Speaking of which, Runner's World recently published a list of running rules and how to safely break them and I realized that during marathon training I have broken almost every running rule (see NOT smart). I, however, have survived 24 weeks of marathon training injury free (knock on wood) all while gaining endurance AND speed. Runner or not? I'm not sure, but this is how I broke the rules AND lived to blog about it (who makes these rules up anyway?).
Stretch Before Running: Um yeah, I often talk about it but aside from the occasional calf stretch (less then a minute) I don't stretch before I run. George keeps warning me that one day I WILL get injured and I know when I do he'll say, "I told you, you should have stretched." Meanwhile I probably will wind up injured because I tripped and sprained my ankle, but I guarantee he'll still blame it on my lack of stretching.
Do Pre-race Strides: What the hell does this mean? Wait, wait, wait... does this mean you go out and run BEFORE a race. I used to see crazy people doing this all the time and thought they were a bunch of flippin' morons, but during my last race (IBM Uptown Classic) I actually went out for a pre-race stroll. There is something to be said about warming up those tight muscles. So I've begun to see the importance of this rule. Score 1 for me!
Cap Your Longest Run at 20: Nope I ran 22!
Structure Your Schedule: For the most part, when it comes to this rule, I was a rule follower. I had a scheduled training plan and I stuck with it. I kind of wish this is one rule I would have broken. I think a lot of times I don't listen to what my body is telling me and I push through some uncomfortable situations physically. I can see where this had made me a lot stronger mentally and physically so not all was lost.
Push the Pace on Long Runs: What? Who made up these rules anyway? Some running God or Goddess with freakishly long legs and equally lengthy stride. Well guess what you running Lords? Chubby chicks run too and we'd rather be likened to the tortoise than the hare. Just sayin'.
This is during a RACE and my feet are barely moving
Take Rest Days After Long Runs: Well what a novel idea. Who ever would have thunk it? NOT ME! Sundays are my long run days and I usually didn't allow myself a rest day until Friday (and sometimes not even then). I always rested on Saturday though, if you consider going to 15,000 sporting events, birthday parties and other family obligations resting.
Don't Bulk Up: CLEARLY I just couldn't help myself. Have you seen my guns?
Cardio Cross Train: I ran three days a week and NO MORE. Cross training consisted of weight lifting, cycling/spinning and that's it. Running days were Tuesday, Thursday, Sunday and you wouldn't catch me doing anything extra.
Increase Weekly Mileage by 10%: Fine I'm a rule follower at heart. I don't like to break the rules, really I don't. I am careful to listen to this rule because I know this is the quickest way to develop an injury (NOT my lack of stretching GEORGE). Score 2 for Susan!
Measure Your Effort: This rule suggests you wear a Garmin, but don't look at it. You are to measure your own effort. Um hello if I didn't have my Garmin telling me how damn slow I'm moving then I'd never kick it up past a 11:30 pace. Looking at my Garmin keeps me focused on whatever goal I've made for myself. Most days I'm not out there just running for myself. I'm out there with a goal in mind and if it were up to just little old me I'd barely get my heart rate moving.
Wear Running Shoes: Um hmmmm yeah I did that one.... but not well. Have you heard the tale of the three shoe sizes?
So there you have it. How to break
all most of the rules and still survive marathon training. Like I said, who made up these rules in the first place? Not ME!