Trials and tribulations of the KSR trail running team.
This year has seen me deal with two major injuries. Since I had never before been in this kind of situation (before I only had to deal with minor things like fatigue etc.) it took me some time to understand what had caused it and how I needed to approach recovering as fast as possible.
After curing my ITB pain from earlier this year I suffered painful Achilles problems after winning the 2014 Australian 100km road running champs at the Gold Coast in June. I had gone back to high mileage and extensive numbers of vert in too short of a time.
What had to happen, eventually did happen. I got injured again. And the Achilles issue forced me to switch to easy (high cadence) indoor cycling and swim-sessions for about 6 weeks.
So this time I took it easier when running again. I started with 10 minutes on the treadmill at less than my recovery pace. I chose the treadmill because it would give me the opportunity to jump off and stop at any time. This approach is inevitable when looking for a safe recovery. Over the following 14 days I then incrementally raised my mileage back to about 90% of my normal mileage. This step-by-step system gave my body plenty of time to accustom itself to the impact of running again. The first 5 sessions were all on a treadmill!
2 ½ weeks back into running the Brisbane Marathon was coming up, but I knew I was far from being able to give it a 100%. I was still gaining strength by the day and a full-on race would only set me back again. So I adjusted my race tactics to that and decided to ‘only’ go out at about 95-98%. Though this still sounds like a lot, those 2 or 3% less can make a huge difference!
Holding back that little bit of energy throughout the race enabled me to stay in control the entire time. There were no teeth gritting, no grunting and especially no loss of proper running posture. I couldn’t necessarily have gone much faster, maybe only a couple of seconds per km, but it was enough for me to quickly recover post race (back to speedwork on day 3) and really enjoy Brisbane.
Keep in mind this slight difference in race-effort. It is the same principle like using a 10km or 21.1km race as a build-up for a full marathon, and sometimes less is more.
For me it’s now time to prepare for the German Marathon Championship in Munich on 12th October.
Waving injuries good bye!