Thursday, October 25, 2012

When Should I Run Again?

If you ever watch a local 5k road run or a massive race like the Riverbank run, you may see thousands of runners.  What you will also see is thousands of running forms.  Like fingerprints, gait is a highly unique, individual quality.

A patient or athlete will often ask when they should run again, or how often can they run.  There is no one answer in terms of time that is correct.  A highly trained runner may be able to run everyday for weeks on end before he needs a recovery day.  A new runner may be only able to pull off once a week.  Run before your body has recovered and you are doing more harm then help.

A new rule I have been applying recently with pretty good success is this.  Run only after your inside shins aren't tender.  For example, you run on Monday, post run, you do your cool down and myofascial rolling for the specified muscles.  Tuesday you do your warm up and check the inside of your shins, still not tender, go for another run if that's in your schedule.  Again, post run, you do the post run activities.  Wednesday, warm up and check the inside shins.  This time you notice that the inside of one of your shins is pretty tender.  Guess what, today you cross train or rest.  Post workout or during the day sometime if resting, you do some myofascial rolling.  Thursday, check your shins, feel good.  Go for a run.

I think you get the picture now.  While this is by no way a fool proof plan, it's a pretty decent indicator of how well you are recovering between runs.  The inside shin muscles, tibialis posterior, flexor digitorum and medial soleus, takes a beating during distance running.  When they are healthy, there is a much better chance you will stay healthy.

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