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Finding the balance between feeling challenged/staying injury-free (Read 767 times)

    I posted this on a Belgian forum a few days ago, but didn't get an answer, so I'll try to translate my post... I'm 44 years old, and started running on September 1st. I never did sports of any kind, except from some recreational biking (max. 80 km/50 miles a day) and (mountain) hiking. I followed the couch-to-5-K program, and since a few weeks I'm now running for 30 minutes 2 or 3 times a week, and 40 min. once a week. This all feels very good.... but in fact that's part of the problem: (and this is a hard part to translate, so maybe I'm saying very dumb things) The experience I sometimes have during mountain hikes: the feeling that I have to go to the utmost limits of my capacities to reach my goal, the summit e.g., and the rewarding feeling afterwards that I really DID IT!!, well, I miss that experience. During those 2.5 months that I have been running now, I always have the feeling that the very moment I try to conquer my limits (does this sounds weird?), that those limits have changed... (e.g. in week 3, you go from 2x10 minutes to 20 minutes straight.... I felt excited with the thought of having that 'challenge', but the very moment I ran those 20 minutes, it felt like I easily could run for another 20. I miss the feeling of 'having done everything that was within my capacities....' But on the other hand, I want to stay injury free. Since a 3 weeks mountain hike in the Pyrenees with a 16 kg/35 lbs backpack, my right knee is my weak spot, and always hurt during a long and steep descent. (Haven't felt the slightest trace of pain during my runs Smile) So on the one hand, I'd like to have a 'real' challenge ahead, but on the other hand I don't want to take unnecessary risks. Everyone keeps telling me to go very slow, very gradually, and I'm sure they are right. But I still keep asking myself if I don't run too slow. Shouldn't I accelerate my pace a bit, at least during some of my runs? (I must admit that during the last few weeks, I tend to run the last 400-500 m of every run at a higher pace, just because I want to have that feeling of 'having done quite something'. Shortly: I'm sure my cardio-pulmonary condition is OK, but how can I find out what is the right load for my muscles, joints, bones... without risking an injury? And a related question: seeking for a challenge, I decided to subscribe for a 'forest run' (merely a 'jogging' than a race) in my hometown on november 26th. The distances are 3K, 6K, 9K and 15K. I'm sure I can do 6K, because I've ran that distance already. What would you consider wise: To run 6K, and just finding out what time I run when running with others who are faster than I am, or aiming for 9K, a distance I didn't run yet, but which would be a challenge just for that reason? Any advice?

    Running in Belgium
    Ann

     

     

     

      Ann - you might want to spend some time thinking about setting a bigger goal that'll take more work and preparation to reach. You're running 40 minutes once a week right now? Perhaps it's time to start training for that 10K. Perhaps you might even want to contemplate training for a half-marathon a half year from now? Where would you like to be in 6 months? It's not as immediately gratifying, but reaching a long-term goal like that can be just as rewarding. Gotta go for now - more later. Janell

      Roads were made for journeys...

        I think I understand what you are trying to say about wanting to know that you've accomplished as much as you can at a particular time. That you've pushed your personal boundaries and have really worked for something. And I think I can see how you might not be feeling like you're doing this if you're running your runs "easy" or at a "conversational" pace. You're not supposed to feel like you've got nothing left at the end of those runs! But just because you're not completely wiped out at the end doesn't mean it wasn't worthwhile. And I think you know that, because you're still here and you're still running. The time in running to feel like you've got nothing left at the very end, when you should know that you've given it your all, is at a race. There is some skill and experience in knowing just how hard you can run and still have enough energy to finish strong and hard. But if you do it right, I think you'll find that experience you're looking for waiting for you at the finish line. Perhaps that's why races are so addictive! Big grin

        Roads were made for journeys...

          Do the 9K. There's nothing wrong with going out to the edge. Listen to your body carefully & you'll know when you're pushing too hard. It's surprising yourself that makes running so much fun.

          The secret of life is honesty and fair dealing. If you can fake that, you've got it made.

            Do the 9K. There's nothing wrong with going out to the edge. Listen to your body carefully & you'll know when you're pushing too hard. It's surprising yourself that makes running so much fun.
            Yup. I agree. Train easy, race hard. The 9-k. If you fail ... well, then you found your challenge, didn't you?
            E-mail: JakeKnight2002@aol.com
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            Scout7


            CPT Curmudgeon

              I don't know about what distance you should try, because I'm not sure what distance you can run now (I'm not sure what your time translates o, and I'm lazy and didn't check your logs, sorry). You should finish your training runs feeling pleasantly tired. I know, I know, it's hard to do that (believe me, I really know), but that's a challenge in and of itself.
                @Scout7 You said: 'You should finish your training runs feeling pleasantly tired', and that's exactly the problem, I'd like to feel tired, I'd like to have the feeling I have actually done something. Yes, the first minutes I feel a bit tired, but that passes very quickly, and the rest of the day I do not have the feeling I have done any physical exertion, and I would like to. But I think I have my decision made for next Sunday. I wil subscribe for the 9K, and just start running slowly.... Everyone will start together, and run 1, 2, 3 or 5 rounds. When I feel after 2 rounds, that I can't add that last one, than I will simply quit, and at least know how it feels to run in a big group.... When I still feel good, I continu. (

                Running in Belgium
                Ann

                 

                 

                 


                Cryptic

                  I think you will find that finishing the 9k will be very possible. Just go out and have fun. Its amazing what your body can do in a race environment. Just have fun. You will finish.
                  Scout7


                  CPT Curmudgeon

                    @Scout7 You said: 'You should finish your training runs feeling pleasantly tired', and that's exactly the problem, I'd like to feel tired, I'd like to have the feeling I have actually done something. Yes, the first minutes I feel a bit tired, but that passes very quickly, and the rest of the day I do not have the feeling I have done any physical exertion, and I would like to. (
                    Maybe you need to increase either your pace, distance, or training load. There's nothing wrong with going out really hard one day to see where you stand in terms of fitness. Once in a while shouldn't create much of an issue in terms of injury. Besides, how else do you know how your fitness is progressing?
                      But I think I have my decision made for next Sunday. I wil subscribe for the 9K, and just start running slowly.... Everyone will start together, and run 1, 2, 3 or 5 rounds. When I feel after 2 rounds, that I can't add that last one, than I will simply quit, and at least know how it feels to run in a big group.... When I still feel good, I continu. (
                      ...But I didn't go at all.... It started on Friday: My mother called me, and asked if I could come to my hometown on Sunday, because in church, there would be a memorial service for my grandparents, an uncle and a nephew who died in the last ten years. I promised I would come, unless our son was sleeping too long (he seemed to be very tired, and I didn't want him to wake up on that only day he could sleep long). But going to church would make it impossible to do the run. And on Sunday, Jan woke up early enough to make it possible to drive to my hometown before 9.00 AM, but he was really ill (he's still now). So I stayed at home with him.... (My husband had to guide a hiking group in a nature park in the east of the country, so Jan was my 'duty', and of course I didn't want to take an ill child to the run.) So I have just done my 'normal' runs this week, or perhaps even less. I have had a few weeks off from work, but started again last week. It has been a rather busy week last week, and this week it is even worse (I was on call last night, and could spent two hours in my bed... and this morning, I had to be in my office at the normal time... and it was so busy. So going to bed early tonight... tomorrow again a normal - rather busy - working day, and in the evening: on call again....) I hope that night will be less hectic than last night, so that I will be able to run again on saturday....

                      Running in Belgium
                      Ann

                       

                       

                       

                        I'm sorry that your run didn't work out for you... Sad It sounds, though, like you had to find the balance between running and your family committments. And you did. Next time. Next time.

                        Roads were made for journeys...