Look who is off the injury list with a 2-mile trail run! It was a balmy 39 degrees as I laced up my second pair of Mizuno Wave Rider limited edition model 15s today. I was very fortunate that in my first run back after my last marathon in which I tore muscles in my right hip that I was able to run comfortably without pain today.
I was very fortunate in this injury in that I received stellar medical care and was able to have the luxury of listening to my body completely in regards to what it needed to heal. My massage therapist introduced me to Thai massage to help with this injury, and I highly recommend Thai massage not only for injuries but also for routine maintenance. While I have traditionally received Swedish massage, now that I have experienced Thai, I do not want anything else. Apparently, if you go to the hospital with an illness or injury in Thailand, hospitals provide this type of massage as medical care. After having 4 sessions to aid in the recovery of a torn muscle, I completely understand why this is medical care.
Now that I am off the injury list, I am officially in the off-season. Off-season is the time for cross training and for building strength for the upcoming 2016 running season. I have spent my time on the injury list fully evaluating my injury from all angles, and have determined the best ways to prepare for the next running season. I have figured out which muscle groups need to be worked and how in order to avoid a repeat of the injury I received this year.
Runners are not made on race day. Runners are made in the days and months of training preceding the race. While I am not currently actively training for the 2016 running season, I am working on cross training and strength that will provide the base I need in order to train in 2016. While I am running this winter, my mileage does not often go more than 5 or 6 miles in the off-season. My running is supplemented with swimming, strength training, plyometrics, and various stretching, lengthening and flexibility routines.
While I was ecstatic to be back running in my Mizunos today, I know I have a long road ahead to be sure that I can build a better base for 2016 that will be impervious to the injury that plagued me in 2015. The off-season is not the time to be soft. The off-season is the time to work all muscle groups that do not always get worked once the high mileage of full marathon training kicks into gear. I anticipate that I will not need to start training for my 2016 race until about June or so. I have about 6 months to work my muscles to make sure they are injury-proof for the next race.
The best part of the off-season is the flexibility and creativity that is involved in this portion of the training process. Think of Rocky in Philly chasing chickens or pounding cattle ribs. This is the time of year when training does not have to be orthodox, as long as muscle groups are being worked and prepped to be able to handle the intensity of marathon training that is yet to come.
So, I am back in the saddle again. It may only be 2 miles, but I have a lot of work ahead of me. While I am technically off the injury list, the injury is never far from my mind, as I now must work to be sure that it does not happen again. It’s good to be back.