I was all prepared to compile this long list of goals for the year and then I started to think about them, I mean really think about them and turns out I basically have two:
1. Finish every race I start.
2. Don’t get injured.
Yes, finish every race I start, so it also includes that 100 miler I have my eye on. Also, “start” is the operative word here. If I don’t start a race, how will I ever finish it eh? And If I’m not injured, chances are I’ll start each race, right? I like the sound of this.
That’s it. Do I even need any more goals than that? Of course I do!
However, I’m not ready to set any in hard stone just yet because as I’ve learned in the past, my goals tend to become more fluid and flexible as the year progresses. But I’ll share them as they pop up because I tend to make them up as I go along.
Recently, I reached my goal of hitting 10,000 feet of elevation gain in a single week! I say “finally” because I marked it down sometime in late summer/early fall, I guess about the time I registered for Sean O’Brien. I initially aimed to accomplish it by the end of December, but that didn’t happen. It almost didn’t happen this past week either, but I was able to squeak in a run and get those last 1,300 ft done.
The interesting thing is, now that I think about it some more, there really is only ONE goal that can impact every single aspect of running. And I should probably bump it to the top of the list.
Finish every race I start. DON’T GET INJURED.
There, fixed it.
Luckily, (knock on wood) I haven’t had any major injuries in a couple of years that have set me back, and out of running for a long length of time. And yes, I’d love to keep it that way. Who wouldn’t?!
But can all injuries be prevented?
I’d like to say yes, but I think there are some things that pop up we simply don’t understand, or can explain. They happen. And when they do, they suck.
Nobody likes to be taken out of a game they love playing.
With this in mind, I know it’s important for me to work on improving the consistency of strength training, and stretching, and foam rolling, and rest. When I start to deconstruct what entails “not getting injured,” it basically boils down to me working on all of those things.
I have a tendency to engage in these spurts of consistency where I make sure I get my 2 to 3 times of strength training in during the week, and then I go weeks without it. It isn’t until I start to feel some twinge, or tweak that I think, “you know, now would be a good time to kick that up again.” I need to get better with that if I want to have a great running year.
What’s that saying? An ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure.
How true is that?!
Before I sprained my ankle twice in the same year that stopped me from running for quite awhile, I never gave much thought to actually strengthening the ankles, or whatever other areas that support them. I figured all the running I was doing was helping all on its own. Running does help, but it’s only one piece of the prevention puzzle. Afterwards, I needed to implement exercises to help strengthen the areas that were especially weakened by those sprains.
Since then, I’ve rolled my ankles a few times without any serious consequence (Thank God!), and I’d like to think it’s due in part to those measures I’ve taken. Let me just say, it’s soooo much easier spending a few minutes focused on prevention than having to wait weeks to run again.
It’s just making those conscious decisions to put in those few extra minutes into lifting a weight, or rolling on that foam, or working on those planks. But all those ounces start to add up!
If I put a little more time and effort on those aspects to training, everything else will take care of itself. Okay maybe not entirely 100%. But at least that’s my goal.
Thanks for reading!