Recently I came down with a bit of an injury. Around the fourth week of my training, I began to notice pain in the back of my heel. It would start out as kind of a dull ache, but pretty quickly it became inflamed in a way that made it pretty uncomfortable to put any kind of strain on it. For a little while all I did was take a couple of ibuprofens every now and then, and I would try to stretch it out both before and after a run. But the pain kept coming. Finally I buckled down and went to see a doctor who specializes in sports medicine. They told me several things, one of which was that I upped my mileage per week too quickly (going from 7 miles to 21 miles.) They also told me that the pain stems from the way my foot lands when it hits the ground. Their remedy for me was to bring the mileage back down, have some days off in-between my running days, ice my heel after a long run, and try my best to re-orient the way my right foot lands when running.
I am telling this story because many of us are starting to get into the main part of our training programs for the Country Music Half Marathon, and several other races coming up. If you are starting to feel some injury, the full recovery of said injury is important for you to carry out the rest of your training. Here is a cut down version of what most doctors recommend for recovery.
START SLOW Runners returning to action often put more stress on the body, when it is not use to it. To avoid injury caused by that stress, run no more than 20-30 consecutive minutes for several weeks.
GO AEROBIC Think of aerobic easy running as the foundation of your ultimate fitness. The more fit you want to be, the greater the foundation you must build. Just as Rome was not built in a day, re-establishing your base after a long break takes time. As you advance from 20-30 minutes a day, increase your runs by no more than one mile per workout.
RECOVER WELL Run every other day for the first few weeks. Rest days reduce the risk of causing further injuries.
CROSS-TRAIN After a month, gradually change your recovery days from rest only to cross-training days. It will help build your aerobic development without increasing your injury risk. For 30 to 60 minutes ride a bicycle, use an elliptical, or do pool running in deep water.
RACE SPARINGLY And only when the result will be encouraging. You don’t have to be ready to run a new PR, but you don’t want to end up being discouraged by your performance, either. Avoid comparing your results with those from before your layoff. Say to yourself: “That’s the fastest I’ve run since I made my comeback!”
Tonight’s run will be run #4
Click on the map below to view our run tonight. See everyone out there at 6pm tonight!