Monday, September 26, 2011

Breaking Down & Starting Over

So I have been thinking of my training over the summer and into the fall and what a grind it has been given my knee injury. Like many I have been reading a lot about the minimalist movement as I have mentioned previously. And I already explained my philosophy about transitioning towards a more minimalist style of running. My opinion is that minimalist running is a great supplement to my running but is not the end goal in and of itself. Done properly I believe it will help make me a better, stronger and more healthy runner. This weekend I chatted up a running buddy, Jesse, about this issue. He is running TCM with us and has been battling his own injury, a tweaked hamstring. We both talked about pretty much taking November and December off from the daily running. And we agreed that working on things like core strength, flexibility and some cross training would be a good idea to take a break from the pounding, recharge and get healthy. The thought hit me that I could also use this as a chance to transition to my more minimalist shoe, likely the Brooks Pure Project. Take a couple of months off, logging maybe 20-25 miles per week. The time I would otherwise spend getting those additional 25-30 miles I will put into the core work, flexibility drills and cross training (likely cycling). While logging that mileage I can begin to incorporate my new strategy. Then in January start from square one, just like a new runner in my new low drop shoes. I'll need the time to work on getting my lower legs and hips ready for a greater workload that will come with the new shoes. My calves (especially the soleus), my achilles and my hip flexors will all need to be stronger and more flexible. Two months should be enough time to get a good jump start on that. And January through March should be plenty of time to get into race shape for the 2012 Bentonville Running Festival Half Marathon where I fully expect a PR in the half marathon. 

I simply have a concern that if I continue doing the same things I have been doing then I can expect the same results, which is a body worn down. I know some of this is due to the training workload put into 3 marathons and 2 ultras in the span of about 12 months in my first full year back running. I want to try and tweak some things and see what happens. Baby steps, right? So I may not be as visible on the back roads of NWA this winter but rest assured that come springtime I will be back and better than before. 

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