Marathon training wk 5 : not much running…
It’s not been a good 2 weeks for my running. Following the British 10k London Run I’ve been simply unable to keep up the training.
I’ve been suffering from a bruised shin, which I picked up in an Aussie Rules game the week before the British 10k London run. I still ran the B10kLR, and managed a good time, but the following day my shin was sore again. Riding the bike was fine, and I managed football training without issue, but when I tried to run a normal 5 mile run after work and had to abandon my run after 3.5 miles I knew I was in trouble. I did the right thing and rested it, iced it, and kept stretching, and figured 3 days of rest and icing/stretching would ensure I was fine to play football.
Which it was until, of course, I managed to get another whack to the shin (in exactly the same place) with more inflammation and more bruising. Cue week two of virtually no running.
And because bad luck/stupidity comes in threes I played football last Saturday (last game of the season) and, you guessed it, another whack, this time with studs, another chunk out of my shin, more inflammation and more bruising.
I iced it straight away after the game, which helped a lot with the inflammation, but the bruising stayed, which started to get me worried. Plus, my calf muscles which had been getting progressively tighter had turned into immobile lumps.
Off to the physio on Thursday and lets just say it wasn’t all good news…
The problem seems to stem from my tight calves (the cause of my plantar fasciitis and conversely the starting point for this blog). Particularly the soleus. My physio really got stuck into my calves (some times I think maybe Victoria just doesn’t like me…), and still couldn’t get the knot out of my soleus. If it doesn’t settle down in the next few days it will be on to dry needling treatment.
My physio explained there are a few factors which are adding up to make this problem. Apparently, with the shin impact I would most likely have been fine. With my calf muscles like rocks I would most likely have been fine. But with both together they are causing havoc. The issue is that the soleus is pulling on the bone in my shin, but not really enough to cause a major issue. However, with the shin bruised, and the constant tension from the calf muslces, it’s developing a bony stress response. The calf tension won’t let the bone rest, the football with all the fast sprinting won’t let the calf rest, and the extra impacts have exacerbated the situation. On top of this, it seems that due to my hamstring injury (or perhaps the cause of it…), I’m being lazy with my glutes and hamstrings and therefore trying to get too much of my propulsion from my calves. Which in turn strains them and makes them tighter. It’s a vicious circle!
I’ve dropped at least one run a week for the last 3 weeks, and had to run my long run today at a very slow pace – although I was able to cover the distance. I also made sure to focus on getting a better knee lift and hamstring/glute extension so I wasn’t overloading my calf muscles. However, I noticed that my legs fatigued pretty quickly – signs that I have been letting my form slide. So, it’s time to start paying attention to my gait and make sure I’m not being lazy. While ‘cheating’ and using your calf muscles for propulsion is fine for 10km, maybe up to half marathon, try it over marathon distance and see what walking feels like the day after!
As well as having to re-assess my gait, I am going to have to make sure that I focus on hamstring and glutes during my strength and stability training. And calf stretching. Loads of calf stretching, rolling, massaging and icing. And more calf stretching.
On a more positive, and quite geeky note – I’ve found out that some tube stations in London are deep enough underground to need escalators so long as to allow a 30 second calf drop stretch while riding the escalator to the surface.
Angel tube is deep enough that it’s massive escalator is long enough to do calves!
Happy running everyone!
Get Going, Get Running!
p.s. I’ve started a facebook page to complement my blog. You can check it out at https://www.facebook.com/getgoing.getrunning, and hopefully you will ‘like’ my page!