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2837 Views 6 Replies Latest reply: Nov 26, 2013 12:19 PM by markcdavid
AntonD Rookie 2 posts since
Nov 22, 2013
Currently Being Moderated

Nov 22, 2013 10:47 PM

8 Days to Race and Injury

Hello Runners,


This is my first post at I'm running my third 10k on dec1 - (8 days from now). I ran my first 10k last dec and clocked 62 mins. This time I'm aiming under 50 and was confident too 3 weeks ago. But just as i was completing my peak week I was down with posterior shint splints and could not run for the last 8 days. Today I did an easy run for 20 mins, just to take stock and looks like I've recovered well. There was dull ache during the initial 2 mins but was fine after warming up.


As per schedule I was supposed to taper in the coming week leading up to race. However Now I'm thinking that I should do a 60 mins long run tomorrow and an easy run on monday and intervals on hills (8 x 3 mins up fast and run back down slow) and then then taper from wednesday (45 mins comfortable on wed, Rest thursday, Rest Friday - 15 mins easy on satruday  - Sun race.)


This should help me to recover the fitness lost during last 8 days and put me back at least in shape that I was in before the shin splints and also give me some decent time for tapering.


What do you think of the approach ? Would is work or Should I just avoid any serious runs till the race.


Appreciate any inputs. Thank you.



  • shipo Legend 499 posts since
    Aug 9, 2013
    Currently Being Moderated
    1. Nov 23, 2013 5:54 AM (in response to AntonD)
    Re: 8 Days to Race and Injury

    For your target goal of 50 minutes for a 10K I see absolutely zero benefit to any intervals or speed drills; doubly so as those kind of workouts can reaggravate the shin splints.  My advice would be lots of slow miles through Thursday, followed by a couple of short(ish) easy runs to keep loose; nothing more, nothing less.


    FWIW, Thursday I'm going to be running my first 10K in the last 14 years and only my seconds one in the last 23 years, and I too am shooting for a sub 50, and am even hoping for more like 45 minutes (although that may be hoping for too much).  Unlike you, I haven't done anything which could even remotely be considered a speed drill, interval, ladder, or anything else save an occasional 5K race; what I have done is to pile on the miles.  Why?  Because when I was younger I used to mix it up with lots of shorter runs and maybe a long one sprinkled in here or there, and I would invariably get injured; injuries which ran the spectrum, including shin splints.


    As for speed drills, once you've built a base of a thousand miles or more in less than a year AND start knocking on the door to the elite category for your age group, then speed drills may well be worth your time and effort, and with the large base, your chances of injury will be fairly low.


    I know this may not be what you want to hear, but after running off and on for over 40 years, it is the best advice I can give.

    Fat old man PRs:

    • 1-mile (point to point, gravity assist): 5:50
    • 2-mile: 13:49
    • 5K (gravity assist last mile): 21:31
    • 5-Mile: 37:24
    • 10K (first 10K of my Half Marathon): 48:16
    • 10-Mile (first 10 miles of my Half Marathon): 1:17:40
    • Half Marathon: 1:42:13
  • lenzlaw Community Moderator 10,539 posts since
    Jan 18, 2008
    Currently Being Moderated
    2. Nov 23, 2013 9:38 AM (in response to AntonD)
    Re: 8 Days to Race and Injury

    I wouldn't bother with anything long, or do any interval/hills.  As shipo said, there's no benefit.  Maybe the best thing would be to continue resting it until Thursday or Friday.  Also look into KT Tape (or equivalent -  If you're going to run, I would suggest doing a couple relatively short, fast-paced runs, say 3 or at most 4 miles at something approaching tempo pace.  This is pretty much what you should be doing anyway, and it will test your shin to see if you are really recovered.  IF YOU'RE NOT HEALED, skip the race or do it strictly as a slow training or fun run.  You can always go after 50 minutes the next time.


    All of which begs the question of what you've been doing that encourages you to try to cut 12-plus minutes off your 10K time.


    Either way, good luck!


  • markcdavid Amateur 9 posts since
    Jan 17, 2012
    Currently Being Moderated
    3. Nov 23, 2013 12:58 PM (in response to AntonD)
    Re: 8 Days to Race and Injury

    Hi Anton


    Couple of points to consider if i've understood things correctly -

    'detraining' i.e  loss of fitness does NOT happen in days!

    Research shows basically you lose it roughly in inverse to the time it took to build it.

    If you'be been training and building fitness say for months, it takes many weeks to months to lose it.


    How long before you start to lose it? alot of variables but assuming you were training pretty hard upto that point,

    you won't start to lose it for at least 10 days or so. Why? because you take about 8-14days to absorb the training

    you did, and gain from it.


    The body works on a 'dose' - 'response' basis 'dose' the body with training, which actually breaks you down and makes you 'less fit' momentarily.

    Then the body responds in recovery to make you adapt to the last 'dose' .


    So, if you rested 8 days, you infact GAINED fitness, not lost it! ...this is mistake most recreational athelete's make, pushing to too hard all the time because

    they worry they'll lose fitness if they take time off, infact, they never gain much often because their bodies don't get chance to respond (recover) ( this is more true of higher intensity work, endurance work can be  done  more contiously though it  takes maybe longer to see benefits).


    Also note, there is zero point in training hard within 10 days of a race (if you want best performance) because your body wont' have time to respond to that training, all it can do is tear you down, risk injury, and lower performance.


    I note you also mention hill intervals, that is a high risk training method for anybody, because it produces higher forces and unusual mechanics ..often leads to achillees, calf and shin splint issues, it has  its place but i'd  avoid that  for now.


    I would recommend FARTLEK training a couple times in 8 days before this race.  If I want to maintain but not add a 'big dose', then do a fartlek run where you go through all your paces, something like this - >  run 2 miles at your 'long run pace', speed up to 'tempo pace' for another mile, back off to long run pace for 1/2 mile, then back to tempo for 1/2 mile ( now completed 4 miles), then do last 1 mile randomly varying paces, some fast, some at almost sprint, then back off to a 'jog' ( basically intervals)...just like test driving a new car but NEVER getting to point of real fatigue ....your just testing your gears.    5 miles  total.


    Your aim week before race is to 'keep what you have', i'd do one of these 3 days before, then rest, day before maybe 2 mile at long run pace and throw in some 3-5 short strides at end, say 50m at 90% of your max to keep tension in muscle's necessary for fast racing.


    best of luck


  • Greenbelt9 Amateur 12 posts since
    Sep 19, 2010
    Currently Being Moderated
    5. Nov 26, 2013 8:55 AM (in response to AntonD)
    Re: 8 Days to Race and Injury

    I've been in the same situation before and for the benefit of other runners I'd have to say you shouldn't run at all until fully recovered.  I had to skip a race 30 days out with shin splints.  What is the point of doing a race if you're not 100% and risking injury on top of it?  As markcdavid mentioned rest is always good and most people underestimate the value of it and the impact of overtraining. 


    I rested, changed what I was doing wrong (did you figure out what caused the shin splints? Most probably hills, does the race even have hills? Should be avoided), retrained and ran my fastest 10K ever. 


    And for anyone recovering from shin splints I recommend compression socks both while running and during recovery- they work wonders.

  • markcdavid Amateur 9 posts since
    Jan 17, 2012
    Currently Being Moderated
    6. Nov 26, 2013 12:19 PM (in response to Greenbelt9)
    Re: 8 Days to Race and Injury

    Good points Greenbelt9

    I second that, if you in anyway feel the injury, don't race or at least don't push through it ....there is always another race and this will be just a learning experience.

    Same goes for illiness, last year I trained hard for 6 months, then race day I was sick as dog in bed with fever, but my kids/wife had  planned to see my big race.

    I dragged myself around the course, and patted myself on back for it ...but, the rest of my entire race season was shot, I never recovered, its just not worth it!

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