Question: How fast is too fast to progress with training? I've been
active my entire life, participated in many sports, and had more
injuries than I can remember (plantar fasciitis, rotator cuff shoulder
surgery, multiple tendinitis (or tenyosivitis (sp?)) injuries, torn MCL,
MANY overuse injuries, etc., etc.). In recent years, I've started to
really learn how to handle these things, so I can stay active (I'm an
ibuprofen addict, among other things). Currently, I can participate in
Muay Thai Kickboxing, weightlifting, and mountain biking, essentially
without limitation. However, it is running that always seems to get me.
I just can't get over the eight mile range without running into some
form of injury.
The last one was in the form of an irritation just above and lateral to
the kneecap on my left leg. My ITB is flexible, and the pain seems too
high for it to be the cause. This one came on suddenly during a 9 mile
run (my max. mileage was about 14 at the time), and I haven't been able
to build up since.
Anyway, for about the past three years, I've been in a cycle of running
where I'll work hard and carefully to get my mileage up to about 10
miles (~8 min. miles) or more, and then injure something, which puts me
out of commission for long enough that I have to start over (I've always
been a slow healer). Perhaps I'm increasing mileage too fast, or not
carefully enough? I'm really frustrated because long distance running
is one of the most enjoyable things for me, and I'd really like to be
able to get to marathon distances, but my body just never f$#^&*g
All the magazines I've read, etc., nobody wants to give any specific
numbers on what is a reasonable program - how about if I phrase it this
way: at what rate do most people increase their mileage?
Thanks. Great site, by the way.
Paul - this is an interesting question. Naturally the answer is that it depends. While this is not of much use to you on the surface, in truth, you have to take your history into consideration, and respect your limits. I woiuld venture to suggest that the knee trouble you are having is biomechanical in nature, and would respond to orthotics. Perhaps the other injuries you describe are too, (plantar fasciitis and the groin injury for example).
My suggstion is that rather than increase your mileage, you increase the intensity of your training first. Try introducing several variables into your training - speed, stride length, hills, track work, acceleration/deceleration, etc.
After a while (about 8 weeks) you will find that you can add mileage. When you do, add a little at a time - (half a mile every other week) - if you proceed on a gradient like this, it will be easier to add mileage over time.