Sunday, April 21, 2013
I am still over the moon about having a race to train for and even a race to train for in the coming year (I want to complete the Portland Marathon in October next year). I am really feeling the ol' runner's high, which only adds to my determination and pushes me further.
Unfortunately, I am already aware of what that excitement can push me into: overuse injuries. Running is great for you and something that I absolutely adore, but I have to keep myself making slow progress. Two years ago, I got into running and went full throttle, trying to run every single day, pushing myself to the point of utter exhaustion and convincing myself that all I needed was to run. Needless to say, that period of time was chock full of injuries, bouts of being rundown and ill, and not much gain in speed or endurance. That is still quite fresh in my mind.
I now know how important rest/recovery, cross training, strength training, interval training, proper footwear, proper running form and tempo runs are. I think back to my beginning days and cringe. I could have seriously hurt myself!
I still feel that urge to go all out, to go everyday and to ignore any kind of pain, but I now have knowledge on my side. I can practice restraint because above all else, I have seen way more gains in speed and endurance by "slowing down" than I ever did by "giving it my all" every time. No more throwing caution to the wind!
I suppose I am spouting off about this because getting back into running has forced me to rethink strategies and compare my past experiences. It's a learning process that I first experienced with my weight loss here on Spark, which really armed with knowledge and taught me to question and "slow down". I ran my longest tempo run on Friday and every time I got too overeager on speed and exertion, I reeled it in. I also took yesterday as a rest day. Let's just say those are things that I would never have done before.
I am going hiking for my son's birthday today (he's 5 now, and hiking was actually his idea), so I hope that everyone has a blessed day and stays active, or rests, whatever your body needs!