Friday, October 16, 2015

Thoughts on running and recovery

I want to begin this post by saying that starting again is difficult, physically and mentally, but mostly mentally.  Mentally, there is the challenge of pacing oneself to avoid injury.  Mentally, one has to avoid looking backwards as to how things used to be.  Mentally, one has to avoid looking too closely toward the future and the long road that lies ahead.  All of these things can make it very difficult to get up in the morning and go out and run.

My challenges are starting over, recovering from a plantar fascia injury, and running barefoot.  The challenge of running barefoot helps keep me in check with respect to the loading I might otherwise put upon myself.  Running barefoot is a slow build up, and the plantar fascia needs a slow build-up as well.  This old body needs a slow build up, also. Nonetheless, there is something positive to take  from almost  every run.  All of my running metrics and cardio monitoring shows that the body is responding and getting better at its tasks. It does not always feel that way during execution, but the data is very plain, and encouraging.

I know that I won't feel like I'm really running again until I'm running three miles or more. This is my own "head issue", if you will.  But at that milestone, I know that I am over my injury and I can continue to move forward steadily.  Of all the lessons I've learned over the last several years regarding running, it is that the 10% rule is to be honored. It is good for almost every system of your body that's impacted by running: muscular system, skeletal system, cardiovascular system, and immunity system.  Sure, it's easy to go out and push much harder than 10%, but the reality is that your body will not catch up with your distance.  It all takes time.

Until next time, let's keep moving...and forward as much as possible.

Thursday, October 1, 2015

The long road back...

I have now run twice this week, with no injury pain in the plantar fascia of the left foot.  The runs were very short, only ~0.5 mile each.  I know I need to ease into running so the PF gets used to the strain, and my whole body needs to ease in as well.  Yeah, I regret ignoring the bicycle the last few weeks.  So far, so good.

I am running 100% barefoot.  This is the most certain way I know to ensure good running form -- for me.  I am getting the PF used to running, and I am re-training my feet to be bare.  I am not concerned about heart rate.  My HR will go beyond 90% until my conditioning returns.  In the meantime, I need to get the whole system used to going again.  I am not quitting, though I know the road back will be long.  I just need to keep at it and make sure I do not hurt myself again.

Keep moving forward...