Tuesday, July 18, 2006

Sometimes I'm Too Impulsive

Last week I decided it was time to shake off the doldrums, and "shock" my training into high (well, slightly higher) gear. Since completing the 54-mile Comrades Marathon in South Africa in mid-June, I hadn't been doing much running. And when I did run, I was still shuffling along at ultra-marathon pace. Time for a change, I thought. Time for a little juice.

This was a good idea, I'm pretty sure. It's the way that I decided to "kickstart" my training that could be called into question. But, like I'm said. I tend to be impulsive. Sometimes I wish my middle name were "Moderate." It's not. It's more like "Crash And Burn."

I decided to do a couple of speed-fartlek workouts. I jogged a mile over to our forested, 1500-yard "jogging trail" at Rodale, and then did 5 x 30 seconds pretty fast with 90 seconds of walking after each pickup. It went fine. Two days later, I did the same, only with 6 x 30 seconds. You see the logic? I thought I was being extremely smart.

But a few seconds after my last pickup, I felt something yank tight in my arch, right foot. I thought at first that it was just a misstep, that it would go away in a couple more strides. But it didn't. I had some kind of arch strain. An injury that I've never had before.

So now, a week later, I'm hobbling back into a 4- or 5-mile a day routine, very slow. I've kickstarted nothing. In fact, I've lost more time.

What should I have done differently? Looking back, I think I should have done more moderate tempo-pace runs instead of the pickups. I didn't really need to shock myself. I just needed to ease into a new phase.

And I should have started with a couple of treadmill runs. The treadmill is my friend. I always seem to do well on it.

I like the sound and imagery of impulsive. But it's rarely a great way to run.


At 12:38 PM, Anonymous Mark A. Graves said...

Not quite as foolish as me....My FIRST run after nearly a year off was intervals. How stupid can I be? I did 6x400 with 200 jog recovery. They were slow, and I felt okay afterward, but the next day my left knee was killing me. This was back in May and i haven't run pain free since.


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