Next year’s Ridge Run is 11 months away, but how you spend the next few months can have a big impact on your success in 2012. Following basic guidelines on consistency and moderation in your training can make a huge difference in your success and enjoyment.
Endurance development and adaption to training takes a long time. Unfortunately, loss of your fitness (detraining) takes a relatively short time.
Right after this year’s Ridge Run I was fairly sore and welcomed a few days off. My glutes, hips and quads were stiff and sore for a day or so. But by Tuesday after Saturday’s event, I was feeling energetic and ready to run again. Foolishly, instead of going out for a nice trail run like I should, I prepared for a pack trip. As it turned out, I did not run a step for two weeks straight. I did a lot of horseback riding and hiking, but they are just not the same as running. I violated the rule of consistency.
If you want to improve or at least maintain your fitness, never take more than a few days off in a row.
When I finally did a training session after those two weeks off, I paid for it. I jumped right back into running as if I was still in shape and ended up getting injured. I pulled a calf muscle, pulled a hamstring and aggravated my plantar fasciitis. I know better than to take two weeks off and then go for a run as if I had been running consistently. If you are young, you can get away with this type of foolishness. I can’t.
What’s the saying? “I could kick myself for being so stupid”. Celia’s horse Brady had already obliged me the week before with a good kick to the shin. Thank God for my saddle’s thick leather stirrup straps that cushioned the blow and prevented a broken Tibia.
Lesson learned. If you take more than a few days off in a row, you lose fitness. You lose fitness a lot quicker than you gain it. After a long layoff, it is wise to start back gradually as you crawl back up out of the hole dug from doing nothing.
Moderation just means not overdoing it. Obviously my first training after a two week layout was overdoing it. And I ended up injured.
Spending all day on my feet hiking may be low impact, but for me personally it is more than my feet can handle. It violates my individual rules of moderation of 3 to 4 hours max on my feet before they are trashed.
Days spent switching between time in the saddle and time on the feet helped moderate the abuse to my butt and feet. It was not by choice. Getting lost in a lodge pole pine forest on horseback is a frustrating situation.
“trees thicker than hair on a dogs back”, Tough Trip Through Paradise by Andrew Garcia