As you probably know, I have a difficult relationship with running. It’s true that I completed my first half marathon two months ago, but it’s also true that it took a very, very long time for my legs to want to trot again. Leading up to the race, my IT Bands were giving me some problems, and I always have some sort of lingering leg pains.
I went to a doctor, got both legs x-ray’d at the knee, and started some at-home physical therapy stretches. I didn’t run at all the whole month of December after the race (Dec. 5). And in January I started to jog on the treadmill but would stop when it hurt, usually around 1-1.5 miles. Slowly, I have increased my mileage to 2.5 miles straight. I am so happy with positive progression, even though 2.5 used to be something I would not get excited about. I continue to stretch and foam roll, and hope that the miles will continue to increase.
Since I’m doing my running on the treadmill only (because I don’t want to get stuck outside somewhere in pain), I’ve been playing with speed and incline. When I ran 2.5 miles straight, I also ran it faster than I do outside. I’m using this short-distance opportunity to try to get faster too. I vary my speeds between 5.2 to start and up to 6.0 for short periods. I try to average 5.5-5.6, which is plenty fast for me.
I also did a walk/run workout on the treadmill which made the time really go by. Here’s what I did:
- 0-5 minutes: flat, 3.5 speed warm-up
- 5-10 minutes: 4.0 incline, 4.0 speed
- 10-15 minutes: flat incline, 5.2-5.6 speed
Repeat two more times totally 45 minutes. That’s a great cardio workout for me with plenty of time spent on flat surfaces, an incline, and with speed. It really goes by fast, and it’s easy to remember. No need to carry around a crinkly piece of paper, which I’ve done before.
I am not getting my hopes up that I’ll be running any long distance soon, but I am glad to see improvement, and I’ll continue stretching, icing, and hopefully running!
What’s your current ailment?