Reading about my training schedule last year was boring enough, so I am not going to annoy you by recounting my last 6 months of recovery from injury. I’ll just make a list of things I’ve learnt:
- Injuries do not go away if you ignore them: as soon as I felt slightly better I tried running, even doing 15k sometimes. It was very silly of me.
- When doctors say you should not run for 2 months they mean 2 months, not 1
- Injuries do not come alone: I had a very bad shin splints but also an ankle impingement. When one was improving, the other was getting worse and vice versa. Learning which one is causing a certain bit of pain and how to tackle it really helps.
- Physios are really good for you: I went for half a dozen sessions at Physio&Therapy in Teddington and I cannot recommend them enough
- Stretching and strength exercises are boring but useful: I spent countless evening doing more than an hour of lifting my toes to strengthen my feet and other exercises. One day I might do a post with suggestions on the best exercises and stretching.
- Cross training can make you go less crazy: I did quite a lot of cycling and swimming when I finally gave up running for a longer period. At least I had a way of burning some energy and it is actually fun too. Especially cycling in Richmond Park early in the morning. When on holiday I went hiking too, it’s hard not to run when you are on certain beautiful trails.
- Watching a youtube video does not teach you how to apply a kinesiology tape on yourself. Better leave it to the experts.
- You can still wake up at 5am and do something: the first month I made a mobile game all by myself (if I had known I had 4 more months of not running I would have done it better, but if you want it you can download it here)
- Being able to run 5k again without suffering is so beautiful it will make you almost cry
- Going back to running 100k a week takes ages but you can take advantage of slower and shorter runs to work on your cadence, form and experiment with food.
- Cancelling races is really tough: I had to give up on 2 marathons and the first 2 Centurion’s 50 milers. So no Grand Slam for me this year.
So we are in June now and finally, more than 6 months from the Druid Challenge, I am running again six days a week. The last couple of weeks around 100k each, with some adventures on trails too. The injuries are not completely gone away, but every day is better and I think I now know how much I can push (as if I’ve never said this before).
I am going to do my first race in July. I am doing the Hermes Running North Downs Way Marathon again. This time I was given a free entry by RunningHeroes.com (thank you very much) and I will try not to kill myself in the first half like I did last year.
But first I will be pacing my friend @manuontrail in the last 30 miles of the South Downs Way 100 next weekend. I cannot wait. It will be an adventure, most likely a night time adventure on some of the best trails around here.
I have more races coming up and more pacing duty for friends, but I am sure I will do loads of posts about those in the near future.
Stay tuned: I am back! (I can hear my 4 readers cheering).