Injury free year

On Sunday I’m joining Marco and friends for a 18mile run from Rowardennan.  We ran this route last year so I’m looking forward to it. So I decided to not run yesterday and run today instead. I was able to go out at lunchtime. I decided to wear my Hokas and do a slower off road route around Pollok Park.

As I ran I was thinking about a question that Robert Osfield left on a recent post ….

You’ve had your years blighted by injury, so what do you think has enabled you to run so consistently this year?

I’m not sure if I’ve had ‘years blighted by injury’ but yes I have had my share of injuries.  Only the last couple of years I’ve not really had any big injuries that have kept me out of action.

So here are some reasons why I think I’ve been able to stay injury free ….

# Off Road

At least half of my mileage is off road including most runs over 10 miles.  I’m sure this really helps. I reckon if I averaged 45miles a week on road I would pick up more injuries and my legs would take longer to recover.  This year I’ve often ran 20-25 miles over the weekend but because they have been off road I’ve been able to run on Monday as well.

# Rest Days

This year I have run between 4-5 times a week which means I have at least 2 non-running days a week. Again I think that really helps keep injury at bay.  I’m aware that at 55 I need to respect the fact that my body needs these rest days.

# Cross Training

On my non-running days I try and cycle to and from work.  It is a 6mile one way journey so about 12 miles each day so not a massive amount but I think it helps with my recovery.

# Blocks of Training

One of things I have enjoyed about the Hardmoors Grand Slam was peaking for four races throughout the year. I decided to work on blocks of training before the race, followed by 10-14 days of easy running before another block of training to the next race. I also work on having an easy week after three weeks of harder training. So these blocks of training with easy weeks built in again has helped keep injury at bay.

# Deal with issues

Over the year I’ve had two issues. I started the year with a tight hamstring and then after the Hardmoors 110 I had a sore calf when I tried to do some speed work too soon. Both times I eased off and it cleared up before it got too bad.

I do think I have been very fortunate and long may it continue.  I do enjoy being able to run pain free.

I enjoyed interviewing Andy Cole last night for the latest West Highland Way Race Podcast. It will be available very soon on iTunes and the race web site. Talking of the West Highland Way Race entries for the 2015 race are now at 331. The entries close on 30th November and then we will have to do a ballot for the 265 places available.  Sadly there are going to be some disappointed people.

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