Dumb Things I did this Weekend

You know how I like to tell you not to overtrain, and to stretch and listen to your body?

Well, over the weekend, I ran 9.8 miles on no training with the longest run I’ve done in the last month being 5 miles.  Don’t do this.  It’s dumb.  You should increase mileage by maybe 10%, maybe 20%, not y’know, 50%.

If you are dumb enough to try increasing your mileage by 50%, you can expect to feel a lot of knee and hip pain, and be generally stiff, useless, and hungry.  Your afternoon trip to Ikea will be cranky instead of fun.  Do not do this.

A few tips for recovery that I have found when I pushed through the pain rather than being sensible and listening to it, and have injured something or just have major soreness:

  • RICE – Rest, Ice, Compression, Elevation.  I put my feet/legs up, ice my knee or hip (or take an ice bath), I wrap the knee in an ace bandage (which I even sleep in, this probably helps the most), and I take it easy.
  • Ice Baths – fill the tub with ice water, put on a hoodie, fix a cup of tea, and climb in. Painful? Yes, but incredibly helpful.
  • NSAIDS – Non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs – Be careful not to take too much of this, because it can hurt your stomach, but if you’ve overdone it on a run, take a couple ibuprofen or an aleve to help relieve the pain and reduce swelling.  Make sure not to eat them on an empty stomach.
  • Protein and carbs – eat carbs to recover your depleated food supply, and get some protein in your system for muscle repair.
  • Hydrate – I’m not sure how it helps, but I’m sure it’s good for you.  Drink plenty of fluids.
  • Yoga
  • Go running again. Take a few days off, but then go out for a short 2-3 mile run to loosen everything up.  Obviously if something hurts, don’t overdo it, but if you are just sore, a little hair of the dog might be good for you.  Stop if it’s too painful.
  • Go see a doctor – if the pain hasn’t gone away for a week, or it’s impeding your ability to walk, and you’ve already tried staying off it, go make sure something isn’t seriously wrong.
But really, the best way to ensure a speedy recovery for long runs is to not overdo it.  The longest run I’ve done in the last month being 5 miles, I should have stepped it up to 7 miles, but not further than that.  I know better than this, but I did it anyway.  (In my defense, I did 8 miles a little over a month ago – but that is not a good defense.)  I’m just hoping I haven’t done any permanent damage and will be recovered and able to run this weekend.
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