Thursday, 31 March 2011

Injury update No 2

Another session with the physio last night and although I am still not running there are signs of improvement. The pain in my lower back and hamstrings is just about non - existant now and my range of movement (single leg raises) seems to be better than it has ever been. As for my knees, progress seems to be a little slower. As for moving forward and maintaining fitness I am continuing the daily exercises and stretches, cycling and now can start on the cross trainer (but not using the arms yet) and the stepper. Time is running out for being fit in time for the North Tyneside 10km on Easter Sunday, but I am still hopeful that I will be able to run around, if not in shape to actually race. Following my post on Monday about angles of stride. I have been sifting through some old photographs to try and find a side shot which shows me at full stride, so that I can measure what mine is. The best I have come up with is of one from 3 years ago which shows an angle of 80 degrees. The problem is, it is not the best of photos and its possible that it does not show full stride. So once I get back to running I think I may attempt to get a more accurate measurement and then see if there is anything I can do to improve. Or will it be a case of being to late to teach an old dog new tricks?

Monday, 28 March 2011

Are you striding out?

Reading yesterday's Sunday Tmes, there was an article whose tag was that the Prime Minister, David Cameron's stride when running is to short. The claim is made by Bob Pritchard, Head of Somax Performance Institute in California. He goes on to say: That those who run with a short stride length increase their risk of injury. As a runner with a small stride angle will usually try to make up for it by reaching out with their lower leg to increase their stride length. This may result in softening of the knee cartilige, long term knee pain and possibly arthritis of the knee. A 1 degree increase in a persons stride angle means that they will cover 2% more ground with each stride. Bob Pritchard also claims that this is common among many of Britains elite athletes and sites the example of British 800m champion Jemma Simpson who has a stride angle of 84 degrees, while most of her competitors have stride angles greater than 100 degrees.

Tuesday, 22 March 2011

This runner will self destruct in.......

During this enforced absence from running I have come to the conclusion (and a number of people have been hinting at/ telling me) that I need to give my body a rest and review how I actually train.

Over the last 5 years I have moved from one illness or injury to another, not giving my body a chance to really recover. My times have have nose dived (and not just because I am getting older) and it has all become a bit of a vicious circle.

So I have decided to 'bight the bullet' and give myself a chance to build up and come back fitter and stronger. I will be reviewing how I train, but this does not mean I will be training easier but hopefully smarter. I need to look at things like cross training which I must admit in the past I have only considered as something to use when I can't run or indeed as something additional to my normal training!

I also need to look at targeting specific races more and tailor the training to suit, rather than try to run everything.

When I started running there was a maxim 'No pain no gain', in fact I even had a T-shirt with it printed across the chest (if I remember correctly it was a Fastrax T-shirt - Terry) and there is a lot to be said to following that rule but it has to be the correct sort of pain and not the pain of injury.

With regards to my progress from this current injury I have been using the exercise bike in the Gym for 30 mins each day, covering between 17 and 20 km. The reason for the exercise bike rather than the real thing is if I have a problem and have to stop I can do without the problems of getting back home and also because my bike is stored in that part of the garage where no body dare tread and has not seen the light of day for at least 4 years.

Friday, 18 March 2011

one small step

Following my second visit to the Physio at the Sports Injury Clinic on Wednesday, I have now been given the go ahead to do some 'light' cycling and swimming along with the prescribed exercises. At least it's a positive move and hopefully it will not be too long before I can start running again.

I should have been running the VAANEE cross country championships tomorrow and I was intending to run the final race of the North East Harrier League at Prudhoe next week but that is now out of the window.

It remains to be seen if I can be in any sort of shape to run the North Tyneside 10km on Easter Sunday.

If you are racing this weekend - have a good one and if like me you are recovering from injury, may your recovery be swift.

Tuesday, 15 March 2011

In the same boat

Reading around the regular blogs I visit, and a few others, there are quite a few of us not running at the moment, either because of injury or sickness.

My week so far has consisted of the six exercices given to me by the physio, twice a day, and with another visit to the sports injury clinic due tomorrow I am hoping some development is apparent. I am still not pain free but I can feel an improvement. So hopefully I am ready for the next step.

Reading your blogs - Gary at Dunn Running has started back training and Terry at Running on empty in his post yesterday detailed his first week back from injury

Terry also compared the week to the same week 25 years ago, mentioning that he finished the week running the Calverley Half Marathon. I also ran that race 25 years ago and have always considered it as my breakthrough run. It was the first time I dipped under 70 minutes for the half marathon. with 69,28. I remember that at the start of the race, club mate Nick Jobson and Ian Hagen of Sunderland quickly moved to the front and I decided to go with them and just see what happened. Luckily I was able to hang on until the last mile, finishing 3rd. Nick won in 69.10, with Ian second.

I did the race as part of my build up to the London Marathon where that year I ran 2.26.00, a then pb by 6 minutes. I finished 1986 with a half marathon time of 67.14, still my all time pb.

Hope everyone is back fit, healthy and running soon

Wednesday, 9 March 2011

Injury update

Following this evenings visit to the Sports Injury Clinic, it would seem that my two recurring problems, knees and hamstrings, although not directly linked, are a consequence of each other and my body trying to compensate.

In short:

Some muscles are well developed, others are not and are under utilised causing an imbalance.

There is some restriction to the Sciatic Nerve.

My right leg is weaker than the left and I have less control over the right side.

As a result there is to be no running between now and the next appointment in a weeks time. Meanwhile I have been given a series of back and knee exercises to do 2 and 3 times a day, and at next Wednesday session the physio will get down to some "work" on my lower back.

So, the Harrier League Cross country is out this Saturday as will be the VAANEE Cross country championships the following weekend.

Friday, 4 March 2011

Running in Japan

With taking it easy this week and not doing so many miles I had a little more time to look at other blogs and came across one about running in Japan. There was an interesting post about the recent Tokyo Marathon. Where they described how a 23 year old Japanese runner, Yuk Kawauchi, finished 3rd in 2.08.37. What was especially interesting about this was that Kawauchi has shunned the Japanese system of being a' full-time' athlete, running for a corporate team. Fitting his training around a full-time job where he works 9 hours a day. Unusual for today's elite athletes.

As for my running it was an easy 7 miles last night, with the back and hamstrings becoming tight after 5 miles again and back to 3 miles jogging on the grass tonight.

If you are racing this weekend - Have a good one!

Wednesday, 2 March 2011

Taking it easy

The drive home following Sunday's race did nothing to relieve the pain and stiffness from my lower back and hamstrings. So Monday was an easy gym session with 5km on the cross trainer to loosen up followed by an easy 2 mile jog on the treadmill.

Although I went down to the club last night, I did not run with my usual training partners, opting for an easy 7 miles (8.30 pace). Unfortunately, my back and hamstrings started to tighten again over the last 2 mile.

Obviously things aren't right, so I now have an appointment at a sports injury clinic for next week.

Tonight I managed a very easy, off road, 3 mile. The plan now is until next weeks appointment, provided things do not get any worse, is to continue with short, gentle runs and plenty of stretching. (following the stretches recommended in the Pilate's book by Paul Massey which I mentioned last month).