I’ve been reading about folks training for races of various lengths, and one of the basic principles I keep seeing is the concept of building a base mileage by running lots of unchallenging "junk miles" so that when you begin to train you have the base and you don’t kill yourself adding more miles in addition to harder running. I saw this idea in my 5k training last year but it didn’t really stick because I was building my base at the same time (basically I did it wrong).
I’m not training for anything right now, but I figure with the state of my body this is an excellent time to just set aside any kind of aspirational running and just run easy, as much as I can do. No intervals, no tempo runs.
Today I hopped on the treadmill (because it’s 28 degrees out, why winter already) and ran for 40 minutes at a slow, easily maintainable speed, covering about 3 miles. I felt good afterwards, not wiped out. I stretched thoroughly and got back to the locker room feeling refreshed.
I’ve been trying to get back in the habit of foam rollering and it has been a painful process. Everything hurts, and rollering it hurts even more. My partner gave me a lovely back massage yesterday, and it helped a little but I am still so sore. (At least I can turn my head to the side, though!) There are a couple of those subscription massage places nearby, where you pay a monthly fee and get X massages per month; I’m considering it. It’s expensive but maybe the subscription will motivate me to go regularly.
This is the first time I’m doing the “junk miles” thing, except I don’t think of them as junk miles. just easy miles to get my legs toughened up and used to volume. It’s actually working okay so far, because it means that not every run is going to be a tough one.
Reading about your struggles with doing your easy runs properly easy resonated with me. It really is nice to just put my brain in neutral and cruise along gently.