RESTING for the HMBIM? Huh?
August 17, 2012 at 1:41 PM
We’re a little over 5 weeks from HMBIM race day! How exciting. Distance and goal dependent you’re probably ‘adventuring’ into the heart of your training. You’ve been meticulously logging miles (or hours) building yourself up for Sept. 23rd’s big day. Take a moment and congratulate yourself; no, really. It’s not easy this day in age with kids, jobs, school, … life in general, to set aside blocks of training time. Great job - celebrate your intermediate milestones.
Last weekend was was a great HMBIM Course Tour. The number of runners was amazing and each carried with them a story and with that an equal amount of enthusiasm for running. Love it! Thanks to everyone that shared your enthusiasm with the Coastside Running Club (your wonderful course guides). It’s what makes this sport special.
Following the run I had a conversation with an HMBIM runner registered for the marathon. He approached me and said up until a few days ago he had been relatively injury free but his hip flexor is now sore. His training plan calls out for a 18 mile long run in 7 days, but he's worried about this ‘growing’ soreness and doesn’t want to miss his mid-week miles, especially not his long run (the cornerstone of marathon training).
I bring up this example because I think a lot of runners experience this situation in the heart of their training. I’d bet there are numerous HMBIM runners dealing with this right now. First and foremost, the best thing to do is to see your doctor. That’s where you’ll get the medical attention you need focused on your specific ailment. I’m not a trained medical professional, so take my advice appropriately. Continuing on...
This does bring up a component of training that is all too often overlooked by runners, especially new runners brimming with enthusiasm.
It’s one of the most overlooked components of a good training plan. It’s really easy, super easy, for marathoners for example to hyper-focus on that 20 mile long run they’re scheduled to hit this weekend. Short distance runners aren't immune either! Laying in the background is the other side of the workout: REST and RECOVERY, possibly more important than the 20 mile run. Consequently if you don’t balance your runs with proper recovery your body will communicate that to you in the form of aches and pains, then ultimately injury.
Think of it like this. Training is a cycle of stimulus and adaptation. The stimulus is the 20 mile run you’re about to do. The adaptation is your body’s response to that stimulus. For that stimulus to be most effective you need to provide it the necessary tools: REST, nutritious foods, proper re-hydration, and vitamins. Supplying these provides a foundation for your body to most effectively and quickly adapt to the stimulus cycle. Over time if you neglect REST you can accumulate training effects which build into these aches, pains, and injuries. Remember, these are signals from your body - pay attention to them. Learn to read them. Most often they are requests for REST.
My advice to the HMBIM runner, and to others out there, it’s okay to skip a few runs in your training plan. Take the time to cross-train or re-focus on the big picture. If you miss a run or two along the way it won’t have a dramatic effect on your finishing time. In fact, I’d say in most cases it’ll make you faster. That’s been my experience!
Enjoy the Run,
Franz Dill is the Director of Training for the Half Moon Bay International Marathon, and is responsible for organizing all online and in-person training resources for athletes participating in the HMBIM. Franz is an accomplished ultramarathoner who completed the coveted Grand Slam of Ultrarunning in 2011 and is also a Certified Coach with the Road Runner's Club of America (RRCA).