Blessings and Curses
How outrunning your fitness is nice, but also bad
Last week I wrote about why I should have raced more. This week, I’ll be discussing why I don’t race as often as most people.
Some runners out there - and you might be one of them - are workhorses. You can run all day long and never get injured. That is not me. I don’t know what it is about me, but I’m injury-prone. My mileage is low (considering I run 4-6 days a week) and the quality runs I do are limited to less than twice a week (one workout and one long run). This means that on any given week, I don’t always get in those two harder, longer runs.
My schedule doesn’t always allow it and my body doesn’t either. For some reason, it takes me forever to recover before my next hard session. Always been that way and it kinda sucks. Doubles were tough (running twice in a day) as were races that had trials and finals and/or when I raced over multiple days in high school or college.
All this being said, I don’t race often because I often out-race my current fitness. I can be in 19 minute 5k shape based on training, but then get in a race and run 18:05 (or even faster). Sure, it’s nice to be able to race much faster than training dictates, but it also leaves me busted up and requiring a week to recover. It’s obviously a blessing, but it’s also a curse.
Since my calves (soleus mostly) are usually my weakest link, here’s what I do to make sure they’re holding up for the long haul:
lots of calf stretching - bent leg and straight leg
icing down, either with ice packs or frozen dixie cups
compression socks: life savers and what I like to wear for workouts
massaging - foam rollers, massage sticks, and my favorite, the massage gun
Strength work - seated calf raises, band exercises and glute exercises
lastly, time off. I took 8 days off last week + to recharge and get ready for the summer and fall.
Friday’s Action Plan:
You’re only as healthy as your weakest link. Spend time each week making sure you are focusing on strengthening your weaknesses.
What’s Got My Attention:
Video: Delaware Mile Challenge
Podcast: How I Built This: Strava Founders
Popular Articles on the Blog this Week:
Popular Newsletter Sessions:
Quote of the Day:
Break up your goals into smaller ones. Temper your schedule accordingly, and then work towards each goal without overwhelming yourself with the bigger goals.
Connect with me:
Here’s what I’m working on and what I’d love you to check out:
Thanks for following along on the journey! Have something you’d like to add? Have suggestions or comments? Email me: TrainwithMarc@gmail.com
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Marc is a middle school teacher and coach but also works with distance runners online. I help distance runners around the globe by providing support, writing customized training plans, and designing workouts to help them reach their racing goals. I write for my blog every Wednesday morning and newsletter every Friday morning.