It was about 35 degrees today as I set out for a slow run with a friend of mine. I am not one for running in the cold but as part of my running plans for 2009 I will need to adjust my attitude about running in the cold. First of all, once you get going and when the sun is on you, the run is quite enjoyable. Second of all, I learned first hand that when we train on treadmills in the winter it is important to incorporate running on pavement at least twice a week. The reason for this is that running on a treadmill is indeed better for us because the machine offers more shock absorbtion. Unfortunately, we can do too much of a good thing. I noticed last year that when I trained for my half marathon primarily on a treadmill that when it came time to race on the pavement my body was not accostumed to the pavement and therefore my muscles did not do a good job at protecting my joints against the rigidity of the pavement. As a result, I believe I developed my Plantar Fasciatis and potential hamstring tears as a result of my body being “out of street running shape.” While I ran my half and other races last year just fine, I believe my injuries last year came not from being out of condition but from not giving my body time to adjust to pavement. My muscles had to work very hard to absorb the shock of the pavement and my injuries developed very slowly over time.
So you live and you learn – I am going to change my training plan to incorporate more street running this winter no matter how cold it might be. I finally went out and bought the right clothes so I don’t have any excuses.
Happy New Year!