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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
What exactly is <i>running by feel</i>? We hear this a lot. Seems to me most of my injuries attack suddenly, without warning. Or maybe I'm just devoid of feeling. <img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="http://www.kickrunners.com/forum/images/smilies/sad.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title="Sad"><br><br>
mill, you first. <img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="http://www.kickrunners.com/forum/images/smilies/smile.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title="Smile">
 

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I am feeling a bit sabotaged myself right now. So I train like crazy and jack my mileage up over 60M/W and I'm fine. Now I'm running every other day, no goals, all miles are easy, weekly mileage mid-20's, and my hip ITB is hurting. What's up with that!?<br><br>
So by feel, I am on my third day off.<br>
CRAig
 

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....I didn't run today......<br><br>
......didn't <i>Feel</i> like it.....<br><br>
.maybe that's what it is.......
 

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Good question, although I don't know why I should be first. But since bossy SS said so, I will try to be first.<br><br>
One aspect of running by feel is knowing how your body feels when you are running at your target pace, and adjusting based on how reality compares with that. IMHO, the two main aspects of "how your body feels" are:
<ol style="list-style-type:decimal;"><li>Breathing. The rate of your breathing is a good indicator of how hard you are working. You can describe your breathing with two numbers, like 4/4, which means four steps while inhaling and four steps while exhaling.</li>
<li>How your legs feel. Do they feel strong and smooth? Are they working hard but comfortable? Are they bathing in lactic acid?</li>
</ol>
Here's a stab at three categories of target pace and how they feel:
<ol style="list-style-type:decimal;"><li>Easy, or aerobic. Breathing is 4/4 or maybe 3/3, legs feel relaxed and smooth.</li>
<li>Tempo, or 10K pace. Breathing is 2/2, legs are working hard but can sustain this effort for an hour or so.</li>
<li>Anaerobic, or 5K pace or faster. Breathing is faster than 2/2, and legs start to feel heavy within a few minutes. It might be hard to keep your upper body relaxed, and you might start to feel nauseous.</li>
</ol>
Another aspect of running by feel is detecting a developing injury. Pain and tight muscles are indicators to watch for. I believe that most chronic injuries (vs traumatic) can be detected before they become disabling. Here are my non-expert ideas about how to monitor your body:
<ol style="list-style-type:decimal;"><li>How do you feel when you first get out of bed? Is anything very tight or painful?</li>
<li>How do you feel during your warmup? Are you feeling better as you get moving? Is anything feeling worse?</li>
<li>Do you have any pain while you are running? Is it getting better, staying the same, or getting worse?</li>
<li>How do you feel a few hours after your run? If you sit for a while, how do you feel when you start moving again?</li>
<li>How do you feel when you are stretching? Is anything unusually tight or sore?</li>
<li>What does a massage or a foam roller reveal? Are there knots or unusually sore areas?</li>
</ol>
We all have things that come and go. I think the key is to watch for things that don't improve over time.<br><br>
Some developing problems can be remedied by strengthening and/or stretching the right muscles. Massage can work wonders too. Good PTs are worth their weight in running shoes.<br><br>
I don't know if this helps anyone else, but it has helped me to organize my thoughts in this way. Thank you, SS.<br><br>
I'm looking forward to everyone's wisdom.<br><br><i>Now that I've blathered on, I am sure I will not be first. I tried.</i>
 

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Millbot isn't even a Master runner yet! <img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="http://www.kickrunners.com/forum/images/smilies/biggrin.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title="Very Happy"><i>But he is sure smaht</i><br><br>
I wish I had taken more time off when my hip first felt tight. Now it feels sore all of the time. <img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="http://www.kickrunners.com/forum/images/smilies/sad.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title="Sad"> I am punishing it by running only every other day.<br>
And only at the pace that feels okay.
 

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I'm not sure if I'm a great example, but here are a couple of things that have seemed to work for me recently.<br><br>
I've been getting medial tibialis (shinsplints, sort of) off and on for the last few months. I've been paying attention to the rhythms of this problem - what, when, how.<br><br>
I backed off to mostly cross training for several days in advance of Saturday's race. I've learned that at least on race day if I start without pain that I can finish the race with at most minor discomfort. That prediction held true. I also somewhat expected the tightness and pain I got the following day, but given my history it seemed like a one-day problem. So I woke up today all fired up about gradually starting real training for the first time in years: all my injuries seemed like they are on the mend, I can't remember the last time that was true.<br><br>
I had roughed out a weekly schedule - how I would get to 30mpw this week, then 35 next. These would be real training running miles vs the 8 hrs of XT and 50mile race that is more my usual week. But my instincts told me not to overcommit emotionally to that plan.<br><br>
So I figured to try 2 miles on the TM today. But first I did my usual 3.8mph 12% walk for an hour which is what I use for crosstraining. Then after loosening up I started to run at an easy 9m/m pace, the shin started to feel a little sore almost immediately and after a couple of minutes it wasn't loosening up, so I pulled the plug right then. 0.17 miles and my run was done.<br><br>
I wonder if the problem may have been partly due to the TM, so I'm going to give it 2 days and then go for a short run around the neighborhood. My previous plan to go to the park and do 6-8 on Wed is on hold until I get some confidence that I'm OK to do it. I want to be able to pull the plug immediately and not a mile or three after I notice the problem.<br><br>
Longwinded answer, but an example of what has helped me: constantly take notes, try all sorts of stuff to see what works or doesn't, and when I have an idea of when I'm causing unacceptable further injury be willing to stop right away - no pride, forget my training plans or expectations.<br><br>
That being said, I'm always running injured, just mostly in ways that don't make whatever it is much worse.
 

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Discussion Starter · #7 ·
millbot, I'm questioning whether I was bossy or a nag in the other thread. I actually don' t like nagging; however, bossiness can be downright fun. <img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="http://www.kickrunners.com/forum/images/smilies/smile.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title="Smile"><br><br>
Is there really an Old Geezer here that doesn't feel creaky first thing in the morning? In the last few months I have either had to massage my PF-y foot or use the Theraband to warm up my calf before getting out of bed. At my age, it just seems to take a while for the legs to warm up first thing.<br><br>
I appreciate your comments, mill. I've never counted breaths; I'll have to try it.<br><br>
I agree about the PT part, although I'd rather not see her quite so often. That's the part I'm just not getting.<br><br>
Ilene, do you have a diagnosis? It may just take a bit of ultrasound, interferential and the right strengthening/stretching exercises. "Sore all the time" does not sound good.
 

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This is good schtuff!<br><br>
Hey, Hippo question please?<br>
When you began to run was the TM still on 12%.<br>
And since I know next to zillch about TMs, is 12% on a TM about the same as a 12% on a hill?<br><br>
Thanks you guys,<br>
jjj
 

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As Ilene points out, you have to consider the source when I say anything about masters' running (I'll be 40 this summer). But what you described are the kinds of things I have in mind as warning signs. There are aches and pains that remind you that you are no longer 25, and then there are signs that you are breaking down.<br><br>
I think that learning the difference is an individual and ongoing process. I have some predictably achy bits that do not seem to get better or worse with rest or running. Certain pains let me know I need to strengthen or stretch something, or maybe replace my shoes. And other pains let me know that I need to rest or go see a medical professional.<br><br>
Sometimes I get it wrong and end up on the disabled list, but I like to think I am a little wiser for each time that happens.
 

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Simply put for me, running by feel is that pace at which I could carry on a conversation without gasping for breath part-way through a sentence. Some days it's faster than easy pace, sometimes it's slower. All my other runs are done at a specific pace, so these conversational runs seem "casual".<br><br>
Of course, I usually run by myself, so I have to carry-on an imaginary conversation with myself. That's surprisingly easy for me... <img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="http://www.kickrunners.com/forum/images/smilies/wink.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title="Wink">
 

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for me, running by <i>feel</i> means several things:<br><br>
1-when I start the run, I go very slow-almost recovery pace-to get the blood flowing and muscles warmed up. I never push myself during this first mile and often make a decision about how far I will run-despite what my 'schedule' says. If I feel overtired, deadlegged, tense or have a pain that isn't just 'warmup discomfort', I change any run with pace to just easy.<br><br>
2-When I do my medLR's, I ease into the fastest easy pace I can handle by feel. No faster/tempo breathing.<br><br>
3-If I feel any unusual discomfort during or after the run, I pay special attention to it. Ice/massage/extra rest. I try to anticipate the next injury and avoid it. Consistency is one big factor in running and may be 'the key'. ITB and PF always let you know they need attention and if they call you-do the right thing.<br><br>
Ilene-if you are punishing your leg by running, you should rest it.<br><br>
SS-I don't think that most injuries creep up on us. Almost always, there was a clue. Too much mileage, too much intensity, not paying attention to a pain that was a warning sign, ignoring a pain that was real rather than soreness. Accidents are often unpredictable, however...<br><br>
Millbot-good stuff.
 

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SS.. In agree with you that some injuries "seem" to just come out of nowhere. I take pretty good notes in my running log for a post mortum. In Jan 06 for example, I was running 70 mpw and feeling strong. I had a good 20 miler Sunday. On Monday I actually wrote in my log:<br><i>"Nice, foggy and warm. Recovery with Tory</i><br><i>Legs felt GREAT!! (both!)"</i><br><br>
On Tuesday, during the second of a planned 4x800m, my leg went "pop" and my hamstring pulled violently. I was out til March and DNS'd Myrtle! I kept thinking about what was different? Was it the rain? did I land a foot wrong during the 800? Was it the recent core stability/yoga type excercises I had started? Did I over stretch my legs and lose their stability? Too much mileage? I'll never know for sure but it has permanently affected me. Now I am paranoid about giving a full effort on a fast race or fast finish at the end of a race. I limit my miles to max low 60's mpw.<br><br>
I had some injuries with clear warning signs like my PF but ran on it anyways. If I had that to do again, I would back off on miles and pace and wear my air cast at night (like a night splint) until first steps in the morning are ok.<br><br>
Running by feel... sometimes my feet will slap while running. This is lack of flexibility in the ankles and maybe strength. This usually happens when I back off on running and start taking days off (like during Taper)... everything tightens up. Consecutive running days with good stretching will usually progress from slappy feet to running like a cat, whisper quiet.<br><br>
A 20 mile long run has MANY times made little sore areas disappear. If something gets worse focus on that.<br><br>
The Stick is useful since if all is ok there is no soreness when it is agressively rolled on the legs. If there is muscle fatigue there will be sore spots. Massaging these til they are gone (may take a few days) before a hard effort is wise.<br><br>
So, running by feel, to me, is the same as "listening to your body".<br>
I still wish warning signs were a little louder <img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="http://www.kickrunners.com/forum/images/smilies/smile.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title="Smile"><br><br><br>
Some wise advise I've heard:<br>
- Do not do the "heroic" efforts during training... save that for a race<br>
(rbbmoose who just did 2:42 marathon at age 47 said he does only 2 hard workouts per week. The rest are easy for his 80 mpw peak training)<br><br>
- Pfitzinger stresses to do the recovery runs at "recovery" effort... my Magical Healing Miles.<br><br>
- If a workout is unusually intense, like a long run at faster than normal pace, re-adjust the week to give full recovery before the next hard workout.<br>
I'll often swap a long tempo run for an interval session if I think anything is at risk. After all, intervals risk/benefit ratio for marathon training is very high... use with caution<br><br>
- Never run speed sessions all out. Pfitzinger recommends 5K pace for intervals 600m to 1600m.<br><br>
Steve
 

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very good stuff, Steve!<br><br>
I thought of some other things today:<br><br>
-I try to <i>feel</i> the ground on my feet. To stay efficient, the stride rate has to be quick enough so you don't scuff your feet on the ground and slow yourself down. If you hear or feel that, quicken the turnover.<br><br>
-If I feel too tired to hold a certain pace, I back off. This is mandatory for base building miles and I can often get in doubles with fewer miles as I'm building the mileage. Too many medLR's and I'm pretty sore. This is probably just my tired, old body, though...<br><br>
-I know that I can push a bit faster up to the point where I've been injured before and then I get careful with intensity/mileage etc...<br><br>
Steve pointed out that it's 'learning to listen to one's body'. I agree and believe that we need to learn what types of workouts we respond best to and which we do not. Find out which are more enjoyable. Learn how much recovery you need after LR's or speed/tempo workouts. It is different for everybody and unique to you.<br><br>
Best,<br>
Dale
 

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Discussion Starter · #14 ·
I'm going to come back here when I have more time, but i just want to thank Steve and Dale for <i>always</i> taking the time to write such great responses about injuries and prevention and the like.<br><br>
Thanks to you, Steve, I leapt into the pool this time around and have enjoyed the pool running.<br><br>
There actually are some positives you can take away during the time you're on the DL. I like to hear about that side of things and it certainly comes through loud and clear from you.
 

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I see plenty of 20-something students with running injuries every year. They get injured just like we do. Maybe more, because they think they are invincible and are not listeniing as well as we are. Aches & pains are not necessarily a function of getting old.<br><br>
I like all the advice in this thread. <img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="http://www.kickrunners.com/forum/images/smilies/smile.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title="Smile">
 

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Running by feel... to me is also the same as listening to your body. My experience is its really hard to do, but you learn over time. Without it, I would not be running at all. I had to mess up by stressing my bronchials lots of time before I learned what running by feel really means. Of course I still stress them sometimes... but now I know why this is happening to me.<br><br>
Breathing - I tend to count my breaths while I'm still warming up, until the breathing feels very natural and I forget about counting breaths. There are a number of feelings I get (or my body tells me) when I am pushing it too hard. But, one has to pay attention to learn the signs. I think every body is different and has different signs. My advice is to start listening to the body. Trial and error.<br><br>
Other body parts - I run every other day when I'm running consistently. The reason is because my feet usually don't like running every day... my arches tend to get numb or tingly if I run too often... so I don't ever do 3 days in a row, and 4 days a week is my max. That is what I've learned works best for me. Always wishing I could do more, but these days I try to respect the body.<br><br>
Enjoy your runs - I think someone pounded that into my brains (hehe). If I keep that in mind, I tend to have less problems, stressing bronchials, hurting feet, etc. But what does it mean, its kinda like a easy run... enjoying every minute of it, not pushing myself to get a certain time or mileage.
 

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....sorry guys//.....I was going for ''Funny'' in my first post....<br>
--------------<br><br>
......good post Rin//......you've been running by ''Feel'' a long time now.....<br><br>
I encourage my Newbies to ''Monitor'' their body parts during a run,<br>
and I focus on foot-strike early in the run,<br>
and integrate the movements with the Breathing during a run....<br><br>
if I'm lucky enough to hit 2nd-Wind during a run,<br>
that's ALL ''Feel''......
 

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Greetings, fellow runners. This thread has collected some good feedback in the Masters Forum, but it seems to fit here in the Side Line. Please add your wisdom.
 

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I appreciate the info on this thread - I seem to be constantly injured or achey or sore.<br><br>
Last year, I ran through shin splints during HM training - so much so that two days before the HM, in constant pain, I finally had to back down and admit I had an injury that just wouldn't allow me to run any further.<br><br>
I've since healed and reinjured and healed and reinjured - but I've begun to learn to accept my pain limitations and not feel pressured to push through pain. I love to run, I want to do it for a long time, not put myself in a position where I can't get back to it after a few weeks off.<br><br>
I'm on a injury cycle right now - I just started a cross-training program today so I can stay fit while I heal for running.<br><br>
Thanks for the advice and information!
 
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