Wednesday, March 2, 2011

Respect the Distance

'08 W-League
Michigan Hawks vs. Chicago Gaels
One of the most difficult things for me to remember is that not everyone has been an athlete their entire life.  Not everyone has a tried and true re cooperation plan for a mildly sprained ankle and most definitely not everyone  has had time for trial and error to see what works best for their body!

I have been blessed with having had all sorts of opportunities to see what works best for my body in terms of fitness, resting, peaking, injury, motivation, and recovery.  The methods I have come up with are what work best for me - and they may not work at all for you or anyone else, but you need to find what you can enjoy, accomplish and commit to for your body.

Do you have a training plan?  How often do you train?  Do you have any home remedies to common injuries?

I recently confirmed a few more races on my schedule and it has got me and a few others itching for racing season to hit us!  I'll be setting my sights on the ATL 1/2 Marathon (3/20), the Augusta 70.3 Half-Ironman (9/25), and the Marine Corps Marathon (10/30) to round out the season.  3 new distances = 3 new PR's!
Rest at the Beach with your dog!
East Tawas, MI
With these distance events as well as all the smaller races filling out my season I am well aware of the risk of an overuse injury or over-training.  I will be listening to my body very closely this year and when it's screaming FATIGUE I will rest, re cooperate, and become re invigorated!

What are the highlights of your race calendar this year?

Common problems I see with those who are new to training include the following:

  • Too Much, Too Soon:  Running, Cycling, Swimming etc.  too far or for too long without proper training.  The body needs time to adapt, work up to your goals don't just go out and try to run 13.1 miles on your first training run.  A good rule of thumb is to increase your mileage about 10% every week.
  • Injured vs. Hurt vs. Sore?: You can play hurt, but you can't play injured.  If you are training hard you are going to be sore, your muscles will ache, you will have to dig deep and, yes, at times it will even hurt.  You need to know when it's an injury though - when it's time to pack it up at the first onset of symptoms, get ice, and figure out a cross-training plan. (A PT would be a great person to help you with this)
  • SuperMan Syndrome:  During the build phase when fitness is improving and you are seeing the gains you are making it can be hard to take proper recovery time.  Days off and proper sleep are when the body actually gets stronger and you improve - so take proper time off!  Feeling like you can do anything and everything is good - but you will lose out to over training if you don't rest!
  • Committing to a Training Plan:  It is hard to wake up at 5 or 6am every morning and get a training session in.  It's also hard to come home from work, lace up the shoes and run out the door.  You'll feel better if you do it - thanks to the endorphin hit!  Get rid of the night time chocolate/ice cream and take up a late afternoon/early evening work out!  Take the time to write out a training plan for yourself, your goals, and your dreams.  Stick to your training plan for 3 weeks and excellence will become habit.
Whatever your racing/training/fitness goals are this year Respect the Distance!  Give your body time to adapt to the demands you are putting on it to avoid an overuse injury or over-training.  70.3/26.2 miles is not an easily traveled smooth freeway - there will be bumps and turns along the way.  Listen to your body, rest when needed and train your mind to know what your body is capable of.

“Pain is temporary. It may last a minute, or an hour, or a day, or a year, but eventually it will subside and 
something else will take its place. If I quit, however, it lasts forever.” ~Lance Armstrong


  1. I can finally understand what "Respect the distance" means and how you perceive it! :) I'm also glad you didn't mention me in this post...ehemm, oops did I? Love you!

  2. I have a training plan. I run 3 times a week for about 30 minutes then I do a long 1.5 hour on the weekend. I have been an athlete before but running is a whole different type of sport so its hard to know when you need to quit.