Posted by: ElliptiGO Girl | August 17, 2008

Training: Performance vs injury

I  ran the McConnell’s 5K this morning.  I kind of blew it on my pacing.  As usual. Went out too fast, died at the end.  Was totally impressed by Maggie and Gae – they both know how to run a consistent race – pushing just enough to have that kick left at the finish.  And then, while I’m busy recovering from my ordeal, they go off to run the 10K.  Aarrrgggh!

This week’s race countdown: One down, two to go. 

It’s been a quite a challenge for me to learn how to balance training and racing with potential for injury. I’m still learning.

I get it that I’m not unique here! Every athlete has to deal with that balance, to some degree.  

Obviously, there are many aspects to and benefits from training.  You learn your body at the level it currently is.  You learn how to optimize your performance at that current level: What overall times to aim for, and how to pace each race, given your current level of fitness.  In addition, by training effectively, you should be able to improve your fitness level and hence your performance.  The trick is, going over the line into any injury over-rides many benefits of hard training.  And as we age, seems our bodies require more warm-up, more recovery, and cannot withstand the same demands without going over that line and sustaining some sort of injury.

How inconvenient.  And annoying!  I watch those fit women.  I wonder – could I train more?  What would happen if I upped my weekly milage?  I am so grateful to be able to run this year.  I do notice some worrisome effects afterword – sometimes, after pushing really hard,  my problems act up, and I find I can’t “run” faster than a 12 minute mile – if even that – for several weeks.  Could I be training more effectively? Certainly.  Should I be putting in more mileage?  Maybe. Can I safely train at higher effort levels?  Maybe.

What I realize is that I am not alone in my dilemma. This balance issue is universal. Everyone has a line they need to avoid crossing. Some folks have a generous line, others,  a very tight, rigid line. And as we age the line gets less generous. 

Well – here’s to finding that balance, growing with our bodies as we age, and being able to call ourselves “Runners” with pride – as we learn to work safely and effectively within the limits we are given. . .



  1. Fran, You can certainly call yourself a RUNNER!

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