2014…..

Last night we celebrated the approval of another new year coming. Looking briefly back at the year 2014 though and for me it was a year of disappointment with my running effort but a year that I changed a lot in my running life to try and make the next year and years better.

My year started with my goal of running a sub 3 marathon, I had a couple of marathons on my radar and a plan to achieve that illusive goal. Before the year had really started though I injured my calf muscle again and needed to get this right before I achieved any running goal. I went to a couple of Physiotherapists and spent time not running and trying to rehab my calf. On two occasions I thought my calf was right only to return to light running and injure the calf.

I had a holiday to Seoul, Korea with my family booked in May/June and entered a 10km road race while I was there. On the first Sunday of June I did the cnewsmarathon.com 10km event in Seoul, underprepared I ran 41:30 min and finished just inside the top 30 in oppressive heat on a pretty good course on the side of the Han River. This was to be my only race of 2014.

When I returned to Australia I knew it was time to fix this calf once and for all. I consulted a friend of mine who developed a strength and conditioning program for me. I decided to give up on 2014 and follow this program. I did the strength program three time a week in my local gym and spent the rest of my time cross training. Swimming, pool running, skipping and bike riding. All these things combined with the effects of the strength and conditioning program have made my body stronger.

Also included in the program I followed were pose method running drills, I do these twice a week to improve my running form. All these things have made me stronger and better equipped for running. Overall I spent three months away from running concentrating on getting my body ready to run and then slowly reintroduced running.

Since returning to running I have not had problems with the calf. I try to ice both my legs after any longer runs, I use the foam roller as often as I can to iron out the kinks. I am now starting to run longer distances and have felt ready to look at new goals for the new year.

I recently took the opportunity to enter my first race of 2015, I entered the Six Foot Track Marathon in the Blue Mountains of Australia in March 14th 2015. 45km of tough trails through this iconic area of Australia. It’s a race that has been around a long time on the Australian ultra calendar and one that still holds a lot mystique to many runners. It’s a race I feel may push the boundaries of whether I can prepare for a hard race and not get injured but it’s a race I needed to do to challenge my rehab also. I have spent six months getting my body ready, I now need to challenge and test the rehab and my own discipline and commitment.

Although 2014 was not a year I will remember for my running performances. It is the year I changed my approach, embraced a strength and weights program and I start 2015 a much stronger runner then I started the previous year.

Last week my long run was 24km with a solid elevation gain. This was my longest run of 2014.I saved my best for last. Looking forward to more challenges in 2015.

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