It seems I'm back running again. As any runner knows injuries can be part of the game and while plantar fasciitis wasn't a particularly dramatic injury it certainly has proven to be persistent and annoying. I'd like to avoid it returning. So with that in mind I've set aside competitive running goals this year as I know that as soon as I have one a rigorous training plan will crop up. Training plans aren't something I have a hard time committing too. In fact I tend to over commit and that I think will be a recipe for disaster. I figure I need at least a 3 month time span where I run without pain before I can be confident it's truly gone.
So with that in mind I need a plan. Not a training plan but a non training plan. A plan to not train.....this whole dialogue is confusing. But I thought I'd put it in writing to see how it goes for me.
Month One: Nothing over 6km. No more than 3 runs a week. Why 6km? Well I have a short easy favourite route from my house that I like that's 6km so it allows me to do jog a short easy distance. Three times a week with at least one rest day in between should allow my foot to avoid stress and have rest time. As for pace, I don't plan on having one. I'll just run easy and avoid looking at my watch. Whatever pace that happens to be is fine. I doubt I'll be doing any 3:45 kilometers but I imagine depending on the day and whether I'm on a road or trail it'll range from 4:30 to 5:30 per km naturally. *Note: I accomplished this well, and managed to get through that month injury free.
Month Two: If all goes well I'd like to pick up one run a week that's a bit more strenuous. Maybe join some running friends for the usual 11km tempo run or a track workout where I can judge how far to go. No more than once a week. The others I'll keep easy. Again, I managed this well and I'm back running in group workouts & have even picked up cycle group workouts.
Month Three: I'd like to see if I can get it up to two runs a week that are more intense. Probably no long runs yet, nothing over an hour on my feet. And still no more than three runs a week giving me plenty of time to recover. This is where I'm at right now, I still haven't run too far, but did do a 46km walk run at an Ultra event. It was very low impact, I had no soreness and it built confidence I can train a bit more mileage now.
I'll still be cycling, swimming, going to yoga and hitting the gym. I doubt my cardio will fall and I've been feeling some great strength gains recently. In fact I've added about 5 pounds on my frame which feels like muscle. It's a nice change. For certain I'm losing some run specific fitness, but since I have no competitive running goals it's not an issue. I have plenty of time to get back in shape later, maybe when I've moved up an age category.
I'll be doing plenty of foam rolling of my calves and work on foot & glute strength. It feels like a low stress return to running, and I'm looking forward to training for cycling this year and the Gran Fondo.
So this was an incomplete post, but nice for me to look back on where my mind was as I started running again. My training plan for the Gran Fondo and Marathon starts in July. Again, I'll be training to participate, not race. I'll listen to by body and take time off at any sign of foot pain. My next two posts will be about my training strategy in dealing with both a cycling and running event at the same time and about my Run Fitness Assessment that I completed at Peak Centre for Human Performance in March.