Wednesday, October 2, 2013

Lessons learned the hard way…

It’s been about a month and a half since I was in full blown marathon training mode and ended up straining my hip flexor, bringing training to a screeching, bawling, stop… I didn’t come a brain surgeon or Bill Gates in this last month and a half, but I pride myself in how much SMARTER I’ve become. My injury was 100% due to overtraining, and not taking proper recovery steps. There have been many times where I’ve said “if I could just go back in time…” The more I think about it, I wouldn’t. I wouldn’t change anything about the last month and a half and how it all went down. This marathon was not meant to be. It was supposed to simply be a lesson. Lesson learned. The hard way. 

#1. Stretching is a PRIORITY now. I was terrible about stretching before getting hurt. I rarely stretched after a run, and before heading out would be a couple quick toe touches and I’d call it good. BAD. All of my training is done in the mornings, weekdays it’s before work. Sitting in an office chair for 8 hours after a run without stretching is a recipe for disaster. Every single run now is followed by a foam rolling session and stretches. Even if it’s just one mile, foam and stretch. I read online it is beneficial to roll first and then stretch. I don’t know that it matters, I have found this order works best for me, so I’m sticking to it. 

#2. Understand the term “overtraining.” I don’t know if this is in Webster or not, but I did not understand the meaning. I was doing it. I don’t feel like I was overtraining in the mileage sense. I was following a novice training plan, and truthfully some weeks didn’t feel like I was running enough. I was over doing everything else. Obsessively. I wouldn’t dream of missing my core training class every Monday, Wednesday, and Friday at noon. The world would end if for some reason I couldn’t make it to class. Monday nights were a required spin night. Which is fine, cross training is good, and spin is probably my favorite form. Weightlifting needs to be done with some sense. I did not use sense, I kept increasing my leg extension weight, while not equally increasing leg curl and abductor and adductor. Unbalanced muscles = troubles. If I would have cooled the jets on all this other junk and focused on miles and stretching and REST…some of my pains would have been avoided. 

#3. KT Tape. Seriously. Miracle tape. 

#4. Take the pressure off. I would beat myself up over a missed run or missed workout. I picked a pretty condensed training plan based on the time I had before the race, so every day seemed absolutely vital. I know now to start training plenty ahead of time to allow for more flexibility if life occurs and heaven forbid I have to miss a run. Don't take anything too seriously ;)