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Walking wounded

13 January, 2010

Looking back to the plan, you’ll see that I have two days a week set aside for what I’ve designated rest, cross-training or gym. I’ve been deliberately vague here. This is essentially where I have the freedom to allow for the unexpected, such as the current injury I’m sitting out. In other words, if I’m strong and healthy I will use these days to work on my weaknesses and get stronger (i.e. gym or cross-training), and if I’m injured or on the cusp of injury, then I will either rest entirely or walk. One thing that I can do for now is some core strengthening. I haven’t found a way around the associated boredom yet (that is the immediate challenge) but, having done almost none of this lately, it is definitely a weakness that I could address.

Both yesterday and Monday I walked about four miles or so, and I will probably do the same today. Walking is the ideal activity for the recovering runner. The same muscles are used but the peak force is no more than half that exerted while running, and it allows the runner more time for reflection, either on training or the bigger picture. It is chicken soup for the runner’s soul. As I incorporate more speedwork into my schedule, increasingly I will have less chance to think about what I’m doing. When you’re doing a tempo run, in a way, you’re just on autopilot — you set the pace and hang on. There’s no way you’re going to be daydreaming about this or that, and if you are then you’re probably slowing down. Also, closer attention must be paid to the signals the body sends. Although we (hopefully) become more finely attuned to these signals, as we progress as runners and encounter more injuries, we will also have more of those weak spots that can flare up.

So my running routine has taken a tumble for this week, but I am grateful that this is only a tiny problem compared to what could be happening. At least this time I caught the problem early on, and I still am very healthy overall. It’s time to ask: what running blogs do you read? Perhaps there are other bloggers on the mend that you’ve been following. Please leave your suggestions/links in the comments section!

Kick it, homies.

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