Thank you so much to Lacy over at Running Limit-less for the feature today! Click over to read about how I run without limits…and a colon ;)
I consider myself a fairly rational individual. I say “fairly” because I am also crazy, just ask my husband. But by and large, I’m even-keeled and lean toward the middle of the road on most things.
But when it comes to running and training, I am as Type A as they come. Too often I hear from runners who are injured or disappointed in their performance that they “did everything right”, only to find out that they were woefully misinformed by someone and were, in fact, doing most things wrong or merely halfway.
The simple fact of the matter is that our bodies are not symmetrical. And we are not the .0001% of the population with ridiculous athletic genes. And you can’t drink 8-10 glasses of booze and eat a half doze cookies on your “cheat day” and be race ready.
Good enough is not enough.
What do I mean by not good enough? Well, here are a few examples and how to tackle the problem of training better than “good enough”:
- You’re not seeing improvements in your pace after training for 3 months
Problem: Your training schedule and/or effort are sub-par
Fix: Gut check. Are you really putting the work in during your runs? Are you really hitting that max effort? We are all guilty of dogging it in a track workout every now and then. A great way to ensure you leave it all out there during your workouts is to get with a buddy or a group and do it together. Accountability helps!
- You keep getting overuse injuries
Problem: Your training schedule is too intense, doesn’t include the right (or any at all) strengthening exercises, or you’re not getting enough rest between workouts and/or training cycles.
Fix: The simplest fix for this may just be to take a break, see a Physical Therapist, and start over. Or fire your coach. Or both. Here’s the thing: the body, as a moving entity, is not rocket science. When you get hurt there’s a reason, asymmetry and weakness being two of the biggest culprits.
And if your coach is having you push through or ignore injury instead of addressing it, fire them. Or maybe you’re not listening to your coach…or your body?
- You keep getting the same injury
Problem: The injury has never really healed from last time or your strength training routine isn’t specific enough
Fix: It’s sooooo easy to ramp things up to 11 once you are pain-free post-injury. The problem is, once you’ve sustained an injury, you will always be more susceptible to re-injury. Doing your home exercises, adhering to your strength training program, and taking adequate rest are life-long steps to avoiding the IR list.
- You work out at 10/10 effort, but just can’t seem to get your times down
Problem: Your workout schedule is too heavy, your rest days are inadequate, and/or your diet stinks
Fix: Rest more. Rest often. Eat real food. Prioritize the really important runs and workouts and take a break from the extraneous ones. Recovery time is just as important as strength and endurance. Without rest, your body will never be able to work at its maximum potential.
Start by being honest with yourself. Then enlist the help of experts–actual experts, for training and rehab, if need be. Be patient, work hard, and be honest with yourself and your team about what you are doing and not doing.
I promise this will make a world of difference.
Now go out and run!