What to Do About Yoga, Sprinting and Hallux Limitus Toe Pain

Sit back, get comfortable, and let’s talk toes!

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I haven’t had a lot of problems with my hallux limitus recently because I don’t run as often as I used to. Interestingly (that is, if you find toes at all compelling), my left toe joint doesn’t bother me when I run sprints, whereas steady-state running causes it to get red, bulbous and angry like Trump after too much time in the tanning bed. So, if you’re someone who runs on occasion and has a hallux limitus problem, try doing sprints with walking intervals. Sprints are better for fat loss, too.

Quick side note…here’s my favorite sprint workout:

  • sprint 20 seconds, walk until your heart rate comes down
  • sprint 30 seconds, walk until your heart rate comes down
  • sprint 40 seconds, walk until your heart rate comes down
  • sprint 60 seconds, walk until your heart rate comes down
  • repeat until you reach 20 minutes (I aim for four rounds, but usually get 3 or 3.5)

In addition to sprinting and lifting weights, my husband and I recently started a beginner Vinyasa yoga course at a local studio. I am really enjoying it, but my hallux limitus toe…not so much.

Luckily, the instructor is awesome and showed me some ways to work around the annoying hallux limitus I have going on in my left big toe. Here are a couple of the poses that were bothering it, and how I am adapting the poses:

4 Limb Staff Pose (Chaturanga Dandasana)

This pose is similar to a plank, except you are down in the low portion of a push-up with your elbows close to your torso. Obviously, your feet seem like they would be flexed with your toes supporting some of your weight. As it turns out, though, you should actually be on the tip of your toes–like a ballerina.

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I know that seems difficult and super ouchie (technical mom term), but it is actually better for my lame, inflexible toe joint. Most of your weight, I learned, is supposed to be supported by your core and upper body. Your toes are really only involved for stabilization purposes.

Hallux limitus and yoga
4 Limb Staff pose on the tips of my freakish, big toes.

I know being on the tips of your toes sounds hard, but if you focus on supporting yourself with your core and upper body, you will discover that being on the ends of your toes is actually just fine. Just make sure your nails are trimmed if you’re one of those people who likes long toenails. Also, ew. No.

Crescent Lunge (Anjaneyasana) and Variations

Toey doesn’t likey. (I watch too many David Spade movies.) I figured this pose would be a problem because I have issues in other workouts when doing lunges and switch jumps. In the Crescent Lunge and also the Revolved Crescent Lunge (plus other variations I have yet to learn, I’m sure), the foot is flexed with the heel and the ball of the foot in line in a vertical position. Basically, the heel should be pointed up toward the ceiling.

Yoga and Hallux Limitus
How the back heel should look. (If you have a normal toe, you will have more flex at the ball of the foot and you won’t have your right knee tracking past your ankle–I simply can’t do it because of the toe joint).

But my yoga instructor said that with my hallux limitus, my left heel will have to be pointed back and my foot will be more at an angle than up and down like it should be. And he said that’s totally okay.

Hallux limitus and yoga
How I have to do the pose with the hallux limitus in my big left toe. Notice my left heel pointing back instead of up. But my right knee is in line with my ankle and I’m sitting into the pose better.

He emphasized that we are all built different and we need to accommodate our body’s structural differences.

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It has been my experience, so far, that even though my hallux limitus flares up a little bit after yoga, it is nowhere near as painful as after something like a half or full marathon. And because I have some other health issues that are keeping me from running very long distances these days, I don’t have to worry about it as much.

Buuuuut, if you insist on distance running, read my post on self-treatment options for runners with hallux limitus.

This has been Toe Talk with Kerrie. Good night and good luck toe you. (Sorry, I couldn’t resist.)

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6 Things I Wish I Would’ve Known Before Buying Dumbbells

 

6 Things to Consider Before Buying Dumbbells

I used dumbbells for most of my strength workouts. I squat with them, I lunge with them, I lift with them. But I hate doing pushups with them.

I have adjustable dumbbells (these ones right here), and the plates are round and held on with a screw washer thingie (technical term). I was thinking…I wish I’d known more about types of dumbbells and the pros and cons of each one before I got mine, so I am sharing my thoughts.

(This page may contain reference to products that are affiliate links. I may receive compensation when you click or purchase items through these links. Read my full disclosure.)

1. Round Plates & Planking Problems

Round dumbbell plates make it difficult to do pushups, squat thrusts, planks, pushup-rows, burpees, or anything you need to be in a plank position for. They want to roll away, which okay, is good for stabilizer muscles, but it causes the screws to come loose and it drives me crazy. Sometimes I go down to my 12-pound non-adjustable cast iron dumbbells simply because they are hexagonal shaped on the ends.

2. Adjusting Dumbbells Mid-Workout

Adjustable-plate dumbbells make it difficult to change weights during a workout. You have to unscrew both sides on each bar—four screws—and take the plates on or off, or add plates. It’s not fast enough for me. I do a lot of HIIT-style workouts with my dumbbells and there’ s no time for this. It would be okay for traditional lifting with long rest breaks in between sets, but that’s not my style.

3. Bar Material Consideration

The bars on my adjustable dumbbells have an engraved criss-cross pattern that kills the palms of my hands. It’s not too bad for regular presses or pulls, but if I’m trying to do pushups or something…ouch. I have to wear gloves.

What I Wish I'd Known About Dumbbells
Ouchie.

The other thing about my adjustable pair is that the bar is smaller and so it presses into my hand more when planking or doing pushups. Imagine someone digging into your side with their elbow versus their palm. The non-adjustable pair has a wider bar that seems to distribute my weight more evenly and hurts my hands less.

4. The Storage Solution Situation

There’s no way to get around it, dumbbells take up a lot of space—but not more than a barbell (which is why I’m a dumbbell girl since I don’t have a dedicated workout room). I try to fit all mine in a corner of my master bedroom. The hubs bought me this dumbbell rack for Christmas:

What I Wish I'd Known About Dumbbells

I thought that the adjustable plated dumbbells would take up less space, there are still the plates to consider. So, I don’t know that using adjustable plates takes up less space than just regular ‘bells like my 12-pounders, which you can see on the bottom row in the picture above.

5. Weight Problems

I am in between weights right now. In most cases, 15 pounds is getting to be not quite heavy enough, but 20 is too heavy. I need 17-pounders, but even with adjustable dumbbells, I can’t get that since you need to distribute the weight evenly all over. Finding half-pound plates is kind of difficult. Besides, I can’t change plates mid-workout (see point number 2).

6. Just Say No to Neoprene

As you can see from my picture, I have a couple of pairs of these. I find them difficult to hold—the bar is too thick for my delicate lady hands, which is ironic since these “colorful” ‘bells are usually marketed toward women. I also don’t like them becuase they look to girly. I’m a badass. I want badass dumbbells. Ha!

What I Do Like & What I’d Do Different

I like my 12-pound cast iron dumbbells with hexagonal ends that I bought at Play It Again Sports—a consignment store for sporting goods. They still aren’t that cheap, though, so maybe just buy as needed. I admit they are a little clunky, though. They also make rubber-ended dumbbells in a hexagonal shape, but the bar always has that criss-cross engraving! I think if I could do it all over again (or if I suddenly get rich and get to build and outfit my own workout room), I would suck up the engraved bar bit and buy a whole set of hexagonal dumbbells like these (plus find a pair of 17s) and a rack like this.

Okay, there’s my two cents. Hope it helps!

New Metabolic Prime Before Pictures and Some Helpful Fat-Loss Books

Hey guys! Happy Monday!

So, I re-started Metabolic Prime again today! I think this is my fourth time, yet I forgot how hard the Phase 1 burnout is (the optional 5-minute workout at the end). Definitely got me!

Here is my new “before” pic that I took this afternoon:

Metabolic Prime before
My hair was so dirty, I needed a hat.

This was my Prime before pic I took in March for their 12-week challenge:

Metabolic Prime Challenge Week 1 | Mom vs. Marathon
My Before Photos

So thankful I took photos. I can see the difference, for sure. I don’t notice it as much in the mirror. Highly recommend taking pics!

If you signed up for Metabolic Prime and are doing it, let me know if you want to join our little closed Facebook group and I’ll add you. 🙂

If you didn’t sign up, but are curious about Metabolic Effect programs, there are a couple of books that I recommend.

Note: The following paragraphs include affiliate links.
I would never recommend something unless I believe in it. 

Their book Lose Weight Here is the closest to what Metabolic Prime is. Click here to read a review last year.

The New Metabolic Effect Diet was their first book. Some of the nutiriton advice has changed slightly, but it’s not that different, and I just loved the way they explained everything in this book. I wrote a long post (that went viral) about how my body responds to ME workouts vs running in this post here.

Either one of these books will get you started or help you get over a plateau in your fat loss journey. And, if you have any questions, feel free to ask me. I’ve read them both multiple times!

5 Things Friday: The Snoqualmie Valley Run, New Spartan Race Book, TreadLIFT and More

I gotta bunch of random stuff for you today!

1. RHODIOLA ROSEA: This is an herb that has helped me tremendously over the last couple of weeks. I purchased the one from Gaia right here. I was having a terrible time with anxiety and stress, and after a couple of days taking the herb—along with getting some extra R&R, it helped me feel…even. I also think it helped with my fat loss as it seemed to level out my cortisol, and let my body relax and shed a couple pounds. (I promise I will do a Metabolic Prime Update soon!)

2. SNOQUALMIE VALLEY RUN: Today is the last day to give $10 to a local charity when you register for the Snoqualmie Valley Run half marathon or 10K thanks to Orca Running. The race is coming up fast—June 11! Remember to use MOMVSMARATHON when you sign up and save 10% on your registration.

I wish I was running this beautiful course, but I have a relay the weekend before and a bachelorette party and race the weekend after, so I can’t. womp, womp

3. TREADLIFT: Today is also the last day to purchase Jill Coleman’s new program #treadLIFT. I did my first workout yesterday and, oh boy, I am sore today—especially my glutes. I have been doing Metabolic Prime for almost 3 months (literally thousands of squats and lunges), so I thought I’d be able to handle it, but whew! I was so sweaty and my legs were Jell-O afterward.

5 Things Friday - TreadLift | Mom vs. Marathon
The highest my incline gets is 10%!

I did a BUILD workout for legs called Sweet Sixteen. It consisted of walking on my treadmill for 6 minutes, bumping up the walking speed every minute while at a 10% incline (as high as mine goes). Then I did 20-second sprints/40-seconds rest until the timer got to 10 minutes. Next, I hopped off and it was time for circuits—as many rounds as I could get in 20 minutes of 10-rep weighted lunge/squat/lunges, Bulgarian split squats, bridges and deadlifts. I only made it 2.5 rounds, so I will use lighter weights next time and try to make it to four. Yikes!

If you decide to sign up, I encourage you to use ME coach Tara Ballard’s #treadLIFT link here, so you can be added to her private Facebook group. She has been extremely helpful—especially with nutrition advice and motivation during Metabolic Prime. You are basically getting a coach at your fingertips. Tara is super positive and is also a runner.

4. THE PUPPY RUN VIRTUAL 5K, 10K AND/OR HALF MARATHON: I really want to do the 5K! Registration closes May 11, so hurry and sign up for The Puppy Run here. FitFam, who is hosting the race, will be contributing $1 plus any additional donations to Valhalla Canine Rescue, a 501(c)3 non-profit organization with a mission to help dogs and all animals in need.

5. SPARTAN FIT!: I have been wanting to do a Spartan Race for a while! (But I’m a chicken.) Once I get brave serious about it, I want to read this! Spartan Fit will teach you how to get in shape for a race. The book comes out in August, but you can pre-order it now through July 1 and save 25% by entering FIT25 at checkout. Click the ad below to pre-order!

Running and Weight Lifting in One Program? #treadLIFT is Here!

Running and Lifting in One Workout | Mom vs. Marathon
Can’t wait to try Jill Coleman’s new program #treadLIFT!

Guys, you know I love running. And you know I love lifting.

And you know that I’m always trying to balance the two.

Running and Lifting in One Program | Mom vs. Marathon
Love me some dumbbells!

Well, now Jill Coleman—a Metabolic Effect coach and owner of JillFit—has come up with the solution! Her new program is called #treadLIFT and is focused on mixing cardio and lifting. Hooray!

Here’s what it is:

  • 36 full-length workouts, all 30 minutes or less
  • Designed to be done with minimal equipment
  • For intermediate to advanced exercisers (can be adjusted for all)
  • Delivered via PDFs and video tutorials
  • Photos for each exercise and info for how to adjust to your fitness level
  • Everything in an online membership portal you log into with a username and password; you have access forever!

It’s not a long distance endurance program, but it would be a good way to mix some speed and intensity into your running training.

The program doesn’t emphasize nutrition, although she does include some notes on it. As you (hopefully) know by now, if you are trying to lose fat/weight, nutrition is 80+ percent of the equation. It all depends on your goals!

Jill’s new #treadLIFT program is designed for using a treadmill, but she includes how it can easily be adapted for bikes, elliptical machines or even outside on the trail. 😉

Running and Lifting in One Program | Mom vs. Marathon

Registration is only open through Friday!

If you sign up using ME coach Tara Ballard’s (PrimeLifeFit) link right here, you will be added to her private Facebook group (just send her your receipt). Tara is a runner and lifter, and I can tell you from experience that her guidance is priceless!

LMK if you have any questions. I have been following ME for a while. If I can’t answer your question, I can find someone who can. 🙂

Happy running…and lifting!