I woke up a little earlier this morning to drive the two miles up to the aqueduct. The aqueduct is 400ft higher in elevation than my house and I am trying to stay away from hills for the next few weeks since my calf is feeling better. I left a little before 6 am with my headlamp on the paved side of the aqueduct and felt pretty good. My calf fatigued slowly throughout the run. I went out 3 miles and back as to not get too far from my car. I was really hoping to make it 8 miles and after 6 it was whispering then I switched to the dirt side and did another 2 miles for a total of 8 in 63 minutes (just under 8 min pace). It is now tight but not painful. My right glut is also tight from working a little harder to compensate for the calf.
So the question is how do I begin to ramp back up without reinjuring or over doing it? I know that an hour is about my max right now so I will probably keep my long run to an hour until it feels a little easier. Then I can add a mile or two every two weeks to the long run as long as everything continues to improve. During the week I will try and run at least 6 miles (45 min) every other day and not run two days in a row until it is not so stiff the next day. If I do run two days in a row on the weekend the second day will be more of an easy recovery run 4-5 miles. I won't do any tempo runs, threshold runs, or certainly not intervals until it feels a little looser on these long runs (probably not until next month). Progressing your running after an injury is very individual and there is some trial and error. There is not one general formula. The plan can change from day to day depending on how I feel. The 10% rule is good but not perfect. That means an mileage increase of 10% each week. It is very conservative. Last week I ran 9 miles so if I followed the 10% rule then this week I could run 10 (I have already run 13). I first try and get back to 4 days a week and once I can tolerate that well then I start to increase the mileage more.
Here is a link to an article about the Santa Monica 5k that I ran on Sunday.