With a change in season come a change in my approach to training. The onset of shin splints has hampered my ability to keep moving, so I have made some changes to keep putting one foot in front of the other.
I noticed that I experienced no problems doing my speedwork at the Hamilton Harriers. Short spurts of running, followed by walking recovery didn’t trigger the shin splints. This made me think – could I apply this to my other run sessions, too?
So, I tried it and found that I can run pain free with regular walk breaks. For the past fortnight, I have been doing this, and have been completing sessions of up to forty minutes. I have been approaching each sessions the same way I would if I was running all the way. Tuesday night is faster paced, Thursday night is a steady pace and Sunday is slow pace.
As well as keeping me moving and motivated, I have also noticed a couple of other benefits. Firstly, I am moving faster during when running for the same amount of perceived effort. Secondly, I am feeling a lot fresher after each session. It is good to know I have had a good workout without being wiped out afterwards. I am hoping this is a sign of my fitness increasing and will continue when I return to running without walk breaks.
I have also made changes to my gym sessions. At the moment, I may not be able to consistently do two sessions a week. Therefore, I am doing a full body workout at each session, and alternating between a dumbbell workout and a body weight workout. This is keeping me on my toes in the gym, as I am doing some new or underused exercises, and am working to build up my weights and technique.
Moving forward, I am aiming to be able to run three miles pain free by the end of the year. This is not far compared to my runs earlier in the year, but I am focussing on being consistent and healthy! I have my eye on a few shorter races (i.e. 5km and 10km) for next year, but I won’t be entering them until I’m confident I will be fit enough to take part.
For the time being, I am enjoying being outdoors regularly and keeping my legs moving. Fingers crossed for more improvements in the coming weeks!