You know when you get an injury and you feel like you need to re-evaluate your training, analyze things, figure out exactly WHAT caused that injury? Well, part of that mindset I think is due to the fact that we are runners, after all. Most of us analyze our weekly mileage. We monitor how many miles our shoes have. We wonder on our training runs why one day that one run felt so easy and the next day it felt extremely hard. That’s just us.
Well I recently had an injury, and lately I have felt like the past few years I have just been dealing with injury after injury. I’m hoping to break this streak soon. I blame a lot of this on the fact that I was trying to get back into running post surgery, which is very hard. I would never wish it on anyone. I did what probably most runners do. I analyzed, and I thought I need to change my training.
I began training much differently than I had in the past. I ran tempo runs on the track, instead of the road. I ran all of my runs really slow, and I began stretching more (this is something that I definitely need to work on). What I found was that my slow run pace became natural to me. It became very hard for me to run faster. My track workouts, while I was hitting good times, I couldn’t translate them onto the roads. The hills, the uneven terrain, crossing of the road, etc.
I again sat down and analyzed my training, and I decided that my years of running and knowledge that I have built over these years are a far cry above that small injury. Unfortunately, I have no idea how I got my last injury. There was no run that specifically caused the injury. There was no specific pace that felt like I was running too hard. I didn’t compete in any races. I think it was just one of those things, that just happened. I did begin to incorporate long runs – 16 milers to be exact, and this is the only culprit that I can determine that may have caused my injury.
Regardless, last week I went back to my old ways of training. It has been a reality check, because I am experiencing that out of shape sensation again, as I work to increase the speed of my runs. However, it is a good feeling to know that I am working towards goals of getting back in shape, of being able to do runs at a faster pace, and having those paces feel easy. I have found success with this training, so I am sticking to it. I will, however, be more cognizant of mileage increases and ensure that I do adequate stretching!
What do you do to try to prevent injuries?
How tough is it for you to try to get back in shape?