Jennifer Mayer

Interview with a Massage Therapist

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.

Fall Marathon Training Tips

 Training for a fall half-marathon or marathon? You'll have some long runs ahead of you and we want you to look forward to them (instead of dreading them!) Here are our top tips for getting through it with a smile and injury free.

1. Get up early and run. It's hot out and heat will affect your run and how you feel. Take advantage of empty streets (in NYC) and enjoy a long run. To know how heat affects your pace, see this nifty calculator from Runners Connect.

2. Water. Drink lots of it throughout your day. Bring water with you on your runs over 1 hour or know where water fountains are along your route. 

3. Find a buddy. Run with a friend or meet up with a group. Those long runs are well, long and having someone to talk to or to help push you through to the end is awesome. Jessica and I became such good friends because of running! 

4. Bring Money. Just in case! You might need extra water, a coconut water, food or a subway ride home. 

5. New Routes. Pick new routes and/or place to run. A change of scenery might be just what you need to put some pep back into your runs. Need some help with routes? Check out MapMyFitness for routes.

6. Ice. Buy ice packs (bags of frozen peas work great)! They will become your best friend during training. Your muscles swell and might be inflammed after long or strenous workouts. Ice helps reduce the swelling by constricting the blood vessels and the cold from an ice pack provides pain relief.  For those who want the real deal, we love our Nortech Labs Reusable Hot/Cold Pack (size 8'x10')

7. Train Smart. Marathon training is a challenging, long term, phsyically demanding commitment.  Enter into it wisely and listen to what your body tells you throughout your training.  Remember, you are training not just for the finish line, but also to arrive at the start injury free on race day.  Treat your body to an extra rest day or a sports massage every once and a while. If you are in NYC, schedule a massage with the best massage therapist in town, Jennifer Mayer

8. All runners are not created equal.  Follow your own training plan adjusted to your phsyical needs, abilities and schedule.  Just because the other people you in marathon training are running 40 miles a week or not doing any speedwork, doesn't mean that's right for you. Personalize your training and understand what workouts YOU should do and how much is appropriate for YOUR body.  If you would like to learn how to implement tempo runs, interval workouts, hill training properly contact us to schedule a private coaching session.  We are offering a Fall Marathon program. Start anytime. Click here to read more about the program. 

There are so many great races this fall: NYC Marathon, Chicago Marathon, the Marine Corp Marathon, and the Portland Marathon to name a few. Comment below and tell us which race you are running.




7 Reasons Why Massage is Great for Runners

We asked one of our favorite Brooklyn massage therapists (who has helped us recover from many a long run) to discuss the merits of massage and why it's great for runners. 

by Jennifer Mayer, LMT

PREVENT: Massage can help prevent injuries by increasing fluidity in tissues, increase range of motion and increase flexibility. Additionally, massage is an excellent way to gain valuable information about the condition of your muscles and work out any potential areas of tightness that could lead to an injury.

STRETCH: Stretching improves range of motion, muscle flexibility and prevents injury. All three are important factors to keep you running healthy and injury free.

FLUSH: Running produces lactic acid, a metabolic waste product the gets stuck in the muscles. Lactic acid causes pain and discomfort by irritating the nerves in the muscle tissue. Massage flushes lactic acid out of the muscles, enabling you to recover quicker, with less pain and discomfort from workouts.

EASE: Massage helps the body move freely and with more ease. When muscle repairs itself after exercise and strength building, the muscle fibers are misaligned. Massage helps realign these fibers.

HEAL: By increasing blood flow, massage helps injuries recover faster by bringing essential nutrients and tissue repairing cells to the injury site. This increased flow also removes wastes created by the injury quicker, further supporting the healing process.

SUPPORT: Massage with an emphasis on structural alignment helps runners keep good posture and structural integrity by releasing tightness throughout the body. Releasing tight feet can do wonders for your gate and low back or hip pain.

DOWN TIME: Rest is an important aspect of any training regime. Massage encourages time for rejuvenation to restore your reserves.

Jennifer Mayer is a licensed massage therapist practicing in Brooklyn, NY. Over the past 8 years as an LMT Jennifer has had the pleasure to work with athletes from all backgrounds. From eager rock climbing kids, to professional cyclo-cross racers to individuals training for 10ks and triathlons to Olympic runners. Jennifer also specializes in prenatal and postpartum massage. You can visit her website for more information.