Sunday, August 03, 2008

Magazine Wisdom

I’m not really aware of a runners’ high, but I think it keeps me from getting the human low – Jim Kravets (in Trail Runner magazine)

First off some numbers keeping:

79.2 miles for July. My third highest month for the year, but well off my average of 125/month in 2007.

This week was a step back week with only 15.7 miles, 3 - 3 milers and a 6.7 mile long run on Saturday. I did the long run at a 6:1 ratio. I felt really strong on the second half and could have easily run more but stuck to the plan.

I read an article that resonated with me in the May 2008 Running Times. It talked about adult-onset athletes. The definition pretty much fits me to a T. The closest I was to being an athlete as a kid was the manager for the junior high basketball team. Even with that I broke by little finger throwing passes during practice.

The chord that really struck me was the tendency of AOA's to train non stop; not taking into account training phases - conditioning, competing, peaking, and recovery. "Unfortunately for adult-onset runners, the sport of road running has developed into an endless, year-round competitive season." (Running Times, May 2008).

Since I started running I've trained year round. Living in Southern California just made me even more susceptible to this. The weather is almost always good and the local race schedule is plentiful year round. Combine this with the 50 state goal and someone like me can easily run themselves into the ground and apparently I did. The article predicts that 4-5 years into this year round schedule an injury could occur. This ultimately leads to an unplanned recovery period, 13 weeks in my case.

My best year was 2006 after having taken most of January off and then having a 6 month build to my first sub 4:00 marathon, my 8th marathon after starting from 0 three years prior. I've read about recovery periods but have never taken more than a week after a marathon, sometimes as little as three days, before getting right back at it again. I assumed my midpack efforts only required that little rest.

My body was obviously trying to tell me something different. The question is am I smart enough to listen.
In other news, my friend and lab rat, Janice, ran her first marathon this weekend. We ran the Fontana Days Half together back in 2006. She is currently up in San Francisco at dental school. She trained with a race sponsored training group and finished the San Francisco marathon in 4:17. I'm really excited for her.


Anne said...

I have to agree with both the magazine and with you. It is really hard to take a protracted rest when you live where training runs yearround. I never made the connection to injury before, but, come to think of it, I've been out of commission a lot more living in San Diego than I ever was when I lived in more seasonal areas.

Wes said...

Periodization and recovery are such an important part of endurance athletes training. That's why I love this sport. You never ever stop learning.

Joe said...

Fascinating insight, Darrell. That's an excellent point, indeed. Grasping when to rest and when to push is central.

Does this mean I can back off in January here in Indiana????

18 weeks till Memphis...Beale Street and all....

Sarah said...

That certainly makes sense. I know for me that taking off an extra week or two or three has been put into perspective.

Ryan said...

Back in action with a plan; keep up the rest days and step back wishes I'll be cheering you on!

Anonymous said...

As a fellow AOA, I will keep that info. in mind! :) Sounds like your recovery is progressing very well! Enjoy your runs.

Burger said...

Great job Janice! Running SF in under 4:20 is no small feat - I should know, I was there!

PreFan1982 said...

Always encouraged to read your progress. Keep up the good work!!!

robtherunner said...

Glad to hear the recovery is progressing well and the mileage is on the increase. Injuries seem to be inevitable, but also very preventable if cautious. Hopefully you have another 4-5 years before injury.

Backofpack said...

I'm adult onset too! And I've got the addicted-never-stop-training/racing thing down to a T. Good, bad or ugly, that's me!

Congrats on drawing the line and signing up to run with Joe. That's cool!