The only way I’m going to avoid injury is to sit perfectly still. #running

[Workout – 6 x 1/2 mile progressive intervals 3:26.9 and faster]

Index card with treadmill speed by mileage marks

I’ve been pitying myself the last couple of weeks.

On February 3, I finished off a stupid 26 mile in 24 hours stunt with an attempted tempo run that turned into a slow limp for the last 3 miles.

My first thought:  “Just like last year.  I’ve injured myself and I’ll be sitting out all spring with injury.”

I biked the next day, and still hurt pretty bad.  What was supposed to be a 66 mile running week for me came to a dead stop at day 3 with 34 miles.  My back hurt, and by Friday, I scheduled yet another physical therapy appointment.

I decided to try normal running on Monday, with painful results:  6 miles in 52:57, but tremendous piriformis pain and lower back pain.  The following day, I decided that I would get my 6 miles in, even if I had to walk them all.  After two miles of progressively faster walking, the piriformis felt loose enough to test it running slowly.  No problems.

However, last week, I bailed on my 7:30/mile pace tempo run after 2 miles.  This past Saturday’s run had me feeling pretty incapable as well.

Needless to say, I’ve been building up apprehension about my first set of 1/2 mile intervals.  I took the index card [pictured] from my last progressive 1/2 mile interval session [over 3 weeks ago] to the treadmill.  The last time I attempted this workout, I got through the fourth set before my legs and lungs quit on me.  Surely, I would barely get through the 4 sets because of my injury.

Well, the piriformis hurts a little from the workout, but I got through 6 full 1/2 mile intervals and added an extra .11 [for 5k of intervals] from the seventh interval.  I probably had legs for one or two more 1/2 miles, but I didn’t want to overdo the workout, coming off of a close call with a longer term injury.

While I did have a real injury brewing, my biggest barrier was my fear of injury.

The only way I’m going to avoid injury is to sit perfectly still.

Then, I’ll never risk an injury.  I’ll also never accomplish anything, either.

Intervals (1/2 mile intervals)
Type Distance Time Total Time Pace Avg HR Max HR Notes
Recovery 1 Mi 9:32 9:32 9:32
Interval 0.5 Mi 3:26.9 12:58.9 6:54 8.7 mph
Recovery 0.25 Mi 2:19 15:17.9 9:16
Interval 0.5 Mi 3:24.5 18:42.4 6:49 8.8 mph
Recovery 0.25 Mi 2:18.5 21:00.9 9:14
Interval 0.5 Mi 3:22.2 24:23.1 6:45 8.9 mph
Recovery 0.25 Mi 2:18.5 26:41.6 9:14
Interval 0.5 Mi 3:20 30:01.6 6:40 9.0 mph
Recovery 0.25 Mi 2:18.5 32:20.1 9:14
Interval 0.5 Mi 3:17.8 35:37.9 6:36 9.1 mph
Recovery 0.25 Mi 2:18.5 37:56.4 9:14
Interval 0.5 Mi 3:15.7 41:12.1 6:32 9.2 mph
Recovery 0.25 Mi 2:18.5 43:30.6 9:14
Interval 0.11 Mi 0:42.6 44:13.2 6:28 9.3 mph