Monday, January 21, 2008

Smarter not harder?

I've been really thinking a lot about injury and how to avoid it lately.. It dawned upon me that there are a lot of plans that don't stress the number of runs in the week and incorporate all kinds of cross-training. If I've learned one thing since I've had the injury bug lately, it's that I can handle a little cross-training. I'd rather be running, no doubt. But, I'd also rather be running and not on the sidelines.

So, my goal is to really pay attention to how I'm feeling and not overdoing it. Any plan that I adopt will need to have at least one day of cross training. And, this time, I'm gonna do it (the Higdon plan I was on for the marathon had one, I just didn't do it). I'm still sticking to the three runs a week of no more than three miles until I'm totally healthy. But, I plan to get on a half marathon plan as soon as I feel right (yes Nate, I'm signing up for Lehigh Valley). In fact, I will probably adopt the plan that Nate is doing so that we can do some of our long runs together.

As for today, I got my first run in of the week... I went to the Y on the treadmill to save the feet.

Run recap- 3 miles, 30:00, 10:00 pace

*** Edit- I'm signed up for Lehigh Valley


Tim Wilson said...

Good for you! I have been doing the same since my injury back in July of last year. I finally got back to running in October and kept cross training as part of my routine. I just need to up it a bit now. It has helped greatly!

Good job!

Anonymous said...

Hooah! Lehigh, here we come baby!

I think you can see by the plan I have there that I don't plan to run more than 3 days per week. That might change, but I doubt it.

Eric Gervase said...

I can't wait. The metatarsal pads are goofy. But, I think the tape job is working. That suggests that I might need the orthotics after all.

cymrusteve said...

Wise man - cross training is certainly the way to go.

Question: does the treadmill really help your feet? I always feel worse after running indoors than when I hit the pavement.

Keep up the good work!


Eric Gervase said...

I think so... However, I think it is conventional wisdom. So, I might have just assumed so. I don't feel bad after I hit the treadmill (even though I don't like treadmill running).

cyberpenguin said...

You've got a very sound plan! Yes, better to incorporate cross-training into your exercise regimen, so you'll still be able to run in the future! ;-) Also, you've given yourself a decent amount of time to get back into the swing of things, should you decide that you're ready/feeling well enough to start training for the Lehigh race.

Of course, you know your body best & what it can handle, especially given your current state. Follow your hunch about your feet. You're probably right about the orthotics. I bet your doctor/PT specialist will probably confirm it too. Would there be any disadvantage to using the orthotics, just in case? Probably would be a good idea to have the extra support -- Curious to hear what these medical professionals will say about this.

Great run, BTW. I'm about a minute behind you in pace. Hope I'll be closer to where you are right now in the next few months, provided I can get rid of these darned last few pounds! 8-) What's your goal pace for the upcoming half-marathon?

Eric Gervase said...

I think there is one distinct argument against orthotics at this point. If my bio-mechanics are fine without the orthotics, it could possibly make them not fine. "If it ain't broke, don't fix it" kinda thing.

That, and I've heard some rumors (not sure how well informed they are) that orthotics can be avoided by training properly and allowing your muscles and bone density proper ramp up. But, if that were true, I'm not sure that studying bio-mechanics would be worth a damn. So, I'm dismissing that at this point.

Finally, the 10 minute pace is actually intentionally holding back. I ran my half last year in 1:54:55 (8:46 or so pace). I'd like to run 1:50... But, that's gonna take a healthy training program. So, goal pace would be 8:23 or so... I'm not sure how realistic that is. But, based on last year's result, maybe possible (and I'm lighter by about 10 pounds).

cyberpenguin said...

Well you've got a point there, regarding the orthotics. Maybe it's best not to mess with mother nature. ;-)

With regard to your comment about avoiding orthotics via gradual conditioning, has the PT fellow given you any strengthening exercises to help your leg/foot muscles get stronger?

And regarding your pace comments, "Well, FINE! Aren't you a show-off!" Hahahahahaha, ONLY kidding. But seriously, your 8:46 minute mile pace is still very respectable. I would LOVE to be doing something even remotely close to that!

Men seem to be so very lucky this way; most guys I know seem to trim their pace down (as well as their weight!) by significant amounts every month, whereas my times only go down by a few seconds here and there (in dribbles & drabbles) & my weight/fat loss progress has slowed considerably. Of course, as most of us probably know all too well, the last few pounds (5-10!) can be a real challenge to work off. It's certainly not like losing the first ten or twenty! ;-)

Of course there's no magic formula, just a lot of determination and effort! Oh no, there I go talking about THAT subject again. Whoops.

Will look forward to hearing about your next visit to see the PT guy. Other than that, hope all's well with you.

BTW, thanks for the nice email you sent via LinkedIn. Promise to respond soon!

Eric Gervase said...

No problem... What kind of job are you looking for btw? My pops has a pretty respectable position (and been there forever) at Lockheed as a software architect. Is that in the vein of what you're looking for? If you're not interested in discussing... that's cool too.

In regards to the pace/weight loss comments. I'd have to agree with you there. Men do seem to have an easier time trimming seconds/minutes and pounds. I know that my progress was much quicker than I anticipated.

Backtracking a second though... I think you are doing a much better job of smart progression. I'm injured right now because I was unable to exercise (pun intended) restraint. You are planning a marathon well in the future. I gave myself 9 months. So, I got fast faster :) But, you haven't been injured.

Tim said...

I am on the opposite side of things. I love cross training. I have really enjoyed spinning class lately, and next week some friends of mine are going Snow Shoeing (I think that is what it is called). Anyhow, thanks for the inspiration!

Tim said...
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