This time last year I was already training for my second half marathon. I had lucked out and got a discount code so I was able to run in the Run the Bluegrass Half Marathon for only $25. I tackled the miles with vigor–running 3 training runs a week, with yoga the other two days, then my long runs on Saturdays with the two running groups I joined. The end result? A 10 minute PR over an extremely hilly course…and patellar tendonitis.
I thought I had been doing everything right for training. I ran in the mornings with friends (most weeks it was 2 days of running, 1 day on the elliptical) before work and did some weight lifting (upper body) after work. The long training runs I tackled with knowledgeable running groups, getting in either two or three (I can’t remember) 13 mile runs before the race. I had some off weeks (which I took entirely off because I was at agility trials, etc.), so I thought I was good to go.
For the second half marathon in two years, though, I came out of it injured. In 2012 I had bad IT Band problems during training and while running the Kentucky Derby Half Marathon. Then in 2013 I was diagnosed with patellar tendonitis (then later plantar fasciitis). Both years stopped me from running for a period of time after the races.
But this time it seems harder for me to get moving with my training.
I had plans to do the Run the Bluegrass again this year, but the the dates for the AKC National Agility Championships were announced for that same weekend. Since it’s an honor to qualify, and Dally and I worked hard for it, I can’t say no. So now I’m looking at the Kentucky Derby Half Marathon, or maybe even the Indianapolis 500 Mini Marathon. (I’ve ever been able to run the Indy Mini because it’s the same day as the Kentucky Derby horse race, which I always worked at for my old job, but now that I’m no longer there, I just might have that first Saturday in May free.)
Saturday I jumped in head first back into half marathon training–Run the Bluegrass was hosting another training run over the course at Keeneland Race Course and I had been working at 3-3.5 miles, so I tackled the 4-mile course. The hills are always killers, but surprisingly I kept up a decent pace over the course (and this is after a jump rope and back squat heavy WOD at CrossFit the day before). When I got back to the parking lot, I decided to push for another mile to hit 5. My legs were starting to tire, but nothing too horrible. I probably could have pushed for 6, but I know the trouble you get into when adding on too much mileage too quickly.
I haven’t registered for any races yet–fund-wise that’s not a priority to the pocketbook. I know registering for a race pushes you to motivation, but for now I’m just trying to ride my friends’ motivation as they train for their races. I’ve set a goal to running at least twice a week–I’d like to keep my CrossFit training up, as well, so I have to find a nice balance between the two so I’m not tiring out my body. I’m a little nervous about jumping into training because I don’t want to get hurt again.
Any advice about training to prevent injury, while continuing CrossFit, would be appreciated. I’m also looking for any race ambassadorships to help fund my registration fees while spreading the word of the race that I look to dominate.
Your turn: How do you train for big events and avoid injury?