General Discussion Triathlon Talk » Running plan to avoid injury Rss Feed  
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2014-03-11 5:00 PM

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Subject: Running plan to avoid injury

Question for the experts on which formula is better for run planning.

Quick background, I am using the customized BT plan for IM training for IMCDA in June. I tore a calf in December and after some time off I have been making my attempt to get back to a solid running regimen. I am running consistently 5 times per week. My current issue is a minor case of shin splints. My main concern here is to avoid another injury that forces me to take time off so I am building slowly following the 10% rule and not really following the run portion of my BT plan at this point. 

My plan calls for 5 runs a week, 2 short, 2 medium and 1 long. 

Currently I have been running 5 times per week, the same distance for each run, then increasing the weekly mileage by 10-15% each week. So for example I am running 5 times this week, 3 miles per run for a total of 15 for the week. If I continue to follow the 10-15% rule I will catch up with my plan toward the end of April. I am thinking this is the safest way to prepare the run and to avoid injury.

So my question is this. Is it better to do 5 runs of equal length like I am doing. Or is it better to follow the plans idea of 2 short, 2 medium, 1 long?

For example this week if I was to follow my plan (modified) I would run 1.7 miles for the short runs, 3.4 for the medium runs and 5.1 for the long run. 

Am I more at risk for injury if I follow the modified plan and try to run 5 miles for that long run? Do the 1.7 days act as a sort of active recovery making the 5.1 safer? Or am I better off sticking to the equal runs so my longest run is 3 miles until I get more comfortable and the nagging pains go away?

 



2014-03-11 6:06 PM
in reply to: Aarondb4

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Subject: RE: Running plan to avoid injury

Aaron, you're dealing with shin splints now and you're still increasing mileage every week?

Did I read that right?

I don't think you should try to increase mileage if you're experiencing pain.  You may actually consider decreasing frequency and an alternate running surface if possible.

10% every week would be fairly aggressive, even if you've been consistently injury free.  10% increase one week, hold one week is a safer approach if you've struggled with injury.

Good luck :)

 

2014-03-11 7:40 PM
in reply to: switch

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Subject: RE: Running plan to avoid injury

Originally posted by switch

Aaron, you're dealing with shin splints now and you're still increasing mileage every week?

Did I read that right?

I don't think you should try to increase mileage if you're experiencing pain.  You may actually consider decreasing frequency and an alternate running surface if possible.

10% every week would be fairly aggressive, even if you've been consistently injury free.  10% increase one week, hold one week is a safer approach if you've struggled with injury.

Good luck

 

Thanks for the feedback Switch. When I say shin splints I wouldn't necessarily call it painful, some numbness and swelling do occur, but I wouldn't say it is particularly painful. More of a warning sign that I need to be careful I would think.

Any thoughts on the same distance each day vs. varied distance?

2014-03-11 9:21 PM
in reply to: Aarondb4

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Subject: RE: Running plan to avoid injury
I believe the varied distance is actually much better. I did this routine a bit last year since I too have dealt with injury in the past, and the varied mileage worked better for me than just doing a single distance all 5 days. Like you suggested...those short runs kind of act as an active recovery. Some days they will feel really short...other days you will welcome the fact that they are so short.
If you have shin splint problems, my BIGGEST recommendation is to find some trails through the woods to run on. Again, I dealt with this issue several years ago and the trail running was the ONLY thing that helped me get through it. By running the trails in the woods you get several benefits: 1) softer terrain than blacktop = less shin pain 2) you are constantly doing lateral movements and varying your steps due to a twisty windy trail through the woods vs running a constant high impact cadence down a straight hard road 3) typically the trails have more hills (depending on your trails) so you get some strength building during your run and variation in intensity...I never find I get quite the same degree of intensity when running on a fairly flat road.

I'm no expert...this has just been my experience. Take it at face value.
2014-03-12 10:00 AM
in reply to: keqwow

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Subject: RE: Running plan to avoid injury

^^ Thanks for the input and experience.

I don't have much access to trail running very close to me, but I do have irrigation canal roads in abundance that I try to run on as much as possible. Like you say the softer terrain (dirt road) and the varied surface does seem to feel better than pounding down the road. 

2014-03-12 10:00 AM
in reply to: Aarondb4

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Subject: RE: Running plan to avoid injury

Originally posted by Aarondb4

Originally posted by switch

Aaron, you're dealing with shin splints now and you're still increasing mileage every week?

Did I read that right?

I don't think you should try to increase mileage if you're experiencing pain.  You may actually consider decreasing frequency and an alternate running surface if possible.

10% every week would be fairly aggressive, even if you've been consistently injury free.  10% increase one week, hold one week is a safer approach if you've struggled with injury.

Good luck :)

 

Thanks for the feedback Switch. When I say shin splints I wouldn't necessarily call it painful, some numbness and swelling do occur, but I wouldn't say it is particularly painful. More of a warning sign that I need to be careful I would think.

Any thoughts on the same distance each day vs. varied distance?

Numbness?  I haven't heard of numbness as a shin splints symptom.  Have you heard of exercise induced compartment syndrome?  (Totally different than acute compartment syndrome).  It is sometimes mistaken for shin splints in the early stages and numbness is a symptom.  May just want to rule that out.

I think varying the distance is good, but I would caution you to NOT increase the distance of your long run right now.  Don't increase intensity and try to reduce volume a bit until your symptoms are gone.  As you said, you have these warning signs to be careful, if you listen to them now and address this properly it won't be a big deal, but a push when you're flirting with injury never ends well :)

Also, run as many of your miles as you can on soft surfaces, replace your shoes if needed, and try to ice post-run.  Maybe your sheet folder could make you some of those dixie-cup ice thingies? ;)

 

 



2014-03-12 11:28 AM
in reply to: switch

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Subject: RE: Running plan to avoid injury

Originally posted by switch

Originally posted by Aarondb4

Originally posted by switch

Aaron, you're dealing with shin splints now and you're still increasing mileage every week?

Did I read that right?

I don't think you should try to increase mileage if you're experiencing pain.  You may actually consider decreasing frequency and an alternate running surface if possible.

10% every week would be fairly aggressive, even if you've been consistently injury free.  10% increase one week, hold one week is a safer approach if you've struggled with injury.

Good luck

 

Thanks for the feedback Switch. When I say shin splints I wouldn't necessarily call it painful, some numbness and swelling do occur, but I wouldn't say it is particularly painful. More of a warning sign that I need to be careful I would think.

Any thoughts on the same distance each day vs. varied distance?

Numbness?  I haven't heard of numbness as a shin splints symptom.  Have you heard of exercise induced compartment syndrome?  (Totally different than acute compartment syndrome).  It is sometimes mistaken for shin splints in the early stages and numbness is a symptom.  May just want to rule that out.

I think varying the distance is good, but I would caution you to NOT increase the distance of your long run right now.  Don't increase intensity and try to reduce volume a bit until your symptoms are gone.  As you said, you have these warning signs to be careful, if you listen to them now and address this properly it won't be a big deal, but a push when you're flirting with injury never ends well

Also, run as many of your miles as you can on soft surfaces, replace your shoes if needed, and try to ice post-run.  Maybe your sheet folder could make you some of those dixie-cup ice thingies?

 

 

this.  not saying you have it but this is typically diagnosed initially as "shin splints" (<--- shin splints is the "go to" diagnosis for lower leg pain).  other questions need answering however such as 1) how old are your shoes  2) what type of surfaces have you been running on (for instance, due to weather i have been on a treadmill and an indoor concrete track with a thin rubber surface over it, now that im transitioning to back outside my lower legs are getting used more from a stability standpoint than before).

And i would also agree with the switching up of the mileage. give those muscles some recovery!

 

2014-03-12 11:34 AM
in reply to: djdavey

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Subject: RE: Running plan to avoid injury

Originally posted by djdavey

Originally posted by switch

Originally posted by Aarondb4

Originally posted by switch

Aaron, you're dealing with shin splints now and you're still increasing mileage every week?

Did I read that right?

I don't think you should try to increase mileage if you're experiencing pain.  You may actually consider decreasing frequency and an alternate running surface if possible.

10% every week would be fairly aggressive, even if you've been consistently injury free.  10% increase one week, hold one week is a safer approach if you've struggled with injury.

Good luck

 

Thanks for the feedback Switch. When I say shin splints I wouldn't necessarily call it painful, some numbness and swelling do occur, but I wouldn't say it is particularly painful. More of a warning sign that I need to be careful I would think.

Any thoughts on the same distance each day vs. varied distance?

Numbness?  I haven't heard of numbness as a shin splints symptom.  Have you heard of exercise induced compartment syndrome?  (Totally different than acute compartment syndrome).  It is sometimes mistaken for shin splints in the early stages and numbness is a symptom.  May just want to rule that out.

I think varying the distance is good, but I would caution you to NOT increase the distance of your long run right now.  Don't increase intensity and try to reduce volume a bit until your symptoms are gone.  As you said, you have these warning signs to be careful, if you listen to them now and address this properly it won't be a big deal, but a push when you're flirting with injury never ends well

Also, run as many of your miles as you can on soft surfaces, replace your shoes if needed, and try to ice post-run.  Maybe your sheet folder could make you some of those dixie-cup ice thingies?

 

 

this.  not saying you have it but this is typically diagnosed initially as "shin splints" (

And i would also agree with the switching up of the mileage. give those muscles some recovery!

 

 

You are correct that my running surface is changing. Winter running for me is done on an indoor track, it is a wood track so essentially the same surface as a basketball court. Definitely softer than outside. I think my shoes may be nearing the end of their life. They have 300-350 miles on them, will probably look at replacing them in the next month or so. My current run incorporates gravel road, blacktop road and irrigation canal dirt road that tends to be pretty soft and varied in surface. I am trying to stay off the blacktop as much as possible until the little nags go away. 

Thanks for the input on varying the distance. The 3 miles feels fine to me, but I wondered about doing that every day or going shorter some days and longer on others. I guess I will give that a shot and see how it goes. The 5 mile long run worries me a bit but I suppose it might be easier to handle if I have had a shorter day before, or even a day off before. 

2014-03-12 11:44 AM
in reply to: Aarondb4

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Subject: RE: Running plan to avoid injury

I've come back from various run injuries in a similar fashion to your approach, although I might start off at 3 days a week, then build to 4 and eventually 5 short (short, as in 1.5-2 miles perhaps) runs.  From there, as long as my body feels good with things, I just bump each day's run by adding maybe 30-60 seconds distance over the previous day's distance if the build still feels good.  Each day I continue stretching the distance out a bit more until eventually I'm back to a 6-6.5 mile base run.  That build might take 3 months.  Once I am back to a solid base, I begin extending out 1-2 runs weekly for my longer efforts if I feel inclined.

2014-03-12 1:03 PM
in reply to: SevenZulu

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Subject: RE: Running plan to avoid injury

Originally posted by SevenZulu

I've come back from various run injuries in a similar fashion to your approach, although I might start off at 3 days a week, then build to 4 and eventually 5 short (short, as in 1.5-2 miles perhaps) runs.  From there, as long as my body feels good with things, I just bump each day's run by adding maybe 30-60 seconds distance over the previous day's distance if the build still feels good.  Each day I continue stretching the distance out a bit more until eventually I'm back to a 6-6.5 mile base run.  That build might take 3 months.  Once I am back to a solid base, I begin extending out 1-2 runs weekly for my longer efforts if I feel inclined.

So your argument would be to stay with the current 3 miles 5 times per week?

Essentially what I have done is 5 runs of the same distance each week, then build the distance by 10% or so per week.

So week 1: 5 runs of 2 miles each.

Week 2: 5 runs of 2.2 miles each.

Etc.

I am currently at 5 runs of 3 miles each. 

Or I could do 2 1.7 mile runs, 2 3.4 mile runs and one 5.1. As per the plans general idea of two 10%, two 20% and one 30% of weekly mileage. 

2014-03-13 12:46 AM
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Subject: RE: Running plan to avoid injury

Originally posted by Aarondb4

Originally posted by SevenZulu

I've come back from various run injuries in a similar fashion to your approach, although I might start off at 3 days a week, then build to 4 and eventually 5 short (short, as in 1.5-2 miles perhaps) runs.  From there, as long as my body feels good with things, I just bump each day's run by adding maybe 30-60 seconds distance over the previous day's distance if the build still feels good.  Each day I continue stretching the distance out a bit more until eventually I'm back to a 6-6.5 mile base run.  That build might take 3 months.  Once I am back to a solid base, I begin extending out 1-2 runs weekly for my longer efforts if I feel inclined.

So your argument would be to stay with the current 3 miles 5 times per week?

Essentially what I have done is 5 runs of the same distance each week, then build the distance by 10% or so per week.

So week 1: 5 runs of 2 miles each.

Week 2: 5 runs of 2.2 miles each.

Etc.

I am currently at 5 runs of 3 miles each. 

Or I could do 2 1.7 mile runs, 2 3.4 mile runs and one 5.1. As per the plans general idea of two 10%, two 20% and one 30% of weekly mileage. 

I'm not sure there is a right answer.  The important thing is to really pay attention to your body and back off if it's not happy.  That might mean just stopping a run in the middle and walking back if necessary, skipping a planned run, or even taking another break from running and starting over with the buildup, etc.  Everybody is different, and every injury is unique.  Don't forget to warmup, and make sure you stretch afterwards.  It's tough experiencing an injury with a big race looming, as you are facing in your situation -- it can cause you to push the recovery faster than you might take it otherwise, which ups the risk of re-injury.  Good luck!



Edited by SevenZulu 2014-03-13 12:48 AM


2014-03-13 9:54 AM
in reply to: SevenZulu

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Subject: RE: Running plan to avoid injury

 

Thanks for the input everyone. I think I will stick with my running the same distance 5 times a week for now. The 2 short days sound nice but that long run scares me a bit. I tore my calf back in December the day after a long run that I pushed too far and hard. I'll stick with this build model until I get a bit more comfy and feel a bit more confident about pushing a long run. 

Thanks!

2014-03-14 8:50 AM
in reply to: Aarondb4

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Subject: RE: Running plan to avoid injury
Originally posted by Aarondb4

 

Thanks for the input everyone. I think I will stick with my running the same distance 5 times a week for now. The 2 short days sound nice but that long run scares me a bit. I tore my calf back in December the day after a long run that I pushed too far and hard. I'll stick with this build model until I get a bit more comfy and feel a bit more confident about pushing a long run. 

Thanks!




If at all possible, you would likely benefit from a gait analysis as well. While there might not be anything you can absorb and integrate in time for CDA, you could drastically lower your risk of injury with an improved economy\stride with less impact. The fact that you TORE your calf running on a long run is kind of staggering to me.
2014-03-14 10:08 AM
in reply to: fisherman76

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Subject: RE: Running plan to avoid injury

Originally posted by fisherman76
Originally posted by Aarondb4

 

Thanks for the input everyone. I think I will stick with my running the same distance 5 times a week for now. The 2 short days sound nice but that long run scares me a bit. I tore my calf back in December the day after a long run that I pushed too far and hard. I'll stick with this build model until I get a bit more comfy and feel a bit more confident about pushing a long run. 

Thanks!

If at all possible, you would likely benefit from a gait analysis as well. While there might not be anything you can absorb and integrate in time for CDA, you could drastically lower your risk of injury with an improved economy\stride with less impact. The fact that you TORE your calf running on a long run is kind of staggering to me.

Yeah it was surprising to me as well. I didn't get any "official" diagnosis or anything (My Obamacare hasn't kicked in ), but my sister is a physical therapist and she said it was likely a micro or small tear in the calf muscle. Apparently there are varying degrees of tears. I ran 5 miles on Sunday then went to run again Monday morning and my calf was very tight, usually it loosens up as I run, but this time it got worse and worse until it felt like someone hit me in the calf with a baseball bat. I limped for the next few days and couldn't run for quite a while afterwards. Appears that my calf was just really really tight and trying to run on it when it was that tight was a bad idea.

But of course now that I have that all sorted out my shins decided it was time to join the party. Anyway, progress is being made, just slow and sometimes frustrating. 

I had a gait analysis once, they tried to put me in a Brooks Beast shoe. After one run with those bricks I decided against that. I ran a lot (for me) in 2011 and with a slow build I did well and was up to 35-40 miles per week. I am sure I can get back there, just need to be careful and slow about it and want to make sure I am doing things to give me in a way to give me the best chance to avoid injury before the race.

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