Scotiabank Toronto Waterfront Marathon is only a few days away. Already, I hear chatter about people that are bailing or changing their running strategy due to injury or health. It sucks and it’s hard and it’s very depressing. All runners go through these emotions when they’re injured. I can sympathize with their travails, I’ve been there and I remember how hard it hit me.

Since my injury last year, I took a good hard look at my training regimen and I actively decided to change how I run.

First and foremost, I slowed down. Being a competitive person meant that I always strained to run faster. I use the word strained purposely because ultimately you are straining your body if you run outside of your comfort zone too often. I ended up going to physio for a year and I really learned the value of stretching.

Stretching – I know that everyone stresses how important stretching is so I’ll just add my voice to the pile. Stretching is the difference between injury and activity. I can’t be more blunt than that.

Cross-Training – I define cross-training as any exercise that compliments your primary by working different muscle groups. For example, as a runner, my cross-training exercises include yoga, punching, climbing, paddling etc.

All in all, I’ve become a more consistent runner albeit a considerably slower runner. My chip time is irrelevant now because no matter how fast I go, I will never be an elite runner.

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