And Now For Something Different

Well, I guess not entirely different but a little different, weight training.

First things first, I am no fan of going to the gym, in fact it is somewhere I avoid because being stuck inside going no where on some machine is just not my idea of fun. Before I am shouted down, I know that they have their uses etc etc but for me not a venue of choice.

So, as I have been recovering from my knee injury, more of that later, I wondered whether doing some weights would help me. I contacted the font of all knowledge, Mike and asked what he thought. He said it wasn’t a bad idea and suggested following Mark Allen’s 12 strength training exercises for triathlon. He suggested using around 50% of the maximum weight I could use for each exercise, so as not to build big muscle but to help the muscles for endurance.

I have done one weights session so far, and I have to say I didn’t enjoy it too much, but it is something to stick with for a bit and hopefully it will become more enjoyable, we will see!

In other news, I have been suffering from a very snotty cold, and that certainly cut down my ability to train recently, luckily it seems to be going now so normal service should be resumed.

The other good news is that my knee is now really starting to feel good, I did a steady 45 run on Sunday and it felt good, and I included a hill to test it going both up and down and it seemed to come through with no ill effects.

I am aiming to try and write these entries more often as I have been very lapse of late, I have a couple of reviews to write and so hopefully as I embark on the next season I will have plenty to write about. I am not yet prepared to say what the next challenge is, but it is something I hope will prove as exciting as I hope.

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Slow, but steady progress

Well, over the past couple of weeks i have been doing some slow and steady running with the aim of helping my knee rehabilitate.

The verdict so far is that it is getting better, perhaps a bit slower than I would like, but it is getting there. Yes there is some stiffness and I still have the dalek syndrome, stairs are my enemy! But, I am getting more comfortable going up and down them.

I have had to pull out of the Ballbuster as there is no way I am in condition to take on the challenge that it is, and to be honest I am sad about that. It was due to be my last race this yearn but no more.

As we come towards the end of the year, the time has come to consider what my main race next year will be. Initially I thought I would aim to go for a longer triathlon, a half ironman, but as it stands I am not sure I have something else in mind and that I think will be my preferred option. Once I am sure I will share what it is, lets just say, it will be a challenge.

Running Again.. Well Sort of

The rehabilitation of my knee is continuing and it seems to be going in the right direction, although I am still getting some degree of pain and stiffness.

Since the run on Thursday I have had a swim and another short turbo session. The swim was ok, although pushing off from the end of the pool hurt and the turbo was fine.

This morning I went for another 20 minute run, this time I decided I was going to try and ensure I ran properly, not run on the outside of my foot like the other night, and I would lift the pace a bit for a km to see how it felt.

Well, the first km was ok pretty steady and all felt ok, a little tight in the knee but nothing to worry about. The second km I lifted the pace and did a 5 min 25, whilst by no means flat out it meant I had to work harder than before, again I felt no real reaction to this. For the rest of the time I just backed the pace down and trotted home.

If I am honest I am not sure exactly how long this whole process will take, whilst at times the knee feels fine, others it is stiff and a little sore.

I am still using the foam roller to stretch the ITB and I have also added foam roller exercises for hamstrings, quads and calves as well into the post exercise routine, hopefully I will benefit form this going forward.

I am due to visit the physio again this week and hopefully that will be my last visit and from there on I am hoping just to build back up again.

As for the Ballbuster in November, I really don’t know if I can run 16 miles at a good pace, I have basically lost a months worth of what would have been good hard training and currently I am not doing more than 20 minutes, I will have to see.

The Doctor Says….

Well after the last few weeks of wondering what was wrong with my knee I tok the plunge and consulted a sports physio.

For anyone who has ever been to a sports physio you will know that they are well aware that you don’t just want to know what the issue is, but all you really want to know is when can I train again! I am no different in that respect and was perfectly open that I have a race booked in 4 weeks.

So what is the issue, well it turns out I have a displaced kneecap otherwise known as runners knee. Luckily this is not as serious as it sounds.

In my case it has also given me limited movement in my hip, and so I had to go through a series of manipulations and then I was introduced to a new item of torture, the foam roller. I have heard and seen these items before but have never used one and now I know why, they hurt!

The other good news was I was allowed to do a couple of easy paced runs, but I had to agree to do the foam roller exercises every day.

Now, the idea of an easy paced run and actually doing one turned out to be entirely different. What actually happened was that I wasn’t confident about putting my right foot down, and it turned out that I was actually running on the outside of my foot, and it took a real effort to try and run properly. So 20 minutes of running turned out to be at a very slow pace 7 min 15 per km was more effort than it should have been and to be honest I didn’t really enjoy it.

Roll on Sunday when I can have another go.

Just When I Thought Everything Was Back To Normal

Just when I thought I was getting back to normal post the knee injury, it turns out that the knee has decided it isn’t as fixed as I thought.

Over the last week I have been doing some steady runs, a turbo session and I even went swimming and I thought apart from some stiffness the knee was ok as there was no pain.

However, this morning I wake up and realise that in addition to the slight stiffness there is another sensation in my knee, and it is not pleasant. A short sharp pain exists and though I am not a doctor even I know that is not right.

That led me to the first of my decisions today, do I go out cycling in the sunshine and hope the pain goes away or do the more sensible thing and don’t do it? Well for once in my life I took the sensible route and decided not to go out. I tun considered a short turbo session might be ok, but again it is still pedalling and so if I do that I may as well go out, so I decided not to do anything.

I hate not taking advantage of sunny days, it seems to me such a waste especially as we approach autumn and the onset of miserable weather, but sometimes you have to be sensible (or so my wife tells me)

So what next then, well I am thinking that I will now go and get the knee looked at, as I don’t want to be treading a fine line between being able to train and not able to and also who knows if I am making it worse by carrying on.

Hopefully, it will turn out to be nothing serious, whatever that means, and I will soon be back not to normal, in the meantime be warned I might be a little grumpy if I have to take a long break from training.

Back On Track

After my recent knee issue all seems to be back on track. I took a week off from training, and during that week only did a short turbo session and then a couple of hours with friends prior to watching the Tour of Britain go through the Chiltern Hills.

Since then I have been running again, and yes I am building it back up gradually. In the first run, only 20 minutes, I started off very steady and did a couple of km’s at a gentle pace and then for the third km picked up the pace to a much more respectable level, all the time I felt ok and even more importantly the knee stayed in one piece. The two subsequent runs in the week were both 45 minutes done off road, including some hills, to check the stability and add some interest to the running. Once again no real issues, a little stiffness the following morning in one spot, but nothing I felt was serious.

So for me this means I am back up and running as normal, I did a decent bike session where the aim was to ride hard up hills, well, I must have done it as I beat my Strava best times on all the hills I did, progress!

The next few weeks I guess will show if there is any lasting damage, but as of now I think all is good.

It Was Only A Matter Of Time

The shadow of injury looms over everyone who does a sport at any level, and it is probably the one thin the amateur athlete dreads the most as we have to go to work each day and so any injury could result in a loss of earnings.

For me, I have been pretty lucky I haven’t suffered with anything major over the last few years, a bit of ankle ligament damage a couple of years ago but nothing that turned out to be serious.

However, I seem to have finally been caught up by the injury bug, I appear to have done some damage to my right knee. I am sure the damage occurred doing the Rat Race River Run, especially as I finished the event with a lot of bruising on both my knee and ankle.

Since the event, the knee has been a bit stiff, but once it was warmed up it was ok and post-training didn’t bother me. In the last week though, it has started to become very stiff post training, and is taking a lot longer to warm up, and then it is still giving some pain.

This finally got the better of me on Saturday morning, I and managed intervals and an hours run during the week but did suffer after the session and the days in-between, on the run I was down to do 75 minutes, but after about 30 minutes the knee was hurting so I decided to give up and go home.

Now, I have no history of knee problems, and so this is a new experience for me. I described the feelings to Mike, who suggested reading up on cartilage damage. It could be this as it seems to hurt in the right place.

So what next? Well, I am going to have an easy week to see if a bit of rest helps it recover. I am due to race a 10k next weekend and will leave the decision to race until Friday probably. IF it doesn’t feel better by then I guess I will be off to the doctors to get a referral for physio.

I am hoping it is nothing too serious as I don’t want to ruin my end to the year and potentially miss the Winter Ballbuster because of it, I will write some updates as and when I know a bit more.