Tuesday, September 24, 2013

Running Injury Free, Success, Secrets, Be Patient!

From Jason Fitzgerald is a 2:39 marathoner and USATF-certified running coach at Strength Running. Get his latest coaching advice and free injury prevention course here.
It isn't hard to get started running, but once you get into the swing of things, it's easy to injure yourself or ignore little things that make you a lot better. Running coach Jason Fitzgerald shares some of his secrets.

Hindsight is 20/20. As I look back on nearly 13 years of competitive racing, I want to change a lot of my past training. I made a lot of mistakes—small decisions that resulted in an injury, a poor race, or missing half a year of running.P

Many of my injuries can be attributed to impatience and a feeling of invincibility. I refused to reduce a training run by a few miles and I skipped the strength exercises. My carelessness showed with my constant battle with injuries. Achilles tendonitis, lower back pain, ITBS, shin splints, quadriceps strains – I had it all (with the exception of a knee injury, knock on wood!).P
No longer. These days, I’m fanatical about the little things and it’s paying off: I haven’t had a major injury since 2009! As I’m writing this, it’s been over two months since my last day off. I’m on track to run over 3,700 miles in 2011. That’s over 20% more than 2010.P
I want you to learn from my mistakes so you can be the best runner possible. “Do as I say, not as I do” seems appropriate for this post. Without further ado, below are the 7 things I wish I knew when I started running.P

Success in Distance Running Takes TimeP

A lot of time. Greg McMillan tells his elite runners that it takes 2-3 years to start seeing their potential. This amount of time is on top of their high school and college running years—so it’s really about 10 years. Distance running success is about consistency and a gradual, yet progressive, pattern of training.P
One of my previous problems is that I jumped from 40 miles per week to 70 in three months. I got hurt. After six months at 60 miles per week, I tried to jump to 90 miles per week. I got hurt. I disregarded the basics of gradual training. Be patient and recognize that modest increases in mileage done over a long period of time will have you running fast over the long-term. There are no shortcuts.P

Runners Don’t Just RunP

I used to think I only needed running to be fast. I thought I just needed a strong heart and powerful lungs. I never did core exercises, rarely did drills, and avoided the weight room entirely. That was a huge mistake.P
Being athletically well-rounded and coordinated helps you prevent injuries and run more efficiently, which corresponds to long-term consistent training. I’ve talked a lot about this recently, so I won’t beat a dead horse. Check back on some recent posts if you missed them:P