Thursday, August 5, 2010

Yep, I broke it.

Yep, I broke it.

So I’m pretty sure that the reason my right leg is hurt is that I made several mistakes. I do a number of foot and ankle exercises such as shin ups, short hill sprints, heel and toe walking, as well as some active stretching. Well, I had been doing those things except I quit doing those things. I do think that I dropped a rock on my leg to get it injured in the first place but the running didn't help it any.

I read the books on how to train better so I can run faster. They are very simple and clear about doing the “little” things to work the non-dominant muscles. Lydiard speaks of hill training for strong ankles, Hudson and Canova talk about hill work for strong ankles and lower legs, and Daniels talks about strength training and cross training as providing the ability to run more. So more or less, training (non-running) needs to be done so that training (running) can be done. Choosing to completely ignore this fact and the corresponding fact that every person has a limit to the volume and intensity of running that they can accomplish within a certain time is naïve. That is to say, in my specific instance, that if I try to do more than about 80 miles per week at sea level without any of the supplementary work I will get injured rather quickly. However, If I spend the 20-60 minutes a week doing all of the exercises I can run 110 or 120 miles a week without getting injured.

As I was running with this pain I thought, ‘if this is an overuse injury what could I have done to prevent it.’ The volume of answers that flooded my head was frightening. I realized all of the things that I have been doing wrong. I have no one to blame but myself. I knew better. I had made a similar mistake in the past. The most frustrating thing is making the same mistake twice. I like to think I learn from my mistakes. Will I remember in the future to do the shin ups, the short hills, heel and toe walking, the active stretching? I sure hope so.

Also, I listened to a running store clerk that had an overuse injury. I know a lot of very highly qualified people that work at running stores. However, I have also run into those people that have less experience than I do and more than once have I been sold shoes that caused me to get injured. I need to stick with what works for me despite the changes that this person or that person may suggest. That is to say that I recognize qualified instruction and it is the unqualified instruction that I need to take with a grain of salt. If someone is an active competitive runner you can tell. 

The difference between breaking and working for years is a fraction of a degree or a millimeter out of line. Most of the time our body heals itself. However, we have limits. 

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