1 year ago today I badly tore my left quad muscle.
It was the day of my 10th consecutive marathon, and I had been nursing a progressive niggle there for a few days.
For the past week and a half my post-run routine had included ice baths, message, foam rolling and as much rest as I could afford but an interesting thing happened after my 9th marathon the day before.
I had been averaging around 4:15 for each of my runs, but on the morning of the 9th I woke up feeling really good.
I just had this feeling that it was going to be a good run and decided not to hold back. I figured that I was home and dry, so could afford to push a little harder and see what happened.
Despite that dull ache and tightness in my quad I was able to keep the pace up and ran the marathon in 3:56 which I was over the moon about.
But the same mindset that allowed me to push harder still with 10% of the challenge remaining, caused me to take my eye off the ball with the all important post-run recovery routine.
My nutrition wasn’t quite as good as it had been. I didn’t spend as long in the ice bath or stretching, and I went to bed a little later that night.
Little things, that when done together and done consistently, had kept me on my feet moving forwards.
But when I got lazy, my body let me know about it.
The last 3 hours of that 10th marathon were agony.
I could no longer bend my knee properly and every step was like having somebody stab me in the thigh with a knife as it swelled up to twice its normal size.
I wouldn’t go so far as to say that I thought about quitting, but equally I’m not going to lie and tell you that enjoyed that last marathon.
One of the biggest lessons I took away from that run was how important the little things are.
The support team for high performance.
Do enough of these little things consistently enough, and they can be the difference that makes the difference.