Increase vs. Injury: Running is a balancing act.

Marathon training means logging countless miles over many months. Sure, we get that. It means hours at the gym and on the road. It means bumping up workouts and increasing mileage, perhaps exponentially.

Sounds good, right?

Sure it is … till something starts to hurt.

That’s why marathon training experts insist runners take rest days.


Rest days are easier said than done – particularly early in the marathon mileage building process. Hey, we wanna get rolling!

But no.

If runners don’t rest, we set ourselves up for injuries.

I get it. In fact, I’ve got it. Right now, I have this peroneal tendonitis thing brewing in one ankle. (Hey, every runner’s got something aching or breaking – especially this time of year.) It cropped up last spring, and I rested and worked through it.

But it’s back. It’s sort of become my own personal Achilles heel. 

You see, there was this 5K winter race yesterday. And the road was slippery, with several icy patches. And the field was crowded. And there were lots of hills. And I took a couple of funny (or not-so-funny) steps. I crossed the finish line, clocking in at about 30 seconds more per mile than my usual pace.  I limped in to the results tent.

Ouch. That angry ankle still hurts today.

I went to the gym this morning anyway. And I pounded out five ugly miles on the elliptical before I couldn’t stand it anymore. Actually, I kind of couldn’t stand anymore. So I climbed down and hobbled to the indoor track to walk a few laps and try to stretch it out.

Half a mile. No dice.

The errant ankle still felt pretty dicey and considerably ouchy. It’s warm to the touch. Not a good sign.

Hello, compression socks.

I’m propping that bad boy up at my desk. Did I mention I have a pair of high-energy dogs to jog later today?

Hey, I get that a couple of days off can be an actual investment in my future running potential. It’s just hard to sit out, when personal goals are calling.

Adapted from public domain image

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