minerals – a win, win for my comeback to running and fitness.
Gerolsteiner has the minerals needed to support healthy body and muscle function. In fact, every liter of Gerolsteiner naturally contains 2,500 mg of minerals per liter; more than other waters.
Gerolsteiner Sparkling Mineral Water not only refreshes the body, but also supplies it with valuable minerals (calcium, magnesium, and bicarbonate). Minerals are indispensable to the human organism, however, your body is not capable of producing them on its own. That is why minerals need to be integrated into your diet – the best way to do so is, of course, with Gerolsteiner!
Now that you know what Gerolsteiner is all about, will you join us for the Sparkling Detox this August 27-31?! It’s 5 days of replacing all your regular beverages with Gerolsteiner Sparkling Mineral Water. Pair that with exercise, healthy eating, and a positive mindset and you can’t go wrong with this challenge.
What kinds of things do you make sure to include in your fitness plan or general lifestyle to prevent injury? Which things have turned into healthy habits that you can’t live without and which require more discipline for you to keep up with?
I’m really looking forward to focusing on how to create more of a balance in fitness and in life and, fingers crossed, avoid more injuries in the future!
Disclaimer: This post was sponsored by Gerolsteiner. All opinions are my own. I truly appreciate all the brands that support the Sweat Pink community!