Raleigh Marathon Week 7 and Preventing Injury

Week of 2/2/14-2/8/14

Sunday 2/2: Rest day: 30 minutes super easy reflexion yoga (wasn’t feeling well, so didn’t do much of anything)

Monday 2/3: AM- 12 miles: 3×2 mile at half marathon pace (9:02 pace overall), PM- Body Pump

Tuesday 2/4:AM- 8 miles easy (9:39 pace overall) with strides, core work

iceharbor

Wednesday 2/5: 6 miles easy on the treadmill (9:45 pace overall), core work, 15 mins yoga

treadmill

Thursday 2/6: 8.1 miles with 5x1k (8:39 pace overall), core

trackworkout

Friday 2/7: 6.1 miles easy (focused on low heart rate) with strides and drills (9:54 pace), core

heartrate

Saturday 2/8: 16 miles: 4 easy, 8 at marathon goal pace, 4 easy (8:55 pace overall)

16miSat

Baltharborsat

Total: 56.2

Overall this week was a good one, with no major barriers or acts of nature. (There was ice on Wednesday morning, which is why I ran on the treadmill). Now that I am 7 weeks into my training, I feel like I am settling into my mileage and the workouts are starting to get longer and harder. I am really worried that I will get hurt, because how can you not think about that while training for a marathon?

I am running more mileage than I ever have before, and I am aware that this may be putting me at a higher risk on injury. However, I know that during my last marathon I hit the wall at mile 15 or 16, so I am hoping that with higher mileage it will help me get used to running on tired legs. I am doing everything I can to stay healthy, and I thought I would share those things in this post.

Stretch, foam roll, etc

Most runners know about the importance of stretching and foam rolling. It took me a while to really understand why they are important and how they help runners. I can’t say enough good things about this book:

Anatomy for Runners: Unlocking Your Athletic Potential for Health, Speed, and Injury Prevention

(affiliate link)

It helped me to learn about stretching, self-massage, and so much more! In case you don’t know about self-massage techniques, like the foam roller or the stick, it helps to break up knots or fascia that are stuck together from mile after mile of running (our muscles break down and repair themselves, but don’t line up nicely like they used to). These knots make it harder to have proper flexibility and can cause tightness and pain, and eventually lead to injury. While I spend a lot of time using these tools, as well as a self-massage ball, I also see a chiropractor who does ART (active release therapy) or graston for places that are really hard to release. I wrote about how my chiropractor is leaving his practice, so I am also planning to incorporate massages into my routine every month or so.  (You can see all the running accessories I use here)

rollerandsticks

Proper Nutrition

Recently I have been trying to eat foods that will help me to recover better and stay healthy. I am not any sort of nutrition expert, but I have read a few books and many articles about nutrition for runners, so I try to incorporate what I have learned into my diet. One change I have made over the past 6 months is after a hard workout I will come home and immediately drink a glass of chocolate milk. I used to get really distracted after my run and wouldn’t eat for over an hour, so this is a way that works for me to take in calories quickly. I have also continued to drink lots of smoothies, which I add fruits and vegetables to. Every time I eat a meal or snack I try to make sure I am including some fruits or veggies, and keep things as clean as possible (except when it comes to dessert…).

Ice

Sometimes I take ice baths, but they torture when it is freezing cold outside! Since I have ongoing low-back problems, I will often put a bag of ice on my low back to reduce inflammation, or anywhere else that feels sore. I stopped using NSAIDs a long time ago, as I have learned that they can actually slow down the body’s natural healing process.

Core work

I am continuing to strengthen my core which includes my glutes, hips, hamstrings, abs, and back. However, this week I started to  feel like I have outdone my core routine, and I am looking for something to challenge my muscles in a different way. My gym has a core class, but it is hard for me to get there. I am going to try to go once in a while, but I need another workout to do at home before or after my run.

Reading

I am constantly reading articles about running, which includes blogs and websites. I follow lots of runners on twitter, who are always posting great articles to check out. I also try to occasionally read books about running (you can see the list of books I have read here). I love learning more about how to be a better runner, as well as how to stay healthy and get stronger!

Sleep

I try to get at least 8-9 hours of sleep every night. This gives my body time to recover from all the hard workouts. I usually get a couple extra hours on the weekends, too:) Since I am up early, this usually means getting to bed pretty early. Now that I have set a routine, it is easy to keep this schedule.

And the most important thing I am doing is trying to pay attention to my body! This can be really hard, especially when the endorphins kick in and you don’t want to stop running for anything. I am working on learning my own limits and when to back off.

What did I forget? Any other tips for preventing injury?

Does anyone have a great core routine they could recommend?

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8 thoughts on “Raleigh Marathon Week 7 and Preventing Injury

  1. It sounds like you are doing everything right … at least as far as I know 🙂 It is great watching your progress – listening to your body, resting and eating well are all so important and so easy to overlook.

  2. So I’m reading through this and I just have to say you are a rockstar in my mind. I’m currently training for my first marathon and am just starting my fourth week. My mileage looks nothing like your’s and yet I was still complaining about how much I didn’t want to do cross training today after yesterday’s long run because I feel so tired. My week 7 will have 37 miles, plus a cross training day. Not even close to what you’re doing! I feel like I’m doing something wrong with my training after reading this! I know that’s not your intent, but honestly, I’m just amazed at this. Wow – good job!

    • Thank you for the positive comments, but please don’t be so hard on yourself! Everyone is different are there is no one “right” way to train for a marathon. This is by far the most miles I have run per week, and it is really challenging! I think I peaked at around 40 miles for my first 2 marathons, and ended up running well in both races. I bet that as your body adjusts to the training, you will rock that 37 mile week with no problem. Best of luck in your training and your marathon!

  3. I think preventing injury is something I’m struggling with right now! I hurt my hamstring two weeks ago and think I re-hurt it last night. GRR! I’m thinking SLEEP, a better diet, and ice is going to help. And just being patient. Which is something I also struggle with, but what runner doesn’t 🙂 I’m jealous of your last workouts, you are going to kick butt!

  4. I am really working on the stretching and core work. I have been using The Stick, but I am wondering about getting a foam roller. I have been doing some planks and just started looking up hip flexor exercises. I would love it if you shared some of your exercises! 🙂 (Also, I LOVE running books. Checking out your list immediately!)

    • You need to get a foam roller! I don’t know how I ever lived without one! I know I am sounding dramatic, but it has made a huge difference for me while increasing my mileage.(I have the trigger point grid foam roller). What’s really helped me is learning to use it properly. If it hurts (in a good way) you’re doing it right. I will try to share my core exercises on the blog! Hope you find some new running books you like!

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