Life is like music; it must be composed by ear, feeling, and instinct, not by rule.

Wednesday, March 30, 2011

Wednesday, March 30th . . . tips to avoid injuries . . .

As this is a day off for me (reason explained below), I reflected on some of the key things I do that help me avoid injury and thought I'd share three (3) of them with you:

1. Identify how much time, in terms of hours, it takes for your body to recover from hard workouts, specifically track workouts and tempo and long runs. For me, I do track sessions on Tuesday evenings and I always take Wednesday off because my body needs a full day of rest to recovery from interval work. For long runs, especially if they follow a tempo run, I need about 36 hours to recovery so if I do a tempo run on Saturday, followed by a long run on Sunday morning, then I do my recovery run Monday evening. This is really important as I've identified how much time my body needs for recovery and muscle repair.

2. Incidentals, as I refer to them. This is what you do while not running. It's more important what you do while not running than what you do while running. I've had a past history of AT and PF problems but I've been injury free for 19 months and I attribute that largely to what I do while not running. Specifically, the exercises I do to strengthen my Achilles and Plantar muscle as well as the hard form roller for tight muscles. As a master's runner, this is critical, and I do these exercises daily.

3. The definition of "spontaneous" is " . . . proceeding from natural feeling or native tendency without external constraint." This is why I don't run with a watch or Garmin or any other technology. I'm a huge proponent of "running by feel," which allows you to learn to listen and understand what your body is telling you. I have types of workouts in mind, but I don't know what I will do on a specific day. I get up and listen to what my body says. Then, I warm-up, and see what else my body has to tell me then I decide to run easy, hard, long or short. We spend too much time trying to copy what elite runners do without understanding why elite runners do what they do. The goals and risk/reward analysis is completely different for professional runners vs. us recreational runners.


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