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Saturday, July 21, 2012

Becoming Stronger

We all have periods where we are weak, and when we are weak, we can't handle certain amounts of pressure.  Now as for me and my running, after running the 62 miles, my body became weak because I pushed myself too hard.  Because of the push, after my little break, I wasn't able to run 7 miles without my knee hurting.  It wasn't because I was out of shape or anything, but it was due to the extreme amount of stress I went through when I pushed through 62 miles of running.

For about 3 weeks, I've been focusing on making sure my running form is correct as well as doing strengthening exercises in order to strengthen my knees to be able to support constant running, as well as taking glucosamine chondroitin and calcium supplements to aide my joints.  Finally, today, I was able to see results when I ran a long and easy.  I ran for 1:46:41 running 11.9 miles, an average of 8:57 min/mile.  Although it wasn't one of my fastest longer runs, the fact that I ran 11.9 miles without my knee in pain proved to me that I'm ready to take the next step and little by little, extend that so that I would eventually be able to race longer distances.

Getting stronger doesn't happen in just a day, or a week.  It takes time for an individual to become strong.  As for me, it took a good couple weeks for me to be able to run above ten miles without being in pain.  Making myself stronger and protecting my joints really helped me out.  I plan on continuing running for a long time, and in order to be able to do so, I need to make sure that my body is up to the task.  Should I get to a point where I push myself only on races, then my body is sure to deteriorate.  However, should I train my body and bring myself to a point where I'm pushing only slightly more for a race, then I will continually grow and be able to become even stronger.

Whenever we want to become stronger, it's better to push ourselves one step at a time.  Should we overextend ourselves, we are more likely to fall apart.  In order to get away from that fate, we must make smart decisions and work to slightly push ourselves and continuously grow.  Runners tend to have a number made for them (a 10% increase every week).  If you have a hard time discerning how much you should increase, it's good to go with an existing guideline, however, it's better to follow your body and listen to your body so you would listen and understand how much you need to grow every week.  Look, listen, and grow.

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