SO it’s Friday. Seeing as I was only at school for 2 full days and 2 half days, this week has definitely flown by. Works for me, with the exception of exams getting closer. 😦
But I’m not talking about that! WAY back before March I was posting all kinds of different training, recovery and nutrition plans for my half marathon this weekend. I was super obsessed with not hurting my chronically injured knees and came up with grand plans that, wait for it, I actually followed through with! I know, I think it’s cool too.
Anyway, now that they have been tested and deemed successful by yours truly, I think that they are worth sharing! Barring getting hit by a car on my last (easy) run this Friday, I will be 100% ready to go come Sunday morning at 7am.
1. Conservative mileage. I peaked two weeks ago at 25 miles. That is NOT considered a lot of running for a half marathon – this Runner’s World article recommends at LEAST 30-40 miles for “mere mortals” aka normal runners. I know myself, and jumping to 40 miles a week from maybe 5 would immediately result in injury. My first week of training I ran SIX miles. Then 13. I increased slowly and ignored Hal’s plan when my body told me to.
2. It’s not all running. The most that I ever ran was 4 times in one week. With the exception of one time, I always took a day off in between runs and got 2-3 30 minute strength training sessions in each week. I 100% know that this helped my knees (the most injury prone for me) strong and helped my running improve as much as it did.
3. POST-WORKOUT NUTRITION! I used to time my runs so that they finished right before a meal, and if they didn’t I would just wait until it was “time” to eat. NO. Your body needs to refuel as soon as possible after working your muscles so hard, so the moment I got home from every run I chugged a cup of 1% milk with ovaltine. I didn’t want to buy non-organic milk and I couldn’t find organic chocolate milk so this is what I ended up doing! I so looked forward to this during my runs…even if I wanted to throw up when I was done. Also, this way I could eat a meal when I was actually hungry for it, not because I “should”.
4. Take care of them muscles. Following said milk-chugging, I immediately plopped myself down on my yoga mat and proceeded to foam roll and stretch. After every. single. run. When I was in Toronto, I used a bread roller. Make it happen, folks.
5. Be a slave to nothing (and no one). What do I mean by this? Repeat after me: I will not be a Garmin slave. I will not be a Garmin slave. I tried obsessing over pace and keeping the same (hard) one during every run. My legs always felt tired and I wasn’t having fun. Eventually I figured it out and glanced at my watch very rarely (think 3 times in a 12 mile run) just so that I knew how far I had gone/had left to go. It makes running so much more fun when you go at your happy pace – and the post-run surprise of SUPERSPEED is pretty awesome too. 🙂
All of these things I did RELIGIOUSLY – it won’t do you much good to foam roll once every ten runs or take an easy day every 3 months or so. But please also remember that you and I are very much different people and what worked for me may not work for you! I would love to say that you can do the above and become the new Kara Goucher but sadly that is not the case. I hope that this was helpful and that you go ROCK your next run/race! 🙂
Best tip on injury prevention?