I am currently nursing a hamstring injury and have stopped running for the past two weeks. I have been walking though, but I am not sure if I can regain my original running pace, once I start after my break. This is something that I realised during my well indulged breaks after my marathons. Medical experts have opined that the muscles lose their strength after two weeks. That is you should be good with a maximum of two weeks break, but you need to get back to running soon after or else it is going to affect your performance. It is one reason, why marathoners who have become skinny for the race, immediately put on fat and a belly soon after the races.
I am not sure how I got the hamstring injury and it could be due to my ill prepared TCS New York City Virtual Marathon and two half marathons that I ran in 2020, or running another United Airlines New York City half marathon in 2021 without recovering really well. Whatever it is, here I am taking a break in running and hoping the injury will heal. I am prepared for the dip in my performance lest my injury turns out to be a threat to my fitness and my running.
Consistency in practice is actually following a Running program to a T. I had written about how Running programs can be a key to better races. If consistency is following a Running program as designed by experts, Commitment is the factor that will keep us grounded (no pun intended) to your running. Running like many other sports needs self motivation and commitment depends a lot on your motivation to be a good runner. There are many times I have come close to skipping my customary long run on a Saturday morning. The devil lurking in you tells you that “it is late”, “the Sun is up and it is hot”, “you have got to do your gardening” and so many other excuses but run you must. It may not be the target you set out to do, but go and make the run. And I assure you that you will feel a lot better that you did not succumb to devil. I am not sure if it is the endocrines that kick off after the run that gives you the “high” or the success that you overcame the temptation, you will feel top of the heaven that weekend.
There are few tricks that make you a committed runner to a running program. One trick is to joining a running club or have running mates who make it lot tougher on you to skip a run. Having running mates is a good way of enjoying your running, more so, if you are practicing on a running program with a Race – 10K or half-marathon or marathon in mind. Running alone can be weary and I am used to it. I trained for Chicago 2019 marathon and New York 2020 virtual marathon entirely running alone. I found listening audio books or music in Spotify on my runs a good company that helped me overcome my loneliness.
Finally another tip for motivation, I would leave you with – Reward yourself for your long runs. It can be the ice cream or scotch. Believe me! my long runs on Saturdays are a breeze when I run thinking that I am actually earning my scotch.
It’s at the borders of pain and suffering that the men are separated from the boys. – Emil Zatopek