On The Run: When your running training hits an obstacle in the road | Sports


Arguably the most fun a runner can have is planning a race. Training can be long and tough and race day can unfold in different ways, but when you figure out what race you want to do and what kind of training plan you want to use, you’re fine. The road ahead is loaded with potential and nothing can stop you.

Then you start practicing and all that planning can go away.

You can find training plans in many places: from a trainer, from another runner, from a book or from the Internet. It’s obviously easier when you’ve done this distance before and have an idea of ​​what you can do. Your plan also depends on your goal: if you’re looking to run a marathon in under three hours, your training will be very different from if you’re running your first marathon and just want to complete the distance. There are high-mileage plans for elite or advanced runners, and there are also plans designed to help you minimize injury risk by running only three days a week.

The first few days of race training are filled with excitement and maybe a little too much excitement. If you’re on a 12-week plan, race day may seem a long way off, but you’ve got plenty of energy and you’re getting into it. But inevitably there will be obstacles in the way that require some flexibility. In week 2, you might be on a long run when you suddenly feel pain in your heel and you’re forced to walk the last three miles (this example is very specific, as it’s for me arrived last weekend).

Suddenly, you are overwhelmed with doubts and questions: Am I going to be able to do the whole distance? Should I try to get my money back (since I just signed up for the race a few days early)? Is this plan the right one for me? Do I need new shoes? Why am I doing this to myself?

There is an initial panic that sets in for a day or two. Fortunately for me, this is not my first experience with training injuries.

When I was training for my first marathon 20 years ago (which was stupidly Boston) I was finishing my last long run on the marathon course and as I crossed Heartbreak Hill I felt a shooting pain in my knee right. Not ideal. I only had a few weeks left before Marathon Monday, I had raised a lot of money from family, friends and colleagues for charity, and now my knee was acting up. I was very worried that I wouldn’t be able to use 26.2 and would let a lot of people down.

After I calmed down a bit, I went to see my massage therapist and she informed me that my IT band was super tight from all the mileage, but that wasn’t the end of the world. After painful deep tissue work on my hip and lots of ice and rest, the pain was gone and I was able to push through my cone – and then the race itself without any knee issues.

There have been other mid-workout injuries over the years, some more serious than others. I had to go from full marathon to half marathon, take time out or even just decide not to run.

But the key is not to panic. What seems like a knock at first might just be a minor pothole. Plans are made to be changed. Just because your training plan has a set number of workouts and miles set for a given week doesn’t mean you can’t adjust them. You might have a work trip or vacation in the middle of your training plan, so you can either pick a different day to do your long run or just decide to run fewer miles that week.

If you’re in week 8 of a 12-week plan and you’re feeling burnt out, it’s not a bad idea to reduce your planned mileage that week to avoid burnout. You may find that the rest will help you come back refreshed the following week. In the case of an injury like the one I just treated, I took an extra day off, then cautiously tried a treadmill run; luckily the heel felt good and i was able to complete a solid 6 mile run.

Is the fear of injury in the back of my head now when I run? Certainly, but I’m preparing for it.

Training plans are important to provide you with the guidance you need to build your speed and endurance when preparing for a particular event. But don’t let them stress you out along the way. Be flexible and ready to adapt if necessary, and more often than not, you’ll arrive on race day in good shape.

Starts and stops:

RiverWalk IPA5K Brewing is scheduled for Sunday at 10 a.m. at RiverWalk Brewing, 40 Parker St., Newburyport. Departure and arrival of the race at the brasserie. Part of the IPA5K racing series. Visit https://runsignup.com/race/ma/newburyport/ipa5kfall for more information.

The 19th Annual Wild Turkey 5 Mile Run will take place on Thanksgiving Day, November 24 at 8 a.m. in Salem. The first 1,600 entries will receive Brooks long sleeve technical shirts. The meeting point before and after the race will be in the atrium of the Peabody Essex Museum. The race benefits the Boys & Girls Club of Greater Salem. Visit https://racewire.com/register.php?id=13087 to register.

On the Run is a bi-weekly column on the Côte-Nord running scene. Send your questions, comments or news to [email protected]

UPCOMING RACES

Monday, September 5

Wicked Running Group RunBackBeat Brewing Company, 31A Park St., Beverly, 6 p.m. Tour https://wickedrunningclub.org/group-runs/ for more information.

Wednesday, September 7

Danvers 5K Fun Run, meet at Hobart Street car park (next to Cherry Street Fish Market, 26 Hobart St.), Danvers, 7 p.m. Free and timed race. All welcome. These events are part of a weekly series of 52 races. Email [email protected]

Meters to Liters, Notch Brewing, 283R Derby St., Salem, 6:30 p.m. Free 5k group run from the brewery. Beer and pretzels offered to runners after the race. Runners who complete 10 races (aka 50,000 meters) will receive Notch loot.

Rhino Run Club, Old Planters Brewing, 232 Rantoul St., Beverly, 7:30 p.m. Free 2.5-3.1 mile group run, starting and ending at the Tavern. An informal race for runners of all levels.

Thursday, September 8

Nice Run ClubABV: 3.1, 59 Park St., Beverly, 6:30 p.m. Free weekly 5k run from Gentile Bar to Beverly and back.

Thirst Thursday Weekly 5K of True North Ale, 116 County Road, Ipswich, between 3pm and 7pm. Free, weekly timed 5 km from the brewery. Visit https://www.truenorthales.com/pages/thirsty-thursday-brewery-run for more information.

Sunday September 11

Notch Sunday Meters to Liters, Notch Brewing, 283R Derby St., Salem, 11:30 a.m. Free Group 5K or 10K from the brewery. Beer and pretzels offered to runners after the race. Runners who complete 10 races (aka 50,000 meters) will receive Notch loot.

Monday September 12

Wicked Running Group RunBackBeat Brewing Company, 31A Park St., Beverly, 6 p.m. Tour https://wickedrunningclub.org/group-runs/ for more information.

Wednesday September 14

Danvers 5K Fun Race, meet at Hobart Street car park (next to Cherry Street Fish Market, 26 Hobart St.), Danvers, 7 p.m. Free and timed race. All welcome. These events are part of a weekly series of 52 races. Email [email protected]

Meters to Liters, Notch Brewing, 283R Derby St., Salem, 6:30 p.m. Free 5k group run from the brewery. Beer and pretzels offered to runners after the race. Runners who complete 10 races (aka 50,000 meters) will receive Notch loot.

Rhino Run Club, Old Planters Brewing, 232 Rantoul St., Beverly, 7:30 p.m. Free 2.5-3.1 mile group run, starting and ending at the Tavern. An informal race for runners of all levels.

Thursday September 15

Nice Run ClubABV: 3.1, 59 Park St., Beverly, 6:30 p.m. Free weekly 5k run from Gentile Bar to Beverly and back.

Thirsty Thursdays True North Ale Weekly 5K, 116 County Road, Ipswich, between 3pm and 7pm Free, timed weekly 5K from the brewery. Visit https://www.truenorthales.com/pages/thirsty-thursday-brewery-run for more information.

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