Now that we are almost a full month into 2013, training has been ramping up pretty quickly for me. As you might remember, I spent the end of 2012 working on building a solid base on the running front to try and prevent injuries this year. So far, this approach seems to have paid off. I’ve already put in four weeks of training and I haven’t had any issues from a knee/IT band standpoint (I’m knocking on wood as I type this). Obviously, a lot of my muscles have been protesting about having to work out so much again, but I’m signed up to see Brian at Philamassages at least every two weeks to help make sure that none of the tightness turns into injury.
My goal this year is to focus on injury prevention rather than just trying to survive post-injury. While this might sound pretty intuitive, I’ve always struggled a little bit with stretching as much as I should and backing off when things start to get close to the breaking point. I’ve already had a chance to test this theory when I got the norovirus a couple of weeks ago. Rather than just persisting with my training in a dehydrated and under-nourished state, I took a few days off. Especially this early in the season, there is plenty of time to make up the couple of workouts that I missed, and taking the time off meant I was only out of commission for a few days, rather than prolonging my sub-par workouts for a week or two.
There is definitely a fine line between using an illness or injury as an excuse to not train and taking the appropriate time off so as not to be in a continual state of semi-injury. I think that this is where having a specific goal can help. Achieving the goal can be used as motivation to get back to training in a reasonable timeframe, but it’s worth asking if starting back up that particular day is going to hurt or help the overall chances of achieving the goal. It’s important to keep things in perspective and make sure that all aspects of training and competing remain fun – for most of us this is just a hobby after all.
I am really excited to be working again with my coach, Todd Lippin from Breakaway Bikes, as I start my 2013 season. Having him put together my training plan really helps with motivation and accountability, especially with the frigid temperatures that we’ve been experiencing recently. For example, without a plan, I don’t think that a 7 mile run on a treadmill, with 4 miles of it at a pretty quick pace, would ever have happened. Knowing that a workout like that is all part of getting to a better place than last year makes it a little easier to drag myself to the gym and get it done.
In case it wasn’t obvious, I’m really excited to be getting back to training for the 2013 season. On top of that, everything seems to be going well with the body so far. I look forward to continuing to push myself over the coming months, and for my next blog I’ll be able to share my first race result of the season from the Cupid’s Chase 5K.
Keep warm and have fun out there,