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Advice Needed to Keep on Track during Injury 8 wks to Boston

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Ben Z
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Post  mountandog Tue Feb 21, 2012 8:19 pm

So some of you are already aware that for the first time as a runner I'm
somewhat injured. Hey, they always say when, not if. But as explained
on a couple of other threads, I came down with a sudden case of
tibialis anterior tendonitis over the weekend. The doc said cut back
mileage 50%, ice and motrin. So here is my long winded question to
those of you who have nursed injuries in the past.

I have followed the Pfiz 24wk/70mile, 6 day per week plan pretty religiously for the
past 16 weeks. I have been training and feeling great. Built up the
best base of my life. Hitting all my times and looking forward to a PR
and hopefully a shot at sub 3:00. I still have 8 wks to go, so its not
time to push the panic button I know. I'm heading into the twice per
week speed training and longer MP runs. How much can I compromise and
still keep my fitness at the current level? Can I skip some speedwork?
Just run slow? Should I pass on the long runs? How do I cut mileage and where? How many days can I take before I start regressing? I
realize if I'm hurt any objective is irrelevant so I'm assuming as an optimist with
some careful planning I can rest enough, heal enough and still have a
shot at my original objective.

Any advice?
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Post  KBFitz Tue Feb 21, 2012 9:34 pm

Step back from the edge. Take the long view. Getting healthy is much more important than how or if you perform at Boston. Boston will be there every year. Don't argue. Deal.

Do as you have been told. Cut back every run on your schedule 50% (or thereabouts), ice and NSAIDs. You would be well-advised to reduce 2 weekly speed sessions to one for the duration of however long it will take to nurse your condition back to health.

My training in the run-up to my 2nd Boston was interrupted for ten days (25 days out) due to food poisoning. Turns out the rest actually may have done me some good.

For superior performance at the marathon distance all the stars need to align. Sometimes they do. Sometimes they don't. Take the long view.

Oh yeah, forgot to mention regarding support from insoles: Superfeet Green ... don't leave the house without them.


Last edited by KBFitz on Tue Feb 21, 2012 10:35 pm; edited 1 time in total
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Post  mountandog Tue Feb 21, 2012 10:35 pm

KBFitz wrote:Step back from the edge. Take the long view. Getting healthy is much more important than how or if you perform at Boston. Boston will be there every year. Don't argue. Deal.

Do as you have been told. Cut back every run on your schedule 50% (or thereabouts), ice and NSAIDs. You would be well-advised to reduce 2 weekly speed sessions to one for the duration of however long it will take to nurse your condition back to health.

My training in the run-up to my 2nd Boston was interrupted for ten days (25 days out) due to food poisoning. Turns out the rest actually may have done me some good.

For superior performance at the marathon distance all the stars need to align. Sometimes they do. Sometimes they don't. Take the long view.

Oh no KB. I'm definitely taking the long view and will take doctor's orders. Just curious how to do it, and how long until I start losing the conditioning, speed, etc. I'm in no shape to do speed work right now. So I wonder things like, is it worth it to run 3 or 4 miles, any benefit or is it better just to take that day off and run a couple more the next day.
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Post  T Miller Tue Feb 21, 2012 11:15 pm

Do other activities bother it? I would supplement with elliptical, cycling or even deep water running if I were you. You could even swim or do core work. Just because you can't run the same number of miles it doesn't mean that you can't improve your fitness in other areas that will enhance your running once you get the green light from the doc.
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Post  Ben Z Tue Feb 21, 2012 11:59 pm

Agree with Tim. I see lots of cross-training in your immediate future.

I remember reading about Paula Radcliffe and Dathan Ritzenhein doing large chunks of 'training' on the bike or in the pool when dealing with injuries. It can be done.
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Post  mul21 Wed Feb 22, 2012 8:50 am

Just go pick up one of those zero G treadmills. That should sufficiently reduce the stress!

Seriously, I think Tim and Ben hit the nail on the head. The deep water running is surprisingly effective. The one thing you'll notice (or at least I did) was the pounding your legs aren't taking will have an effect on how your legs feel once you get back on solid ground. That goes away after a week or so back on the road though.
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Post  Dave Bussard Wed Feb 22, 2012 10:02 am

Since we're dealing with similar injuries, here's my opinion based on my experience from the past month. I'd say back it way down for a while. Stop running if it hurts.

Thursday will be my 4th week post injury. For reference I was over 70 mpw/when it happened. I took two full weeks off; last week was 40 miles; this week should be 55'ish. I haven't lost much, if any fitness. Just being cautious not to irritate it anymore.

I've been icing it 3x daily; stretching occasionally, not so much on the NSAIDS. I'm a fan of Aleve but have only taken them 2-3 times/week.

So after nearly 4 weeks, I can run again somewhat normally. The pain is still there but it's now in the 3/10 range in the first few miles of the run. The past few runs there has been no pain once I get a few miles into the run. It is usually most sore immediately after my run. I don't notice it much during the day.

My advice? Take the time off now, get the thing healed so it doesn't drag out, then get a 4-5 good training weeks in before Boston.
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Post  Jerry Wed Feb 22, 2012 11:10 am

No advice. This sucks.
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Post  mountandog Fri Feb 24, 2012 9:53 pm

I'm bummin'. Took Mon off, ran 3 Tue, 7 Wed, 6 Thu, 5 tonite. All I can say is its no worse. Thu was best, today was painful. Will take tomorrow off and goal of 10 on Sun. This would follow doc's orders of 50% of mileage. Lots of ice, lots of NSAIDs, no progress. Never thought I'd depressed about not running. I never ran for 35 yrs and it didn't bother me a bit. Now it does. Yes folks, I'm not jumping off a cliff and yes I'll be patient.
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Post  KBFitz Fri Feb 24, 2012 10:57 pm

Sounds like you're taking it well. But it's a hard place to be ... I know. Pay attention to the signals your body is sending. If it hurts, don't run on the roads, trail or treadmill. [Period.] If you have access to a pool with a deep end, take your workouts there. Yes, it looks silly, but it will help you retain aerobic fitness until you can run on the roads without pain. You might consider taking a week [or more] off from road running, taking it to the pool or other cross-training only. You've got to give your tibial strain time to at least begin to heal. Let pain be your guide. I know how hard it is not to run. But sometimes, perhaps this is one of those times, it's best to eliminate the activity that stresses the tibia altogether. I wish you the best.
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Post  carleenp Sat Feb 25, 2012 12:13 pm

If you have access to a pool and can stand the boredom, try water running. I water ran because of injury for 4 weeks of marathon training once and got a PR. It was boring, but I actually was able to put in some good extra workouts with it because it didn't leave me sore (I tend to recover slowly from running). I spiced it up sometimes by doing intervals where I would water run and then go hang on the side of the ladder and move my legs really fast for 3-5 minutes to get my heart rate up, then recover and repeat. When I got back to running I actually felt like I had gained a bit of fitness.
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