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2012 4 Races for 4 PBs

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  • Last Two Runs

    Thursday Solid 4 Miles

    I was caught for time on Thursday evening. I'd planned on running faster than easy, like I did on Wednesday evening, but in the event I went out a bit faster again, logging mile splits of 7:45, 7:00, 7:03, 7:03. Felt good. No knee protests. Had to dash to the shop afterwards and left knee gave some moderate feedback while walking. Hmmm. Knee's been fine when walking for the last 10 days or so, clearly it's not impressed with these faster runs, not with tonight's pace anyway.

    Friday 1.1 Miles DNF

    Left knee was grumpy during the day and I was concerned ahead of Friday evening's run. Went out after work. The first 100m it protested, but I always ignore the first 100ms. After 5 mins I realise I forgot to hit start on the Garmin , hate that. I finish one Lockdown Loop and then around 3 mins into the second lap the left knee starts to protest, moderate feedback. It's only mile 2 and I'm in no mood to complete the rest of the run anticipating further feedback. I pull the plug and decide on the spot to take a further 2 weeks off (maybe more, we'll see). I'd been toying with this idea of late, since resuming on 8 August the left knee has had some sort of feedback in 90% of runs.

    This is now officially the most disruptive injury I've had since I started running. Not terribly painful, but uncomfortable enough to take all the joy out of a run. I haven't looked forward to a run since July 4th. I was on course for around 2500 miles for the year now I'm unlikely to hit 2000, so it's cost me at least 500 miles and months of fitness. I think I peaked at the start of June with that 5 miler with 6:1X pace feeling comfortable. Should have taken some down time then.

    Allowed myself feel sorry for myself over the weekend, but need to regroup and refocus now. Plan of action in next post.




  • Ok I picked up a calendar and scribbled down the following:

    Two comments.

    First: if I'm unhappy with left knee feedback in one week's time, or if I'm unhappy with left knee feedback during week 3 below I will see the physical therapist I've been recommended.

    Second: the lesson I've learned this year is that I need to incorporate proper down weeks. I'm going to implement a "4 on, 1 off" structure. So 4 weeks of regular training then one down week, with reduced mileage and no sessions.

    After 4 of these 5 week blocks, the next week will be a 'transition' week, with low mileage and just one session. And then I start the next 4 of these 5 week blocks

    That's the plan. I need a plan.

    Week | Beginning | Planned Mileage | Week Objectives
    01 | 14 September | 00 | Rest - Strengthening, Stretching, Rolling and Core
    02 | 21 September | 00 | Rest - Strengthening, Stretching, Rolling and Core
    03 | 28 September | 20 | All Easy Running 8:15 min/mile max
    04 | 05 October | 25 | All easy Running 8:15 min/mile max
    05 | 12 October | 30 | All easy Running 8:15 min/mile max
    06 | 19 October | 35 | All easy Running 8:15 min/mile max
    07 | 26 October | 40 | All easy Running 8:15 min/mile max
    08 | 02 November | 40 | Introduce some marathon pace miles sub 3:10 and sub 3:00
    09 | 09 November | 40 | Tempo 3x1M, plus a short 5K pace session
    10 | 16 November | 40 | Tempo 4x1M, plus a short 5K pace session
    11 | 23 November | 40 | Tempo 2M + 2x1M, plus a short 5K pace session
    12 | 30 November | 30 | Down Week, all easy running 8:15 min/mile max
    13 | 07 December | 40 | Tempo 2x2M, plus a 3K pace session
    14 | 14 December | 40 | Tempo 3M+1M, plus a 3K pace session
    15 | 21 December | 40 | Tempo 4M, plus a 3K pace session
    16 | 28 December | 40 | Tempo 4M, plus a 3K pace session
    17 | 04 January | 30 | Down Week, all easy running 8:15 min/mile max




  • Slight change of plan.

    I've arranged appointment with a physical therapist for early next Monday morning. I'm fed up second guessing, hopefully he will be able to at least figure out what is causing the knee pain. Knee has been sore the last two mornings while walking the school drop/collect.

    Until I hear what he says on Monday I'm not going to do any strength work etc, a week of total rest. Table updated accordingly.

    Week | Beginning | Planned Mileage | Week Objectives
    01 | 14 September | 00 | Rest
    02 | 21 September | 00 | Rest - Strengthening, Stretching, Rolling and Core
    03 | 28 September | 20 | All Easy Running 8:15 min/mile max
    04 | 05 October | 25 | All easy Running 8:15 min/mile max
    05 | 12 October | 30 | All easy Running 8:15 min/mile max
    06 | 19 October | 35 | All easy Running 8:15 min/mile max
    07 | 26 October | 40 | All easy Running 8:15 min/mile max
    08 | 02 November | 40 | Introduce some marathon pace miles sub 3:10 and sub 3:00
    09 | 09 November | 40 | Tempo 3x1M, plus a short 5K pace session
    10 | 16 November | 40 | Tempo 4x1M, plus a short 5K pace session
    11 | 23 November | 40 | Tempo 2M + 2x1M, plus a short 5K pace session
    12 | 30 November | 30 | Down Week, all easy running 8:15 min/mile max
    13 | 07 December | 40 | Tempo 2x2M, plus a 3K pace session
    14 | 14 December | 40 | Tempo 3M+1M, plus a 3K pace session
    15 | 21 December | 40 | Tempo 4M, plus a 3K pace session
    16 | 28 December | 40 | Tempo 4M, plus a 3K pace session
    17 | 04 January | 30 | Down Week, all easy running 8:15 min/mile max




  • Over the last 48 hours I've convinced myself that it's my IT band that is the source of my pain. Curious to see if physical therapist agrees on Monday.

    Based on how my knee has felt over the last few days I think the plan I've drafted up is optimistic. I have a feeling that a much shorter plan is more realistic:
    • 2020 Heal
    • 2021 Rebuild
    • 2022 Sub 3 attempt #1




  • FYP :pac:
    outforarun wrote: »
    Over the last 48 hours I've convinced myself Dr. Google has convinced me, that it's my IT band that is the source of my pain. Curious to see if physical therapist agrees on Monday.

    Based on how my knee has felt over the last few days I think the plan I've drafted up is optimistic. I have a feeling that a much shorter plan is more realistic:
    • 2020 Heal
    • 2021 Rebuild
    • 2022 Sub 3 attempt #1


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  • FYP :pac:

    Rumbled.




  • A few years back I paid my first visit to the dentist in far far far too long. Unsurprisingly that visit revealed a not insignificant list of items that needed addressing. It took some time and wasn't always pleasant but I bit the bullet and attended to every item on that list. Since then I've been strict about following 6 monthly check-ups, nipping issues early and basically ensuring that I give my teeth proper attention.

    This morning's physical therapist visit reminded me a lot of that first dental visit. I've been neglecting my legs. Hip flexors, hamstrings and left IT band are the chief victims of that neglect. There's a lot of work to be done. The good news is that it is all soft tissue issues, no evidence of any joint or cartilage issues, the PT is confident that we can work on all items.

    His approach is to first 'break-down' the muscles and tendons, get them to a clean-slate state before beginning proper strength and conditioning, he doesn't want to over-load them in their current condition.

    The item that 'jumped-out' to him was the hip flexors and he has them listed as the most likely original culprit of my current issues. The left IT band is also in need of attention, as is the left hamstring, some mild tendonitis affecting it.

    I was very impressed with how quickly he was able to read my body and demonstrate some of the issue areas. He absolutely sounded competent, confident and knowledgeable. This was an eye-opener of a session. It has been just one session and time will tell how well I respond to treatment, but mentally I'm in a far better place now than I was 24 hours ago.

    Today was a chat, an assessment, a dry needling session (ouch) and some massage. Next session will be more hands on. It really helps that he has a running background (Irish triathlete and ex Rathfarnham runner) and that we could talk running.

    Feel I am finally having the source of my issues addressed. I mentioned to him that in my head I was ready to dedicate the rest of this year to healing and start rebuilding in 2021. He however is more optimistic and believes he'll have me back on the road and rebuilding sooner than that.

    I'm injured as I type but I now believe that not only will this injury heal, but that I'll end up with a better set of legs than I had prior to when issues manifest back in July. It ties in perfectly with my own decision to implement blocks of 4 weeks training and 1 week down, I'd aim to get a sports massage on those down weeks. I haven't been giving my legs the attention they deserve and consequently I haven't allowed them hit full potential.

    This morning's was an appointment that far exceeded my expectations.

    (also bought my first sliotar today!)




  • Quick Update

    I feel I'm progressing well. The legs during the day are starting to feel mostly normal again.

    The litmus test will be when I lace up again, but that will wait a little while longer. It's funny how in the early weeks of this injury I was semi-anxiously counting the days hoping not to lose too much fitness and trying to anticipate a return to running that would allow me resume proper training without too much delay. Now, almost 3 months since my 10K DNF that urgency has long gone. Fitness has dropped, weight has gone up (I'm almost certain of this but I don't want to step on the scales for the proof) 2021 goals have been shifted to 2022. But I'm at peace with all of this and I'm looking forward to the challenge of rebuilding next year.

    I've been using the sliotar every night of late, 45 minute sessions applying static body weight pressure on the glutes, quads and hamstrings, while moving my knee as per PT instructions. Tedious but it does feel like it is having a positive effect on the legs.

    I've been clocking up miles on the bike. It's not the real thing but it does offer an acceptable substitute high during this running cold turkey. Hills offer a challenge, but the rest of the time it feels the bike is doing the bulk of the work.

    Second visit to the PT yesterday morning. Spent a lot of time on the table. Hamstrings, calves, glutes. When I lie on my back raise my left leg, bend my knee to 90 degrees and then rotate my lower leg inwards I have a good range of motion. The right leg instead is lucky to reach 60% of that rotation. Sure enough when the PT turned his attention to the right glute it hurt, a lot. This is an imbalance that I need to work on, in all likelihood it is forcing the left leg to do extra work.

    I put on the Glycerin's and ran 80m up the road and back from outside the clinic and under the PT's watchful eye. I flick my legs outwards a bit when running and I've been prescribed some exercises addressing footfall. Those 160m, the legs felt fine.

    I've been asked to go for a short tester run ahead of next appointment, very very short, maybe just 800m to max 1K. The thinking is that if I feel any twinges or new feedback then if necessary we can tweak the treatment sooner rather than later.

    It's the start of October. I hope that come the end of October I will be back in the process of slowly building up weekly mileage.




  • Quick Update

    Two steps forward, one step back. All going well up until Monday evening. The knees weren't protesting and the legs were feeling normal. Then after an easy cycle on Monday evening I noticed a sensation behind the left knee. Not super severe but definitely something not right, sharp rather than dull. Go to bed, wake up and it'll be gone.

    Some faint tweaks Tuesday morning. When I walked for the school collect though it was uncomfortable, maybe even encouraged a light limp. Discomfort was mostly behind the knee and for the first time ever on the inner side of the knee.

    I'd be lying if I said I didn't find this incredibly disappointing and disheartening. It could be a reaction to the new strength exercises I've been doing. Contacted the PT and he said to take it easy until tomorrow PM, he'll check in and we'll decide next step. It was definitely better today, the school collect was ok.

    I've no trust in the left leg anymore (and the right knee isn't 100% silent either). I can go three days with no feedback and then 'ping' feedback for a day or two. Then nothing for a while, then 'ping' still not healed. Sometimes it's the knee, sometimes the muscles or tendons behind the knee. A positive is that 95% of the time steps are ok, up and down.

    I hope that when I do try get back running, which I really really hope is in the next 10 days or so, that the knee won't give feedback. July 4th seems a long long time ago now.

    Legs feel fine while cycling. The bike is just about keeping me sane - it's my methadone.




  • August Review

    False dawn.

    Back on the road on the 8 August. Super cautious re-entry. Run-walk strategy for the first week. The very first run was 10x(1min walk + 1min run), it was sunny, the knees were fine, it felt good to be back.

    Left knee feedback started on my second run, not a lot but still.

    Did more stretching and strength work in August than I did in the previous year.

    The left knee did not like the stop-start transitions and I was happy to get onto the second week of rehab where the run-walk strategy was dropped. Week 2 of rehab I ran easy runs of increasing distance 3K, 5K, 4M, 5M and 10K. Avoiding traffic lights as much as possible. Mild and moderate feedback from left knee for a few strides on all runs.

    It wasn't until the end of week 3 and my final run of August that I ran twinge free. A whole 10K with no left knee feedback. Buzzed.

    Some hope heading into September.

    Month | Monthly Miles | Daily mileage for month | Weekly Mileage for month | Daily mileage for year | Weekly mileage for year | Predicted yearly mileage
    January | 203.31 | 6.56 | 45.91 | 6.56 | 45.91 | 2400
    February | 226.40 | 7.81 | 54.65 | 7.16 | 50.13 | 2621
    March | 222.74 | 7.19 | 50.30 | 7.17 | 50.19 | 2624
    April | 170.06 | 5.67 | 39.68 | 6.80 | 47.58 | 2488
    May | 201.37 | 6.50 | 45.47 | 6.74 | 47.15 | 2465
    June | 209.75 | 6.99 | 48.94 | 6.78 | 47.45 | 2481
    July | 42.87 | 1.38 | 9.68 | 5.99 | 41.93 | 2192
    August | 56.34 | 1.88 | 13.15 | 5.46 | 38.24 | 1999
    September | | | | | |
    October | | | | | |
    November | | | | | |
    December | | | | | |


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  • Latest update from the Sideline

    The positives - my last 4 runs (600m, 800m, 1000m and 1200m) were completed without any left leg feedback. Not an insignificant positive. At the end of last week's PT session I asked about returning to running and the PT said "Oh yes, we're running again". He sounded confident. I said I've postponed all my 2021 goals to 2022. He commented that he thinks I'll surprise myself and will be back sooner than I expect. I want to believe him. But 4 months out has dented my optimism and made me very wary.

    The negatives - still feeling some minor feedback on steps, but it happens far less frequently now. Less infrequent however is a 'presence' a 'tiredness' at the back of the left knee. And I cannot shake the feeling that my left leg is a precariously balanced house of cards.

    Last week's PT session was fairly brutal. Started with good chat and catch-up. Then the needles were produced. Into the top of both calves and up along the hamstrings. They were left simmering for 15 minutes or so. Then it was turn over and get to work on the quads. Elbow going deeper and deeper. I was laughing uncontrollably at points, I didn't no what else to do. This was tough. Worse point was when PT asks me to raise my opposite knee, just to help ensure my back doesn't go into spasm! Battered.

    I would be so so so happy if by the end of the year I can string together two back to back 40 mile weeks without any left leg feedback. But I'm not convinced that that will happen and I won't force it. I would love to be able to start back training on first of January, with a 12 month carefully paced plan to get back to June 2020 fitness by December 2021.

    Right now being sidelined for so long is far far far a bigger mental challenge than any lock-down.

    Two attainable goals to aim for to keep be focussed over the next weeks.

    Sleep - I am absolutely not getting enough sleep. I average I'd say 5 hours a night, maybe a little less. This isn't giving my body a chance to properly heal. I need to try target at least 7 hours a night. This means going against my night-owl self, but if the prize is getting back on the road quicker it will be worth it. I'm curious to see the effects of this. I managed 8 hours last night and I swear my leg felt more normal today because of it. Two weeks of proper sleep could work a miracle.

    Diet - 74.00 kilos. Yikes. Stood on the scales last night. Normally I average around 70.5 kilo and dip under 70 during peak training. I need to do my knees a favour and lose some of this weight. Plan is to drop a kilo a week over the next four weeks. The first 2 kilo should be easy to drop, i.e. cut out the junk, the second two kilo might be trickier and I can see more bicycle miles being required. This evening the scales read 73.40 so that's a good start.




  • PT Visit Number 4 and a plan for the rest of the year

    "I'm being a little more aggressive today."

    That's what the physical therapist said as he manipulated the 8 needles protruding from around my left knee. I was clenching the massage-table frame behind my head, sweating like I was running an interval session. This was a lot of pain, dull pulses rising to sharp electric jolts, my whole left leg twitching involuntarily.

    "You are doing fantastic, short term pain, it'll be worth it."

    I had to shout a few times. Lots of swearing. Near the end a scream.

    "Don't worry the waiting room is empty."

    When the aggressive needling was over he turns his attention to the muscles around the knee, heavily kneading them downwards until the knee felt numb and I could feel muscles trying to detach from my hip. Next I had to hang my knee off the end of the table, raise and lower as he dug deeper and deeper into supporting muscle.

    I took forever to get my shoes back on afterwards and somehow I managed to cycle home with one and a half legs. That was a brutal session, right from the start until the finish.

    But yesterday the left-knee felt 100% normal, as did the hammer above it.
    If this is what it takes to clear the tension from around the knee then so be it. Another session or two like that could be the trick, won't be fun though.

    I like to chat with the PT, but conversation was impossible Thursday while on the table. Just a stream of profanities and some manic laughter.

    Since my last update here I've continued with short tester runs every other day. Max 1500m. The good news is that on none of these runs have I felt pain or any twinges or discomfort from the left knee. This is a source of optimism. What keeps that optimism in check is the fact that outside of running I continue to feel some form of mild feedback pretty much everyday from the left-knee or hamstring above it. Overall a sense that it is slowly slowly improving but a frustration that in my 5th month since that ill-fated 10K TT I can tell it is still not healed.

    I outlined the following proposal to the PT and forwarded it to him today. In theory he said it sounded feasible and I hope to get an official thumbs up from him over the weekend. Time to start looking at building up the miles again.

    Everything below will be easy pace.
    Hopefully this really is the first road back to recovery.

    Week | Beginning | Planned Mileage | Longest Run
    01 | 16 Nov | 01 to 05 Miles | 3K
    02 | 23 Nov | 06 to 10 Miles | 5K
    03 | 30 Nov | 11 to 15 Miles | 4M
    04 | 07 Dec | 16 to 20 Miles | 5M
    05 | 14 Dec | 21 to 25 Miles | 10K
    06 | 21 Dec | 26 to 30 Miles | 7M
    07 | 28 Dec | 26 to 30 Miles | 8M


    Been thinking more about what preceded my July 4th injury.
    I don't think it was just the fact that I'd run 33 weeks of approx 50 miles a week without a break that lead to the injury, though it clearly was a factor. The other factor was surely the increase in intensity, first with the 16x400 type sessions at the club and then with the focus on short TTs, I ran 6 TTs of my 1.29M lockdown loop, and I ran the boards 1M TT, all through April and May. The intensity of these TTs I think was too much for the legs. I needed more downtime, more recovery. The first half of this year saw some good performances but not a lot of smart running. Live and learn.




  • I'd agree with the increase in intensity. (I wouldn't say it had anything to do with 33 weeks of 50m)

    I've seen many people, me included, not cope well when the intensify is increased to 5k pace and faster.
    I just can do it anymore - my body is just hanging by a thread and a slight whim will break something (as it did in September).

    Use the next few weeks to get healthy - use your plan as a guide - step back when you need to - increase if you're feeling good.




  • I've had a couple of setbacks this year with a hamstring issue (which isn't actually a hamstring issue ...but that's another story).

    I'd echo what A is saying above, without doubt, the intense stuff knocked me back both times. It seems that running intense, short, sharp sessions week in week out just won't work for me anymore.

    We tend to get wrapped up in having to knock out these intense sessions each and every week, sometimes twice a week ......when we could get a lot more creative with our training and probably make it a lot more enjoyable too.

    Good to see you getting on top of things.




  • I'd agree with the increase in intensity. (I wouldn't say it had anything to do with 33 weeks of 50m)

    I've seen many people, me included, not cope well when the intensify is increased to 5k pace and faster.
    I just can do it anymore - my body is just hanging by a thread
    Duanington wrote: »
    I'd echo what A is saying above, without doubt, the intense stuff knocked me back both times. It seems that running intense, short, sharp sessions week in week out just won't work for me anymore.

    We tend to get wrapped up in having to knock out these intense sessions each and every week, sometimes twice a week ......when we could get a lot more creative with our training and probably make it a lot more enjoyable too.

    Thanks Guys for the feedback and encouragement. Think I'll be knocking the 1M TTs and their like on the head. Still feel I have a 5K PB in me but yeah the training needs to be smarter. Spot on, I was running two sessions a week for the first 6 months of the year, proper dead on my feet sessions. Personally I think the flat out faster sections of the Moneghetti sessions were the straw that broke this camel's left leg.

    Being sidelined for this long really makes you realise how much running means to you and how much it defines your identity. It's not easy to stay patient. Right now I would bite your hand off if you offered a 2021 that I could successfully dedicate to getting back to the fitness levels I had in June. And then direct that fitness toward a sub 3 shot in 2022.




  • Week 1 of Mileage Build-Up

    Ok so the first week was navigated more or less without issue. The only blot on the copy was some surprise feedback from the right knee on Saturday's 3K 'long' run. Unfamilar feedback as it came from front of knee. Didn't last long. I have noticed a click from the right knee over the last fortnight or so on going up stairs. Purely audio when it clicks, no pain, nothing. Just another item to add to the litany of items that started to surface from late June. The feedback came inside the first K of the run so it wasn't due to stretching out to 3K.

    The other 2 runs were fine. In general the runs are ok. As always it's the never too far away 'sensations' that I get when going about my day-to-day that keep optimism at bay. Sensations are mostly to the rear of the knee and feel soft-tissue sourced, not strutural.

    Must say that the knee has felt improved since last PT session. If I successfully navigate week 2 then I'll arrange next session.

    Mentally being on a 7 week plan is helping. Hope it's not premature.

    Week | Beginning | Planned Mileage | Longest Run | How'd it go?
    01 | 16 Nov | 01 to 05 Miles | 3K | Left knee passes, right knee protests a little, maybe it's just forgetting how to run. Total 4.40 Miles
    02 | 23 Nov | 06 to 10 Miles | 5K |
    03 | 30 Nov | 11 to 15 Miles | 4M |
    04 | 07 Dec | 16 to 20 Miles | 5M |
    05 | 14 Dec | 21 to 25 Miles | 10K |
    06 | 21 Dec | 26 to 30 Miles | 7M |
    07 | 28 Dec | 26 to 30 Miles | 8M |




  • Week 2 of Mileage Build-Up

    Today is 150 days since I picked up this injury. And to think I thought at the start that it might clear up in a couple of weeks!

    I completed week two of this latest rehab plan on Sunday. The structure of the week was pretty straight forward, 2K on Monday, 3K on Wednesday, 4K on Friday and 5K on Sunday. The last two runs were my longest since mid September. The runs went well. Again it's when I'm not running that the legs complain. They don't complain terribly and I'm fairly certain that there is gradual improvement. I think I may have been overdoing the glute bridges and these could be stressing the left hammer behind the knee.

    Sunday's run felt significant. 5K and no negative feedback. It felt good to be out running for nearly 30mins on a Sunday morning. Ventured away from my lockdown loop and ran round the Memorial Gardens.

    The two things I miss most while dealing with this injury are the wrecked feeling after a hard session, and the Sunday morning runs, with or without company.

    I've contacted PT to arrange next session. A little concerned about right knee, it's clicking a lot, but zero pain with those clicks. Next Sunday I'm targeting a 4 miler. This is a big one, because during my first rehab attempt back in August and September the left knee tended to start complaining from mile 4 of my runs.

    Week | Beginning | Planned Mileage | Longest Run | How'd it go?
    01 | 16 Nov | 01 to 05 Miles | 3K | Left knee passes, right knee protests a little, maybe it's just forgetting how to run. Total 4.40 Miles
    02 | 23 Nov | 06 to 10 Miles | 5K | Knees good while running. Right knee clicking on stairs. 5K milestone navigated successfully. Total 8.76 Miles
    03 | 30 Nov | 11 to 15 Miles | 4M |
    04 | 07 Dec | 16 to 20 Miles | 5M |
    05 | 14 Dec | 21 to 25 Miles | 10K |
    06 | 21 Dec | 26 to 30 Miles | 7M |
    07 | 28 Dec | 26 to 30 Miles | 8M |




  • Week 3 of Mileage Build-Up

    Left the house this morning and headed for the Park, first time running there in over 2 months. Bitterly cold, but I did not care. Headed up the Khyber and even at easy pace I realise that I will have a lot of work to do to get back to summer fitness! Confidence is slowly returning, so much so that I risked a stop-start to take a photo of the white-out-fog by the playing fields. On the restart a faint presence from the left knee which passed soon enough. Further traffic-light stop-starts were fine. The run was a success, no pain and no discomfort.

    Afterwards I had to leave the house straight out of the shower to head back to the park on foot. Not ideal, I wanted to ice the knee for 15mins. It did grumble a bit during the day but nothing terribly concerning.

    Right now it's all about keeping the healing curve ahead of the training curve. The knee is getting better. I have my 5th physical therapist appointment booked for next Wednesday, if I see similar improvement following this visit as I did from my last visit then I will be very happy.

    This injury may have come with an 8 week recovery. I tried 8 days off and went back to square one. Then I tried three weeks off and eventually went back to square one. I take consolation from the fact that I only really started to properly address this injury near the end of September.

    I have the core of a rebuilding plan drafted for 2021, that would bring me nicely up to DCM. Eight blocks of 4 weeks. Between each block a down week. Clear objectives defined for each 4 week block. Won't discuss detail here for fear of tempting fate, but I do find it is so important to have a plan to work with. I have contingency built in and will rest/step-back if the legs tell me I need to. No races are set in stone for 2021, the goal is just to get back to where I was in June. But the plan does not feature anything faster than 3K pace, and 3K pace is not planned for anything more than 400m.

    The other runs this week went well, apart from some stiffness from both knees on Saturday's easy 3K run.

    First 3 weeks successful. Fingers crossed for week 4.

    Week | Beginning | Planned Mileage | Longest Run | How'd it go?
    01 | 16 Nov | 01 to 05 Miles | 3K | Left knee passes, right knee protests a little, maybe it's just forgetting how to run. Total 4.40 Miles
    02 | 23 Nov | 06 to 10 Miles | 5K | Knees good while running. Right knee clicking on stairs. 5K milestone navigated successfully. Total 8.76 Miles
    03 | 30 Nov | 11 to 15 Miles | 4M | Bit of stiffness in both knees over opening 100m of one run, otherwise nothing negative to report from runs. Still some complaints when not running. Total 13.47 Miles
    04 | 07 Dec | 16 to 20 Miles | 5M |
    05 | 14 Dec | 21 to 25 Miles | 10K |
    06 | 21 Dec | 26 to 30 Miles | 7M |
    07 | 28 Dec | 26 to 30 Miles | 8M |




  • Week 4 of Mileage Build-Up

    The rollercoaster continues. Started with a 5K around Inchicore, first 100m or so I could feel the left knee, not pain, not twinging but a definite uncertainty about how it would decide to behave. In the end it behaved fine.

    On Wednesday I took a half-day and headed Crumlin direction for PT session number 5. Beforehand I managed a 4K meander mostly in the Royal Hospital Grounds. Same behaviour again, a 'presence' in the left knee for the first 100m and then it behaved fine.

    This PT session saw a focus on the left IT band, which was immediately described as very tight. The needles were out again. Hip was targeted and I could feel the pain shoot down along the leg. Very painful. Sweating and tense. PT admits that he is being more aggressive in these last two sessions. I'm bruised where the needles were applied. Some positive feedback next when PT works the left quad and knee. Much improved on last visit. I walked home after the session and both legs felt good.

    Thursday I ran for a third consecutive day, another 4 miler. The first three miles both legs felt good. On the last mile I could feel something in the left knee but no pain materialized.

    During the PT session I mentioned that the right leg had been generally fine. The next day the right knee felt stiff. Another 5K on Saturday and this was probably the best run of rehab so far. Legs felt good. Sun was out. Mood is good. Then later in the afternoon while walking the right knee starts to complain, quite sore and limp inducing at points. Don't know where this came from. Mood nose-dives again.

    This feels kneecap related. I hope it's just a short-term thing and will pass as quickly as it arrived. Maybe the right knee has been compensating for months and is just adjusting to the slow return to running.

    A lot of apprehension Sunday morning as I attempted 5 miles. I deliberately stuck to laps of the block in case I had to cut this one short. It's been a while since I've been more concerned about my right knee than my left knee. On mile 2 I could feel a sensation growing in the right knee and I was ready to bail, but instead it passed fairly quickly and I completed the 5 miles without pain.

    Both knees have been a bit poppy and a bit stiff since, but I'm hoping it's just them becoming re-accustomed to running again. The muscle tiredness and niggles I had been feeling in the left knee while not running have almost fully disappeared.

    During the 5 miler I made a decision to take a proactive week off. I had decided sometime ago that my rebuilding would be in blocks of 4 weeks with down weeks between blocks. I decided on Sunday that now after 4 weeks of rehab I would also apply a downweek. Probably a down week during rehab means zero running and just a series of S&C sessions.

    When I resume it will be with a repeat of week 4, and then weeks 5, 6 and 7. I feel good for taking this decision now and giving the right knee a little time to settle.

    All told the first 4 weeks of rehab have gone well. Particularly the runs, where I have felt no pain. The knees still have issue to iron out though. Still trying to focus on the positives and knock any negative thoughts on the head.

    Week | Beginning | Planned Mileage | Longest Run | How'd it go?
    01 | 16 Nov | 01 to 05 Miles | 3K | Left knee passes, right knee protests a little, maybe it's just forgetting how to run. Total 4.40 Miles
    02 | 23 Nov | 06 to 10 Miles | 5K | Knees good while running. Right knee clicking on stairs. 5K milestone navigated successfully. Total 8.76 Miles
    03 | 30 Nov | 11 to 15 Miles | 4M | Bit of stiffness in both knees over opening 100m of one run, otherwise nothing negative to report from runs. Still some complaints when not running. Total 13.47 Miles
    04 | 07 Dec | 16 to 20 Miles | 5M | A painless 5 miles. Legs feeling good on a 5K. Three consecutive days running. Unexpected soreness from right knee while walking. Another table clenching needling session. Total 17.82 Miles.
    05 | 14 Dec | 21 to 25 Miles | 10K |
    06 | 21 Dec | 26 to 30 Miles | 7M |
    07 | 28 Dec | 26 to 30 Miles | 8M |




  • Rehab Down Week

    As decide during my last 5 miler, I took a down-week midway during my 8 week rehab block. Proactive rather than reactive. Definitely the inspiration for this down-week was the right knee not the left knee.

    It was wise to take time off. The first few days the knee was very stiff and sore with nearly any movement. Come Wednesday it was generating a lot of heat as well, and was noisy on the stairs. I'm worried that it could be a cartilage issue. Contacted PT just to keep him updated. He said he might be able to fit me in for a session on the 22nd (in the end a slot didn't materialize). But then within 24 hours the right knee was no longer hot, stiff or sore. There was still some snap crackle and pop on the stairs but painless.

    I really hope it was just some temporary irritation and hopefully it won't return. If it does I will be thinking it's MRI time.

    Spent a lot of time doing S&C last week. Lots of rolling, focusing as instructed on the area where the needles were last applied (still some bruising there after last session). Powerband was used quite a bit as well. Running or not running I need to try target at least 4 proper sessions of S&C a week.

    I'd been thinking about my runners. Is it a coincidence that my two worse injuries have been in the last 2 years and after I abandoned Nimbus (after 8 years) for Glycerins. It probably is a coincidence, but having nothing to lose I ordered a pair of Nimbus-21s during the week. I won't say I'm retiring the Glycerins just yet but I will give the Nimbus a go and see how I get on.

    Back to running this week - I'll update on Sunday.


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  • September Review

    My traditional end-of-year-scramble to complete my monthly updates.

    My first attempt to return to regular running continued. Pretty much every run had some feedback from the left knee, typically arriving after 3 miles or so. I don’t think I enjoyed any of these runs, I was constantly anticipating pain and twinges. My mood was very much married to how my knee was feeling. A ‘good’ run and I’d feel optimistic, a ‘poor’ run and I’d be in the dumps. Probably over analysing everything. Growing impatient of being patient.

    I managed to meet up with the Donore Group one Sunday morning, joining them for a mile and a bit of the usual route. That run didn’t go too bad. From the outside it looked as if I was back, but I knew the knees weren’t right yet and I suspected that running, rather than encouraging healing, was hindering healing.

    I got fed-up one Tuesday evening when the knee once again started to protest after 3 miles, I decided to speed-up. The knee behaved for the rest of the run. Next up 7 miles at 7:29 pace. Knee was good. Next up 4 miles at 7:12 pace. Knee was good. Maybe this extra speed was what was missing from the puzzle? Walking to shop after the 4 miler, left knee is very grumpy. And my next run it hurts after just a mile and a bit. I knock this rehab on the head. That was on September 11th and was my final run of the month.

    Later in September I take a friend’s recommendation to try his Physical Therapist. I now think my proper recovery only began once I started seeing him. He inspires a lot of confidence. He is both a qualified physiotherapist and physical therapist so can apply solutions from both fields. He has a strong running background as well so it’s great to be able to talk shop. I like the hands-on nature of the PT sessions. Spend the end of September on the bike and working on the muscles with a sliotar. End the month feeling more positive about the future.

    Month | Monthly Miles | Daily mileage for month | Weekly Mileage for month | Daily mileage for year | Weekly mileage for year | Predicted yearly mileage
    January | 203.31 | 6.56 | 45.91 | 6.56 | 45.91 | 2400
    February | 226.40 | 7.81 | 54.65 | 7.16 | 50.13 | 2621
    March | 222.74 | 7.19 | 50.30 | 7.17 | 50.19 | 2624
    April | 170.06 | 5.67 | 39.68 | 6.80 | 47.58 | 2488
    May | 201.37 | 6.50 | 45.47 | 6.74 | 47.15 | 2465
    June | 209.75 | 6.99 | 48.94 | 6.78 | 47.45 | 2481
    July | 42.87 | 1.38 | 9.68 | 5.99 | 41.93 | 2192
    August | 56.34 | 1.88 | 13.15 | 5.46 | 38.24 | 1999
    September | 47.47 | 1.58 | 11.07 | 5.04 | 35.26 | 1844
    October | | | | | |
    November | | | | | |
    December | | | | | |




  • October Review

    I started the month with a spirit-lifting Indian summer cycle to Howth and back. The knees are happy enough when cycling. For the first 10 days of the month I continue with the sliotar and other strength and conditioning work. Maybe overdoing it on one or two occasions causing the left ‘rear-of-knee’ to protest.

    Then on October 11th I lace up again, 30 days after limping home from my last run. I think this is my longest break in over 10 years of running.

    This time I start with a cautious 600m tester. All good. One more 600m tester before my third PT session. More work on the table, a nasty needling session in upper calves and hamstrings. The PT gives me a green flag to start slowly increasing the run distance. Always keeping a rest day between runs. So 600m becomes 800m becomes 1000m becomes 1200m becomes 1300m. In general the runs go ok, an occasional presence in the left-knee but mostly both legs behave.

    Outside of running the left knee and sometimes the right knee continue to provide some sort of niggly feedback during the day, just enough to remind me that they are not yet fixed. I continue with some S&C work, focusing on using the sliotar for muscle release. I continue to cycle, including a marathon distance cycle in the Park.

    Patience.

    Month | Monthly Miles | Daily mileage for month | Weekly Mileage for month | Daily mileage for year | Weekly mileage for year | Predicted yearly mileage
    January | 203.31 | 6.56 | 45.91 | 6.56 | 45.91 | 2400
    February | 226.40 | 7.81 | 54.65 | 7.16 | 50.13 | 2621
    March | 222.74 | 7.19 | 50.30 | 7.17 | 50.19 | 2624
    April | 170.06 | 5.67 | 39.68 | 6.80 | 47.58 | 2488
    May | 201.37 | 6.50 | 45.47 | 6.74 | 47.15 | 2465
    June | 209.75 | 6.99 | 48.94 | 6.78 | 47.45 | 2481
    July | 42.87 | 1.38 | 9.68 | 5.99 | 41.93 | 2192
    August | 56.34 | 1.88 | 13.15 | 5.46 | 38.24 | 1999
    September | 47.47 | 1.58 | 11.07 | 5.04 | 35.26 | 1844
    October | 6.17 | 0.20 | 1.39 | 4.55 | 31.82 | 1664
    November | | | | | |
    December | | | | | |




  • November Review

    The first third of the month I continued with S&C (mostly sliotar based) and 1500m runs every second day. Also notice an audible click from the right knee when going up stairs. No associated pain.

    I feel I'm ready to start slowly upping the mileage and I run a rehab plan by the PT during our 4th session. He gives it the green flag. Week 1 is the week of the 4th PT session and then it's a 7 week plan adding 5 miles a week and gradually increasing my longest run of the week. All easy pace and the goal is for a final week of 25 to 30 miles with a 'long' run of 8 miles. Navigate this rehab plan successfully and I will turn my attention to the 2021 Rebuild.

    The 4th PT session is vicious. I mentioned that runs were generally ok but that everyday I still felt something from the left knee, mostly when going up and down stairs. So the PT decides to be a bit more aggressive with the dry needling. Focuses around the left knee. Sweat, table clenched, every muscle tensed, sharp pain, dull pain, disconcerting pulses, I shout a lot, I swear a lot. A one-legged cycle back home.

    The next days the left knee feels nearly new. I'm very happily surprised at the difference this one session made.

    First week of mileage build-up: left knee fine, some unconcerning feedback from the right knee. I complete a lap of the block. Sunday I complete a 3K run.

    Second week of mileage build-up: both legs behave. Sunday morning I complete what feels like a significant 5K run, without issue. Left my old lockdown loop and ventured as far as the Memorial Gardens.

    End the month with a 3K during which I feel a slight presence from the left knee.

    Encouraging month, hopeful that I'm finding a good balance between the healing curve and the return-to-running curve.

    Month | Monthly Miles | Daily mileage for month | Weekly Mileage for month | Daily mileage for year | Weekly mileage for year | Predicted yearly mileage
    January | 203.31 | 6.56 | 45.91 | 6.56 | 45.91 | 2400
    February | 226.40 | 7.81 | 54.65 | 7.16 | 50.13 | 2621
    March | 222.74 | 7.19 | 50.30 | 7.17 | 50.19 | 2624
    April | 170.06 | 5.67 | 39.68 | 6.80 | 47.58 | 2488
    May | 201.37 | 6.50 | 45.47 | 6.74 | 47.15 | 2465
    June | 209.75 | 6.99 | 48.94 | 6.78 | 47.45 | 2481
    July | 42.87 | 1.38 | 9.68 | 5.99 | 41.93 | 2192
    August | 56.34 | 1.88 | 13.15 | 5.46 | 38.24 | 1999
    September | 47.47 | 1.58 | 11.07 | 5.04 | 35.26 | 1844
    October | 6.17 | 0.20 | 1.39 | 4.55 | 31.82 | 1664
    November | 21.93 | 0.73 | 5.12 | 4.20 | 29.43 | 1539
    December | | | | | |




  • December Review

    The rehab plan continues. The first two weeks of December I feel 'a presence' in the left knee over the first 50-100m. Not pain but enough to make me nervous about how the knee will behave. In all cases once the first 100m are behind me the knee behaves fine. I wonder is my footfall tentative and un-natural when I start my runs and this triggers this presence? I also detect some stiffness in the right knee.

    A return to The Park on a frosty and foggy Sunday morning :)

    PT session number 5 is probably the toughest one yet. The needles target the left hip to try release stress on the IT Band and remove the pain from the outside of the left knee. This needling session provokes mostly very sharp pain. I'd be bruised for over 2 weeks following this. Mentally drained after the session. But again afterwards the left leg felt hugely improved. In day to day activities the knee grumbles far far less. Dry needling, I'm a believer.

    Then to spoil the party the right knee starts to protest. Out of nowhere some limp inducing pain from the front of the knee while walking to town. Then a lot of stiffness and heat over the next couple of days. So much so that I don't notice the left knee anymore. And then, within 24 hours all the stiffness, pain and heat was gone. Just the going upstairs clicking remains.

    Before the right knee properly flared up I'd opted for a proactive down-week, no running, just 5 good S&C sessions. Glad I called this week as it gave the right knee time to heal itself.

    A repeat of week 5 of 8 rehab weeks included a return to my Chapelizod 5 mile loop.

    And a return to Asics. Probably a coincidence - but I've abandoned the Glycerins and returned to Nimbus. My two worse injuries have occured since I went to Glycerins, after 8 years of just occasional niggles in the Nimbus. The Nimbus feel flatter and more stiff than the Glycerins, hopefully they will loosen a bit after a few runs.

    Confidence returning, keeping fingers crossed that the right knee issue was a one-off.

    Month | Monthly Miles | Daily mileage for month | Weekly Mileage for month | Daily mileage for year | Weekly mileage for year | Predicted yearly mileage
    January | 203.31 | 6.56 | 45.91 | 6.56 | 45.91 | 2400
    February | 226.40 | 7.81 | 54.65 | 7.16 | 50.13 | 2621
    March | 222.74 | 7.19 | 50.30 | 7.17 | 50.19 | 2624
    April | 170.06 | 5.67 | 39.68 | 6.80 | 47.58 | 2488
    May | 201.37 | 6.50 | 45.47 | 6.74 | 47.15 | 2465
    June | 209.75 | 6.99 | 48.94 | 6.78 | 47.45 | 2481
    July | 42.87 | 1.38 | 9.68 | 5.99 | 41.93 | 2192
    August | 56.34 | 1.88 | 13.15 | 5.46 | 38.24 | 1999
    September | 47.47 | 1.58 | 11.07 | 5.04 | 35.26 | 1844
    October | 6.17 | 0.20 | 1.39 | 4.55 | 31.82 | 1664
    November | 21.93 | 0.73 | 5.12 | 4.20 | 29.43 | 1539
    December | 58.47 | 1.89 | 13.20 | 4.01 | 28.06 | 1467




  • 2020 Race History

    This won't take long. Between Covid and injury a year to forget. Hopefully the latter will create some good habits in terms of S&C and routine check-ins with the Physical Therapist for massage etc.

    Only 2 races this year.

    Raheny 5M. Curious to see where the fitness was and very pleasantly surprised to discover I was fitter than I'd thought. Thankfully I've already gone sub 30 over 5 miles as this year I logged a 30:00 exact chip time. Note to self, check the watch on the finishing straight! I am 100% certain I would have logged a second consecutive 29:5X if I had done so.

    I also ran my first XC race. Donore's (very muddy) Faugh-a-Ballagh Cup. Came home in the middle of the field, P8 of 15 runners.

    Short TTs dominated the first half of the year (and probably led to my injury).

    Royal Oak Loop Segment on Strava, a hilly 1.29ish Mile loop. Ran 6 TTs on this: 7:37, 7:31, 7:23, 7:28, 7:30, 7:14.

    And a 1M Boards TT logging a 5:24

    Only one Parkrun, an 18:41 2nd place on an icy morning in Milan, back on 4 January.

    Had also signed up for Donabate 10K where I was very confident of running a 37:XX. The world broke before I had a chance to prove my confidence was well-founded.

    (paces are calculated against standard race distance, not pace for distance covered as captured on Garmin)

    No|Race|Time|Pace(M)|Pace(KM)|Position|Finishers|% of Field|Vdot|PB

    01| Parkrun Milano Nord 170 | 0:18:41 | 5:59 | 3:43 | 02 | 104 | 02 | 53.9 | No
    02| Raheny 5M | 0:30:00 | 6:00 | 3:43 | 270 | 4064 | 07 | 55.7 | No
    03| Faugh-a-Ballagh Cup XC | 0:41:36 | 6:50 | 4:14 | 08 | 15 | 47 | n/a | Yes


    PB Details

    Distance|2010 Best|2011 Best|2012 Best|2013 Best|2014 Best|2015 Best|2016 Best|2017 Best|2018 Best|2019 Best|2020 Best|Current PB Set
    Marathon|3:51:53|3:41:30|3:40:31|3:39:30|3:24:49|3:18:43|3:13:43|3:13:42|DNR|3:11:18|DNR|Dublin City Marathon 2019
    15 Mile|1:56:59|1:55:49|DNR|DNR|DNR|1:42:24|DNR|DNR|DNR|DNR|DNR|BHAA Cork to Cobh 2015
    Half Marathon|1:40:50|1:37:59|1:37:52|DNF|1:28:52|1:28:18|1:26:57|1:26:13|1:25:23|DNR|DNR|Dublin Half Marathon 2018
    10 Mile|1:17:52|1:15:57|1:13:11|1:09:14|DNR|1:06:43|DNR|1:05:57|1:04:08|DNR|DNR|Frank Duffy 2018
    10K|DNR|DNR|DNR|0:40:16|0:39:01|0:38:54|0:38:38|38:52|DNR|DNR|DNR|Blessington Lakes 2016
    5 Mile|DNR|0:35:26|0:34:35|0:33:10|0:31:48|0:31:56|DNR|30:26|30:53|29:56|30:00|Raheny 5 Mile 2019
    5K|DNR|DNR|DNR|DNR|0:18:40|0:18:46|0:18:35|DNR|18:06|DNR|DNR|Jingle Bells 2018
    Parkrun|DNR|DNR|DNR|DNR|DNR|DNR|0:18:57|DNR|18:35|DNR|18:41|Milano Nord 118




  • Rehab Update

    Overall, things continue to improve.

    When not running, the left knee is now 95% ok. And the 5% when it's not ok is usually nothing of concern. I cannot remember when I last felt any soft tissue feedback from behind the knee.

    When not running, the right knee is 90% ok. It commands a little more concern than the left knee. It pops painlessly when going upstairs and sometimes it is a little stiff in the front.

    When running the left knee is not painful. Over the first 100m of a run I can feel a 'presence' and I think this affects my stride, making it a little hesitant. But then the rest of the run the left knee is fine.

    When running the right knee is fine.

    One thing I'm noticing is that my stride doesn't feel 'natural' for the first 15mins or so of my runs. It feels like I need to lift my left leg a little more than normal, that if I don't do that it'll scuff against the ground. After 15 mins this tends to pass. It's strange, but not entirely dissimilar to a sensation I had in my right leg when recovering from a hamstring tear in 2019. I'm not overly concerned and trust that it will pass once I build up more strength in the leg.

    I'm becoming more disciplined regarding S&C. I aim for 4 good sessions a week, each between 35 and 45 mins. These always consist of rolling: calves, hammers, quads, glutes, including hip area for ITB focus. Powerband work focusing on bridges and again on glutes. Calve lifts on stairs. Increasing elements of core work as well. Happy to report that this is starting to become habitual. For rehab I'm logging these on Strava and will continue to do so post rehab. Before every run I spend 12 minutes firing up the calves, hammers and glutes. This I will continue to do post rehab (though I won't log these post-rehab).

    Fitness wise I will definitely have my work cut out in 2021. I've now logged runs of 5 miles, 10K and this morning 7 miles. The legs rarely feel fresh, and each new longer distance feels long. I think part of this is due to running everything at easy-pace (or at don't think-about-pace pace). Hopefully when the rebuild starts and I gradually introduce quicker paces this will pass. That said, I have been holding what I think is easy pace and have been logging some 7:4X miles while doing so. So maybe I won't have to dig too far to recover endurance fitness.

    I will be absolutely thrilled if I can avoid injury and really focus on rebuilding this year.

    Ran 7 miles this morning. The first 2 miles the legs felt tired and unresponsive. But over the closing 2 miles I found myself forgetting about my knees and forgetting about the fact that I was running. I caught myself processing and examining random thoughts, daydreaming, that headspace free of interruption that running provides and which I've sorely missed over the last months.

    One more week of rehab. A down-week and then project Rebuild can start. Touchwood.

    Week | Beginning | Planned Mileage | Longest Run | How'd it go?
    01 | 16 Nov | 01 to 05 Miles | 3K | Left knee passes, right knee protests a little, maybe it's just forgetting how to run. Total 4.40 Miles
    02 | 23 Nov | 06 to 10 Miles | 5K | Knees good while running. Right knee clicking on stairs. 5K milestone navigated successfully. Total 8.76 Miles
    03 | 30 Nov | 11 to 15 Miles | 4M | Bit of stiffness in both knees over opening 100m of one run, otherwise nothing negative to report from runs. Still some complaints when not running. Total 13.47 Miles
    04 | 07 Dec | 16 to 20 Miles | 5M | A painless 5 miles. Legs feeling good on a 5K. Three consecutive days running. Unexpected soreness from right knee while walking. Another table clenching needling session. Total 17.82 Miles.
    05 | 21 Dec | 16 to 20 Miles | 5M | A repeat of previous week, having taken a down-week to allow the right knee settle. Debut to Asics Nimbus 21s. No knee pain. Total 17.81 Miles.
    06 | 28 Dec | 21 to 25 Miles | 10K | No pain from knees. Again a presence form left knee at the start of runs. Passes after 100m or so. Outside of running both knees are feeling much better. Happy with a painless 10K. Total 21.54 Miles.
    07 | 04 Dec | 26 to 30 Miles | 7M | Another painless week. Stride not feeling natural over opening miles, might be overthinking it. Right knee a tiny bit stiff after Sunday's 7 miler. Total 26.29 Miles.
    08 | 11 Dec | 26 to 30 Miles | 8M |




  • Good to see the progress, I wouldn't stress too much over fitness. 1 - There is unlikely to be a race this side of the summer and 2 - I always find it amazing how when someone with a history of running strings 6\7 good weeks together, the body starts to pick up the fitness again.




  • Duanington wrote: »
    Good to see the progress, I wouldn't stress too much over fitness. 1 - There is unlikely to be a race this side of the summer and 2 - I always find it amazing how when someone with a history of running strings 6\7 good weeks together, the body starts to pick up the fitness again.

    Thanks! Legs are slowly slowly becoming accustomed to regular running again.

    When I picked up this injury I was concerned about losing fitness if I didn't get back training inside 3 weeks. Now over 6 months later I'm just super pleased to have managed 8 pain-free miles last Sunday, and I have a whole new appreciation for just being able to get out and run on a Sunday morning. Agree, fitness will come back and I'll do my best to enjoy the process.




  • Rehab Over (Touchwood)

    Manic at work so only getting back on here now.

    So my PT approved rehab plan came to an end last Sunday. I ran an 8 miler, my longest run since the start of July. I had no pain nor niggles. The legs felt tired for the rest of the day, good tired, as if I'd run 18 miles rather than 8.

    Mentally I feel much more confident but still cautious. I cannot remember the last run during which I felt pain. The start of some runs does continue to feature a 'presence' in the left knee, but after 100m it's gone. Outside of running I can now go hours without thinking about my legs. I do still feel some very very minor feedback navigating stairs, but I often navigate without feedback. The right knee still clicks going upstairs.

    Given the current lockdown and given that I'm managing ok I've told the PT that I won't look to see him until after I've completed my first 4 week block of rebuilding.

    On some runs my legs have felt incredibly heavy. I noticed that it is the evening runs that suffer this the most. I think a lack of fitness is behind this, but I also think a more sedentary working day is at fault. I need to try be more mobile during the day. I should invent a commute and/or take a lunchtime walk and/or consider a return to pre-work running.

    Looking forward to kicking off the rebuild now. But as per my new routine I'm first taking a down week after my 4 week running block. I think that this will not only be appreciated by the legs but also by the head.

    Next Sunday I aim to post the plan for 'Rebuild Block 1 of 8'.

    Week | Beginning | Planned Mileage | Longest Run | How'd it go?
    01 | 16 Nov | 01 to 05 Miles | 3K | Left knee passes, right knee protests a little, maybe it's just forgetting how to run. Total 4.40 Miles
    02 | 23 Nov | 06 to 10 Miles | 5K | Knees good while running. Right knee clicking on stairs. 5K milestone navigated successfully. Total 8.76 Miles
    03 | 30 Nov | 11 to 15 Miles | 4M | Bit of stiffness in both knees over opening 100m of one run, otherwise nothing negative to report from runs. Still some complaints when not running. Total 13.47 Miles
    04 | 07 Dec | 16 to 20 Miles | 5M | A painless 5 miles. Legs feeling good on a 5K. Three consecutive days running. Unexpected soreness from right knee while walking. Another table clenching needling session. Total 17.82 Miles.
    05 | 21 Dec | 16 to 20 Miles | 5M | A repeat of previous week, having taken a down-week to allow the right knee settle. Debut to Asics Nimbus 21s. No knee pain. Total 17.81 Miles.
    06 | 28 Dec | 21 to 25 Miles | 10K | No pain from knees. Again a presence form left knee at the start of runs. Passes after 100m or so. Outside of running both knees are feeling much better. Happy with a painless 10K. Total 21.54 Miles.
    07 | 04 Dec | 26 to 30 Miles | 7M | Another painless week. Stride not feeling natural over opening miles, might be overthinking it. Right knee a tiny bit stiff after Sunday's 7 miler. Total 26.29 Miles.
    08 | 11 Dec | 26 to 30 Miles | 8M | Painless week. Super heavy legs on the Tuesday, heaviest ever I think. Hit my targets and ready for rebuild (touchwood). Total 28.55 Miles


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  • Rebuild Under Way

    Last week was an uneventful step-back week. Managed three easy 5Ks and ran a chilly 4 miler on Sunday morning. The biggest takeaway from last week came from the scales. Weighed in Sunday morning at a shockingly heavy 76.1kilo :eek:

    I can't remember the last time I was this heavy. May go some way to explaining why the legs have been so heavy of late and why the right knee is still a bit grumpy during the day to day. I absolutely have to put a serious focus on diet. I want to get back to 69-70 kilo by late Spring.

    This Monday I started the rebuild. The plan is to dedicate the whole year to rebuilding. In total 10 blocks of 4 weeks, with a down-week between each block. Each block will carry its own set of objectives.

    Block 1 of 10
    • hold average weekly mileage of 30-35 miles
    • build up longest run to 10 miles
    • reintroduce marathon pace building to 2M @ MP
    • start moving from 76.10 kilos toward 69.90 kilos

    This is a gentle block to start with as I move away from easy running for the first time in months. Marathon pace I am setting at that of a 3:05 to 3:10 marathon. That's 4:23 min/km to 4:30 min/km (7:03 min/mile to 7:15 min/mile). Baby steps building up to 2 Mile at that pace by the end of the 4 week block. The goals will be easy in the opening blocks, the objective isn't to break any records, the goal is to gradually get back to summer 2020 form without relapsing into injury.

    All runs will be preceded with some activation exercises, and I will do some post-run cool-down stretches. Every week I will aim to fit in 3 good S&C sessions.

    As I type I'm three runs into Block 1 - Week 1. I started with a lunchtime 5K on Monday, in and around IMMA, avoiding pedestrians. This run went fine. Legs felt ok.

    Last night was a milestone run. I reintroduced marathon pace. Very cautious 'session'. I programmed 4x400 into the watch and ran these up and down the Chapelizod Road. I ignored the 400m markers on the path prefering instead to let the Garmin provide me with too fast, too slow alerts.

    It's been sooooo looong since I've heard the Garmin sound 'Beep, beep, beep, beep, beepeepeep'. I cannot help but instinctively take off far too fast over the opening 50m and then just gradually slow down over the remaining 350m.

    Two intervals toward town, two intervals toward Chapelizod. All fine. This faster pace feels more comfortable than easy pace. Legs were fine during and after. I really enjoyed this. A run with bits! Seems silly to be so pleased with 4x400 @ MP, but it represents hopefully the first step back to summer 2020 form.

    There's still a long way to go though, tonight I ran my 5 mile Chapelizod Loop. Legs felt pretty good throughout, but post run the right knee has been stiff and aching. Going to ice it after posting this. Tomorrow is a rest day, another short and easy run on Friday and then fingers-crossed the key run of the week, 4x800 @ MP on Saturday morning.


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