Race Training for the Injured

As a long-time athlete, I’ve learned a lot about my body. For the most part, I can tell when I should sit something out, and when I can push myself. I’ve trained and competed while injured many times of the years. Broken collarbones {gymnastics}, dislocated shoulders {volleyball}, and spinal injuries {diving} haven’t done much to slow me down over the years. But what they have done is taught me how to listen to my body and how to train smarter instead of longer/harder.

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Leggings & Tank – Fabletics

Active Colorblock Windbreaker – Forever 21

Sneakers – Saucony

Here are a few things that I’ve learned to apply to my programming over the years:

  1. Rest when needed – No matter how careful you are with training, you will hit a wall at some point. You need to learn to listen to your body and realize when fatigue can’t be pushed through.
  2. Recovery is vital – Giving your body time to recover is important, but you also need to think about the foods that you put in your body which also impact your recovery.
  3. Fuel is everything – How you fuel your body before, during, and after training is imperative for keeping your body in top condition. All of your hard work will be wasted if you try to keep yourself going on Hot Pockets and Coke.
  4. Invest in your equipment – Whether that means a bike or running shoes, you want to research what will work best for your needs. Quality equipment can stave off injury as well as help you heal.

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So how have I applied these to my own training? With back and feet injuries, I realized that following a traditional half marathon training schedule wasn’t feasible. Attempting 2-3 runs a week left me in so much pain that I couldn’t get through all the runs and my cross-training.

What works for me is, like I spoke about in my Workout Schedule: Weight Training & Race Prep post, is one run a week. I do either a longer, somewhat slower run, or a shorter, faster run. From a cardiovascular standpoint I’m capable of running 13 miles if I manage my pace, so training is much more about preparing my body to take the intense physical beating. 3-7 miles once a week does just that – My joints and muscles stay in top shape, without being overworked to the point of increasing my pain levels.

Race Training Running Runner FitLife San Francisco Bay Area Fashion Food Fitness Lifestyle Blogger Street Style

{Photography by Brad Wittke of Pacifica Gallery}

I’m sure by now some of you are thinking – Why do you keep running?

Because I love it!

I started running in my 20’s to get outside when I became utterly sick of the gym, and I quickly became addicted. And I just LOVE racing. I may not be fast, but the excitement and fun and rush of race day is a total blast.

I’d love to try a half triathlon in the future, but for now I’m stick to a few foot races a year. In the past year I ran five – The Guardsmen Presidio 10 Mile Race, the San Francisco Half Marathon, the Women’s Health 10k to benefit the Feed Project, the Golden Gate Half Marathon, and the Kaiser Half Marathon.

Have YOU ever trained for a race or competition while injured? Any tips?

Reminder: I’m not a doctor and I don’t have background on your specific injury/injuries. Please do not take this post as a personal recommendation to you for race training – Please speak to your doctor about what would work best for you.

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