Refusing to let injury stand in my way

 “I don’t think there’s such a thing as the perfect marathon training plan.

My physiotherapist said this to me at a recent session and I couldn’t agree more. We can spend time devising detailed training plans suitable to our goals – I’ve got a pretty good one drawn up for April’s Manchester marathon – but at the end of the day marathon training is really about taking it all in your stride, no pun intended.

Even if you’ve got the best plan drawn up, external factors can halt your plans such as work commitments or a niggling injury.

It’s the latter which has temporarily derailed my schedule but after a long awaited visit to the physiotherapist I’m here to tell you that if your marathon training is halted because of injury don’t panic, don’t hit the peanut butter and certainly don’t think that you’re out of the race. It can be quite the opposite in fact, unless your physio has advised against racing entirely obviously, but if your injury just requires rest for a couple of weeks then it’s still game on rather than game over.

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Over the past couple of weeks I have experienced a pain in my knee similar to someone clamping it in a vice every time I’ve reached two miles on a run. It’s not a pain I have experienced from running before and it’s certainly not fun so I booked in to see Jeroen at Jorvik Physiotherapy who was fantastic.

I’ve got to rest for three weeks but luckily not entirely. I’m only allowed to do upper body weight training, cycle or go on the cross-trainer. I can also swim but no breaststroke. I can start running again after three weeks, or sooner if the swelling in my knee goes down before then, and I’ve been given some good stretches to do and told it needs massaging every day.

Jeroen was so positive which really kept me upbeat and he told me ways to keep my strength up without damaging my knee and was confident that I’d be back on track within a month or so. Personally I think that finding a good, positive physiotherapist makes a world of difference.

So even though I’ve been told to rest, I’m lucky enough that it’s not complete rest, which can often be the case with knee injuries. I plan on cycling a lot, getting my swim on (thanks Adidas for my new costume) and still bashing out pull-ups and what not at CrossFit, all the while keeping a mindful watch on my knee.

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I’m also lucky enough to have been drawn up a prehab plan for my knee to hopefully prevent me from getting injured in the future. I’d definitely recommend having a coach draw one of these up for you too if you’re injured. It’s something you can incorporate in to a training plan and eventually doing the exercises will just become a habit.

Here’s a little snippet of what mine involves:

Single leg hip lifts
Seated leg lifts/L-sit progressions
Side plank with leg raise
3 point plank
Glute circuit of glute bridges, clam shells, fire hydrants and glute ham walks.
So, if it’s bad news from the physio don’t view it as bad news, view it as a new way to train. If you can’t run, yes it’s beyond frustrating, but look at what else you can do, talk it through with your physio and find new ways to keep strong, fit and healthy and I promise that when you get back to running it’ll all be worth it and you’ll still be feeling fit and ready to race.

🙂

Ps If anyone in York is in need of a physio visit Jorvik Physiotherapy in Fulford, Jeroen knows his stuff.

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Tackling common running injuries

Sometimes, just sometimes, I hate running.

I soon fall in love with it all over again but there is one element which makes me truly hate it sometimes. It’s not hitting the wall in a race, nor is it dragging myself out on long runs in the cold, dark and wet weather, it’s injury.

blog post 8 this is one

That dreaded word strikes fear in to the hearts – and legs – of runners everywhere. Ask any runner, or any athlete for that matter, and they’ll probably tell you that the most frustrating thing you can be told to do is rest. Yes, it’s the sensible thing to do but when it’s what you love and what you do then being told you can’t perform for a while is devastating.

This blog post comes after a disappointing training run which basically ended in tears of frustration at a year old knee problem rearing its ugly head again.

So after a pep talk from Dane we decided that for a while it’s going to be lots of swimming, cycling and trail running rather than road running. He has also designed me my very own injury prevention programme which I’m excited to start.

If you say so, Ryan...

If you say so, Ryan…

Post pep talk I turned to my new bible. Ready to Run by Dr Kelly Starrett explains how to prevent and deal with injuries, how to tap in to your running potential and how to turn your weaknesses in to your strengths. Not only that but he also writes about how to equip your own home mobility gym and lays out a set of mobility exercises for restoring optimal function and range of motion to joints and tissues.

We should see injuries as messages about what’s missing in our mechanics and range of motion according to Starrett and by doing this we will be able to run faster, for longer and better.

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Starrett has a two-stage plan of attack for tackling common running injuries such as runners knee, ITB syndrome and shin splints.

1. When chronic pain rears its ugly head, study your mechanics and positions to determine the root cause of the problem. Go through the position standards: neutral feet, a good squat, hip flexion, hip extension and the mobility of your feet and ankles.
2. Position and mechanics come first; treating the symptoms is your second priority. Work on the problem area but also above and below the problem.

Starrett’s point is simple: “all human beings should be able to perform basic maintenance on themselves.”

As sports technology has developed we have been drawn in to a world of fancy trainers and innovative gadgets all boasting to enhance running performance but we need to be able to run without these items. Equip yourself with the tools and knowledge of how to maintain the best possible running form and technique and according to Starrett we will be Ready to Run.