Injury, something that will inevitably plague us all at some point in our lives and possibly one of the biggest frustrations in the sport.
As athletes we are wired with this need to be active, which is why often it is hard to take a rest day. We are so used to doing something that when we don’t we can end up feeling sluggish, tired and lazy; in the process forgetting that training more than 10 hours a week is not something the average Joe would even consider doing.
So, all of a sudden you can’t do what you are used to doing. Your knee has decided it would like a break from running, your shoulder front crawl and your back the gym. Disaster has struck!
This has happened to me in sorts recently. I was training for Snowdonia marathon and my final long run, the weekend before, was like was running through thick gloopy mud. It was potentially the windiest day we have had this year and the route unrelentingly hilly (Afterall I was training for Snowdonia).
At just over an hour I knew there was no way I was going to hit 3 hours and decided to call it quits, something I very rarely do. When I stopped I knew something wasn’t quite right in my leg. Little did I know it would pretty much take me out for over a month and stop me doing Snowdonia marathon this year.
Worse I had no idea what was causing the pain. It was unlike any I had had before running down the front of my right leg from my groin. Everybody gives you their opinion on what it could be, afterall as sports people we love to help others. Later it spread into my left leg and every time I tried to run it was like someone was stabbing me in the thigh. Not ideal some might say.
I made the error of trying to run through it as once I was warm it was sort of bearable, but I then realised this wasn’t going to help it get better. Eventually I realised the running would just have to take a break.
Now the best thing to do at this point is go and see a physio. But the problem, they are just so expensive. Instead I went and saw a wonderful lady in Birmingham, Tracy, from Hagley Sports Massage. I 100% recommend her if you live in Birmingham. She gave me an amazing massage, and even better, her knowledge of the human body was second to none. I was delighted to discover it was nothing serious, just some very tight muscles.
Mixing it Up
The running was swapped for cycling and the cross trainer and I worked on stretching more religiously. I have to say this is where doing a multi-sport comes into its own as it gives you so much flexibility with your training. I managed to keep active, and the mind ticking over. I have really started to enjoy the extra gym work which offers a very different edge to my training and I already feel stronger because of it.
Sunday I had my first pain free run in a while and I loved it. Only to wake up the next morning, and my legs not feeling quite right again. Time for a bit more rest, another trip to see Tracy, and even more rest. While it’s frustrating it has made me feel very grateful for my ability to run, cycle and do all the amazing things I get to do every day.
I have a lot of work to do in getting my endurance and speed back but I know have a solid base to build from and the only way is up.
Does anyone have any other tips/ ideas for dealing with injury?
As always, thanks for reading!
Pocket Rocket Rach
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