Form First, then Distance, then Speed
I have given myself a very strict training schedule and the goal is the half marathon on Sept. 23. I know the mileage working up to race day is going to be a lot, but I am counting on my ChiRunning form and my minimal running shoes to keep me running without [major] injury. I’m re-reading Danny Dreyer’s ChiRunning and this time I’m getting the message of Form-Distance-Speed – in that order. You can’t cheat the order, or you’ll get injured.
I spent July working on achieving my goal of 108km in a month, which I completed. I was focusing on lean and cadence and assumed my posture was fine. I loved the feeling of increasing my speed with each run, along with bumping up the km every week. Well, overuse sneaked its little head in. My left ankle started feeling tight during the runs but I just chalked it up to old shoes, and hung on for a couple weeks. I thought the issue, as well as the recent regression on my right knee, would go away with my new New Balance Minimus shoes. (They’re a runner/modern dancer’s dream shoe, you can really feel the ground!) However, after a week, the little ache in my ankle didn’t go away, not to mention my calves took a hit with the new zero drop soles. I finally admitted I needed to stop pushing the miles and get it checked.
I had my massage therapist work out the worst of it, he said it was a localized trigger point that just needed to be released. I took 3 solid days off running. I was disappointed when I felt it the next time I went out, which sent me home walking after 2k. So I took another day off. Today I started with posture as my main focus and let the other focuses come and go. I was willing to go only as far as I was able to maintain my posture, and speed was not on my mind at all. I stopped to massage my ankle every time I felt even the slightest twinge (4 times). I made it 5k, and probably could have done more! My pace was almost a minute longer per km than usual, which is fine. I’ll still make it in under 2:30 if I run this pace on Sept. 23, which after today I’m sure I’ll still be able to do!
I didn’t lose any of my “fitness” over the past week – my head was ready to go for my usual Sunday long run and my endurance was there. I ran comfortably without walking. Now that I’m “starting all over again” at a higher fitness level, I will build up the miles again without the walk-breaks.
Maybe Rio 2016 isn’t a pipe dream.