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Don’t Be A Slave To Mileage
Like many runners, I was a slave to the numbers in my training log. I was more focused on increasing miles per week and recording impressive workouts than I was with the outcome of that training — racing well. The focus and my metrics were completely backwards.
I can remember waking up the day after hard races and being so sore I could barely walk down the stairs. The smart decision would have been to hit the pool or bike for an easy cross training session to deliver blood, oxygen and nutrients to my damaged muscles and then some stretching, massage and icing. Instead, I laced up the shoes and put in 10 miles. God forbid I come up 10 miles short on my weekly mileage.
Missing one easy 10-miler would have done absolutely nothing to deter my fitness. But it would have allowed me to recover faster and return to quality miles sooner.
The same theory applies to trying to run through injuries. When I felt my Achilles tug or my calf start to spasm, rather than worrying about how my mileage was going to look for that week and trying to run through it, I should have immediately backed off and focused on prehab and rehab. As a result, rather than missing an entire week or two of training, which was always the result, I would have missed a day or two and been back to quality training without the slightest hiccup in fitness.