You’re deep into marathon training, you’re six weeks out from the race, you feel like you’re on track, you’ve got a big training run ahead of you and you pick up an injury. How do you react? Panic? Stay strong and focus on recovering in the knowledge that there’s still plenty of time to go?
I had managed a good few runs this week but then when I cycled to work on Friday morning, my bike slid on some black ice and I fell off suffering cuts to my elbow and knee, a few grazes and some bruising to my ribs which I wasn’t aware of until I was filling in the accident report book at the business centre where my studio is, and started laughing! I was actually quite lucky to escape anything more serious as I had been traveling at speed at the time and landed on my side. I went home and Allison kindly patched me up before I went back to work. I ended up having to cancel most of my workload as I couldn’t move much, partly because of my cuts and bruises but also my ribs became sore as soon as I tried to lean over or move at a quicker pace than walking. My biggest concern was (probably only other runners will get this) not only would I be most likely to miss out on the 18 mile run I had planned for today but also that I would have to play a joker in Jantastic as I wouldn’t reach my target distance this week!
I was fine yesterday in the knowledge that I’m getting better and so would recover pretty quickly but I didn’t realise how much running is part of my life until I woke up this morning and wouldn’t be getting dressed up for the miles ahead. I don’t think anyone appreciates how much running plays an important part in their lives until they have to miss a run. I have started to look forward to listening to the latest Marathon Talk podcast to keep me company on my long run and couldn’t bring myself to listen to it without running. All of a sudden, a big black hole was appearing in the space normally reserved for a run and so I decided to go for a walk instead. I regionally had thoughts of going for a few miles but ended up just walking to my studio to pick up my car and driving home again.
I can see how easy it is to become despondent when picking up an injury that stops you from training, particularly when you’re moving into the business end of marathon training. As long as it’s a niggle/short-term problem that isn’t going to prevent you from running in your chosen race, it’s important to stay focused, relax and understand that you’ve achieved quite a lot so far and that there’s still time to get some quality runs in before the big day. The key is to be sensible and let your body recover properly before restarting training again to prevent a recurrence of the injury and you really want to be able to continue at the level you were before you suffered the injury. Listen to your body, do what it is telling you and you’ll be back up there quicker than trying to be stubborn and ignoring the pain to train anyway. The chances are, by taking the time to rest, your body will also get rid of any other issues it was experiencing at the same time.
In missing out on today’s run, I am no longer as frustrated as I was this morning and in getting out for a walk, I’m much more relaxed and staying focused on the bigger picture and that is I’ve still got some bigger runs coming up which are far more important than what today’s would have been, I won’t have lost much in terms of fitness and that I will still perform well in the coming weeks and peak just in time for running along the Champs Élysée on 12th April.
I am aiming to run 2015km in 2015 to help Macmillan provide the support and care for those affected by cancer from the person going through their journey to their friends and families.
Please help me make a difference…..