Ever since running the Nike Women’s Half Marathon San Francisco much better than expected, I have been starting to write more about running. I wrote about 4 Reasons Why I Suffered from Hip Overuse Injury and The Path To Recovery From My Hip Overuse Injury.
However, I mentioned that I still have a lot of work to do to be 100% back to normal from my hip overuse. Today I am going to talk about some of the habits that I am going to incorporate to get to that point.
Sitting all day for work can really impact how poorly my hips feel so I have been trying to stand as much as possible. I try to find the tall tables if I work in coffee shops or use a make-shift standing desk of shipping boxes. I might not stand all day but alternating with sitting really helps.
My hips actually feel better when I move and exercise. I try to have two good sessions of movement a day. I try to go to one class a day and sometimes try to incorporate a short run too. If I can’t run, I try to walk a little farther than I would or do some stretching at home.
Foam Rolling and Lacrosse Ball
The lacrosse ball is one of my favorite tools to roll on because it really can dig into my hips and piriformis. I also love using the foam roller for my calf muscles, IT bands and shoulders.
Transitioning to a minimalist running form has helped reduce the impact on my hips. I used to have issues getting in 3 miles without stabbing hip pain. Now I can run up to 8 miles. I have to be careful not to increase my mileage or speed too fast because I have noticed that if I do so, my form gets sacrificed and I experience some aches and pains in my feet and hips. Form is so important with minimalist running because you could get really hurt if you do it wrong.
Consistency Not Speed
Although my ultimate dream goal is to run the men’s Boston Marathon qualifying time of 3:05, I need to work on running consistently and pain free first. A good running base and strong body to prevent injury is my number one priority right now. Please note…I know this goal might be completely unreasonable for me, but I like to have a”big, hairy, audacious goal” to aim for. It makes me work harder and smarter!
Fitness Classes and Cross-Training
Fitness classes and cross-training have helped me build up strength in my body so that I can return to running. Classes also help me prevent building up mileage too fast because I can still get in a good workout but not with the impact. I bet that I might have had a chance to find a PT to help me with building strength, but fitness classes were a better environment for me and more motivating.
When you exercise a lot, it is important to fuel your body properly so that you can keep going. I think with an injury, it can be even more important. I have quite the sweet tooth, so I might be trying to monitor that a little more.
Setting Realistic Expectations
If I get to the point that I feel comfortable to register for my first marathon back, I can’t expect to get the times I used to or even the first marathon time I got. I need to be happy with being able to run and aim to finish the race. I know that I will secretly have a goal of an unrealistic time, but I will need to remind myself that it is more important to finish injury-free than finish fast and get injured again.