Ben trains smarter and readies for final race of the season


My PT wanted me to take more rest. My doctor said my MRI showed a bunch of swelling, but no major problems. My massage therapist told me my adductors and quads were too tight and my hips were too weak. The naturopathic doctor said my liver line was inflamed because my body was fighting depression and illness. And a stride analysis showed that my ankles were too weak and stiff and were collapsing in such a way to put more stress on my knees. It seemed that everything was wrong with me. I had been listening to everyone, and it was an information overload that I couldn’t deal with. I had more causes than symptoms, and even fewer solutions.

Every specialist I saw had a different theory as to what was causing my knee pain, and while I was waiting for a solution to be presented to me, my problem was getting worse. A friend of mine suggested that, rather than continuing to cut back my training, I should consider simply adding an all-around strength training program to my schedule. He suggested a few exercises that would hit each of the main areas that all the specialists had identified as problems: my hips, legs, ankles, and core. Plus a few balance drills. Additionally, I signed up for a yoga class.

With the end of the season approaching, I decided to focus on making myself healthy and in doing so, I gave up my ego. From that point on, if I didn’t feel good, I didn’t train. I stuck to my new strength program and yoga, and by mid-October, just two weeks into the new program, I no longer had to skip training days. I was no longer pushing myself to train through pain either, so I didn’t have to hold back on my intensity.

The weights and yoga have begun to build a foundation for the rest of my training. If I can build balanced muscle with exercise-specific motions, then when I actually get outside to ride my bike and run, my body will be better able to handle the stress. This is injury prevention at its best. By adding about four hours a week of strength training and stretching, I actually have enabled myself to train painlessly and more frequently. This seems like it goes against my previous lesson of “recovery is recovery,” but I like to put them alongside each other. I have to limit my training to what I have time to prepare for through both recovery and strength.

It is now November. Each of the past three weeks I have averaged 55 miles of running, and 175 miles on my bike, and I’m doing it without pain. My legs are stronger, my hips are stronger, my ankles are stronger, my whole body is more flexible, and my balance is improving. Every day I set aside some alone time where I can put my legs up and focus on recovery. I feel fit again, and this weekend I have my final race of the year in San Francisco. I’m really looking forward to seeing where a month of intelligent training has taken me. Check out data in Garmin Connect showing my Halloween day run through the Washington Park Arboretum.

The post Ben trains smarter and readies for final race of the season appeared first on Garmin Blog.

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