Sunday, August 29, 2010

Spring around the corner

Distance 4km [total: minimalist 124km: Barefoot 471km]

Saturday and the sun was out and very inviting for a run along the beach to test the calf out.
Once again I chose a short distance on about 4km and disappointingly the pain returned at the halfway point again.
I gave it some massage and was able to complete the full distance but I had to be aware that if the pain increased to stop immediately.

I read an article on a sports injury website about muscle trigger points and I believe that this is my problem.
Trigger points are areas in the muscle that are knotted up and form a weak spot. The weak spot will be fine under normal conditions but as soon as the workload is increased such as running, this will be the area that causes the problem.
The solution is deep tissue massage and pressure applied to the trigger point area to straighten out the knot.
So it seems that maybe resting will not cure the problem, it needs a more pro-active solution.
Hopefully it is another lesson learned in my barefoot education.

August has been a training write off, I hope September brings better fortunes, especially as the better weather arrives and my urge to get out to run increases.


Saturday, August 21, 2010

Almost up and running

Distance 4km [total: minimalist 124km: Barefoot 467km]

Just over two weeks from when I had the initial calf injury on the right leg, the run last Saturday showed that the right leg was fine but then the left leg then tightened up.

This time I ran only just over 1.5km before I registered tightness in the left calf. I did manage to keep going and run the full 4km today after some stretching and a little massage.

I'm beginning to suspect that the calf strains were caused by the rehabilitation and by the exercise I was doing before the runs.
Before the initial injury on the 12km run I had done calf raises the previous day.
After the injury I rested a few days before doing more calf exercises in the attempt to strengthen them. It may be that the very exercises that I was doing to stop calf injuries was in fact causing the injuries.

What I shall try now is no weight bearing exercises but keep up the calf stretching to see if that is the key to staying injury free.


Saturday, August 14, 2010

Test run

Distance 11km [total: minimalist 124km: Barefoot 463km]

Well, after being out of action for around two weeks due to a sore calf I hit the beach again for a short run to see if it can hold itself together.
My last test run was a week previous and I was a little too enthusiastic in trying a 7km run
I managed only 4km before the calf pain returned.
So after another week passed where I did calf strengthening and stretching exercises along with applying heat cream most days I decided to try it out again.

The weather was awful, rain and strong winds blowing. The beach was empty and sand was blowing like a mist about 30cm from the surface.
The outbound run was easy as the wind pushed me all the way down, coming back was tougher but I still managed it without stopping.
I could still feel some tightness towards the end but not to the extent of last week, but there again I didn't run as far.
I think another week may be needed.


Sunday, August 1, 2010

Calf tightness

Distance 21km [total: minimalist 124km: Barefoot 452km]

A bit of a break since I last did an update to my progress.
Just reviewing what I did last week.
On the Sunday of last week I did some training drills on the nearby field, it was a bright sunny day, cool but not breezy.
I trained for half an hour doing jumping, hopping, balancing with 50 metre runs in between.

Rain was forecast for later in the week with Monday being the day with the best weather. I headed out to the beach and had a great run, down towards the river on the sand and back along the road on the way back.
The beach portion was tough as the sand was very soft and well trampled but by taking small steps with a fast cadence, you can almost get that floating above the sand feeling.
It takes longer covering the distance on the soft sand and by the time I got to the river it was getting dark so I decided that running back along the road would be better. It always takes a couple of minutes to adapt to the harder surface and then it becomes automatic.

I intended to book in for a leg massage on the Thursday but found that the therapy place that I go to were shut up until the end of August.
So, as Thursday was now free I decided to go on a longer run, this might have been a mistake but my mind had been made up as the weekend was due to be cold and wet and now the sun was out and it was a mild evening.

I ran on my circular river/beach route setting off from home at 5pm, it would be a 12km route.
When I used to run with shoes I would normally have to stop after 1km to rub my shins and stretch, I would then be fighting off shin soreness at regular 2km intervals, I could maybe shake the pain off after about 8km.
Now, wearing my VFF's (didn't want to be barefoot in the dark) I just ran all the way to the beach without a pause, no shin soreness or tiredness.
But then, calf tightness strikes. I was aware of it as I neared the beach, I stopped to stretch but it was too late, I would not be running back.
I was at the farthest part of the run. I had a 6km walk back.

The soreness was not bad enough to stop me walking so I would grade it as a No.1 strain on a scale of 3.
I walked using the pose method of letting gravity pull me forward. It took me an hour getting back.
It felt good to get out of the cold and dark, I'd cooled off during the walk and only had a t-shirt on when I left the house.

I rested over the weekend, just doing gym work. The calf feels good again now but I'll keep off it for another week, maybe just doing some light drills on the field.
Two steps forward one step back.