A couple days after I ran my first 20 miler I experienced some ankle pain. With a little over a month left to my first marathon this is not the time to start hurting. In case you’re not in to the whole running thing let’s keep it basic: there’s a couple more weeks of heavy (for me) training followed by some less intense training leading up to the event. Basically pain interrupts more training.
After lots of reading and talking it out with a friend who is a physical therapist I decided to take a full week off. Ice, stretch, rest, repeat. Then ease back into it leading up to a sponsored course run followed by 3 more weeks of training before the event.
Why? Something my friend said hit home. He told me that he sees lots of runners in this spot and lots of them try to push through it, keep training, and end up with a full on injury right before the race; or they don’t rest enough and they get 4 miles in and then have 22+ miles of pain, misery, and regret. He reminded me that I’ve done the long runs. I know that physically I can complete the event. The rest of the training will boost performance if done properly, but I can go the distance.
You know what I noticed after a week off and properly recovering? Going faster is easier. My first couple runs have felt easier but when I check the time at the end, I’m faster. Not much, but I’m still running at a pace that feels easy.
I slowed down, then sped up.
How many times do we need to apply this lesson?
Want improvement in sales numbers? Take the time to improve/learn specific sales skills. After some practice you’ll see a sudden lift in the numbers.
Interested in better personal relationships? Slow down long enough to listen to each other. Really communicate. After some time the relationship will have new depth and life.
It’s really just a variation on the “measure twice, cut once” mentality.
I guess what I learned was that sometimes rest, recovery, and lack of apparent speed can produce improvement. We don’t always have to push as hard as we can to make forward progress. Sometimes slow is the way to go.
Have you ever used/seen that principle at work? Slow down to speed up?