Saturday, January 12, 2013


I've done a terrible job adhering to my fitness goals over the last couple of weeks. In reflecting upon this, although I'm disappointed with myself, the primary goal is to get back on track. First, a quick recap of where I fell off the wagon.

Over the holidays I did two things that brought back an old, familiar friend-injury. First, the weather forced me to run on a treadmill. Instead of reading up on treadmill running first, I hopped on and assumed that it would be just like running outdoors. It turns out that it isn't quite. It is a lot more repetitive, which leads to repetitive strain injuries. Also, the treadmill that I used was a bit on the small side-which caused me to alter my stride. Between the two I started to experience some mild knee soreness. This would have been acceptable if I hadn't compounded the issue by swimming too much.

After swimming 73 laps over the holiday break, my knee soreness became knee pain. It felt like hyperextension. At first, I thought that it was strictly a result of the treadmill. Only after cutting a later swim short did I realize that I've done even less swimming over the last several years (um, about 25 years) than I have running.

Dedication, it appears, it about exercising exactly the right amount. I've been overdoing it again. I'll slow it down. After some reading and working with a heart rate monitor I've decided to alter my approach to training a bit. I'm going to broaden my cross-training, and cut back on my swimming distance for now. I'll also do only one long run per week, with two 45 minute runs during the week to run high intensity intervals. My aim is to reduce the risk of a repetitive strain injury while building up the muscles that I need in order to complete long endurance races. In short, I'll do less at a much higher intensity. I am also going to beef up my weight lifting and running specific exercises (clam shells and side lifts mostly).

Getting back on the fitness wagon should be relatively straightforward. I just have to convince myself that less is more when it comes to working out. The other problem, though, is that it will burn fewer calories. Watching my diet closely enough will be the next hurdle.