The Run Down — Training/Races
Injuries are tough for runners to accept. There are few athletes in this world more dedicated to their sport than runners. It takes a serious impediment to stop a runner from logging their miles. Snow and ice on the roads? I think I’ll try Yaktrax or maybe trail shoes will work. If worse comes to worst, I can always settle for the “dreadmill”. We’ve all had the debate about whether to run through a head cold or at the start of flu-like symptoms. It is hard to take a break when your legs feel fine, right? So, you can imagine how devastating it is when an injury stops a runner dead in their tracks, or pavement, or trail if you’d rather. Whether it is Plantar Fasciitis, IT Band Syndrome, or a stress fracture, getting through an injury is difficult, both physically and mentally. Here are some ways to cope while sidelined.
My plane had touched down at SLC Intl. at 11:08 a.m., seven minutes early on a hour connector from Phoenix. Everything was smooth at the Avis counter even though the agent shared a little too much about his last assignment—San Diego—as he examined my California license. “I like it here pretty OK,” he said. “But San Diego. Oh man. Have you been there?” I got an upgrade in exchange for a little banter on the City in Motion and before you could say Ford Escape, I was about to merge with the 80 East for a climb of almost 3,000 feet in fifteen miles—the steepest stretch of interstate in North America.
It’s cold, icy, dark, and you probably can’t feel at least one part of your body at any given time. Yes, that’s winter running for you, and the experience of training through the long, dark winter months can be challenging for even the most hardy and motivated of runners. It’s no coincidence that winter is the “off season” for many runners – it’s just hard to get out the door, and many people appreciate the rest after a tough racing season in the fall. But for those of us who want to continue running through the winter months, whether simply to stay in shape, to reduce stress, or to train for a spring race, here are a few great ways to make sure you stay on your feet and out on the roads from December to February – and beyond!
Recovery from a marathon is never a one-size-fits all plan. In the immediate wake of my last marathon, I stumbled three blocks over to an Irish pub and ordered a Guinness and a basket of onion rings and that pretty much did the trick. I was out on a recovery run the next afternoon and didn’t miss a single workout the next week and on. Unfortunately, I can’t really say a nitrogen-infused adult beverage and breaded and deep-fried bulb is the panacea for a quick and full recovery. Instead, I do have a few field-tested tricks which have helped me get back on those pounded-to-sore arches quickly.
If you’ve been running for more than about a week, someone (or everyone) has probably told you that you need to strength train in order to reach your full potential as a runner. That’s all well and good, and they’re right – strength training is extremely important for runners – but what’s a time crunched, miles-obsessed runner to do? The problem is that running is a repetitive motion that uses the same muscles over and over again, strengthening these muscles (such as the quads and calves) at the expense of others (such as the glutes, hamstrings, and smaller stabilizing muscles), which can cause injury. To help keep yourself off the Injured Reserve list, spend a quick 5 – 10 minutes after your run or on cross training days doing these simple, effective moves.
As the amount of daylight slowly decreases many runners are increasing the distance of their long run in preparation for a successful fall marathon. The “long run” is one of, if not the single most important training run in a marathon training program. These runs serve numerous purposes including an assortment of physical adaptations in the cardiovascular, muscular, and metabolic systems along with the development of a runner’s mental fortitude and confidence. But are you getting the most out of these critical runs?