The last couple days I decided my foot was ready to be out of the dreaded boot/immobilizer thingy, so I pranced around all day in stiff-soled mountain-biking shoes. But, by the end of yesterday, my foot was hurting again, so I decided it was time to get back in the boot. I’m really trying to not get impatient with this injury, because a vast amount of past stress fracture experience has taught me that a few extra days of rest and protection can save a lot of grief in the end. I’ve already lost a ton of fitness anyway, and luckily the racing schedule is very lean this time of year, so I can have the luxury of not needing to try to rush back into shape.
As usual, my latest injury has me rigorously reconsidering my weekly running schedule. When I’m hurt, I would f’ing kill (something…) to be healthy and just go do a nice 2hr cruise in the mountains. Of course, once I am healthy, I gradually forget about my conviction to consistently run less miles and am soon logging close to 200 miles per week again.
In a moment of rare rationality today it occurred to me that I would be far more consistently mentally stable and physically sound if I lowered my mileage a touch–to a more sustainable level–that would allow me to amass week after month after year of solid training without getting hurt. So, I guess, here’s the current plan. Limit my weekdays to something closer to 3-3.5ish hours of volume per day (as opposed to the 4+, even 5hrs that were becoming regular leading up to Leadville this year), and start introducing more structured Tuesday/Thursday uptempo/hard days. This will likely be something like 5x1mile workouts on Tuesday or a flat tempo run, and a hard tempo hill climb on Thursdays. In the past I’ve regularly done 30ish minute hill climb tempos on Thursday, but I want to be sure to get the mile repeat turnover stuff in on Tuesdays in the future–especially looking ahead to speedster races like Rocky Raccoon and American River. So, a week might look like this:
Mon: am 2.5-3hr
Tue: am 2hr 5xmile
Wed: am 2.5-3hr
Thu: am 3hr 30-60min hill climb tempo (at least 500′ of vert/mile)
I spend a lot of time thinking about this stuff–thinking about all of the tiny details–but it’s stupid because once I am healthy I almost always just revert to a more intuitive “what feels right” approach. But, this time around I’m really going to try to be disciplined. Some might think, “geezus, that’s still a ton of miles” but it’s definitely less than what I’ve done in the past and just a half hour less here and there can really make a big difference for me when it comes to recovery and training load.