Running | Strength & Conditioning

Living in Both Worlds: A Strength Athlete’s Journey to the Marathon, Episode 2

Join us as we follow Bar Malik, Director of Performance for a team in the National Basketball Association (NBA), on the journey to his first marathon. Click here for Episode 1

Episode 2: “Magnesium baths and recovery tights”

The mental clarity induced by the increasing miles is a pleasant surprise this week.  With 3 months until the marathon, Bar Malik has found a silver lining as his run volume piles on: more time to think.

Something else is changing: his mentality is evolving. Bar feels his grit and mental stamina growing even stronger than it already was, allowing him to push beyond his limits by visualizing his goal as he trains. The strenuous combination of running, training, soreness, and career is teaching Bar another level of grit and focus.

“It’s a weird feeling, hard to explain, but it makes running the miles easier.”- Bar, on how he enjoys the space and time to think on his runs

Q: What was your toughest workout this week?

A: One of my sessions I had with my trainer Kirk at DOGPOUND. I asked him to hit my legs hard so that the weight training is harder than my running and some of the exercises we did led to muscle soreness for a couple of days. We did heavy farmers carry on an elevated non-motorized treadmill. I’ve never done that before so my calves and hamstrings were extremely sore.

Q: You started this marathon journey to create a sense of urgency in self-improvement this year and to level-up on your already impressive self-discipline, with the goal that these changes would spill into all aspects of your life. Have you noticed any changes like this yet?

A: Yes. Just one week into this training has forced me to get up earlier to get in a great routine so that the training soreness doesn’t affect my day.  I also go to bed a little earlier knowing that my body has to get the rest it needs to adapt. The running and the lifting forces me to make conscious choices about how I spend my free time. Training for this marathon has allowed for more structure in my days so I’m not distracted by other people or impulses. My days are now organized around my work, training schedule, and family time. That leaves little room for wasted downtime unless I’m resting because of training load.

PROGRESS UPDATE

Weeks to Oh Boy Marathon: 12

Weekly training program:

  • Two 3 mile runs
  • One 4 mile run
  • 10K assessment (shaved off one minute on each mile- check out the week by week comparison below)
  • 3 strength training sessions
  • 5 recovery sessions, involving swimming, foam rolling, and cold baths

Biggest obstacle: The leg soreness by far is the biggest obstacle. I have to mentally embrace the suffering of running and training even more. I foam roll and cold bath in the morning. Magnesium baths and recovery tights in the evening. Makes a big difference!

Any changes in your daily nutrition as a result of your training program?: I’ve added in glutamine and a little collagen to my protein shakes, but I haven’t changed much. After my longer runs, I still feel like my body wants carbohydrates so I need to figure out this week what foods I can have immediately after I run 6+ miles to make me feel more satiated. I’ve added in the Chocolate Peanut Butter UCAN Energy Bar before my first meal at 2 PM to give me more energy throughout the day to last through our practices and games.”

Scale of 1-10 (1= extremely easy, 10= maximal effort), rate how difficult your program was this week: I’m adapting better this week, I’m at a 4 despite the increase in volume. My leg strength has improved and I’m doing better with my recovery strategies.

What or who inspired your workouts the most this week?: I’m reading a book called “Can’t Hurt Me” by David Goggins, and it’s extremely motivating. He’s a former Navy Seal and talks about challenges that are mentally life-changing. He was faced with all sorts of adversity and was able to persevere when it was a matter of life or death: all the cards were stacked against him and he was able to overcome. I’m not on the battlefield, it’s a matter of mileage. I think his story shows that if I can mentally appreciate the suffering, move past my fears, and embrace the challenge as a privilege, I will prepare to successfully run a marathon.

Top 3 songs and/or artists you listen to while training: Linkin Park, Meek Mill, Kanye West