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Other sports

Golf at 7am again this morning and I headed out for my easy 5km at 5:15am on the longest night of the year. It was cold and my right Achilles was sore, but didn't feel too bad considering how hard last night's track session had been for me.  One of the reasons that I squeeze my run in before golf is that I think it loosens me up a little.  There have been occasions in the past when I have run after golf and suffered from side or back injuries.  I can't specifically tie those injuries to golf, but I do think that participating in other sports can be risky if you are a serious runner.

Melbourne Herald, 1 February 1973
I gave up other sports I enjoyed playing, such as cricket, tennis and volleyball, during my twenties because either running took up too much time, or because of the risk of injury.  I also frequently represented my Club in hurdles and jump events, and even competed in the State Decathlon Championships when 22, coming 10th out of 18 entrants.  My pole-vaulting was execrable and inspired the accompanying article in the Melbourne evening newspaper.

In my late twenties, when I got really serious about my marathon running, I realised that injuries in other sports and events risked derailing my ambitions and I began to focus strictly on running.  I confess that I now question the value of time devoted to other types of training, such as cycling or cross-training, and particularly think they should not be substituted for running training for the serious runner.  But, everybody is different.  I always raced best when running a very high mileage (200km -240km per week) which didn't leave much time for other training when working full-time, but I know of others who have successfully used a different approach.

During my preparation for the Melbourne Marathon over the next four months, I have decided to stay away from my bike and kayak, just in case they are incompatible with the running.  I decided, however, that playing golf had lower risk, but after this morning am not so sure.  Not only did I play my worst round for a long time, but I could feel tingling nerves in my lower back and some stiffness from yesterday's track session.  The two are probably connected.  Hopefully, I will feel more flexible for tomorrow morning's run with Terrigal Trotters during which I hope to run hard.