This past week was the start of my Melbourne Half-Marathon training. I did easy half-hour runs on Tuesday and Thursday, and I was happy to note that my lower back pain was almost completely gone. On Saturday I had a long, leisurely walk with the Snook. On Sunday, I headed out for a 5-miler. I’ve been reading Jeff Galloway‘s Book on Running and I’m already trying to put a few new things into practice. The big one is speed. My pace on the long runs has been way too fast. My goal pace for the actual race is 10:00/mile, therefore I’m supposed to do my long runs at 12:00/mile (including walk breaks). It seems counterintuitive to slow down now in order to go fast later, but as I understand it, the biggest factor in gaining speed is not getting hurt. I can be patient. The other thing I’m working on is FORM. Galloway gives the helpful mnemonic “CHiPs”: Chest up, Hips forward, and Push off. I think I’m improving, though I still get annoyed when I check myself in shop windows and catch myself leaning forward too much. (Check out this Phedippidations episode for a great discussion about running form.) Anyway, I did my five miles at 12:00 pace pretty easily. The biggest problem I had was my perpetual bugbear – hydration. I thought I’d had enough to drink but the sun was hot and I got parched quickly. I hit every water fountain I could find but still my mouth was dry. I really need to work on that.
Happily, my lower back felt pretty good after the run and I had a great final session with the physiotherapist this morning. My pelvic alignment is rock solid and my core strength is improving. I think I’m pretty much fixed! I actually feel kind of stupid for suffering through so much back pain when all it took was a couple sessions to correct. I can highly recommend Michael over at Peak Physique for any exercise-related injuries.