Jennifer Mayer is our featured runner of the week. She is the owner of Mama Moon NYC which is her private practice as a Licensed Massage Therapist, Certified Holistic Health Coach and Birth Doula. She has been our go-to massage therapist for the past few years. She's healed many an aligment! She loves helping her clients feel better, manage stress and birth babies! Just from talking to her, you know she loves her job!
Why do you like working with runners?
It’s rewarding to help my clients reach their training and racing goals. My clients tend to be very motivated and fun to work with. Massage therapy is effective in injury prevention and healing, and I can see results pretty quickly in athletes. I’ve helped runners with super tight calves and hamstrings, injured runners prepare for an upcoming marathon, and then of course, helped runners recover after the big event. Working with each client on his or her goals is exciting, to be part of their team and help them achieve what they are working towards.
If you could tell a runner one piece of advice, what would it be?
Stretch! Many times I have runners come into my office who tell me all about their training, and the miles they are getting in, despite being busy at work or taking care of kids. And, really, it’s impressive how my clients can get everything done. One thing that many runners confess to me is that they don’t stretch. Period. I hear from them that there’s no time, or they forget, or they don’t like it. But please, make time to stretch, your muscles will thank you!
What is your go-to fitness activity and why?
For the past three years I’ve enjoyed private Pilates sessions as my go-to activity. The Pilates work helps keep my posture in alignment, which keeps my body healthy. It also focuses on weaknesses in my core and structure, so my body becomes stronger and works more efficiently. The Pilates work has greatly improved my running. Due to injuries in my shoulder and rib cage from a ski accident in 2003, it took me a few years to become comfortable running again as I would develop back pain after a certain amount of running. The Pilates work has really helped stabilize my core and even out some imbalances in my body. I really feel like it keeps me going, so I can enjoy running pain free now.
What is your favorite post workout meal?
Something quick, easy and nutrient dense. Lately, I've really been enjoying a sliced banana with cinnamon sprinkled on top with a tablespoon of raw nut butter on the side. I mix it up between almond and cashew butter. Yum! I also love green smoothies, filled with fresh pineapple, frozen mango, fresh kale and almond milk- maybe some additions of bee pollen or hemp seeds.
Jennifer Mayer's Green Smoothie Recipe:
- 3/4c fresh (or frozen) pinapple
- 3/4c frozen mango
- 3-4 stalks of kale, stems removed
- Handful baby spinach if it's on hand
- 1 tablespoon raw almond butter
- 1 teaspoon coconut oil
- Sprinkle of bee pollen
- Enough almond milk to make it blend
When did you start running and why?
I started running when I was twelve years old. I grew-up on a farm in upstate, New York and running was the quickest way I could get from one side to the other. As a child I never enjoyed “round ball” or team sports. One day I asked my father “Why can’t there be a sport where all you need to do is run? That would be really fun, and I think I’d be good at that.” My dad said, “You could be a harrier! And run cross-country!” I had no idea that running was a thing. Well I looked into this whole running thing and joined a community Track & Field program for children 5-12 years old. Eventually, I joined the modified Cross Country team at school, and, in 8th grade I made the varsity Track & Field team.
Running became a huge part of my high school experience. I loved going to practice every day, our team was a lot of fun to be around. I enjoyed racing and being part of the team, but I also liked setting individual goals for myself. Throughout high school I ran Cross Country in the fall, our coach hosted a winter training daily workout in the winter, and I ran the 400 Hurdles, 3000 meter steeplechase and 4x800 relay in Track in the spring. My Cross Country team even competed twice in the New York State Championship meet. Being part of the Track and Cross Country teams was a wonderful experience, and I feel like it’s given me a strong foundation for health and fitness that I’ve carried into my adult life.