12/28/12 - Advice For A New Year
I am nearing the 1 year point in my training, and I feel, with the approaching new year, that I should offer my first advice. Additionally, this page had said "under construction" for way too long, and for that I apologize. Here we go, my advice heading into the new year:
1. Love and protect your knees, feet and ankles - I am currently 1 week into a 2 week rest period from running. I should have done this much sooner, but I was stubborn and thought the injury would go away if I lessened road running and stuck to the elliptical; I was wrong. So, now I am icing and using compression everyday. Additionally, I am having to make concerted efforts to stay off it and just let the healing happen. Let this be a lesson folks - take care of your vital areas. Going into the new year I have the follow plan to help:
A.) continue to take glucosamine, fish oil and maintain a healthy diet that includes natural antiinflamatories (broccoli, blueberries, etc)
B.) continue to work on my running form. I am switching from a minimal shoe to a barefoot style pair of Vibram Fivefingers. I was too much of a heel striker, now I am mid foot - my aching calves will tell you that after every run.
C.) I will continue to do strength training in order to maximize my running form for longer periods. Additionally, the stronger my body, the less my joints will have to compensate! I will even make time for this during marathon training by incorporating two-a-days a few times a week.
D.) Ice Ice Baby! I am going to religiously ice after runs, especially of the long 10+ variety. I have ice packs for a targeted approach, but I have also been advised to soak in an ice bath for 10-20 minutes.
E.) I am going to be more intelligent with my stretching. Stretching is one of those aspects of training that splits the running population in half. Some say to stretch and some say you shouldn't. Some say you should but only before running, while other say during or after. I am having a hard time keeping up, so I am just going to experiment and see what works. I will report back later. The one thing I am going to stretch for sure is my calves, which is in direct correlation to research I have done in regards to barefoot running.
F.) I will use massages. I have heard from various runners that I need to invest in a foam roller and use it after every run. This is said to aid in recovery and help prevent injury.
G.) I will use various forms of compression before, during and after running. I have compression shorts, pants, socks and sleeves for my calves. This aides in the recovery of muscles by helping blood move to the areas it is needed most. Compression can also help get you back from an injury, or help you stay away from the sidelines.