Saturday, January 2, 2010

Trying to recover from a injured hamstring

My left hamstring has really been bothering me over the past weeks so I've cut back quite a bit on my training and I'm trying to recover enough to try to have a shot at a sub 2:45 marathon in two weeks. It seems like I've had chronic hamstring issues since college which I think stem from my hamstrings being weak and my poor flexibility. The biggest issue I've had lately is that when I run on unstable surfaces I have an issue with what I think is the tendon that runs behind my left knee on the inside of my knee seems to be rubbing uncomfortably and it's quite unnerving. It's kind of hard to describe other than it is kind of like if you are holding a rubber band tight and pull it a little and then let it pop back into place. It's gotten worse over the past couple of weeks so I've pretty much cut out speedwork and have been trying to just maintain a decent amount of mileage and aggressively stretch my hamstrings. I got a massage last Wednesday and the therapist spent the whole hour working on my quads and hamstrings. She said I had really bad flexibility (like I didn't already know that) and she gave me several different yoga stretches to do this week. The good news is that today I was able to go out and run 12 miles and I didn't feel any of the discomfort/tightness of the tendon. My hamstring was still pretty sore at the end of the run, but it seems to be feeling a little better now after spending quite a while stretching this afternoon. Here's a recap of this past week of running-

Saturday 1/2 -
12 miles at park and averaged 7:00 pace. I ran the first 3 miles fairly easy at ~7:40 pace with a lady who was training for her first marathon. I passed her and she asked if I minded if she tried to keep up with me for the rest of the lap so I ran with her and gave her some tips for her first marathon. The slower pace felt really good - I didn't notice any soreness in my hamstring so I decided to pick up the pace. I was contemplating trying to run 6 - 9 miles at marathon pace, but I got down to about 6:40 pace and that felt fast enough and I didn't want to do anything too stupid so I maintained a 6:40 - 6:45 pace for the rest of the run. It was the longest run I had done in two weeks and I was happy I made it through it. I'm taking Sean's advice to run at the park on easy surfaces and not push it too hard because one workout isn't really going to change the outcome of my marathon unless I do something dumb and make my leg feel worse.

Friday 1/1 -
Relatively easy 8 miles at the park in 58 minutes. I went out for a run Friday afternoon and I was surprised how packed the park was. I guess everyone who was out too late partying Thursday night and everyone starting their new years resolutions came out. Hamstring was kind of sore and had some issues with the tendon the last mile of the run.

Thursday 12/31-
5 miles at park, didn't wear a watch. Hamstrings and quads were kind of tender after my massage Wednesday evening. I thought about taking the day off, but I'll be taking a day or two off next week as I start tapering so I decided to get out and get a relatively easy run in.

Wednesday 12/30-
9 miles at park in 65 minutes. Not a good day. Went out the door trying to do up to 24 miles, but no way my legs could handle it today. Planned to do 9 mile loop at park, stop by house for gatorade and energy gel, 9 mile loop from house around bayou, then 6 mile loop at park. Hamstring was pretty sore after 9 miles and I could have gone longer than 9, but no way I was going to get 20+ in on it. I didn't know if running 15 - 18 would do any damage, but I had thoughts of trying 18 - 20 on Saturday if it was feeling better so I stopped after 9 and hoped that my afternoon massage would help it out. Afternoon massage working on hamstrings and quads for most of the hour. They were really tight and needed a lot of work. I will probably get two more massages before the marathon trying to loosen and get everything healed up.

Tuesday 12/29
Ran 7 miles at lunch with a coworker. Didn't wear a watch, but probably ran first 4 miles at ~7:15 pace and last 3 at sub 6:40 pace (trying to beat the approaching storm back to the office). Hamstring and tendon bothered me some the last couple of miles.

Monday 12/28
7 miles on treadmill in 50 minutes. I hate running on treadmills. We were in the Cincinnati area over Christmas and it was cold and windy. The windchill was 7 on Monday morning so I decided to run on the treadmill and watch all the football highlights on sportcenter. I won one of my fantasy football league championships so I got a chance to see all the touchdowns my team scored. Did I mention I hate running on treadmills? I almost went outside for the run with a hat, gloves, windproof pants and a couple of long sleeve shirts, but I didn't really know the area that well and I didn't want to get lost or have to walk back if my hamstring really started hurting.


  1. sorry to hear about the troubles geoff. i have started doing yoga 2-3 times a week and also a 1.5 hour massage every 2 weeks and its helped me TREMENDOUSLY!!! if you even do beginner yoga on a dvd thats good too if you dont want to pay for classes (or endure the classes with others).

    hope it gets better!!!!


  2. Geoff, I hope your injury is coming along okay man. I'm pulling for you to be out there and ready to run on Marathon day. It would be great if all of us can have a great day and make a good showing for KW Elite Racing.

    Take good care man, and see you at the start line!

  3. I'm not as quick as you guys. I'm just trying to run 3:10 in Houston. Anyways, i hurt my hamstring a couple of years ago. Soccer not a good thing for long distance runners.
    My hamstrings are a lot better now. I went to several doctors (including "sports dr) and no one could help. Someone finally reccommended Koala Health and Weallness. It took a while, first 2 months I
    was going 3 times a week. Once hamstrings were improving they started working on making them stronger. I hate the machine, but it has made a world of a difference. They take insurance, so that helps a lot with cost. I remember my frustration when I was hurt. It might be something for you to research. Good luck!

  4. Thanks for all the comments. Things are going well and I think I'll be able to run hard on Sunday. We'll see how my fitness is, but it looks like the weather will be great next weekend.