After my hilarious Instagram post on Saturday, in which I detailed my lack of recovery and general maintenance, I have an injury. It was one of those stupid “Look at me, what am I like?!” sort of posts that really deserved an injury too, idiot. What was a dull pain near my calf during the long run, turned out to be an achilles strain on Monday when I tried to run and couldn’t get past two miles. (I only ran the second one to get back to where I started).
My lack of care for my body is obviously my fault, but the schedule I’m currently working to doesn’t allow much extra time, particularly on long run day.
On Saturday, I had to be in Clacton, Essex at 1400. I woke up in a hotel in Bracknell at 0700. On the schedule was 20 miles, to get to my 70 mile weekly goal, and allow me to take Sunday totally off…see I did plan a rest! I tend to do my long runs in London in Richmond Park, half an hour from the hotel. 3 hours or so of running, gave me almost the exact time I needed to the minute to be in Clacton on time. I literally finished running, stopped my watch got straight in the car in all my running gear and drove for three hours.
It sounds stupid even as I read it back to myself!
Although Saturday was the final straw for my poor Achilles, I have no doubt this injury was caused by the last 3 weeks of abuse. It just happened to manifest itself during this long hilly effort.
To make matters worse, I’ve been closely studying the routine of Scott Fauble in Inside a Marathon (worth purchasing). I’m starting to realise that although the elite workouts are often brutal and the paces seem incredible, everyone is running their relative brutal pace when they workout, whether that be 5 minute miles or ten minute miles.
I think what truly separates elites from amateurs is what happens in between the workouts. On any given day, Fauble’s down time will involve a nap, foam rolling, mobility work, strength training and sauna. Physio/massage a couple of times a week and falling asleep on the sofa at nine by his own admission.
I’ve taken an awful lot from this book, but this is possibly the most useful lesson. The achilles is on ice and raised whenever it can be. Once recovery is complete, I’m putting some serious thought into what I can change in my routine to avoid this break down occurring again.
I have already decided that the foam roller at home is coming to live with me on the road from next week. Small changes here and there will make the difference.
I’m starting to appreciate that I’m asking a lot of my body, the least I can do is to help with the maintenance once in a while.