Sunday, February 12, 2012

running on land and water

About 4 - okaaaaay maybe 5 weeks ago my right foot/inner heel/ankle starting hurting.  I was able to keep running but it got gradually worse and started going up my calf muscle so I went to see a physio.  Now before you all become judgmental I did go get it x-rayed about 3 weeks in and confirmed there was no fracture but yet it kept getting worse!?!

Hmmm - time to go see a physio I guess - see progress before I would wait till I was completely hobbled.  However at the risk of suffering another lecture by my regular physio I got her to refer me to a new physio closer to work.

Well he looked at it and said nothing major but no running for a week - WHAT - no road running you can water run, ride and swim but no water running for a week.  Okay - no running for a week - now he did not specify which week - rookie mistake on his part :).

I am not  a total brat that was a week ago Friday so I ran the next Sunday and did not run all week on pavement.  And this morning I went down and ran with the group for a 19 km"ish" run.  The foot felt fantastic for the first 17 km and then sugar pop it started to ache and after the run I was pretty much favoring it badly again SUGAR POP.

Disappointing - I did all my exercises, my ice baths each night and water ran everyday I was supposed to run.  BOOO :(.

Water running - I have far more experience with water running than I care to have.  It has been a few years since I have to do it but I guess my running workouts will be in the water for awhile - especially after today's experience.  So what is water running- quite simply it is running in water.  You put on a water running belt so you will stay afloat and jump in the deep end of the water.

People are always suspicious because it seems "easy" and can be very boring.  But there are many positives and there are ways to make it more enjoyable.

A lot of the top athletes in the world use water running as not only a tool for continuing to maintain fitness but also as a great way of crosstraining.  The benefits are:

  • It takes the pounding off your joints and injuries while allowing you to still run
  • You can work on your form.
  • The resistance of the water allows for strength training at the same time
  • You can maintain your fitness level while you are healing
  • It can rejuvenate you and be a change for those times when you are really achy by being in the refreshing water. 

Now it can be a little boring but there are somethings you can do to make it not so boring.
  • Go with friends.  Time will pass more quickly when you have company.
  • Take the tunes - there are now cases available to put your ipods in or there are even mp3 players for the water.
  • Run for time. Commit to spend as much time in the water as you'd spend on a normal run.
  • Do regular running workouts. Vary the pace, the tempo, the length of time. Simulate a favorite running workout. Some type of fartlek workout, whereby you're constantly changing speeds, works best.
  • Play games. Follow the leader is fun. Or bring a tennis ball, beachball, or football and pass it around as you run. 
So while I am not thrilled with that I will be going back to the pool for at least another week I am not freaking out because I know I am maintaining my training and my fitness.  Plus since I am at the pool at least 3 x a week for my swim workouts so I just put on the best after the swim workout so hey I am getting a brick workout in as well.  

Peace out peeps

Shaun

  

Thursday, February 2, 2012

The Never-ending Debate

I love being active.  I love all sports - team and individual - with the exception of downhill skiing.  Seriously - what is up with that death sport?!?   I am originally a flat lander and any time I have tried to careen down a mountain on 2 teensy pieces of wood attached to my feet bad things have happened. After being taken from a local bunnyhill on a stretcher I called uncle and decided to just be good at apres Ski. But I digress...

Back to my pontificating about how much I love sports with the big 3 obviously being: running, swimming and riding. I love registering for races and going out to train most of the time....

Oh come on - that's right I will say it out loud - sometimes I don't want to! (insert collective gasp)  And that is where the great debate comes in.  The internal discussion that starts first thing in the morning and goes on all day back and forth, back and forth.  Until finally you decide to go or not - in my case it is usually a go.  I started thinking what are some things that you use to motivate yourself out the door.

I mean truthfully you know your schedule says 8 km run but you look outside and it pouring out and then you get on the bus to go home and watch it start to rain harder and that is when it starts:
  •  I think might be catching a cold - yep I am pretty sure I am catching a cold!  I probably should not run.
  • But I can't miss a training run! 
  • What would the reasonable person do - I mean seriously I go out I run and then I catch pneumonia - coach woudl be like you should not have run. 
  • But do I really have a cold? Or I am just being a wuss cuz then coach would say -you're not sugar you won't melt! 
And on and on it goes all the way home and then when I get in the door I think just do it.  And then once I get outside with the dog it is like well this is not so bad - it is actually kind of nice to run in the rain.

Then there are the times - I need to do a ride yep need to do a ride but I don't want to (insert whiny tone):
  • Is that a twinge in my knee? Sure feels like a twinge- best not to ride
  • But if I don't do the ride then on the weekend group ride I will get dropped because I am out of shape
  • But if I ride and it is a twinge I could make it worse
This is where I usually implement my call a friend card and phone to whine to them hoping they will tell me not to ride - but then I feel guilty and I go for a ride.

So things that I do to motivate myself:

I have some key mantras that I pull out -for weather issues that would keep others inside I think about what coach Larry used to say to us - Do when others don't and you will be able to when others won't.  Believe me when it is dark and cold and pouring rain and you are doing hill repeats on your bike in January and thinking WTF?!?  you will see the results in June when the sky does open half way through your race and you watch people pull out of the race - I have seen this happen - no biggy because I have been here many times before.

another one is - I never regret doing a workout - I alway regret not.  Enough said.

I train with friends - if I have made plans with someone to meet them for a workout then I know I have to be there because they will be.  This works - believe me there have been times when I have met Jude or Pam or Special K and said the only reason I am here is because I knew you would be here waiting.  So make plans with someone.

Incorporate your workouts into your life so it is not really a workout.  What does that mean - for instance I have  a border Collie he needs to be taken out after work and I may have to pick up something from the post-office.  So I will leash him, grab my pick-up card for the package, throw a knapsack on,  put on my runners and jog to the post-office and back.  Multi-tasking 101.  Another thing I do is I try to ride to/from work.  Instead of being stuck in a car or on a bus I ride to work - it takes about the same time and now I don't have to figure out how to get the workout in before or after work.  It is just part of my day. 

Stay humble and remember my one and only "DNF" (failure to complete in regulation time) - and realize the only reason it happened was because I got cocky and skipped workouts with lame excuses - I lost the debate too many times and paid the price on race day.  I never want those letters behind my name again because I did not do my training.

Those are a few things I do to keep myself motivated when I start to have the internal debate.

Having said all that - listen to your body.  If you are exceptionally sore or tired then take the break.  Talk to your coach and friends, keep a journal to monitor yourself, it is a good way to take a step back and see if possibly you have been training too hard.  Finally if the weather is really bad and it becomes a safety issue then change the workout and take it inside.  Better safe than sorry.

For myself right now - today's workouts will happen because I am meeting Jude and together we can motivate each other to do our hill repeats on the bike.

Peace out

Shaun