Tuesday, 10 March 2009

Happy when I am running

So the last few weeks have been difficult. Training has been hampered by a calf muscle that goes into cramp after a few miles running and if I continue leaves me unable to run for a few days and then the cycle repeats. Easy, you say, dont run for a bit then start back gently, get a massage etc. Did that same thing happened. Frustration starts to creep in and a fear that I will never be able to run more than 4 miles again

Look back through my training logs and I see a pattern emerging, bike volume goes up, calf injury occurs and running volume comes down. Found this out in 2005 (my first season of tri) and the nice sports physio said my hamstrings and calf muscles were shortening and I needed too do regular stretches...... so it only took me 4 weeks to recognise the cycle and make the diagnosis and institute the corrective treatment (stretching - lots). If I was this bad in my day job there would be a lot of very unhappy patients out there . Such is the limits of self coaching but at least now I feel I have regained control of the situation.

This echoes the comments of Steve who has a tough time with an injury out of the blue these last few weeks which has taken him out training for a while. Personally I find the impact of injury psychologically hard to deal with. When an injury occurs and you find your training slipping back all the commitment so far seems wasted and the motivation to make more commitments to training starts to wain as your inner voice starts to ask what is the point of getting faster or working harder on the swim and bike if you are not going to be able to run at the end of it. This happened somewhat last year when I got a similar injury 22 days out from IM Lanza and I think may have contributed to a relatively poor race. The challenge is to focus on your rehab and maintain a positive outlook but this is often difficult when you face an all or nothing scenario: basically your season is about racing as well as you can at the IM race and not even being able to start would be a complete disaster for most (the exception being those who race multiple IMs). Luckily last year I learnt that you can bounce back from one race to the next so even if I were to DNS Lanzarote I would still have Im Swissroll to aim at.

But none of this matters, I have started stretching, and I am running again. A week off serious training with a bit of manflu probably helped me recover some form and yesterday I ran 6 miles steady with no problems and today I feel GREAT. So the stretching is back in, the running volume will head up again (yeah, I know like watch the volume and intensity) and I will run a sub 3.40 at Lanzarote, or I wont but at least now I feel that might be possible!!

1 comment:

Tom said...

Great to have you back in the game mate :)