Train where you're at
April 2, 2018
By Nick Whitbread
Before I ever started running regularly I would bi-annually be inspired by a Nike commercial to go out and run. The commercial would always be romancing the "work hard", "push", "sweat", side of running. The people in the commercial would always be charging hard towards their goal, succeeding of course and feeling fantastic about it. Then you had me. Someone who didn't run, heading out to try and replicate that. Every time ( both times a year :) ) I would very quickly end up winded, hurting, confused as to why it wan't working and sore the next day. It usually lasted about 20 minutes before I was done for another 6 months.
My challenge was that I wasn't respecting the facts. I didn't run, I wasn't fit and didn't really know what I was doing. I wanted the romantic running commercial and what I got was the crushing reality that I wan't there...yet. A good analogy would be that I was trying to run at Boston Marathon qualifying pace without ever having run a 5k. It would have been more realistic for me to jog slowly for 2-5 minutes and then walk for a minute to recover and then continue to build the jogging interval over time. You never see that in a Nike commercial though because it's not "sexy". We don't want to start at the bottom we want to go straight to the top. It looked so easy in the commercial? Ultimately It left me dissapointed in my fitness and my ability to run. It was a barrier to me starting to run regularly.
Many years later and quite haphazzardly I began to run regularly 1-2Km a day 3-4 times a week and slowly progressed my ability to run longer distances. I dove into learning about running and training and slowly built myself up. Lesson learned, train where you're at... or so I thought.
I just got back from a trip to The Yukon. If you ever have the chance to go do it. Its one of the most beautiful places I have experienced. I love running in the mountains. As soon as I arrived in The Yukon I was instantly in love with the mountains there and they are everywhere. I arrived in the Yukon from Australia where during my stay I had really been focusing on building strength in the gym. I was lifting heavy and barely running. I did less running in an off season that I ever have. I saw great increases in my strength. When it came time to start my training plan for this season I had some trouble getting my legs going again. This is something I haven't experience since I began to run regularly. I was starting again and also still feeling the effects of an injury from last season.
Drop me in the beautiful mountains of The Yukon and all I want to do is run up and down them. So that's exactly what I did. It was amazing. What I failed to recognize again was the facts. I hadn't held onto my running base during the off season and I certainly hadn't been doing any hill work or running up mountains. I had some amazing runs but it only took 4 days or so for me to strain something. I then against my better judgement went to the gym and lifted with the strain. I then went out and did a hard run with the strain the whole time my body having to guard the strain. The next day I could barely walk and I haven't been able to walk or run since. After My years of experience and mistakes I still failed to acknowledge the facts. I had no business charging into the mountains like I did. I allowed My romantic attraction for the mountains to overcome My better judgement and I injured myself. In short, I didn't train where I was at.
We felt like sharing this story might help you all avoid an injury this season. We all love to run. We like to go after challenging goals, it's what makes the pay off worth while. Just remember that "Rome wasn't built in a day"