Disclaimer: I’m an engineer, not a doctor!
The Return From Injury Plan
I’m back to running! I have a race on September 19 – the Hudepohl 14k – that I registered for last year (I paid for all three of the Beer Series races and got a nice shirt outta the deal). I wrote this early and figured I might make edits and adjustments as necessary, but I wanted this as a plan-in-progress just in case.
There is a lot of advice out there regarding getting back, but a lot of it is for shorter off-times with less ‘fitness maintenance’ while injured. And that’s not a bad thing – many of the posts I’ve seen are for getting back from stress fractures in legs or feet or IT Band Syndrome. You cannot run while suffering from any of those. My injury was different because I could and did some running while injured.
Prior to being given the release to go back to full time running, I was doing walk/running that went like this:
- 5 minute walk warm up
- Alternate 2.5 minute run/2.5 minute walk for 40 minutes
- Finish with a 7.5 minute run that later increased to 10 minutes.
This ended up with 36 total minutes of running.
In starting back, I did the following, all at an easy pace and on not-terribly-hilly routes:
- Week 1 (8/30/2015): 15 minute run Su*, 20 minute run M, 30 minute runs T-Th, 45 minute run Friday
- Week 2: 40 minute runs M-Th, 60 minute run Friday
- Week 3: 50 minute runs M-Th, 20 minute run Friday, 14k race Saturday (which could take me as long as 90 minutes)
- Week 4: up to 20 minute run M (as determined by feel), 45 minute runs T-Th, 60 minute run Friday
- Week 5 and 6: 60 minute runs M and W, 45 minute runs T and Th, 75 minute run Friday
- Week 7 and 8: 7 mile runs M and W, 4.5 mile runs T and Th, 75 minute run Fridays
- Week 9 and after: begin transitioning back to my standard weeks prior to hurting my back in February (which started the downward spiral)
- Start with moving Mondays to hills
- 2 weeks later, add in speed work
- 2 weeks after that, move Fridays from 75 minutes to mileage and ultimately increase to 10 miles (75 minutes should be around 8 miles).
.* = This was an “ease in” run that was really to test sustained running. Very easy pace. This was based on the day I got a spinal injection.
The “standard” week for me:
Monday: 7 miles hills (from my office across from Sawyer Point, go up Eggleston, the FP Half Marathon course through Eden Park)
Tuesday: 4.5 miles easy + 5 strides
Thursday: 4.5 miles easy + 5 strides
Friday: 10 miles long slow distance
I rotate speedwork through the following:
- 1 mile warmup, 12*1/4 mile intervals with 1/4 mile easy run between, 1/2 mile cool down
- 1 mile warmup, 8*1/2 mile intervals with 1/4 mile easy run between, 1/2 mile cool down
- 1 mile warmup, 4*1 mile intervals with 1/2 mile easy run between, 1/2 mile cool down
- Tempo run TBD
Note that the tempo run is TBD. The last speedwork I did before injury was a very long tempo run. I believe this very long tempo run is what set me up for injury, so I may do something like 32 mile tempo runs or 23 mile tempo runs, each with a 1/2 mile (roughly 5 minutes) easy run between.
Things to Look Forward To
My running year is generally the following:
- Bockfest 5k
- Little Kings Mile
- Flying Pig *something* (the last two years it was a half marathon, I’m considering changing it up this next time)
- Brian Rohne Memorial Run (5k up until 2015, when it was a 3200m actual cross country run and part of a series)
- Hudepohl 14k
Beyond these “bare bones”, I will do at least one, maybe two half marathons this coming year. I might do a full marathon in fall of 2016. And I want to add in a few 10ks, because I’ve run ONE. In 2013. Since then I’ve run thousands of practice miles and I KNOW I can run faster and better than that 1:08:37!