It looks like (fingers crossed) I can finally return to my normal running schedule. After a check-in with Dr. Wong, guidance from friends/family, tons of ice and a little rest I successfully completed both speed workouts this week! Go Paige!
Dr. Wong, once again, provided excellent feedback on the stress my shins are undergoing at the moment. Moving forward, I am making a serious commitment to work on my form & cadence to lessen the impact I am putting my legs through. Many people think how (heel vs. toe) you strike the ground is the most important part of your stride (as it pertains to injuries) but it is really WHERE your foot strikes the ground in relation to your hips. Basically, you should not see your shins when you run. Short, quick strides are the goal. Running 101. I really tried to keep these thoughts at the forefront of my mind during my 15 last Saturday & 17 this Saturday, so hard. It will definitely take time and effort to adjust.
If you don’t know too much about cadence, here is a great article. In simple terms, your cadence is the amount of times your feet strike the ground per minute. You can use different iPhone apps to check yourself.
I know I sound like a broken record, but I really need to focus on slowing down my long runs. After a minor panic attack last week I reached out to Dorothy Beal from the blog MilePosts. She responded right away and reminded me that two track workouts + sub 8min long runs = Three high intensity/high stress workouts. This is way way way too much on my body. Hello shin splints. Here is a post of hers that can explain this more in depth, genius I tell you!
Because my long run came after two weeks of low impact workouts (I have serious issues with the elliptical) I lost some fitness and surely felt it during the last few miles of my run. Everyone uses different tactics to push through these difficult moments, what do you do? I have two tried and true methods below.
Like Becca mentioned in a previous post, everyone wants to feel inspired. Music can mask the perception of effort and help increase endurance by providing a distraction. If your taste is ALL over the place like mine, I suggest picking a few songs throughout training that strike a cord and connect with you. All These Things That I’ve Done by the Killers and Brother by NEEDTOBREATHE have been been carrying me the last few weeks. I literally tell myself I’ve got soul, but I’m not a solider 10+ times during my workouts.
Music can also trigger memories and emotions. Positive or negative, they can be used to fuel your workout. My sister’s nephew is two and has been kicking cancer’s butt the past year. He is such a strong little human. Everytime I hear the song Superheroes by The Script I am reminded what I am doing is nothing compared to what he and his amazing, strong family are going through everyday. Music is a powerful force, think of it as a legal drug for athletes.
Pretending to be someone else.
Ok, I know this is weird but it works. My family asked what I was thinking about during my last marathon and the answer was simple, I pretended to be Beyonce in concert. Did I listen to Beyonce for almost four hours, no. Did I pretend I was strutting a sequin dress, heels, perfect hair, next to Jay Z on stage at MSG, absolutely. I am not always Beyonce, I often channel LeBron, Russell Westbrook, JJ Watt and my favorite female athlete and idol Maria Sharapova. If you see a girl crossing up concrete stanchions around the Capitol building it is most likely me, aka Russell in the 4th quarter. I know this sounds incredibly crazy but when you run for over three hours you come up with some off-the-wall methods!
Give these a try and let me know how they work!