Dealing With Training Setbacks in Week 2

After a great start to my training, I expected a little pushback to my running training in week 2 last week, but it didn't come from where I expected it to.  I actually started out with a great 2.5 mile walk/run to start out the week, but then it hit me:

Allergies.

As a lifelong allergy sufferer, I had expected my allergies to to go away for the winter.  But being as how I'm currently on a business trip in California, the gorgeous weather out here paved the way for some of my allergies to come back.  And boy did they. 

One of the biggest things that I try to focus on when I'm training runners in my Physical Therapy clinic is pace and breathing; to always remember your breath and to monitor your heart rate as you're running.  So for myself, the fact that my allergies affected my breathing wreaked a bit of havoc with my training last week.  I was only able to fit in one other 1.5 mile walk/run day for the week with no other extra gym training, as my allergies are much worse indoors.  In addition, I think that I just personally run better outside, as the variety of scenery hold my attention better as opposed to running indoors on a treadmill.  Not to say that running on a treadmill isn't possible or useful for me, as I have completed many long runs on the AlterG Anti-Gravity Treadmill in my Physical Therapy clinics with absolutely no excess soreness or pain afterwards, allowing me to go right into treating my patients for the day. 

As the second week wore on, I began to notice that time of day has also affected how much I'm able to run.  I know that a lot of people, my Physical Therapy clients included, stick to early morning runs to start off their day.  However, for myself, as a self-confessed "night-owl", I'm having a tough time adjusting to morning runs, as afternoons are tending to be the best for me at the moment.  As my training progresses over the next two months, I am going to try to slowly move my runs earlier to accommodate for the fact that my race will start in the morning.  Hopefully, with incremental changes, I'll be successful.

As for diet, I kept with the good, solid carbs, starting off everyday with a nice bowl of oatmeal with fruit.  One thing I did add was to take a vegan protein shake with water and berries after each of my runs last week.  I found that my recovery was much better in the morning after. 

With these nice little diet changes and my gains in total mileage for my run/walks, I'm ready to get back to New Jersey and see how I can translate my training to much different conditions!

Dr. James Pumarada is a licensed Physical Therapist (and now marathon runner!) specializing in Vestibular Physical Therapy and Running Physical Therapy with over 17+ years of experience.  He is the co-owner of Complete Physical Rehabilitation, a Physical Therapy practice based in Elizabeth and Jersey City, NJ.