Wednesday, September 10, 2014

WWU - Running Recovery/Injury Prevention

Over the last five years, I've had to come to terms with the reality that my body doesn't respond particularly well when my running gets into the higher mileage zone.  Because of that, I've gone into this season with a different attitude:  I want to give myself the best chance at getting to the Houston half marathon in January uninjured - this is a fun race, I'm doing it with a special group of friends, and by gosh, I want to be on the race course and not on the sidelines!

I'm being as proactive as I can, but I'm also reevaluating things along the way and am willing to make changes as necessary.  Here's what I've done, here's what I'm doing, and here's what I'm changing.

Done
  • Lost weight so I have less body to haul around as I run
  • Started eating more protein (something I was not very diligent about)
  • Began cross training before our season began
Doing
  • Taking fish oil everyday, which seems to help with joint aches
  • Drinking a protein shake within 30 minutes of working out (most of the time)
  • Wearing compression shorts* after I've run
  • Rolling my tight calves with The Stick - this works best when Jeff does this for me as he can apply more pressure
  • Using the newly-discovered glute machine at the gym in hopes that stronger glutes will help with my hamstring issue
  • Massage - I'd like to pluralize that, but so far I've only had one this season.  However, I think they help a lot, so I'm going to force myself to do this at least once a month until the race, and just work that cost into my budget somehow.
  • Still working at losing weight - lighter is better when it comes to running
*Mine aren't particularly tight - I have two pairs of Tommie Copper compression shorts that were sent to me for free, and I didn't want to feel super-squeezed in them, so I ordered up in size.  They're comfortable, but I probably should get a pair in at least one size down to really feel the benefits of compression.

Changing
  • Easing up on the number of times I cross train each week.  I went to PF five times a week for about two and a half months, but started to feel really fatigued - I bumped up my mileage without thinking that I should cut back on the gym.  I'm going 2 -3 times a week now.
  • Stopping the hill repeat workouts.  I hated to do that because I know they are really beneficial to my training, but I began to notice that my standard twinge that was leftover from my hamstring injury last year was becoming more than a twinge, and it started radiating down the back of my thigh - eek!  Hill repeats are not recommended if you have a hamstring issue, and I knew that, but I wanted to follow the training schedule.  It took some encouraging confirmation from my online running coach to make this OK in my head - no more hill repeats for me.
Again, this is what my 51-year-old body needs.  I've had to work hard at letting go of my "everyone else can do it, why not me?" expectations and get real about what my body can handle...and hopefully it can handle another season of half marathon training!

18 comments:

  1. ahh those everyone else expectations are, I think, what sparks me to think I CAN RUN IF I WANT!! :-)
    I cant.
    my hips hate it.

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  2. So smart! I am still sure and confident you will be on the start stronger than ever! You are doing all the right things this time!

    I am letting go of "everyone else can do this" too but it's hard. I seem to forget that I'm 46 and running isn't a natural thing for me. I have to work to get results. I am going to do a post tonight but you know I said last week "no more excuses" but I can't seem to get in the routine and most of that is because I have to high expectations of myself. Need more your approach. So thank you for this post, it came right in time for me.

    And as for you because this is about you after all: keep doing this and you will finish with the biggest smile ever in January.

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  3. Runners who have the best training and races are doing exactly what you're doing here. What most people don't realize is that it's all trial and error and you should listen to your own body. Just like with using supplements like Gu and Nuun, etc. if you used one of those during training and it was making your stomach upset, you'd stop. The same goes for actual training regimines - you have to figure out what works best for YOU. What you can do maybe I can't but we can both have great training and races if we use some common sense!

    P.S. Glad to hear the hill repeats are not being done. If you start feeling better, of course you can try, but let's get that hammy feeling good first!

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    1. It's a challenging lesson to learn, to listen to your body instead of the training schedule...but it's a critical one, for sure.

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  4. 1. Get those massages!!! (I try and go twice a month, a luxury for sure, but it is the best!)
    2. I think protein is so important! Good for you.
    3. I agree, getting to the start (and finish) line is half the battle. Good for you to listen to your body and make a plan that works for you. Less is sometimes better.

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    1. Thanks for the encouragement, my 50 half-stater friend! :)

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  5. I wish I could do messages, but I am so ticklish, I just start laughing! Facials are no problem though - although the last time I got one, the woman asked what I did for a living, and when I said I worked in a law firm she asked "do you do divorces?!" and started to proceed to tell me everything that was wrong with her marriage for the whole hour message - not very relaxing!

    Love your running strategy Shelley! Imagine the Shelley from 6 years ago, she never would have even had a running strategy! :D

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    1. You should have charged that facial woman for your listening time!

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  6. The 'everyone else can do it' is something I struggle with greatly and why I keep wanting to try running again, even though my back tells me it isn't such a great idea. Why do we do this?

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    1. Girl, I do NOT know why...especially since by now you'd think we know better!

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  7. I'm starting to bump up my mileage (just trying to double myself to 6 miles or a 10k I'm registered for) and I'm concerned with my body taking a beating..so thanks for he advice!!!! (ok, it's your plan but I'm taking it as advice for me!!!)

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  8. Sounds like an excellent plan that you (and your body) will love!!!

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  9. I know I need to do all those things too but I feel zonked after my runs and don't feel like making protein drinks, stretching or foam rolling. I do stretch and roll but I know it's not for long enough and is usually a half A** attempt! Good luck training for Houston!

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    1. I'm pretty tired too, but I pretend I've got a stern coach making me do the recovery stuff right away...it's for my own good.

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  10. I have been reading for a long time but have never commented(and probably should have to let you know I appreciate your writing), but when you mentioned "joint aches" it reminded me of something I read from someone on Facebook this morning so I thought I would pass it along. She posted an article that said Turmeric(I think that is how it's spelled) was good for joints and she took it during chemotherapy. Her husband now takes it and he too is seeing results(competitive golfer). She buys it from Costco and takes one in the morning and one at night. I am going to try it because my 48 year old joints are starting to complain. Since people have been cooking with this for a thousand years I figure it can't hurt. Good luck with your marathon and running, it's nice to see you having so much fun from it:)

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    1. Thanks for commenting! I always appreciate hearing from my 'silent' readers. :)

      I'll check into turmeric; hey, a natural joint pain cure would be awesome!

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