On The Run

5-Day Self-Care Challenge For Runners

Running is a way I manage stress and anxiety and it also keeps me productive, confident and living a more balanced and healthy life. But as runners, we often neglect to incorporate some basic self-care activities to rejuvenate our physical and mental wellbeing. A few weeks ago, I set myself a 5-Day Self-Care Challenge. I chose activities that were relatively easy and affordable but forced me to focus on myself in a specific way. This is what I chose and how it went…

DAY 1: Stretching and Foam Rolling. With all the running I do, I should be doing a lot more of this. But what happens most of the time is as soon as I’m done with my run, I move onto all the things on my agenda without taking any time to stretch or foam roll. So the first day of my challenge was to set aside 45 minutes to focus on my favourite stretching routines. I then grabbed (dusted off) my foam roller and focused on a few specific spots, ironing them out as best as I could. Although the foam roller is not my idea of relaxation, I never regret using it!

DAY 2: Foot Spa. Our feet do a lot of work for us but how often do we give them some love? I filled my home foot spa with bath salts and soaked them for about 20 minutes. If you don’t have a foot spa, a wide-brimmed bucket/tub works just as well. I then massaged them using some lotion and oils. If you’ve got someone to assist, great! But if not – I found doing it on my own still made a huge difference. If you’ve got extra time, why not paint your nails while you’re at it?

DAY 3: Hair Treatment. My hair so often gets neglected – I keep it clean and manageable but I don’t give it that extra care and attention it needs to feel healthy and lively, especially as it is so exposed to the harsh elements when I run. So I spent about an hour pre-pooing it and then did my normal shampoo routine, but this time, when I conditioned my hair, I sat under a heating contraption I have (and hardly ever use). I followed this with a proper detangling and LOC (liquid-oil-cream) routine. It felt like such a hassle but my hair loved me for it!

DAY 4: Bubble Bath. I can’t remember the last time I used the bath tub. In fact, a few years ago we renovated our en-suite bathroom and removed the tub to create more space! So my bubble bath had to be done in the kids’ bathroom. I removed the rubber ducks for a more luxurious feel, put some candles around the tub, dimmed the lights and sat back and relaxed. Initially, it felt awkward, then it became more relaxing but then I got impatient and knew it was time to get out! Later on in the week, I decided to use scented candles for a long shower and much preferred this. So if a tub is not your thing, I highly recommend this instead!

DAY 5: Hot Stone Treatment. I received a massage voucher from Mosha Wellness Spa so I finally made an appointment for the hot stone treatment. As always, this was absolute bliss and definitely my best self-care activity over the five days! I’m not sure how realistic this is, but I’d love to do this at least every 4 – 6 weeks.

This 5-day Self-Care Challenge was such a great exercise and on the final day I vowed that it shouldn’t end here. I’ve been feeling so rundown and I realise that a big part of this is not ensuring I take enough care of myself. This includes the often-forgotten basics like drinking enough water, reducing screen-time, getting more sleep, etc. So going forward I need to actively find ways to incorporate self-care into my regular routine. And I hope you do too!

What are you doing to ensure that self-care is part of your regular routine? What are your favourite self-care activities? Have you had a hot-stone massage before? When was the last time you had a bubble-bath?

Excited to be linking up with My First 5K and MoreRunning With AttitudeRun Laugh Eat PieRuns with Pugs, and Zenaida for FIT FIVE FRIDAY! 

23 thoughts on “5-Day Self-Care Challenge For Runners

  1. I love this challenge! I don’t like bubble baths but I like the idea of candles in the shower. Though sometimes the shower is a quick 5-10 minute thing! I used to get a massage every 2 weeks and stopped 2 years ago due to covid. I should start going again.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. I realise I don’t like them too much either. 🤣 Much preferred the candle lit shower a did a few days later! I think the candles and scent made me want to stay in a lot longer than usual. Definitely go back to those massages. Mine made such a difference. I didn’t realise how many knots I had!


  2. Definitely feel lacking in this area. I used to take bubble baths all the time.

    In the winter I use the hot tub and that is relaxing.

    I get my nails done monthly.

    Does wine count as self care? Lol

    Liked by 1 person

  3. I love this idea! I need to do some variation on this challenge! I couldn’t help but chuckle when you mentioned removing the rubber ducks from the bathtub, lol! I’ve been wanting to get a proper manicure for months and it’s still on my to-do list. And I’ve found that Peloton app has some awesome foam rolling stretches that have made me more committed to doing them post-run!

    Liked by 1 person

  4. I’m pretty indulgent with self care except when it comes to massages and pedicures. It’s tough to make the time to schedule them in when I work pretty much all day, everyday. My weekends are busy with runs and bike rides…so many excuses. Thanks for the prompt…I need to take action.

    Liked by 1 person

  5. this is awesome. I feel like I need to actually check myself into a spa to do all these things. I mean it is REALLY tempting to do that. “Bye honey, I’m at the spa for a week!”

    Liked by 1 person

  6. Self care is so important, but it can be so hard to do sometimes. I used to get massages every other month (and yes, I’ve had a hot stone massage), but haven’t since the beginning of the Pandemic.

    You know I do my foam rolling! I found I have to do it before my run, not after. It just won’t happen after. That’s not a bad thing, though, because it’s a good way to warm up the muscles!

    I hope that you can continue to incorporate a bit more self care into your days, Shathiso — this post is a great reminder!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. A massage every other month for me would be ideal!
      You’re so consistent with your foam rolling – and maybe that’s the trick, to do it before rather than afterwards, because it’s just not happening after for me too! Or maybe I should set aside a stretch and foam roll day that I can’t wiggle out of because every time I actually foam roll, I realise how good it is for me!

      Liked by 1 person

  7. This is a great reminder that self-care is so vital to our overall health. I need to do more tot take care of myself, but I’m really busy taking care of others, and it’s easy to lose myself in the shuffle.

    Liked by 1 person

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