Friday, 20 September 2013

Increasing my mileage

In my younger years I was never particularly keen on running, and during my military service I was lucky enough to develop shin splints, which kept me away from running distances longer than hundred meters. During my time at university I made a couple of half hearted attempts at running regularly, but they all failed miserably. But during my PhD something happened. All of a sudden I didn't get fed up with being exhausted and feeling like shit both during and after a run. I kept on going for two weeks, three weeks, a full month!

Without me noticing it running had become a habit, and, believe it or not, I was starting to like it. After another couple of months running was turning into an addiction and, following advice from a friend who was into running, I was forcing myself into not increasing my weekly mileage excessively. Despite this I contracted my first injury after about 6 months, and for the first time experienced the feeling of desperately wanting to run, but not being able to. Lesson learned. I recovered from the injury and slowly, very slowly, increased my mileage. Of course this didn't stop me from getting injured again and I think I can count up to four different injuries that I have been struggling with since (stress fracture to the shin, strained calves, non-identifiable pain to the foot, and patellofemoral pain syndrome).

Since 2009 I have been keeping an online diary of my running at a Swedish site called jogg.se, and can therefore view my improvements in retrospect. The below figure shows my yearly mileage (monthly stats are a bit to variable and seasonal), where the blue circle for 2013 is what I've achieved so far this year, and the red circle is my projected mileage. It might seems like a massive increase, but if you instead view 2012 as an anomaly it makes a lot more sense. 3000 km over the course of one years makes roughly 8 km per day, every day of the year, which I must say I'm pretty pleased with.

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