Guess where I’m going this weekend!
Okay, that’s a lie. I’ll be going near Disneyland to visit family who actually are going to Disney. It just sounds more exciting to say I’m going there. I’ve actually never been to Disneyland before. I’ve been to DisneyWORLD twice in my life, but that’s all. Just enough to know I need to go back.
As for this lovely day of Fri, I am going running at a nearby track with Matt and a friend in a few hours. Except, I’ll be doing my own slow thing, and they’ll be hauling arse. Let’s hope it doesn’t rain though. It’s been on and off pouring all day. I’m totally fine with it pouring the rest of the time, just not while I’m running. Too cold out.
Speaking of running…
Ever since I finished my marathon, I’ve felt really lucky to have trained without experiencing any injuries.
When training for such a long period of time, it’s easy to overdo it and get hurt. That’s why I want to share the precautions I took in order to prevent injury. Some of them I learned the hard way—others I incorporated right away because I knew they would help keep my body healthy during the long process.
Learned this one the hard way. I’ve always stretched, but I never did it very thoroughly until I ran my half marathon during college. I had a lot of pain around my knee and didn’t realize it could be fixed by simply stretching my IT band until the end of my training. Now I make sure I stretch as much as I can to prevent injury. I wrote a post about dynamic and static stretching if you want to learn more!
Try hiking, biking, circuit workouts, or whatever your heart desires, It helps to do more than just run when you’re training. By using different muscles, you’re giving others a chance to recover. I was running about 4-5 days a week during my marathon training, but the off days and my easier running days were usually spent doing some sort of circuit workout that I either found on Pinterest or created myself.
Through my circuit workouts, I always tried to incorporate some sort of body weight or dumbbell weight exercises. Not only will lifting weights help you become a better runner, it’ll decrease your risk of injury. Stronger muscles give much needed support to your joints that are under a great deal of stress during running (i.e. ankles, knees, hips). On her blog Fitness Perks, Annette wrote a great article awhile back about weight training while training if you want to check it out!
Listen to your body.
If you’re feeling more pain (not just soreness) than usual, take it as a sign that something is wrong or should be changed. I know my feet were really starting to hurt about 2 months before my marathon. I ended up getting new shoes, and it made a huge difference for me. I also encountered a lot of hip soreness throughout my training, so I am still making an effort to stretch my hips often. I’d like to avoid that whole hip bursitis thing that I’ve heard of runners getting. (If you’re curious how to avoid it as well, Julie from PBFingers wrote a post about it with lots of great hip stretches.)
Take easy days and rest days.
Once upon a time, I heard an Ironman triathlete say that a problem so many people struggle with when training is the fact that they’re going hard every. single. day. It makes it difficult to improve and burns you out on the sport pretty fast. Sometimes we’re motivated and want to become better athletes ASAP, but taking easy days as well as rest days are crucial. Our muscles need a chance to recover and get stronger. During my training, I tried not to have too intense of runs two days in a row. If you check out my training schedule or daily workout log, you’ll see that I usually ran my long runs followed by a recovery run the next day. That way, if I wasn’t doing a challenging run, I was at least getting my legs moving and building up my base mileage. I also made sure to have at least one or two rest days a week (it was a nice mental break as well).
Overall, I’d say the most effective methods I incorporated to prevent injury were 1. thoroughly stretching after every single run (okay, more like 90% of them—laziness got in the way sometimes) and 2. spending half of each week not pushing myself too hard in running.
The little things make a difference!
Hope you peeps have a wonderful weekend! (P.S. The season of peeps is coming up. Aka Easter. Mwahaha.)
Are you training for a race right now? Which one?
Any crazy/awesome plans for the weekend?
Are you a lover of Disneyland and/or world?