I was chatting back and forth with another runner last night on Twitter and she said something that immediately made me think, “that’s a blog post.”
@JamesKoole thank you. It’s so hard not to go panic mode.
— jess howard (@jess_howard) February 1, 2012
She, like I am, is training for the BMO Vancouver Marathon in May. Like most runners aiming for that race, she’s in the midst of the mileage ramp up that comes at the beginning of almost all marathon programs.
That increase in mileage usually brings along with it some aches and pains as the body adapts to the new normal of running 35 kilometres a week (or more).
When those aches and pains come, it’s so easy to go into panic mode. What if these shin splints get worse? Will this IT band prevent me from doing my long run this weekend? My knees are angry but I can’t skip this tempo run.
I’ll put here what I told her on Twitter:
@hopebombs No need to panic. Goal #1 is to get to the start line in good shape. The race will take care of itself – it always does.
— James Koole (@jameskoole) February 1, 2012
As mentioned in the priorities post a few days back, missing a run or cutting back on the miles a little bit will not cause you to miss your race. On the other hand, left untreated, an injury very well could.
So if you are worried about your shins, or struggling with some sore hips or knees, the very best thing you can do is to slow down, and back off on the training for a bit.
This is your body telling you that you’ve gone too far, or too fast, or both. Listen to what it is telling you know so it doesn’t really start yelling at you later in your training program.
Most of all, don’t panic. You spring marathon is probably still 3 months away and that’s plenty of time to build up the strength and fitness that you’ll need to complete it. Job one right now is to get to the start line uninjured and ready to give it your best.
The race will worry about itself.