I Changed Too Much at Once

The good news: I was able to do Stage II of the Return to Running program I’m doing without nearly as much pain as last time.

The bad news: I have no idea what worked because I changed up too many things!

There were four (four!)* major differences:

  1. I used the indoor track instead of the treadmill [This contributed to an additional four big changes I can think of: surface, speed (and thus distance), and incline.]
  2. I didn’t use any KT tape on my foot
  3. I didn’t wear my PF brace to bed that night
  4. I used my (old) custom orthotics in my Sauconys instead of my generic Super Feet inserts

Custom orthotic top Custom orthotic side

*There was one other thing I did differently that I don’t *think* made a difference but will list it anyway because it could be a factor: instead of using the foam roller on my glutes and ITBs during my cool down, I used an 8 pound medicine ball. I had seen someone do it the last time I was at the gym and was intrigued because he definitely looked like he knew what he was doing. It’s a little harder to keep yourself on the ball than on a foam roller, but I liked the pressure better. Plus, the harder it is to stay on, the more you’ll end up working your core! Bonus!

Being in the medical field, I should know better. We often counsel patients to make small changes so we’ll know the what works and what doesn’t. For a simple example, if a patient complains of headaches, we’ll try one medicine first, and if that doesn’t work in a certain time frame, we’ll try another. We wouldn’t load the patient up with a bunch of medicines at once or suggest trying supplements at the same time, because we wouldn’t know what is really working and may be adding things unnecessarily.

Even though I am thrilled at the reduction in discomfort, I am at a slight loss as to my next step. The cautious part of me (the part I should probably listen to) says I need to stick with Stage II and figure out what worked before proceeding to Stage III. The running nut in me just wants to proceed to Stage III since I have no pain from Stage II!

Considering all of the experience I’ve had in the past year with injuries, I’ve decided to go the conservative route. I will attempt Stage II on the treadmill tomorrow. As I did on Sunday, I will not use KT tape or my brace, I will use my custom orthotics, and use the medicine ball for myofascial release. I will attempt to mirror my speed and incline to my first Stage II attempt. I will stretch, ice, and use my tennis ball/Foot Rubz as I did on both days.

What do you think? What would you do?

Also, just for fun, this is how GPS tracks you on a round 1/10th mi indoor track:

Indoor track

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