Forums keep leaping over to general running so I have to start a new thread here.
I have run for many years and had sorta reached my peak last year. In the last months of last year, I did a triathlon and got hooked. The training across the 3 disciplines has naturally impacted on my time commitment for each aspect. Despite feeling fitter and stronger my running seems to be slowing.
Is this normal? Is there a trick to moving through this hiatus? IS IT a plateau or is it something I have to sacrifice as a consequence of the sport?
Just thought I'd put finger to key and shout out a waring to you all.
LISTEN TO YOUR BODY AND WHAT YOUR PHYSIO SAYS.
Reason - I am an accomplished runner - countless 10ks, loads of half, several fulls, one ultra, one Olympic Tri and now training for two more Tris this year and a long distance walk. I have had several injuries, ranging from simple cramps, ankle twists and worst of all, IT band. The IT band took me off the trail for nearly a year but with excellent physio I have not had any re-occurrence HOWEVER - planning a long distance walk in June this year, I thought I was quite fine and dandy - NAH ! not on your nelly...
My Tri training consists - not surprisingly of - pool swimming, bike riding and running. I just didn't think that I'd have to factor in much extra to cope with the walk. WRONG !My group of friends, all doing the Hadrians Wall, coast to coast, and all fairly happy with their standard of fitness just 'popped out' last weekend to do a simple 26.5 mile walk. Starting in Otford, Kent, we had a great route planned. I can't tell you how much we all suffered. Stamina was just fine - body impact was what got us. My hamstrings killed. The soles of my feet killed. My knees killed. The others had blisters and aches much the same but essentially we were quite debilitated for a few days after. I would have, and could have, run the distance with impunity. How could walking hurt so much?
Here's what I'm getting at - Even though I thought I was okay, taking the Sunday as a rest day, I swam hard Monday and then cycled hard the Tuesday. It was Wednesday that my right knee went ballistic. Through Wednesday to Friday I was in near vomit inducing pain - unable to bend the knee or load bare. Unable to sleep. I was thinking the worst - operations, re-construction, months out etc.
That Friday I had an emergency appointment with my physio who admonished me with such a look of disappointment. His first words were "Why did you do the walk with no prep and why did you not rest after?" With his examination my fears of horror injury were dispelled BUT it was close. I had put bruise on top of bruise. I just hadn't let my body recover and OVER TRAINED. My knee was in massive protest and I have been ordered to rest for 3 weeks.
Before ANY dynamic physical activity change - enter it at low revs and work up.
Get advice from your physio or someone already in that activity.
Rest after such an activity.
Listen to the clues the body sends you.
Don't assume that with your present activity fitness, you'll cope with a new activity without the need to build up.