Saturday, September 27, 2008

Dealing With Injuries

There's an inevitable reality about running lots: injuries will happen. There are plenty of steps you can take to minimize the risk, but from time to time the pounding will take its toll. What then? Gina Kolata, a New York Times science writer and workout junkie, has a cool story today about her own fight with injuries as she prepares for the New York City Marathon. Gina's foot injury, it turns out, is a stress fracture. She's tried, it seems, nearly everything to deal with it: pool running, the elliptical, even an ultrasound machine. Her article comes with the incredible lengths Paula Radcliffe went through to deal with her own stress fracture.

I'm glad the Times wrote about this. Coping with injuries is a frustrating reality of running. The worst part is figuring out a course of action. Pain is inevitable in running. It's simply part of the deal. But when do you stop ignoring the pain? My current injury situation is a little plantar fasciitis and, more worriesome, an achey Achilles. For the latter, I'm relying on a lot of stretching, ibuprofren after most runs and some icing. It seems to help, but I'd by lying if it doesn't hurt most of the time, although the pain is manageable. I've been told sports massage could help, even taking some time off from running since I have enough time before Philly on Nov. 23. Right now, I'm in a wait-and-see mode. Tomorrow, I'm doing an 18-mile race with the idea of running the first six-mile loop at an easy 7:30, then doing the last 12 at marathon pace, 6:50. Next week is a recovery week. I'm going to take it as a true recovery week. The schedule still calls for 59 miles. I'll probably do less, maybe even through in a second rest day altogether.


JPS said...

Are you sure changing shoes is the right thing to do w/ achilles pain and plantar fasciitis? It's pretty late in your plan. I'm really superstitious, if nothing else, about that.

I have noticed that in my training a real recovery week is really effective. There's always a fear that somehow you'll lose fitness, but it's amazing how much stronger you can feel afterward. The recovery is critical to moving to the next level.

Brian Morrissey said...

i'm not really changing shoes. i'll write more about this later in the week. i bought two pair of shoes: my regular ones and DT Trainers, which are lighter weight. Like you, I'm fairly superstitious, but I suspect they could take a few minutes off my time.

On recovery, totally with you. Hard sometimes to put into practice. Anon posted a link to a story about the Romanian woman who won the Olympics marathon. She takes recovery pretty seriously, enough to sleep 13 hours a day. Maybe Jack's onto something.