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coming back from an injury - need advice

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coming back from an injury - need advice

Post  Tim C on Wed Sep 21, 2011 8:57 pm

I’m looking for a little motivation and/or guidance here. Brief background: Been running over 4 years now. Completed 1 marathon but crashed and burned hard at mile 21 and staggered in in 4:20. Wound up in the medical tent getting an IV due to dehydration. DNF’d the other one with severe cramping at mile 20. For some reason, I want to do another and want to target anything under 4 hours. Not sure why as it’s just a number. lol

I’ve run 2 halfs in 1:47 (8:13 pace) so I should have the speed to run under 4, but not the endurance. Followed Hals novice plans before, which max out at around 35 mpw, and I know most of you run far more than that. I’ve decided I want to really up my mileage and target a marathon early next year.

Problem is I hurt my knee last year and had to have meniscus surgery, so I was out a couple of months. Came back maybe a little too fast and hurt my knee again, requiring another few weeks off. For the last few weeks now I’m back to running pain free, but I cannot believe how slow I’ve gotten.

Until last year, I pretty much ran every run between 8:00 – 9:30. Didn’t know any better. I’m now running most of my runs at a 10 minute pace, and even slower. I can run faster, but it seems really hard. Ran 2 of my 6 miles today at 8:50 and all I could think was ‘there’s no way I can do this much longer’.

I’ve got 20-24 weeks until my marathon, depending on which one I enter. I’d like to build my base back up, maybe getting to 40-45 mpw. I’m thinking I should just forget about speed at all for several weeks while I increase my base so as not to re-injure myself. But I’m afraid all I’m doing is teaching myself how to run slow!

So the question is: Do I just continue running slow for a while to build a base and pick up the pace later, or should I work some faster runs in now?
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Re: coming back from an injury - need advice

Post  John Kilpatrick on Wed Sep 21, 2011 9:21 pm

I'm paraphrasing here a discussion from another thread dealing with something similar:

You've
probably already seen this
(http://www.mcmillanrunning.com/mcmillanrunningcalculator.htm), and I
don't know what your goal marathon time is, but if, for example, it was 4:00 , McMillan suggests:

workout
pace
recovery run
10:40-11:10
long run
9:40-10:40
easy (GA) run
9:40-10:10
steady-state runs
8:42-8:57
tempo runs
8:20-8:42
tempo intervals
8:13-8:30

You
obviously CAN run faster than these paces, but Jim is right (I am still
learning all of this myself) - you will probably make your best gains
by slowing it down and lessening your chances of getting hurt...

At
a goal marathon of 4:00, most runs should probably be (according to
McMillan anyway - I'm no expert and don't want to tell anyone how to
best train) at 9:40 or slower. Again, I don't want to suggest I know what is right for
you, but just point out that standard which I guess a lot of people
subscribe to. In the meantime, keep up the good work!

......... you did not lack speed, but just needed more
endurance (I'm in the same boat as you by the way - I sort of crashed
out of my first marathon this spring). More "easy" miles should be
really good for you - I am still working on it for the same reasons as
you mentioned - sometimes a slow pace feels too slow, but those with
more experience than us swear we'll get there by just putting in more
miles albeit at a "slow" pace. I don't mean to pretend like I know it
all - I am just regurgitating some valuable info that has been passed
along to me...


Just my 2 cents, but I think it is good time-tested advice for base-building, which I think will give people like you and I most of our gains.... Speedwork can come later. Remember, it doesn't sound like speed was your limiter - endurance was...

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Re: coming back from an injury - need advice

Post  Mike MacLellan on Wed Sep 21, 2011 9:36 pm

Lots of slow miles. As many as you can handle. Increase by 10% weekly until you feel like you're on the edge of STARTING to push it, then back off slightly. The speed will come. Endurance is what you need.
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Re: coming back from an injury - need advice

Post  Stephanie on Thu Sep 22, 2011 9:04 am

Hi Tim! I too injured myself badly last year and the key to my comeback was incorporating walk breaks. I never used to take them, but even on the runs when my cardiovascular system didn't need the break, they helped my injured area as I worked my way back into running, it gave the area a rest. Even though walking slows your overall pace theoretically, the tiny break allowed me to run a bit faster when I was running. If I hadn't have done this I know I'd still be plagued with my injury.



Another thing that really helped me to run slower and go easier was reading 'The Maffetone Method'. It was very eye-opening! You should grab a copy... I wish I had read it years ago.
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Re: coming back from an injury - need advice

Post  Nick Morris on Thu Sep 22, 2011 9:13 am

Mike MacLellan wrote:Lots of slow miles. As many as you can handle. Increase by 10% weekly until you feel like you're on the edge of STARTING to push it, then back off slightly. The speed will come. Endurance is what you need.

Mike is correct. You want to put on the miles (slow miles) and build up that base. Increasing mileage by 10% each week will help you gain mileage without the consequences of going to fast. Remember to keep your pace slow. If you run them too fast you are going to be doing the same damage as if you were running more mileage too soon.
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Re: coming back from an injury - need advice

Post  Julie on Thu Sep 22, 2011 10:00 am

Yeah don't go near speed work or anything too fast until you're running 40-45 miles/week injury free. I also find taking at least 1 day off a week helps ward off injuries. And be really pro active and if you feel a little niggle of something that might turn into an injury, take the next day off and then go at it again. It takes time to safely build a base. When I trained for my first marathon I think I had shin splits or worse every couple of weeks and it is hard to build miles while still pushing the pace.
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Re: coming back from an injury - need advice

Post  jon c on Thu Sep 22, 2011 10:19 am

I would agree with the general consensus. It is probably even more important for you to focus on slow miles due to your previous injuries/surgery.



What is easy for you? My rule of thumb is if you cannot hold a conversation while running with another person without getting winded you are running too fast.



It is probably the most common thing to see as far as injuries go that we run too fast in training. I wouldn't even consider any faster work until you are comfortably in the 40-50 mpw range.



Training for a successful marathon is like a marathon, it doesn't all come at once.
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Re: coming back from an injury - need advice

Post  Julie on Thu Sep 22, 2011 1:02 pm

http://pfitzinger.com/labreports/stressfracture.shtml

I just found this, I don't know if it'd be too easy but it's a Pfitzinger plan for returning after injury.
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Re: coming back from an injury - need advice

Post  Tim C on Thu Sep 22, 2011 2:36 pm

Thanks for the responses everyone. Kind of what I expected but still nice to hear. Unfortunately I'm quite impatient and want to get back to where I was before quickly. I sometimes have to take a deep breath and remember my age. I think I'll just run lots and lots of slow miles for a couple of months and go from there.

Stephanie, I assume you're talking about his low heart rate training. Mark B. actually introduced this to me a while back so I am familiar with it. That's pretty much why I'm running these paces and it's just frustrating that anything faster feels so much harder than before.

Julie, thanks for the link. My second injury was actually an osteochondral fracture at the base of my thigh bone. I suspect it was was caused by ramping up too quickly from my earlier injury and I was running down some hills the day I hurt it. Not the same as a stress fracture, but similar. I'm pretty much doing all my running right now on flat dirt roads.

Patience, grasshopper.....
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Re: coming back from an injury - need advice

Post  nkrichards on Thu Sep 22, 2011 3:05 pm

Tim,



Good advice in previous posts but don't be afraid to push yourself once you feel you are ready. I had a tough spring/early summer and was really struggling to get back to the speeds that should have been easy. I finally realized that I had convinced myself that I wasn't capable...it was my mind that was holding me back...not my body. So once you feel you've given yourself time to recover don't be afraid put in some hard miles.



Good luck.
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Re: coming back from an injury - need advice

Post  Stephanie on Thu Sep 22, 2011 9:12 pm

Tim C wrote:Stephanie, I assume you're talking about his low heart rate training. Mark B. actually introduced this to me a while back so I am familiar with it. That's pretty much why I'm running these paces and it's just frustrating that anything faster feels so much harder than before.
Yes, that is what I was talking about. I feel your pain Tim... I too am frustrated with my pace and perceived exertion and what my HR monitor tells me on some runs, but what I did before (pre-injury) for training didn't work and almost made me lose running forever, so I am trying this slower pace & lower HR thing for awhile. I must say I sure am recovering better than I ever have before which has recently meant I can add some extras runs during my week where I never could have before, so there are some bonuses.

Good luck... I am impatient too... we'll get there. Smile
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Re: coming back from an injury - need advice

Post  ounce on Fri Sep 23, 2011 8:00 pm

Grasshoppa,

One way or another you will yield to your body's demands to be patient.
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