After increasing my training recently in preparation for France I seem to have developed a couple of injuries. Firstly, I had a niggling hip pain in my left side developed into a sharp pain and made me limp and then just recently I seems to have pulled both my adductor muscles. These are both undoubtedly over training injuries and I should have known better. I have, however learnt a couple of valuable things…
- I tried to increase the number of runs too quickly. I was only running at the weekends for most of the winter but about a month ago, came out of hibernation and tried to increase my runs to 3 or 4 times a week. The golden rule is only increase your distance (or speed) by 10% per week and I broke this rule to my cost. So, when my adductors heal and I can start running again I will obey this rule.
- I naturally have stiff hips. I knew this already but was concentrating on my tight hamstrings without listening to other parts of my body. I have added in a couple of great hips stretches taken from ‘Chi Running’ by Danny Dreyer – hip circles and pelvic circles. I have to say that these stretches feel great to do and I think they will improve my running form too.
- Rest. I (like most runners) feel guilty not running. I love it and would run all day every day if I had the energy but rest is just as important as running. Without proper recovery my muscles don’t have time to adapt and strengthen and as a result weaken. In Danny’s book he talks about ‘Body Sensing’ which is an excellent phrase for listening to your body. If I had been listening, my adductors were telling me last week that they were under strain after I did a long run with a back to back tempo run. But I didn’t listen and now cannot run until they heal.
So although I am laid up for the moment telling myself I must not run yet, I am positive because I’ve learnt 3 valuable lessons about myself. And basically that’s what life is about – falling, learning, healing and picking yourself back up again!