Monday, April 27, 2009


Injuries are not fun. A lot of times athletes wonder how they even got to the point of injury. One minute your running your best times ever and the next day something hurts. This is exactly what happened in my case. I was feeling great, running some of the best times in my career and one day I went for a run and my calf started hurting. It was a familiar hurt, I felt it about 2 years ago while training for my first marathon. My first thought was, not again, last time I was not able to run for 5 weeks. What did I do to hurt myself this time? The answer to that question may never be answered but there does seem to be a pattern. Up to the point of injury I had been training hard and fast to increase my speed. I had a 10K coming up and my goal was to go under 40 minutes. Things were looking real promising. In my training I was doing a lot of speed work and not very many LSD (Long Slow Distance) runs. I think that my body was not quite ready for the jump in speed and that I was on the brink of injury for a while. Last time I had this injury I had increased not only my speed but my volume not to mention that I was running more a week than I had ever run in my life. Anyway, this is probably typical of most athletes. The ones I know are impatient and overconfident sometimes. We try to push our limits not only in racing but in training and often ignore our bodies tell tale signs of needing rest.
So again, just like last time, I have learned some valuable lessons:
  1. Listen to your body. It knows when it is over trained.
  2. Be patient with gains. They never come as fast as you want them to but they do come.
  3. Have a recovery plan and be religious about it.
As a side note: I did run my fastest 10K although it was 1 minute over my goal. 41 minutes is not too shabby I think.

Wednesday, April 8, 2009

First race of the year

I did my first race of the year this last weekend. My feelings are mixed about the results. I probably should not be so hard on myself, it was the first race of the year. After all, the idea of the first race is supposed to be a gauge to see how training has been going. So what did I learn:

I am undecided about how to take it but my bike time was not what I expected. Does this mean that my training is not what it should be or does it mean that I did not push hard enough and could have gone faster? Either way the results were good but I expected better. One of my goals this year is to average 23+MPH on the bike in all races. So obviously the bike the was disappointment. The reason is that the Lonestar race takes place in Galveston, the flattest place in Texas so the bike leg should have been the fastest I've ever done. It wasn't! in fact it was slower than my bike leg at the Austin Tri last season and that one is a 3 loop course (which are usually slower because of all the turns) and it has hills. The only thing that I can come up with is that I could have pushed harder and that I did not push because it was the first race of the year and I was afraid of blowing up on the run.

I should dwell on the positive in the race because there were several positives. The swim was fast. Not my fastest but it was one of the top three. Both transitions were flawless. The run was awesome. This was a quarter Ironman so the run was 3 tenths longer than a 10K. My time was good enough that if it had been a 10K I would have been real close to my personal best.

The next race is in 5 weeks so I have time to re evaluate my training and get ready.