The November 2009 Running Times had an interesting article called "The What Went Wrong Log" by Greg McMillan about looking at the 21 days of training before a bad race or an injury. I initially figured I would not go through the exercise since my injury was the result of me falling off of a curb. But after talking to Coach Dean about this article and how I wondered if my injury could be result of being tired or overtraining, he thought it would be a great idea. I remember reading once that even sprained ankles are a result of overtraining and when the athlete gets tired and over trained injuries are prone to happen. I don’t think my injury is related to overtraining since I was only running 4 days a week and this was my second week of hitting 40 for a weekly mileage. It’s not like I jumped up that high (although I did ignore the 10% rule the week before).
I build my own running schedules so this is good feedback for me with my training. And actually I can use this process on a good race too and look for patterns that will help with my future performances. Let me state at this point, I have NOT completed this exercise and don’t know what the outcome is. I’m worried that I will tie it back to something I did or didn’t do right and give myself a reason to take out the mental baseball bat and beat myself up. I’ve already taking a bruising (physical and mental) that this injury did occur, I don’t know if I really want to know the answer if it was chance or if could have been prevented.
This post will go over the process I took and the next post will analyze the data (like I know what I’m looking for).
Step one according to the article is to write down on a piece of paper 1 -21. This represents the 3 weeks before the day of the bad race or the injury. The numbers need to be written down as a column and not in week format because you’re body only knows what was done the day before and doesn’t recognize starting a new week. We may mentally say it’s a new week but the body only knows the day(s) before. In my case, since I’m geeky like this, I put it into a spreadsheet. I also did 22 days with day 22 being the day of the face fall. This way I could also capture my long run which occurred 21 days before.
Labeling the days down and the dates next to it I labeled across the top I put activity, miles, pace, runner information and personal information. I have all the data numbers since mileage and pace is something I always keep track of. What I don’t have, unless I blogged about it is how I felt, the weather conditions, sleep deprivation, diet, etc. The article says it's a good idea to include weather conditions, cold weather, wind, hilly terrain, etc, in to your running log. These types of items are what I labeled as runner information. Personal information are events that occurred personally that may play a factor. Once again unless something really sticks out in my mind, I don't keep track of the personal items.
The next step using my Buckeyeoutdoors running log, I filled out the activity, mileage and pace. I filled in runner information where possible. After that I looked through my blogs to find other relevant information.
Awarenesses up to this point:
- When I start up my training again I’ll at least keep track of resting heart rate.
- My nutrition was not a factor since I was very good with that
- Being tired was a consistent item
- Stressors on the personal side are a lot
Part Two- Next step identifying particularly stressful training days