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My last post about running, I talked about trying to step up my schedule to a six days on, one day off. I wanted to see what I could learn from the “experiment” of limiting the amount of rest between my runs. After all, the elite runners you see in the marathons that keep up a superhuman pace for 26 miles are running every day.

Well this is what I learned:

  • I am not an elite runner, nor will I probably ever be. I only started running two years ago at the age of 43 because I didn’t want a membership to a gym and traveling as I do – God has provided the perfect gym – the out of doors. I can keep up my exercise regiment no matter where I am.
  • My body needs rest, not only to recover physically but mentally. I noticed that the longer my string of days went, the slower my times were and less joy I was deriving from running. There were actually a few times I contemplated giving up running all together.
  • I seemed to become injury prone. I started to have a flare up of some tendinitis in my heal. This was something that I hadn’t dealt with since very early in my running endeavors. So out came the ice packs on my heal, which I have to say is most unpleasant. It also tells me that my form was getting sloppy, and I was striking my heal. Since I run with minimalist shoes (vibram‘s) this is not a good thing.
  • I had a difficult time eating enough. This very well could have been contributing, in part, to my lack of mental enthusiasm for running. For a thirty-two minute run I will burn close to 500 calories. On a non-running day this is equivalent to one third of my daily diet. I was consistently not eating enough and when you start stringing the days together, it really seemed to take a toll on me.
  • Keeping my pride and ego in check is necessary. I set out to try something different. It didn’t work out as I planned. I don’t see the wisdom in allowing hubris to potentially cause me to derail all the great progress I’ve made of the last two years. This is not defeat.

So bottom line, I’m going to dial it back for the time being. Maybe it was too much too fast. My attitude is back up again, I’ve caught up on some much needed sleep, and my heal isn’t inflamed. Most of all, I’ve learned some things about myself and the runs feel good again!

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