By Michael Fagone
As many of you know, I have been working on running on the treadmill for a few months now. Running can be pretty tough on the body. I had noticed off and on pain in my left hip. It never bothered me while I was running. It was usually after the fact. I looked online and saw that hip pain is fairly common in people who run. So I pressed on and figured it was just one of those things.
A couple of weeks ago I was working on a distance goal and noticed half way through that my hip was getting sore. Unusual, but I kept on. It seemed to go away so I was pretty relieved. About six minutes away from reaching the goal, it came back in a more intense way. I was unsure what to do. I wanted that goal and I was so close. But I was in pain. I called over to Jason and told him what was going on. He told me to get off the treadmill.
I was frustrated and wondered what this would mean for the week ahead. The day after, my hip was really sore and I knew I was going to have to cut back. Jason and I discussed it and decided I would take the week off from running and stick to the lower impact cardio machines.
I worry constantly how cutting back impacts my calorie burning. So I bumped the resistance up on the other machines to try and compensate for the lesser amount of calories I would be burning.
The problem was, the increased resistances weren’t allowing my body to recover. Which, of course, was the goal of avoiding running for the week.
Even though Jason wanted me off the treadmill for the week, he did allow me to take Trail Mix. I was to keep the incline low and avoid running. When the class started to do some running, I decided I was going to try it. Even though I wasn’t supposed to.
Almost immediately, the pain came back. I wasn’t able to run after all.
I was starting to wonder how long this was going to last. Thankfully, I was entering into my two rest days so I knew I had some time to try and recover. Jason suggested lots of stretching and foam rolling. When I came back after my rest days and met with Jason, we discussed whether or not to try running. I said that I felt better and would like to try. Jason said OK, but told me not to force it. I got on the tread and decided to go for it. I was doing fine for a while. And then, twelve minutes in, the pain came back. I got off the tread and sulked. I was beyond annoyed.
Jason checked in and I told him what happened. When he walked away, I stubbornly went back to the tread and tried again. Again, at twelve minutes, the pain came back. I stopped again.
One would think I learned my lesson at this point. One would think. No. I was resolved to do thirty minutes of cardio so I did the remaining six minutes without much discomfort. When I finished, I told Jason that I would most likely regret my decision the next day.
And I did. I was very sore and was limping to avoid pressure on that hip. Jason said we needed to scale back even more than we did the previous week. Constantly getting the hip to flare up wasn’t going to promote recovery in any way. Running was out again for the week.
On Tuesday, my lower body weights were out and I was only allowed to do the water class with the agreement that I would back off any exercise in the water that was uncomfortable and I would scale back on my jumps. On Wednesday, I was still fairly sore so Jason banished me to the pool to walk for a half hour.
That was torture for me. I am not a hardcore cardio person but I like what I do. The pool walking wasn’t cutting it. But if I am going to work with a trainer, I need to listen to what they tell me. For Jason to only allow me to walk the pool, I KNEW I needed to listen.
These past two weeks have been very challenging for me. I don’t like to scale back. I am always in fear that I will lose momentum or drive or fall off track. But, I needed to respect Jason’s expertise. After all, I am the one asking him for help.
I used to challenge Jason when he would suggest easing up or taking a couple of days off. I thought I could work through it or that he thought I couldn’t handle it. It took me awhile to really hear what he was saying.
Recovery is important to maintain my momentum long term. Jason has told me that he doesn’t want me to get injured or burnt out because long term compliance then becomes a challenging struggle instead of a new, healthier lifestyle.
I am stubborn and determined. My determination has helped me through this process but these past couple of weeks, it was putting my body in jeopardy. If I want to continue running, I am going to have to scale back when my body is telling me it needs a break. And it needs a break.
Jason has said that sometimes less is more. But can I go back to more now?