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Rebuilding the Support Frame and Visiting an Old Friend

“So you have to get used to your circumstances, complain about them as little as possible, and grasp whatever advantage they have to offer: no condition is so bitter that a stable mind cannot find some consolation in it.” – Lucius Seneca

As someone that really, really enjoys the ultra distance, it had been roller-coaster year of knee tweak management/recovery. After successfully testing the left knee (currently 90-95%) at the Bandera 25 km in early January, it is quite tempting to start cranking up the miles. Instead I have decided to journey down a different path and explore where this new trail leads.

Skill Building

In endurance sports we often hear about the engine. Build the engine. Build the engine. Well a powerful endurance engine is only as good as the frame supporting it. If the structural integrity goes to crap, that high powered efficient running motor can be quickly reduced to a clunker in need of a tow. My frame needs some work!

I would love to be able to simply run, run, run. This approach has yet to work for me. I breakdown. I become fragile. I get injured.

Instead of moving down a known path that has a fairly repeatable destination (tweakage), I have decided to take a right where I would normally go left. Over the past 6-ish weeks it has been plenty uncomfortable and awkward at times. A growth opportunity? Umm, yep…and that excites me (although it has taken a while).

I am currently doing various forms of strength work four times a week. Knocked out some squats for the first time in 7+ years. Now that’s a sight that may create a few giggles. I am embracing it and going after it…even if it is only the bar. 😉 Ya gotta start somewhere right?

My running has mainly consisted of shorter quality workouts done with emphasis on maintaining good (working on that) running form. This may include 200 meter repeats and 7-10 mile moderate effort runs. Mileage is currently under 20 miles per week.

And the truth is…I am really enjoying the process.

“Insanity: Doing the same things over and over again and expecting different results” – Albert Einstein

Will this new training approach create the structural integrity I desire? Honestly, I do not know yet…but I do know where I have been and that hasn’t work for me. It has taken me six months to truly commit to this new approach.  Somewhere in all this, FEAR has kept me from exploring, changing, growing.

“If you want to be rid of all anxiety, suppose that anything you are afraid of happening is going to happen in any case, then mentally calculate all the evil involved in it and appraise your own fear: you will undoubtedly come to realize that what you fear is either not great or not long lasting.” – Lucius Seneca

I’m in. I’m all in and committed to exploring the challenges, vistas, and growth opportunities of this new training path.

Biggest observations so far:

  • Wake up call – I have found plenty of sleeping muscles that have been reawakened. It is kind of cool to have that “I can tell I worked those muscles” feel.
  • 10k OK – In the past, the 10 km has been my least favorite distance due to the amount of  red-lining effort possible for most of it.  I have had a few hard 10 km efforts in my training and have developed an acceptance with the extended discomfort. This may be useful come ultra time.
  • 175 bpm – A heart rate above 175 bpm means I better be close to the end of the run or I better not hold it for long else I begin to run backwards (not pretty but may be entertaining).

Back to Cross Timbers

This weekend, Team Hanenburg is heading up for the Cross Timbers trail run (half marathon). That last time I ran at this event was 2008 (race report – part 1, part 2).  I am stoked to get back on the varied rooty goodness along the southern shores of Lake Texoma.

Similar to 2008, it also looks like everyone is going to experience another spectacular sunrise early Saturday morning but this time temps are going to be 30 degree warmer.

Hope to see some of you there.

Let’s run!

Be active – Feel the buzz!

David –

(Photos: Courtesy of estimmel and anemoneprojectors)

About the author

David Hanenburg David Hanenburg is the passionate dirt-lovin' creator of Endurance Buzz and has been playing in the endurance sports world since 2000 after knockin' the dust off of his Trek 950 hardtail thanks to a friend asking to go ride some local dirt. In 2007 he ran his first ultra on the trails and fell in love with the sport and its people. For more information on David's endurance sports journey, check out the About page.

4 Responses to “Rebuilding the Support Frame and Visiting an Old Friend”

  1. on 16 Feb 2011 at 6:08 pm Harold Neiper

    I know what you mean. This year I incorporated strength training (core and compound movements), some plyo, and finally some cycling. Fortunately I made it through the year without injury. Not to say that was the only reason but I am betting it helped. I think too the other factor your mentioned – form – had to do with it too. Anyhow, the point being I didn’t do that before and managed to stay injured often enough. So I think in the end it contributed a lot to keeping me on the go for the last 14mths now. Good luck with the new additions – sometimes starting over with weights can be a painful experience 😉 however rewarding it might be in the end.

  2. on 16 Feb 2011 at 7:27 pm Michael

    I don’t do a huge amount of cross training but do some leg squats with smaller weight amounts (hold one barbell in each hand) but a much larger number of reps for each set. My thinking is that it mimics running more than doing large weight amounts with smaller reps. Who knows the real answer? But I did think it help me recently. Good luck with your run this weekend.

  3. on 16 Feb 2011 at 8:56 pm Greg L

    I’m inspired to (maybe) try some of that myself, since being hit with the dreaded PF. I’m swimming and biking for now. Hope to get back on the trail soon. Good luck at CT half!

  4. on 17 Feb 2011 at 8:23 pm David Hanenburg

    Hey Harold – Thanks for sharing your journey. You are getting the results you want (injury free), you must be doing something right. 🙂

    Hey Michael – Great to hear the cross training has helped you. I am leaning towards a moderate amount of weight (relatively speaking). This is not an answer either. 🙂

    Hey Greg – Good luck with the PF issue.

    Cross Timbers is going to be leg burnin’ fun! Thanks guys. 🙂