Yesterday I mentioned that my training last week did not go as planned. I took the second half of the week off to listen to my body.
What put me over the top:
- Saturday 20 mile hilly run with a fast finish
- Sunday 8 “recovery” run – but the group had a new route to get to the top of the 9/11 Memorial, lots of hills and not exactly recovery
- Tuesdays 9 miles with Yassos at the track
After Wednesday’s easy run, my knees felt a little achy. I skipped Thursday’s run to spin instead, and rested on Friday but they still felt off.
I’ve run through aches and pains before and learned the hard way that they don’t go away… they just get worse and eventually lead to injury.
So I tried to decide what the smart thing was to do about Saturday’s long run. (This is where it would be so helpful to have a coach!)
I really wanted to run at least 15, but I also reasoned that if it were one of the athletes I coach describing these symptoms, I would advise them to skip the long run and cross train for a few more days.
So as much as I didn’t want to, I headed to the gym on Saturday and did a mock 2 1/2 hour run using the elliptical, one spin class, 3 miles on the treadmill and more elliptical.
I feel great today and am crossing my fingers that backing off for a few days was what my body needed.
Some of the typical “rules” to avoid injury, (several of which I broke):
* Don’t increase your overall mileage or long run by more than 10% a week
* Avoid back to back hard days (hill runs count as hard! as do long runs, speed and tempo workouts)
* Stretch and use the foam roller on a regular basis
* Take a cut back week every 4 weeks in mileage and intensity to allow the body to adapt to the demands placed on it
Sunday I headed out for 8 and felt great, so I finished with 13.5. I think I’m back on track now!
What do you do to avoid injury? Do you listen to your body at the first signs of discomfort? Or do you have to learn the hard way?