Slow additions and adjustments to training allow for appropriate periods of adaptation. Read that again and really let it sink in. Most online training protocols do not respect this first pillar and too rapidly increase volume or intensity (or sometimes both). Every runner’s situation is individual so I suggest working with a good coach to develop your own plan and timeline, but consider developing a strong sense of patience if you have big goals in your own running. It can take years to bump up your volume safely and in many cases a plateau in mileage for “blocks” of training is appropriate to allow your body to adapt and adjust to this new stimulus.
Start Slow and Keep it Gradual
Schedule Your Runs Around The Important Stuff, Not The Other Way AroundMost of you reading this are not professional runners, so you must balance life, family, job and running just fits in the cracks. Making sure that your consistent run schedule is not interfering with these other aspects of your daily life will allow you to decrease feelings of isolation or resentment towards running. It should be a part of your life that doesn’t interrupt everything else around it. This important pillar leads to a healthier outlook and makes running something you get to do, not “have to do”.
Strength Training Is CrucialAs a Physical Therapist I always believe that strength training with a good coach or PT is crucial to long term success as a runner. This does not mean hours and hours in the gym taking away from your favorite trail time. It can be as short as 20-30 minutes twice a week. Power is important to develop as a robust athlete and distance runners regardless of age are not exempt from this rule. Low repetition compound lifts including squats or lunges along with high velocity jumping and plyometrics are both crucial aspects of power development and should be included in a well-developed plan with your coach or trainer. I would also include various dynamic balance exercises in the single leg stance to ensure that power development is possible during the mid-stance of your running cycle.
Trust Your BodyResilient running may seem like a complex question that has eluded many of us for our running careers. Learning to trust your own body, schedule running appropriately into your life, and making your system strong and robust are steps you can take to begin this process. Running is a life-long endeavor and I believe that everyone can develop this resiliency to enjoy every step on the way.
Evan Price is a Doctor of Physical Therapy and Endurance Sports Coach at Evolution Healthcare and Fitness in Portland, OR. You can reach him at firstname.lastname@example.org