This is Mike, Tanya’s husband.
Anyone who knows me will know that one of my enduring passions is running. A couple of months ago I presented at my first dōTERRA class. As I tell Tanya all the time, I don’t know very much about essential oils, but I do use them when I go running – so I talked about that.
I have been running for about 15 years and have completed 35 marathons and ultramarathons with my last marathon completed in Reykjavik at the start of our two-week Iceland holiday. I don’t carry a lot of products but I always make sure I have the following:
Mike’s Essential Oils Running Kit:
- Deep Blue Rub (also known as Ice Blue Rub) – for muscle soreness
- Deep Blue Oil (also known as Ice Blue Oil) – for specific areas
- Peppermint – for breathing
- Peppermint beadlets – breathing and fresh breath
- Breathe (also known as Easy Air) – to open airways
- DigestZen – seasonal threats and queasiness
- Melaleuca (also known as tea tree) – for chafing
- Lavender – for chafing
I keep them in a bag I got on a long-haul flight (that usually has socks and eye masks) except for the Deep Blue Rub which is too big.There have been entire libraries devoted to running, despite the fact it is one of the simplest things you can do. Basically, it is putting one foot in front of the other for a long time (and hopefully enjoying it, though this isn’t absolutely essential). To do this successfully, three things need to be working:
- Musculoskeletal – your ‘engine’: do you have an appropriate level of muscle development to get you round the course?
- Energy – do you have enough ‘fuel’ to power your muscle ‘engine’?
- Aerobic – your ‘accelerator’, can you get enough air through your lungs to maintain a good pace – especially up the hills? This is important if you are after a decent time when you are pushing yourself, and even more so at shorter distance races.
Your run will only be as good as the weakest of these three. Essential oils in one form or another can help address aspects of these – mainly the first and last. However a quick warning: this is not a short-cut or substitute for the best preparation of all – which is training.
Before I run a marathon I have a routine that I will share with you. Firstly, leading up to the race, I make sure I am taking the right supplements:
- Mito2Max – this helps with stamina and reduces the effects of fatigue
- Lifelong Vitality (LLV) – which helps maintain healthy cardiovascular, nervous and immune systems and supports your metabolism
- On Guard + Softgels – it’s easy to get sick after a race as you have pushed yourself so hard to finish, On Guard + can help give your immune system a boost
On the day of the race I make sure I take and use the following:
- Supplements – my Mito2Max, LLV and On Guard + tablets
- Peppermint – on the chest to help open the airways
- Breathe (Easy Air) – a few drops in the palm of the hand and breathed in deeply helps open the nasal passages and airways
- DigestZen – I swipe this down my nose from the forehead to help with seasonal and environmental threats. I also find it helps me focus before the gun
- Deep Blue – I rub this on my legs to support circulation to the muscles and joints (note keep away from sensitive areas)
The start of a marathon is usually quite pleasant – you have lots of energy, you are fresh and well trained but as the race progresses it becomes harder to maintain your pace. During the race I carry a couple of products in small bottles:
- Breathe – if I’m struggling towards the end of a race I use a couple of drops in my palm and breathe deeply
- Peppermint beadlets –a great help to breathing and great for concentration.
It is very common for pace to drop off during the latter stages of a race – particularly after 20 miles or so. The aerobic system requires feeding more and more, particularly if you can see a good finishing time and need to push yourself. This is what happened to me in Melbourne in 2013 and by about 35km, with the course winding up and down inclines, I was struggling to get enough air in. I used Breathe to help open my airways and keep my pace all the way to the finish line.
After a marathon it’s very important to help your body recover so this is my usual routine:
- Deep Blue Rub – I apply to anywhere that’s sore, which for me is the legs and also the lower back and the shoulders, so anywhere that is not sensitive, and not before or straight after a shower
- Ice Blue oil – for any particularly sore areas, this can be used in tandem with the Deep Blue rub
- Melaleuca and Lavender – with any repetitive activity some chafing is likely so I use a combination of these oils as a soother with a carrier oil like fractionated coconut oil
- DigestZen – it is common to feel nauseous after putting your body (and mind) through such an ordeal so I rub a little DigestZen on the stomach if I am feeling delicate
- Supplements – I make sure I keep taking the supplements after the race and add Deep Blue Polyphenol Complex to help muscle recovery. I usually double the dosage of On Guard + tablets to help boost my immune system
- AromaTouch Oil Application – if you are lucky enough to be married to an essential oils advocate who has completed the training in AromaTouch Oil Application, I can’t recommend highly enough that you avail yourself of one of these. It’s almost worth running a marathon just to get one!
Other factors that may affect athletic performance are emotional health and well being, including any issues with sleep. But that’s another topic in itself…
OK, that’s my advice for any budding marathon runners out there, hope to see you at the start line soon.