Sunday, December 8, 2013

Running on the Brain

Since I created this December challenge of running every day, I have been trying hard to listen to the feedback from body.  I want to make sure that I don't over do the stress.  There is plenty of literature available stating the benefits from increased mileage.  Such as a higher VO2, better lactate clearance and improved running economy.  For every article there is another, warning about overtraining and its signs and symptoms.  If you're a seasoned runner or a beginner, you more than likely have read about the 10% rule.  Basically it states that you should increase your weekly mileage by 10%.  If you're currently running 10 miles a week, then next week you could run 11.  It's a safe way for your body to adapt to the increased stress.  It also helps those overzealous types from doing too much too fast, something I have done in the past and believe me, it hurts.

Back to my main topic.  Like I said, I'm trying to be very conscious of how body feels.  Typically, with increased mileage there are little twinges or niggles in certain parts of the legs.  Maybe tight hips, soreness in the arch or a tingle on the outside the knee.  Sometimes a little extra stretching may alleviate the feeling and other times rest is the solution.  The more we listen the better our communication becomes.  I haven't heard much but I'm keeping my ears open.

Since my mileage is increasing this month I was curious what the rest of the year looked like.  So I went through my Garmin account and counted my monthly running totals.
            
January        46   
February      17   
March           40   
April             56   
May              52   
June             41   
July              50   
August          77   
September    116   
October        39   
November     62   
December     63- to-date

Yes, that's right I've run more miles in the past week than my third longest month.  This is even more reason to listen closely to my body because if I'm not careful, injury may follow.  Back in September I had the idea to run my first marathon at the end of the year.  I began running more but a slightly sore left knee and school starting forced lacing up the shoes to the back seat.  I could still run that marathon but not at the pace I'd like so the half might be a better choice instead.

After two years of getting back into the sport, I still feel like a beginner.  The biggest difference between now and then, is I am much more educated and motivated.  Challenges like this month will eventually lead to the achievement of goals.  If you're out there putting one foot in front of the other, you're moving forward.  Dang, I'm so cheesy.