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Reply To: The problem of avoidance…

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@Piranha- I don’t see your decision to rehab your shoulder as pain avoidance, but simple intelligence. Avoidance would be just giving up entirely, living the rest of your life on the couch, and blaming your shoulder. Physical therapy isn’t fun, and anyone who says you took the easy route would just be foolish. And in my opinion, squatting is one of the most exhausting exercises. I almost always approach the bar with something like dread.

Great to hear you’re enjoying running more now. I agree that strength training significantly reduces the risk of injury.

and @Christinam- You both make great points. Real pain should be avoided, but sometimes discomfort is necessary for growth. It’s important to recognize the difference.

@Dutchie- Yep, worrying about fairness can be a real trap. If we’re talking about equal access to health care, then I think there is a social obligation. But even then, there will always be some people who are effortlessly strong and healthy, and some people who tend to get sick. If we’re not one of lucky people, then we might need to fight hard just to avoid chronic illness. As you said, balance is the key. Fight hard, but then rest hard too.

That’s exciting that you’re going to do a run. How long do you have until your race? If you’ve never run before, you need to start very gradually to avoid injury. I would map out a 5-6km route (the same length as your race) and start by walking it. Then the next time, add in short running intervals of a few minutes each. Keep increasing the length of time that you run, while shortening the walking sections. You’ll soon be able to run the whole route, maybe in 1-4 months. I know that’s a wide range, but it really depends on your current level of fitness. The important thing is that you’re always pushing yourself, but that you back off when it starts to hurt too much. Unfortunately, running can be painful for the first several months after you start (and sometimes in unexpected ways), but your body will adapt if you get rest and eat properly. Good shoes and properly fitting clothing are also helpful.

You don’t need to obsess about diet, but make sure you are eating plenty of carbs and protein. If you don’t eat enough protein, you won’t heal as fast after runs. If you try to go low carb, you just won’t have as much energy. When my carbs get low, my pace drops by 1-2 minutes a mile, and I just feel heavy the whole time.

If you want a more exact program, you might google “couch to 5k” and try one of the schedules that pop up.