October 10, 2012

Injury prevention 101

After resting my foot from impact exercises for two and a half days, I ran five miles Monday night and didn't feel any pain. I was all ready to kiss my little foot tweak goodbye, but the next day, the ankle of my misbehaving foot was a little sore. So I decided to cross train on the bike even though I had planned to do some slower, rest miles outside. Being patient is hard. Give me a cookie right now.

I also realized that I forgot to ice it on Monday, so after Tuesday's biking, I iced (and iced and iced again) after I got home from the gym. 

Today there was no pain, so I opted to jump into this week's scheduled tempo run: warm up for a mile, 8 miles @ 8:12, then cool down for a mile. There was no pain during the run, unless you count me barely being able to walk because of Monday night's Body Pump class, which somehow hurts worse today than Monday or Tuesday.

Again, when I got home I iced like a maniac, so hopefully I am good for some sort of easy run tomorrow.

Because of the injury, I've been looking at my last few weeks of training to try and figure out where things went wrong. I screwed up in several areas, so to remind myself to quit screwing up (good luck with that one, self), I wanted to make a list of all the things that send me over the edge if I skimp on them. So here it is.

How to avoid injuries 101

1. Stretch -- this includes before a race (after warming up) and after. Also, at least one yoga class per week would really help. 

2. Strength training. The easiest way for me to fit this in is through a scheduled gym class, but if I do Body Pump (a one-hour class of weight training), I have to do it at the beginning of the week because it takes me a whole week to get over the post-class soreness in time for a long run. Over time it wouldn't be as bad, but because I've been out of the habit for a while, I am in the extremely sore zone after a class.

3. Don't do speed work the same week as a race. Inevitable when I get injured, I can look back and see that I doubled up speed work with a race. Races are speed work if you race them, so note to self, quit trying to fit in speed work the week before and after a race. It spells trouble for your legs.

4. Ice. Before this week, I looked at icing as optional, but now, I see it as a must. It's helped my foot tremendously during this iffy period. Plus I like this technique that one of my e-friend's shared:


This is similar to advice I just read in Advanced Marathoning, where they also said if you don't have two buckets, try alternating hot and cold water in your shower. 

5. Sleep. This is pretty much the hardest one for me because I love to stay up late. From 10 p.m. to 1 a.m., I feel more creative and energetic. Possibly because the kids are asleep and I can finally get some junk done, but I also think that I'm just wired (not from caffeine because I don't drink any on weekdays) that way. Last night I went to bed at 9 p.m. and woke up at 7 a.m. It was glorious. Not only does sleep allow your body to recover, but you make better decisions (see #3) when your mind is rested. So I have to fight my natural inclinations and go the freak to sleep. 

6. Take vitamins daily. I have been bad about skipping them lately, but I know my body needs all the nutrients it can get. As well as eating some healthy grub, I need the extra boost I can get from vitamins, especially the added iron. Training takes a lot out of our bodies -- like minerals are literally dripping out with our sweat -- so we have to give it back. 

What would you add to the list? 

Are you good at getting enough sleep? Tell me your secret to doing that!

And in case you haven't smiled today, here's an awesome sign that I found taped to my neighborhood stop sign. There's a reward out for a lost iPad. The reward is if you find it, you just got a free iPad. 


My first thought was isn't lost iPad just a polite way to say stolen iPad, and my husband at the same time said out loud, "That sign is just gonna make people start looking for that iPad." He also mentioned that he was glad they included a picture in case we weren't sure what an iPad looks like. Let me know if you need directions to my neighborhood. 

21 comments:

  1. Great list. I try to get enough sleep otherwise I am not a happy camper. My kids are older though, I remember it being harder when the kids were little:)

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  2. Great list! Thanks for the reminder. Instead of stretching more I've been trying to use foam roller more. Love it!

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    1. I need to get a foam roller for home. I use the one at the gym, but I tell myself I would do it longer if I had one at home.

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  3. I also like to take a multi-vitamin every couple days because I like getting the extra iron!

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  4. Great list! I've also learned the speed work/racing in the same week lesson. Some people are able to do it, but it's trouble for most of us. So glad you're feeling better!

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  5. I don't do any of these!! Darn, SO glad the injury is mending though, looks like you're being really wise about it!!

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    1. Ha! Well, since you aren't currently injured, you must be doing something right. I need to see your list!

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  6. Ha that sign is great. Every week I have a yoga/strength training plan and every week I maybe do it for one day. Yet somehow I have hours and hours to watch old seasons of 30 Rock. Something is wrong with me. Glad the injury is feeling better!:)

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    1. I'm on the hours and hours of Parks and Recreation on Netflix. I like to think of it as more challenging to fit in than strength training. Just the hours that I put in alone are a feat, plus the eye strain -- and having to rewind because of kids shouting in the background.

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  7. This one is so trite, I'm embarassed to repeat it: Don't increase your mileage more than 10 percent (or you fill in the number) per week.

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    1. That is not trite at all! I hate making lists of the obvious, but I'm definitely not great at remembering the little things. And there are so many little things.

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  8. Dude. I'd definitely give you a cookie, right now, if I could. Your patience and intelligence, with this (non?) injury is inspiring.
    Your list is really good. If I were to add anything, it would be to stay flexible, mentally. When looking back at my running, leading up to my stress fracture, I was doing everything right, EXCEPT, being unwilling to adjust my training schedule. I think that was my ultimate downfall.

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    1. Mental flexibility is so hard for me. If the plan says it, it is law to me. But I need to think outside of the plan box!

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  9. Yay for your tempo run with no pain. Sounds like you are being smart in your recovery and preventing anything worse. And smart to look back and evaluate why it might have happened. Ahhhhh...sleep, just the mention of it makes me wish I could get more of it. I once read that Ryan Hall takes a nap every day as part of his training, so it must be important!

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    1. Naps are delicious. I would trade them for chocolate, and that's big.

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  10. Thank goodness I am not the only one that continues to make those silly mistakes --- yep, need to remember to stretch daily, foam roll religiously, sleep, and for me, the almost daily Epsom Salt baths. :)

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  11. Have you heard of the Sock Doc? His website messes with my head...says no stretching, etc etc...just curious what you think of it? (I don't want to link here because I don't want to be spammy, just google and it's easy to find, or maybe you already have seen it.)

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    1. I love devil's advocates, so I'll definitely have to check that out. Although I already can't believe it because I'm so dang tight when I don't stretch. But I still want to see why he says don't stretch!:)

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  12. These are great tips! I definitely need to be more disciplined about stretching and icing. I'm TERRIBLE! Man, I don't know how you feel energized so late. I hit 9pm and my brain turns to mush! lol

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