Thursday, January 3, 2013

New Year's Running Resolutions (Part 2 of 3)

Resolution #2: Stay injury free

This is the second part of a three part series on my New Year’s resolutions for 2013. If you missed the first one, you can scroll down to view it or click here. My second resolution ties nicely into the first one because a key to being consistent is to stay injury free.

This may seem like a strange resolution because a lot of people think that injuries just happen. And it is true. Some injuries, like ruptured spleens or twisted ankles or injuries from falls, do just happen, and there is not a lot that can be done about these. Those are not what I am talking about. I am talking about avoiding self-inflicted injuries that come from common mistakes runners make, myself included.  

There are a variety of things that contribute to or cause injuries that are under a runner’s control. Let me just give you a quick list of mistakes I have made in the past that have caused running injuries: increasing mileage too quickly, doing too much speed work, running on severely canted roads, wearing the wrong type of shoes for my foot, neglecting flexibility, not correcting muscle imbalances, continuing to finish a long run when I knew there was something “wrong” (the injury in the making), and running a race when I knew I was on the verge of injury.  That is a pretty long list, but I have been running a while. However, I am, apparently, a very slow learner because I have made some of those mistakes more than once.

So, what will I actually be doing to stay injury free? Well, I will not be over-reaching with my mileage. Last year I ran an average of 30-35 miles per week. This year I will try to bump that up to an average of 35-40.  I also will stick with my training schedule which will keep me from doing too much speed work. I will run on varied surfaces, avoid concrete, and get as much soft surface (read “trails”) running in as possible. I have awesome shoes – love my Brooks Pure Grits – and will be sticking with those. Besides being super comfortable, they have done a lot to help me with my form, which also helps prevent injuries.

Dr. Tom Livermore:
A runner's best friend
The muscle imbalances and flexibility I will continue to address with yoga, strength training, and the foam roller. My plan is a minimum of three times per week on these. When all else fails, I will count on Dr. Tom. Dr. Tom is my chiropractor/ART (active release therapy) guy, and he is like a runner’s secret weapon in the fight against injury. (He is also a runner himself, so he gets us.) I have learned that a visit or two to him at the first hint of injury can often keep one from happening. He saved the X-Country Championships for me last month by dragging me back from the verge of a groin/adductor injury (and we all know how long those take to heal!). If you are in MI and have an injury this year, keep Dr.Tom in mind. Tell him I sent you. :-)

Hopefully these actions will help me keep this resolution and run injury-free this year.

Well, two down and one to go. Tomorrow I will tell you about my third resolution. It may surprise you. 

No comments:

Post a Comment

I would love to hear from you!! Please feel free to comment, ask questions, leave ideas for future postings, or just say "hi."