As a runner, there is nothing more important than avoiding injuries. The easiest and best way to avoid injuries; prevent them, and consistency is the main ingredient needed in prevention. I'm writing this the night before my Sunday morning longish run. This year I'm averaging 5.5 run days per week, and have noticed a huge difference in my running. I mean look at this past month alone. You'll notice I take every Saturday off; I have two young children (5 and 2 in August), so I always make that day running free.
Let's compare that to last year which was only 4 run days per week. Last year I had a bad Achilles problem that reared it's ugly head twice, and derailed me for a number of weeks. I tried too hard last year in my build up to the Tely 10 and ignored the first issue with my heel. I had orginally blamed the hot weather (which still didn't help) on my performance, but I limped away from the finish line and know that was my issue. In October of last year I ran the Cape to Cabot 20km road race and finished second, however during my cool down, I noticed the issue again. Since then I have been consistent with my running, getting out as often as I can, and always having a longish run every week. I had a late evening work out with 5km at 5k race pace last week, and nailed my fastest time over that distance, and I owe it all to being consistent. I'd run a 5k earlier in the year, but it was only 3 weeks after I had surgery on my neck, so all things considered I was happy with running 17:30, and know that I can go faster. Also, I ran a half marathon back in May, and finished second but was 2 minutes behind the time I was shooting for. Again I'm happy considering I was by myself, and the only person ahead of me was Olympian Abel Kirui, so I wasn't chasing him, and wasn't worried about my time, I just ran an easy race and held my lead over third.
I have two races coming up next month, and I can't wait to see how this helps my racing times. There was a race today that I have completed in the last two years, and I want to give a shout out to a couple of runners. I won this race last year, and have to say its great fun, and the whole community helps to pull off the event, and the only reason I didn't go this year, is that it's hard to mobilize two young children for a 90 minute drive early in the morning.
First of all big shout out to David Freake for taking the win today in a blazing 24:07 to establish a new course record. Secondly to my buddy Mark Hayward who is working his way back into racing form from a big break, who blew away the time he was shooting for by over a minute. He's quickly hauling himself back into race shape, and letting everyone know he isn't going anywhere.
I'm building a great routine here this summer, and can't wait to continue it through past the Tely 10, and work up to the STWM in October.
EDIT: I realized yesterday that I didn't explain consistency correctly in regards to my running. Last year I averaged 4 run days per week, but sometimes I was running 3, then 6, 5, and so forth. This year I committed to 4 or 5 runs for the first two months of the year, then I consistency started running 5 days a week, and now I'm at 6 days a week. I made sure I ran the same days to create a routine for myself, and it has helped greatly, hence being able to run 6 days a week and no issues. Consistency is about routine (which I am all about with two young children), whether you're running 3, 4, or 5 days a week, or whatever number. Get into a routine and consistency will be the norm.