Monday, 12 May 2008

Dealing with adversity

So after 6 months of hard training, was at the best I have ever been then my running goes of the rails with a calf injury. Not sure why as it was a low volume running week but may have been the accumulation of fatigue with too much top end work. Not run for 10 days and starting to wonder what will happen come race day.

So how do I deal with it?

Look at the positives. The swimming and the running are the best they have ever been. Swimming marginally so but the biking feels great, which makes for a good first 7 hours or so of the race.

Accept what is done is done. There is nothing I can do now that will change what has happened and I should recognise that I have learnt something about my training and try to avoid the same scenario next time. With acceptance then comes the ability to try and look for solutions and ways of rationalising what has happened. It is important to examine what lead to the failure so that I do not repeat the same mistakes (injuries are failures of training in the same way that accidents are never the result of divine fate but the result of a number of smaller incidents that were potentially avoidable).

So what for Lanzarote? Firstly got to remember I do this for fun and if I am risking serious injury come run time then it may be a long walk or DNF. Secondly focus on nailing the swim and the bike and seeing how good I can feel as I head out for the run. Third believe that come race day it will be OK, I have done lots of run training, I will have had a long run taper, it will work. Strong mental visualisation of success and easy running are important to me in my preparation. I do the same for work and it seems to benefit me by finding the extra edge in race performance.

Finally remember that it will be a great place for a holiday with the rest of my family, and that there is always next year.


Tom said...

Hi mate,

You've done the work and if anything the extended run taper is likely to help on the day.

Ten days before this year's London marathon I picked up a knee injury from a new pair of trainers and at one point was struggling to walk properly... Fortunately I'd done the training by that point (as you have) and a few days of no running with plenty of cycling saw me have the race of my life (as you will).

Stay focused and keep believing,


Jevon said...

Echo of Tom.

Do what you can, G. But don't mess yourself up. It's not worth that.

Have you had treatment? I've had terrible calf scenarios this year and my sports physio has sorted them every time.

Painful but worth it.


TriExpert said...

Does your leg permit you to do "deep water running?" (I recognize that calf problems sometimes don't.) A good web resource about it (though it centers on a 9 week program) is:

I entirely agree with Tom's point. US distance runners of a certain age, such as I, will recall Joan Benoit had knee surgery 17 days before the 1984 Olympic women's marathon Trials. Didn't run a step before race morning and still eked out the victory.

She did all right in the Big Show later that summer, too ;)

One cautionary note: in her cross training (chiefly biking, I believe) before the Trials, she developed a compensation injury in her hamstring.

Good luck and keep us posted!