Wednesday, August 17, 2011

Week 33 - at least not crippled

I should say that returning to Hong Kong has been a good cure for my hamstring: having my massage therapist on hand and being able to also do some bike rides really did help.
Now I am back to running, albeit much slower than my usual pace.

the right hamstring and buttock are really tight and I can not really extend the stride.
Especially the pain in the buttock is very tricky to treat because is really very deep inside and even rolling on a softball ball does not really go that deep (only the elbow of G. seems to do the job).

I thanks everybody for the comments and I try to elaborate a self-analysis:

- for some unknown reason, all my right leg is MUCH weaker and with much less range of mobility than the left one. Even when I walk, I noticed that sometime I do barely lift my right foot off the ground.
This is probably due to a relative weakness of the hip flexors, hip rotators, gluetus, etc (do not know caused by what, maybe the road accident I had in February 2010) .

- this unbalance generates a running pattern where I all the "pushing" is done by the left leg, while the left one is only trailing... when I hit the ground with the right leg, I am only stomping on the ground without any real push-off.

- because of the weakness of the gluteus, etc, the right hamstring is loaded beyond normal because it must work as a the sole propeller of the right leg (so I am not actually pushing forward my body at each right step, but kind of pulling back the road with my hamstring only...).

- the force unbalance is also the reason of the different ailments on the left foot/ankle. Probably the left foot is doing most of the propulsion and taking most of the load.

(thank you for the comments about running minimalist, etc...: I am personally already totally bought about running in lighter shoes, now I am also figuring out if to get rid of orthotics too)

based on this, the course of action should be:
- single leg strengthening exercises  for glutes, calves, hamstring, hip flexors, etc: squat, lunges, etc
- stretching and dynamic mobility for the right leg
- re-education of the motorial pattern of the right leg (concept on which I must still find suitable exercises)

Now the issue is to commit myself to at least 30 minutes daily of extra-boring exercises, but seems that I have no way out if I want to be healthy and train properly...

Let's go for the weekly summary:

MON: met with M.L. a new comer in HK. She is targeting the USA O.T. Standard of 2h45' for a Fall Marathon, so her level is really good. Good for me that she is also probably a "earlier bird" than myself, so taking an appointment for running at 5.45am seems normal...
run around 14k easy, I felt terribly tired at the end

TUE: off

WED: medium run with M. A good 22km for me @4'30" pace. The sky was cloudy, so it felt less horrible than usual. But after 18k the hamstring felt really tight and I had to slow down considerably.
Evening: PT treatment... extremely painful deep-tissue massage. G. is really the best therapist I met and she could continue for hours to dig deep where needed...

THU: rest becuase muscles really sore after massage

FRI: nice bike ride... 75 minutes with a very steep hill. I saw my HR climbing over 185bpm, which is extra-rare on the bike for me. Cycling is definetely very a good cross-training for my case

SAT:  around 1hr run at easy pace. Hamstring felt better after massage and cycling

SUN : Chung Hing Cup 10K race. Was a bit insane to think about racing, but I did not want to drop my team mates in the team competition.
Popped down a couple of Voltaren pills to avoid pain and  proceeded to a long warm-up of mobility exercises. Well.. warm-up is kind of misleading word because the weather was 30C/80%rH, so after 5min jog I was already extremely warm...
950 runners at the start for this summer classic.
To avoid digressing on every single KM split. I could say that I went way better than my expectations.
I was basically with the 2nd pack until 7k, where my buttock start to feel like a sting, so I had to drop off the pace. I was not feeling my normal stride, but strangely enough a pace of 3'35"/km felt not too bad...
After a tight sprint for the 10th place (lost..) I finish 11th overall (3rd Master) in 36'04".
That is 50" slower than my time on the same course on July, but due to what happened in the past 30 days, I am more than satisfied....
Thumbs up to Colin F for winning the race in convincing way and anyway we are able to win the team competition too... so it was a good Sunday on all aspects
(also thumbs up to M.L. because she won the women's race in her first HK event... not a bad way to acclimatize to Asian heat!)
After 2km with my team mate C.

Last km...

Colin smoothly sailing to victory



Roberto, try this:
for Myofascia release of the glute muscles try using a soft rubber ball first to warm up the muscle,then use a golf ball to work deep into the troubled area.
Yes this will hurt like hell but if you do it every day you will soon break down the scar tissue and micro fiber adhesions!
It works-try it!

by7 said...

thanks Rick...
I am actually using the combo stick or foam roller for the "warm-up" and then going deep with a soft-ball ball... crazy painful but is the only way to get out of it...

I will try also with the golf ball ! sounds even more painful...