I hate running. Have I mentioned this before? My knees ache for the first five hundred meters, and remind me for the next week. My gut knots after a lap and a half of the block. My right shoulder starts to throb in the home stretch. Notwithstanding that, I have signed up for yet another Warrior Dash, my third, so that means that I have to, uh, Dash. Only five kilometers, but that is about 4500 meters farther than I am really comfortable running.
This time I have a new strategy: the How-Do-I-Minimize-the-Pain-While-Dashing Plan. My first assignment is to call in all the expert advice that I can gather. I put the knee question first to my truly outstanding chiropractor, a runner himself and a track coach to boot. This is what he said:
Squats. Lunges. Step-ups. No running any significant distance for 3-4 weeks.
Say again? No running? Oh happy day! That is the best running training plan ever!
“And no weight. Lots of reps. Your own body weight only.” That’s a bit of a change, but I can deal with it: I may feel a little, um, empty-handed doing squats and lunges with no weights in my hands, but no worries, I’ll adapt. Who knows, maybe my lower back will stop complaining (uh, that might have to do with posture, dear, lesson for another day.)
“You have to build up the strength in your thighs in order to minimize your knee pain. Also, make sure you are taking glucosamine.”
“And make sure you use the foam roller on your IT bands.”
Ouch, but okay. I usually refer to the foam roller as an instrument of torture, self-inflicted torture.
And so I have begun my odyssey again. Interval training three times a week, taking it easy, if such a thing is possible. Easy cardio in between to help work out the lactic acid and to build a little lung capacity (because holy smokes, my heart rate recovery rate rates lousy at the moment). Maybe a few simple sets of lunges and squats on a daily basis.
And this: Protect my knees and be really happy that I’m not running! Remember last week’s promise and listen to my squeaky knees. Give them a break when they tell me enough already!