I seem to change my training “plans” every week, mostly detouring around running. Last week, I spoke of “speed work” in hopes of beating a certain someone in an upcoming 5K. This hope is now uncertain. My shin pains still exist, in fact there are intermittent local pains even when sitting. Have I also mentioned I slightly rolled my left ankle last weekend? What can I say, it’s that time of the year, such a pain in the legs! Yes, I’m upset about these setbacks; however, I have no intentions to focus on my feelings here but rather my plans to move forward.
Last week’s Recap:
Mon – 1hr Squash (+Foam roll)
Tues – 75min Spin
Wed – Rest/Foam roll
Thurs – 45min Spin (+Foam roll)
Fri – 60min Spin (+Foam roll)
Sat – Abs (+Foam roll)
Sun – 1700m Swim
The absence of running & the presence of foam rolling are apparent. I stopped running last week and foresee the same for at least another week. With countless injuries under my belt, I’m a strong believer in tight muscles as root causes of injuries since your body starts compensating & ends up straining other muscles. I’m now out of excuses not to foam roll, trying to schedule 15-30min appointments with my foam roller to target trigger points. Funny enough, a bunch of articles & videos on shins have popped up recently on Facebook pages and the Blogosphere with other bloggers experiencing shin splints.
My main takeaway from these articles is the urgency to incorporate drill sessions. As someone who tends to “go for it”, I have no patience for drills and stretches. Just like foam rolling, I now have no choice.
Running. Once my legs feel better, some toe and heel walks are necessary to strengthen the calf and shin muscles. Where? I haven’t decided yet, probably at home since it looks so silly doing them outside.
Cycling. My spin instructor, Jen, took the time to analyze my pedal strokes last week. After some one-legged drills in front of a mirror, it became quite apparent that my legs, particularly the right leg, are misaligned especially on high resistance. They move inwards on upstrokes and outwards on downstrokes. More one-legged drills are necessary to focus on smooth pedaling, pulling up with hamstrings & glutes. I sometimes hit that smooth stroke for a split second & felt a burn in my hamstrings. However, they are never sustainable as I get tired and return to engaging solely on my quads & calves to do the work. There’s a lot of mental focus to correct this odd behaviour but it will help in the long run to prevent potential joint issues and improve efficiency.
These are the plans. While I wait for everything to heal, running is on-hold & low-impact sports are the way to go: spinning (winter is still winning, no cycling yet) and swimming. I finally dragged myself to the pool after 5 months of hiatus with the help of a post-swim Panera lunch as my “dangling carrot”! The swim was the same as how I remembered it but without sporting embarrassing cycling tans! Too bad lunch was far from impressive. It was the saddest & most deflated salad ever. Is there a drought that I’m not aware of?
A silly reminder that helps me get over myself (but probably won’t work for everyone) is that running is secondary. As long as I can still cycle, it’s not the end of the world and I can keep my head up high.
If I can’t cycle, well that’s a different story …..