A little back story: I started running 12 years ago, and slowly built my way up so that between 2006-2010 I ran about 25 miles per week. Then in 2010, Some things in my life changed and I started running less. In March 2012, I was shocked to realize how out of shape I had become, and decided that the way back to fitness was to run a full marathon (a goal I’ve had for awhile). I then proceeded to start training as if I still had my 25 mile per week base (when I really had more like a 6 mile per week base). I started with an intermediate training plan, quickly increased my mileage, and started doing speed training.
The result of this fast increase in intensity and mileage was pain. My shins began to hurt, which has never happened before in my 12 years of running. I even got an x-ray for a stress fracture. I realized that I was training like the runner that I once was, rather than the runner that I now am. I took a week and a half off from running, and just began running again last Friday. I’m determined to train smarter now. So here are the new rules:
- No more than 4 days of running per week.
- No speed week for the first month of smart training.
- No sudden increases in mileage.
- No considering pace for the first month of smart training.
I realize that this is a lot of “no’s,” but I was a little out of control and need to recognize where I’m at right now, and slowly build up to where I want to be. It’s frustrating at times, but if there’s anything I know from my own story, it’s that gradual improvements pay off over time…and will help me stay injury free!