Dot to Trot

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5K Training: Back To Square One

My goal is to run in 4 5Ks this year. But with my knee, how hard can I push myself? Image courtesy of Sura Nualpradid and

My goal is to run in four 5Ks this year. But with my knee, how hard can I push myself? Image courtesy of Sura Nualpradid and

This week I tested my knee with some running. Nothing major. I broke out my Easy 5K app and started at the beginning. All the training I did before my knee injury is out the window. The name of the game is graded return – working below my break point, resting a day between runs and only increasing intensity when it’s comfortable.

To help me heal, I’m doing leg extensions and yoga on my weight training days. Leg extensions are great for strengthening the ligaments and tendons around my knee. Yoga helps with strength and balance. I just need to be careful as certain positions need more flexibility than I’m capable of now.

Easy 5K Training
My running app is pretty easy to follow. Run 3 days a week with a day off in between to rest. I wrap up my first week of training on Friday. I changed up my interval pace from 20/40 (20 second run/40 second walk) to 10/50. The last thing I want to do is reinjure my knee. Nice and easy is the plan.

I’m not setting any land speed records, but my knee feels good as I head into my last day of training for the week. I did have minor swelling and stiffness this morning so I applied ice after my morning stretches. Later today I’m taking the dogs for a short walk followed by more ice.

Tempering Expectations
Last year the Brambelton 5K was my first race. When I crossed that finish line I decided that in 2014 I’d do it again but as a runner, not a walker. So here I am 24 days away from race day and Monday was my first interval run in 3 months.

So it’s time to temper my expectations.

I’m basically rebooting my training. My Easy 5K app is a 6-week program. Race day hits at the end of week 4. Hmmmm…my knee injury happened during week 4. Are the Running Gods trying to tell me something?

I know 24 days is not enough time to train. I’m still doing Brambelton, but I’ll use it for interval training.

My first thought was to set my sights on another 5K. I like the idea of having a date to work towards. But I don’t know if that’s the smart move now. I’m worried that I’ll focus on a date, push myself too hard, and screw up my knee again.  Yet I’m worried that my fear will become an excuse to take it easy during my workouts.

Oh crap! It’s like I’m trapped in a Matrix logic puzzle, just without the black patent leather.


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4 thoughts on “5K Training: Back To Square One

  1. toboldlygoandmakeitso on said:

    I injured my ankle/toe a while back and couldn’t run for a while, which was infuriating, but while I couldn’t run, I used an elliptical machine (the ones with the moving arms too). Although to me it’s not as enjoyable because I love being outside, it was at least something that I could get a good cardio workout with. The one we had was borrowed so we don’t have it anymore, and now that it’s gone I see all kinds of good for it. Like exercising when it’s cold or too dark; alas, now I have to work around all that. Also it’s better for your joints because it’s easier on them (makes sense since your feet don’t leave the ground) compared to running. I wish the best for you as you prepare for your race!

    • Thanks! My knee injury kept me off the elliptical (per my doc) but I could still do my spin class. But even that I gave up for a few weeks to give my knee a good rest. Hopefully I’m done with injuries for a while.

  2. Mandy on said:

    Thank you for this post! I needed inspiration. I’ve wanted for months to get back to light jogging and I think that 5K app might be the ticket! Good luck and be careful now 🙂

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