Tuesday, February 21, 2012

Quick Running Tip Tuesday - Listen to your body (2.21.12)

This post is coming straight out of the "been there... doing that..." file.

As most of my regular readers, twitter and daily mile followers know, I've been struggling with a quad injury for the last 2 weeks +.  It popped up, out of the blue, during a 7 mile run and has hung around (I'm really praying that it moves on soon). At first, I thought it was just a muscle strain and some mileage reduction would help.  It didn't. Then I feared (and still do a bit) that it was a stress fracture or something deeper.  I appears to not be that (as per an unofficial but somewhat thorough Ortho docs exam). 

It appears that I have developed a bit of quadriceps tendonitis (or QT) which is something that can pop up from time to time.  Basically... and I'm not a doctor, but from what I'm reading on the internet... it is a condition where the tendon that connects the quads (big leg muscles) to the knee becomes inflamed or irritated.  It can take a couple of weeks of rest and rehab to get it back to full working condition.  (I'm hoping it hurries... I miss the road.)

But that's not this week's tip (otherwise the giant ear would be slightly out of place).  Here's the tip: Listen to your body. 

After the Saturday run when my quads first started acting up, I didn't think too much of it.  I'm used to little aches and pains popping up... I'm a runner... things happen.  Sunday, it still felt a little funny but not terrible.  So I continued on with my training plan with a 5 mile run on Monday.  That was too much and I knew it about 3 miles into the run.  What I didn't do was listen to my body.  A 2 mile run would have probably kept me from inflaming it.  But I didn't listen to my quad or its tendon... I listened to the paper that said I should run 5 miles.

Your body knows best.  Listen to it.  If it's saying "stop for a day" then stop for a day.  If it's saying "slow down a bit..." then slow down a bit.  It knows what's going on.  Listen to it. 

In my case, my lack of listening has led to a longer layover than I had planned (no running for 7 days now... and gonna be another 5 to 7 at least).  If I would have dialed back the 5-miler, this might be an entirely different tip. 

Keep running friends (and wishing I was...),

Disclaimer (if you're into that sort of thing): Jim is not a professional runner nor is this blog endorsed by any company.  These thoughts are merely the thoughts and experiences on one runner.  What works and what doesn't work from a practical level.  Jim hasn't set any records, but he's run a few races (Marathon: 4h 22m / Half-Marathon: 2h 3m / 5k: 22m 57s) and he's been around the block!

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