As the year comes to a close I start reflecting on the previous year to see what I can learn.
This was my first year without significant running related injury. Aka, the longest I've ever gone without injury.
High school: plagued with stress fracture, & other very painful foot problems. Sat out entire 1st season, had a sexy air cast too. Always injured.
2002-2008: undiagnosed stress fracture.
2011: Undiagnosed stress fracture. X-ray later confirmed existence of stress fractures from the past.
Stopping for photos in the later miles of the Miami Marathon 2012 because I was in so much pain from the hip flexor.
2012: Hip flexor strain in which pain lasted 7 months. Started 1/12.
2012: Ankle & ITB pain which lasted 4+ months. Started 9/12.
So what's the differences in 2013 vs 2011-2012? (And prior?)
•I hired an incredibly intuitive Coach to save me from myself (and overtraining) during marathon training. Best. Decision. Ever. For the past 2 years I've seen myself accomplish things I never imagined possible in such a short period of time.
•I no longer static stretch. I strained my hip flexor while stretching. Lesson learned. Only dynamic stretches from now on.
•Religious use of my 4 BFFs (pictured above). I've found a correlation that when my calf gets tight, I start to get shin pain which escalates to other issues.
•Rotation of running shoes. And only wearing running shoes for running. This Study says there's a 39% less risk of injury to people who use multiple shoes. For reference Here is my lineup:
Saucony A5- only very fast speed work, races of less than 6 miles.
Mizuno Wave Sayonara- Tempo runs, middle distance runs.
Brooks Pure Cadence- Speed work, racing half marathons.
Newton Distance- Long runs with goal pace mileage. Racing half and full marathons.
Nike Pegasus- Easy runs, of both short and long distance. (Recovery days)
•Strength training. I've been very diligent to get in strength sessions 2-3 times a week.
•Eating a well balanced diet made from mostly whole foods. (Not much processed shit, never soda) Because of this my body can recover quickly post hard effort, and I rarely ever get sick. And don't forget the beer and wine too! I swear hops cures muscle soreness.
•Listening to my body- I know when to stop if I'm feeling something funny going on. There's no shame in taking an unplanned rest day and/or switching to cycling or something else which isn't further aggravating the issue.
CB knows how to rest, we should all take a lesson.
•Rest days- I take between 1-3 rest days a week. My body thanks me by being healthy and injury free. This is why you'll never see me do a running "streak." Nothing like an overuse injury to sideline you for the spring and all those races you want to run.
•A very positive attitude. I really enjoy running and working out and have found when my motivation dips, I get more aches and pains. I run because it is fun.
*The 3:35 marathon is disappointing because It was not indicative of my athletic ability on that day. I know I was capable of much better. I am solely talking about the time on the clock here.