Hey, I’m Shelley from Miami Physio and Lakelands Physio, and here’s my confessions regarding what not to do when you are challenged to run/walk 100km in 1 month!
In January, this year my friends came up with a 100km run/walk challenge for the month. The idea was to maintain and improve our fitness in between netball seasons.
Now at this point I was running 5km per week, walking maybe once, and playing netball once a week. But my competitive nature kicked in, so I jumped right in! 100km works out to be 25km per week, or 3.57km per day – or 5km 5x per week. Hmmm. My rough plan was run 5km 3 times per week, and go for a longer walk.
As a physio, we recommend increasing your average running program by no more than 30% per week. And this depends on your total weekly running distance. So, if you normally run less than 20km per week, you can generally safely increase by 30% of your total distance. But if you run much longer distances, then 10% is a good guide. Also, we recommend you either increase your distance, or your pace, or the difficulty – pick only one!
Did I follow my own advice? Nope!
So a couple of weeks in and my groin pain flared up, my feet were hurting, my left knee was niggling and although my left achilles was holding in there, my right achilles was sore.
I had to work hard to improve my intrinsic foot muscles – wearing these bad boy toe spacers around the house, I added my adductor (groin) and glute strengthening exercises in again, and kept going with my calf strengthening.
The good news – I got there! 100km completed in 1 month.
The lessons learnt?
- It’s much better to follow the best evidence in sports medicine and stick to a maximum 30% increase in your distance/training load. This will give you the best chance of reaching your goal without all the injuries.
- Strength is important. Training your muscles and tendons to be able to cope with your training load will protect them, and bonus make you better at your chosen sport.
If you’re like me, and you’ve overdone it and got some niggling injuries – come see us and we’ll help you strengthen and correct any training issues, and get on top of those injuries.