Gabriele kneeling outside on snowy path holding dog.

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Winter Wellness: Running and Recovery with Gabriele Grunewald (part 3)

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Winter Wellness: Running and Recovery with Gabriele Gr

I have a couple partners in recovery — one of them is Sleep Number, and the other is my dog Perrie. She’s a fluffy, energetic little Morkie with a big personality!

As you can tell, she isn’t the best running partner. She often gets sidetracked by a squirrel she’d like to chase or an exotic scent in the snow. But what I love about Perrie is that she helps in my overall recovery plan! Sometimes it’s through a post-run nap and sometimes it’s simply her desire to slow down that reminds me that maybe I should, too.

Gabriele running on snowy path with dog off to the side sniffing the ground.

Perrie and I try to get out for longer walks on warmer days, which is especially good for me on those days when my workout might keep me indoors. On this particular day, we were able to enjoy the Chain of Lakes in Minneapolis and take in an art installation — there were some pretty impressive ice sculptures! Normally I wouldn’t be able to stop and take in all the sights, but walking with Perrie helps me to slow down and enjoy the unique beauty of a #BoldNorth winter day.

Open area with woods in background covered in snow, ice sculptures off to the side.

This walk allows me to see downtown Minneapolis from a new perspective — and slow down to reflect on how things are going in my training. It isn’t just about the miles and workouts, it’s also about my general attitude and how I’m living my life day-to-day. Am I eating well? Am I getting enough sleep? Am I pushing too hard or not enough? All of these questions are important to answer on a regular basis and I find that they’re easier to answer honestly when I’m not in the middle of a training session!

The longer and harder the run, the more I notice how my sleep the night before impacts my performance. When I’m well rested I’m much less likely to feel the need to cut my workout short. Over the course of weeks and months of training, those extra miles and repetitions add up! So, a good night’s rest allows me to push myself and build the consistency I need to reach my goals.

View of city in winter across snow-covered lake.

The path through winter is sometimes snowy and slippery, but I get through it by balancing hard training with adequate time to slow down and recover. Training and rest go hand in hand: I sleep better after getting in the day’s workout, and I work out better after a restful night of sleep. Having a workout partner is great to boost performance, but to be your best I also recommend having a recovery partner! My husband Justin has proven to be a great training partner. And I’m thankful I’ve got Sleep Number and Perrie to help me prioritize recovery as well.

Snowy road with mature pine trees along it.

Before bed I’ll usually catch up on Netflix with my husband or do some light reading for 20–30 minutes before I shut off the lights. In the winter, I always pair this routine with a cup of chamomile tea with honey and lemon, and some fuzzy slippers! I’ve also found journaling before bed is a relaxing way for me to clear my mind and prepare for a great night of sleep.

Photo credit: Abigail Anderson

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