The rumors of my death are greatly exaggerated.
I’ve been having a good month, running-wise, if a little bit busy. Foregoing a fall marathon seems to have been the right decision; now to keep my weight moving down and my mileage moving up, and maybe spring will hold better news.
I’ve fallen in love with cycling again – key ride was the Bluff Point night ride that Mystic Cycle Center puts on – full moon and empty fire roads completely rocked. Though the monthly drill weekend rides have really, really helped, too.
Getting back to the pool has been good. This week’s triumph is two days in the pool, with more than 1000 yards each time. Little victories.
Lastly, Movember is coming. Go run.
Got a comment from the wayback machine – an old post I’d done for completerunning.com (Iochelli, I miss you, blogfather). Jenn is recovering from Plantar Fascitis, which is my old bugbear. Remembered pain got me to reply. I really hope that Jenn isn’t a bot. But, I’m putting my faith in mankind and the interwebs tonight, ’cause I’m feeling optimistic, and don’t want to lose the promise of Hope and Change…
Here’s what I said:
The good news is that my PF hasn’t reoccurred in about 2 years. I’m not sure if it’s dumb luck, but here’s what I’ve learned:
- Make a gradual, gradual reintroduction to running. I blew it in 2007 – started training for the 2008 OKC Marathon and wasn’t consistient enough. I tried to jump back in, slacked off in the fall and winter, and tried to make up mileage the two months before the race. I ended up dropping from the whole to the half, and while I had a good race, it wasn’t enough.
- STRETCH! From spring 2008 until spring 2009, I tried to maintain pretty consistent running volume, and added cross training. One thing I focused on was learning PF stretches, chief among them the toe stretch* and also the frozen water bottle **
- Cross Train: Spring 2009 I did a half ironman triathlon, and my chief gripe was not doing enough bike/run bricks to get my back ready for the second transition. PF was not an issue.
I’m not a doctor or a physiologist, but what seems to have worked was:
- Build training volume by adding non-running activities. If you want to sweat, get on a bike, or in the pool, or anything that doesn’t stress your tendons. Your heart and lungs build capacity much more quickly than connective tissue.
- Be a 10% stickler: Start with about a mile or two a run, and be strict about the 10% rule – don’t increase weekly mileage more than 10% a week. IE, if you do 5 miles in a week, 6 might be too much for the next week.
- Stretch: Do the stretches several times a day. I’d do them immediately upon waking up, at lunch, and before bed.
- Avoid treadmills like the plague: I’ve got nothing scientific on this, but I did a lot of my winter 2007-2008 training on the treadmill. I’ve been studiously avoiding them since, and have been less injury prone. My theory is that the treadmill doesn’t listen to your body, it just starts carrying your foot straight back as soon as you make contact.
PPS – water bottle stretch:
- Go drink a drink in a plastic bottle.
- Save the bottle and cap.
- Fill the bottle most of the way up with water.
- Put it in the freezer.
- Let it freeze solid.
- Pull the bottle out of the freezer.
- Put on socks.
- Sit in a chair.
- Put the bottle under the arch of one foot, push down, and roll the bottle back and forth from toe to heel until your foot begins to feel really, really cold.
- Switch feet and repeat until bottle becomes squishy, or until feet become too cold.