Saturday, April 2, 2016

Less will have to be more

It's been a few months since the last post. That is because of recurring neural/muscle issues that negatively affect one's running. Efforts to amp up distance or pace consistently trigger the problem. While some people get back pain, I get extreme muscle tightness that is coming from irritated nerves, which get irritated as I try to run faster or if I try to run further. So essentially any of the things one needs to do to be a better runner are the very things that lead to becoming a worse runner! The question remains, how can this be managed so that it will allow some progression? Running form (when fatigued or trying too hard) is one consideration. Lex Anderson is trying to assist by providing some cues that are intended to reduce an exaggerated right to left thoracic twist evident when I run. It's not a dramatic twist, but with a rickety old back, it is probably enough to contribute to the problem. I've also already been through an array of exercise and stretching programmes that have not markedly assisted (focus was building gluteal strength was well as some specific running strength). This is being revisited looking at what can be done to reduce the stress on the nerves. It is a work in progress. That said running may well be THE stress, a reality that may have to be faced sooner rather than later.
What can be done training wise while working on running form and nerve stress? An article about veteran runners racing well with less mileage popped up in my Facebook news feed. It's about getting the right balance in the limited running you do. Don't do long runs every week. Be selective about the type of intervals you do. Don't get caught up in using weekly 5k races as part of your training. My programme has been pretty low mileage for a long time now. But I am guilty of doing intervals and parkruns and long runs all in the same week. I see others thriving on this type of programme. I also see others thriving on lots of long distance, like I once did (for a brief period). Time to play around with things. Slow down the intervals, space the hard sessions well apart and be more patient. There could be the right balance in there somewhere.