I began running shortly after graduating from high school. Running became my way of maintaining my health and physical fitness. It was also my way to manage stress. Whether I was going out for a long run to enjoy the scenery and fresh air or going out for a run to see how fast of a time I could get, I always enjoyed every run. After many years of running and very few minor pains it started catching up to me.
This past summer, I experienced my first true running injury which absolutely derailed my entire marathon training. I had to take nearly five weeks off from running for my injury to heal. Many of you would probably not think of this as a big deal but if you are a runner like me you know how difficult it is not be able to run. In that moment, I decided to change my running plan. I always had the mentality that running was about how many days a week I could run or how many miles I could log each week. It was an internal competition for me to strive for more each week. I was doing it all wrong.
I changed my running plan to simply focus on quality runs instead of quantity and duration. I began running three days a week and added in two days of cross training to give my joints a rest. I also made it a priority to focus on strengthening my legs. I began this program 7 months ago and have prevented any further injuries thus far. My legs feel fresher on each run and my speed is improving. I'm getting faster and feeling better.
Running is much more enjoyable if you can do it pain free.