Wednesday, March 17, 2010

Happy St. Patrick's Day!

Not that I'm a big celebrator. I'm not wearing green or anything...

Anyways, training has been going well for the past month. I have been doing a LOT of swimming, as well as biking and running.

I usually have two or three Master's swim workouts each week, 2300-2600m each time. I felt like I was doing a lot of swimming and not really seeing any improvement. I always seem to be doing steady 100's at about 2:15. If and when I swim harder, I can't maintain the speed without getting my HR up way too high, losing form, and getting exhausted.

Then this week, I did 5X50 and came up with some better times. My best 50m time is usually about 1:00. This week I swam it as low at :56. And I usually swim 25m in :30, have had a few as low as :28. Today I swam 5X25m all averaging :25-:26 seconds.


This has been the most interesting transition for the past 6 weeks. Coach Jeff Kline had me stop running for 2 weeks when I first started working with him. He made me pool run (ugh) instead to maintain cardiovascular fitness while I got over my shin splints. Then on Feb 13th, I was finally allowed to go for an easy, slow run. I did a 8 min warm up and ran 5 walked 1 for 30 minutes - 5 km in total.

The next week (Feb. 15-21), I ran 35 minutes, three times. Each time I did a good warm up and did walk/run intervals anywhere from 5/1 to 9/1. The 3rd run, my shins started to hurt again so I had to stretch and ice and Jeff told me to tape my shins before I run.

Feb 22-28, I had three 40 minute runs. I was still running 9/1, sometimes did longer stints of running if I felt ok. Jeff encouraged me to run the whole 40 minute without a walk break if I could but I was hesitant since the interval running was still hurting me.

March 1-7 Jeff again encouraged me to run without walk breaks and said he thought maybe my shins were tightening up when I stopped to walk and causing the problems, so I decided to give it a try. I was only able to fit in two runs but each time I did a steady 40 minute run without a walk break, after a good 10 min warm up. I taped my shins with KT Tape, wore compression sleeves, and took out my orthotics. I felt pretty good and had no trouble maintaining the endurance to run 40 minutes straight. I did one 6.5 km run at home and another on the treadmill at a hotel in Vancouver.

March 8-14. I got in three 45 minute runs this week. The first was an 8.3 km run along the seawall in Vancouver and I felt pretty good! After the seawall run, we spent the day walking around Vancouver and although I didn't realize it at the time, I think that aggravated my right posterior tibial tendon because my next run 2 days later at home was painful. I was really frustrated because I thought I had built up too fast but it went away pretty quickly and I think it was actually caused by putting a lot of walking kms in pretty crappy shoes in Vancouver. I stretched my calf and tendon a lot the next two days and iced it 3 times a day and by Saturday, I felt great again and I ran 50 minutes plus warm up.


While I was in Vancouver, I had a chance to try on a pair of Newton running shoes and I loved them! I have really hard-to-fit feet so I was not willing to order a pair online without actually trying them on first.

I tried the basic Lady Isaac Guidance trainers which were $149. I also tried Gravity Neutral Trainer and the Motion Stability Trainer which were both $179. (See pic on my podcast blog)

Ultimately, I decided on the Motion Stability Trainer because it felt a little more supportive at the arch of my foot and it has a light medial posting to help deal with overpronation. The salesman was a runner and very knowledgeable about forefoot running and Newtons and we talked for a long time about what would be best for me.

He also told me how to get started wearing them. Since I already forefoot run, I was less likely to have calf pain after a run, but he warned me to be careful anyway. He said start with wearing them for the last 10 minutes of a run. If I am sore the next day, don't wear them again until the soreness goes away. Then continue to wear them for the last 10 minutes of my runs until I have no more soreness. Move up slowly in 5-10 minute increments following that same protocol.

I waited to get home before I tried them. Last Thursday, I wore them for 10 minutes. I could feel some mild soreness on the ball of my foot for a few hours after my run. It was similar to when I wore orthotics for the first time. I wore them for the last 15 minutes of my run on Sunday and had no pain afterward.

Yesterday, I wore them for the last 15 minutes of my run and felt fine again. Any soreness I feel is near the end of running and is pressure on the ball of my foot.

Tomorrow I am going to do a brick with a 30 minute easy run. If I feel ok, I will wear the Newtons for the last 15 minutes of that run as well. Then on Sunday, I'll try 20 minutes.

Easy does it.


My PTT issue had me doing a lot of thinking. I have these light weight Sketcher shoes that have very little arch support. They are ok but not super comfortable. I wear them all the time and I'm on my feet all day at work. I suspect they are adding to my problem.

So for the past 4 days, I've been wearing my New Balance running shoes with my orthotics in, whenever I need to wear shoes - around the house and/or out shopping etc. My thinking is that I do heel strike and over pronate when I walk even if I don't do it anymore when I run. I think the time I need to wear my orthotics is in my daily life. I've tried putting them in my regular shoes but they are not comfortable so I think I will be some decent slightly attractive court shoes or light weight running shoes and wear them to work with my orthotics.

Physio and Massage

I've been seeing my MT on a fairly regular basis for the past month or so and she has been helping to keep me from getting (any more) injured. Today she worked on an adductor and quad muscle that has been bothering me for several years. (Yes, you read that right, years). Since it doesn't hurt when I swim, bike, or run, I've kind of ignored it, but I can't help think it might be affecting other parts of my body on that I may be compensating. She encouraged me to see a PT some time this week and get started on dealing with it.

My upper left leg hurts in two places. One is at the insertion point and down the muscle in the front of my leg when I pull my knee to my chest. The other is the adductor from insertion point in the groin all the way down the muscle. This hurts when I turn my knee outwards, or if I lie on my back and let me left knee drop open. Lately it's started to bother me more and more and now I find I have to be careful not to turn my left knee in the wrong direction or the tendon actually 'pops'. My MT was able to release the tension somewhat today but I can already feel it tightening up again so I am going to make an appt with the PT and get it taken care of while nothing else is hurting me. I'm also going to do more yoga and hip flexor stretching.

OK, I know this is long. Catching up always is.... :)


Thomas said...

Happy St. Patty's Day! Looks like training is going well. Yoga and stretching is supposed to help. I'm going to try stretching more often and on a consistent basis.

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