Category Archives: Injuries

A roller, a roller, my kingdom for a roller

61 dFeEhrnL._SL500_AA300_I’ve been desperately hunting around Malaysian sports shops looking for a foam roller, which you may remember was a big part of my miracle cure for ITBS.

Admittedly my current plans for heavy running training have been somewhat curtailed by  breaking the treadmill but we’re hunting for a gym I can use (only madmen would run outdoors in the 34 degree heat, torrential tropical thunderstorms and / or mosquito haven). Also, without incurring cost-prohibitive data roaming charges, I don’t have Runkeeper here to track distance/pace, and so my motivation for outdoor running falls to zero…

Unfortunately, either Malaysian runners don’t suffer from ITBS (despite previous assurances from doctors in the UK that it was the most common running injury), or… people here don’t really run, and running/sports shops are for trendiness only.Given there is a KL marathon the latter doesn’t seem too likely, but garrrrrrrrrrr all the same.

I may have to resort to tying together several yoga mats into a tight roll and seeing whether that will help. Any Malaysian runners out there can help me find one of these???

Weekend training update

I’m not going to lie to you, I was diminished this weekend. Underslept due to the neck injury, slightly demotivated and struggling… I eventually made myself hit the road on Sunday morning and only managed a 5k. But better than nothing…?

The running helped the pinched nerve thing, with my neck seeming freer after the run… but I seem to have some have back tightness today so will spend a bit of time this week stretching out ahead of next weekend’s training. I’m getting old.

Next weekend will see me down the coast so the running will be a bit more exciting, hopefully, and keep me going for longer!

Pain in the neck

We’re in London this Friday/Saturday so I’ve brought my running kit down in the hope I can get a good run out on the canal on Saturday morning…

BUT – I woke up yesterday (well, woke up would imply sleep – I got up…) unable to turn my head without sharp, shooting pain. I’d heard of pinched nerves and the like, from sleeping funny but never experienced it so I took to the Doc. Her advice? Move it as much as possible, take painkillers and apply heat. Frustrating as a set of remedies though that may be for a speedy recovery…

It’s significantly better today (I can turn my head) but who knows what state I’ll be in tomorrow. Fingers crossed I don’t have to make up distance in my 10km/weekly minimum running distance (which really needs upping) another day/weekend.

I still need to find a race as a stake in the ground for my training. Any thoughts on an early April half marathon in the UK?

Should I stretch before I run? No.

I’ve talked about this before – the wisdom of Sensei Paul and others is validated by a new US study, which shows that pre-running ‘hold and release’ stretching not only has no positive impact on injury prevention but can actually cause injury. The study did say that if you did currently stretch before running, you should ease your way out of it rather than stop ‘cold turkey’ to minimise injury risk.

via LifeHacker – check their site out for the précis here.

ITBS: cured!

Well, as cured as any ongoing condition can be!

I went to see Sudhir this morning to alleviate the concerns I mentioned following the litmus run – i.e. tightness in calves, shins and hamstrings – but it turns out these are mostly normal. After running a number of assessments on me, Sudhir declared my ITB much recovered and my legs in good shape. My ongoing weak point – my obliques, for which I have a number of new exercises. Specifically, lying in a neutral position and leaning my knees one way, then the other, with one leg in mid air. It’s apparently such a basic exercise that there’s not even a video of it on YouTube… but I’ll no doubt graduate to more sophisticated training in the not-too-distant future.

I’m back to running training and will try to get up to 4 runs a week if I can over the next couple of weeks – gradually building up distance. Tomorrow will start with an attempted 5k, I hope!

My ongoing remedial therapy involves:

  • Post run stretching – achilles, calf, quads, hamstrings
  • Daily rolling – both ITBs
  • Oblique exercises

And I might throw in more glute / single leg balance work to carry on building strength there. Sudhir also recommended a Pilates or Yoga class – and that I try to hold the inverted V pose for a bit. I tried Yoga classes a few times a few years ago and could never get into it. Wonder if its one of those things, like marmite, that despite polarising people you can get into at a different phase in your life? I’ll have to discuss with my wife, she’s been doing Yoga for years…

Anyway, back we go to half-marathon training!!!


At least, a kind of fleeting victory over this ITBS injury. Today, I jumped for Sudhir. First horizontally in some kind of monstrous modern-age torture-rack-pilates equipment-type thing, then for realz… then I ran on a treadmill… and it all seemed to be OK! Yes, the right leg is still a little unsteady but strength is building, I’m pain-free in the knee (so far), and tonight’s rolling was only slightly painful!

Which means… I’m ready for a “litmus test” run – 15 minuter with gaps – to see how I hold up. The foam roller unfortunately must be a constant companion for me, but the fact that — come Saturday, anyway — I could be jogging it up again fills me with excitement and not a little satisfaction that the pain and tedium of the various physio exercises is paying off.

And Sudhir does seem to be earning his keep, yay for good physios!

Anyway, wish me luck.

Predicting running injuries with maths

I wish I’d been smart enough to work this out before the ITBS kicked in. Of course, it probably falls into the ‘spurious correlation’ category of statistical analysis, but there’s some sensible logic behind it… specifically:

That’s reasonable, of course: as you train, your speed increases each time you run, however your body cumulates fatigue. Consequently, your performance will level off at a certain point in training, then your running times will once again increase. Panicked at losing speed, you will push yourself too hard and wind up injured.

It’s an interesting post. Not everyone will be up to the maths (I can’t be bothered, and its too late for me!), and common sense may work as well, but its interesting reading for runners. Via the ever-useful Lifehacker.

Physio week 4: getting impatient

So, I’ve been studiously doing the physio exercises, and, miracle of miracles – the ITB rolling doesn’t even hurt any more! But – I need more strength in the relevant weak muscles (quads, etc) so on Thursday I learn how to jump.


I know how to jump. I know how to bend my knee. I know how to run. But evidently everything I know is very slightly wrong.

Unlearning my bad habits is unbelievably tedious and nearly as frustrating as the perpetual hunger that surrounds dieting (now back in medium swing). I’m very, very tempted just to pop out for a quick 5k tomorrow morning to see if the physio sessions and exercises to date have had an impact – but is that a terrible idea? I suspect so… the last thing I want to do is delay my complete recovery. But the half marathon is weeks away (6 weeks!) and its been a long while since I’ve run more than 10k.

Any encouragement, advice, wisdom appreciated. In the meantime, I will fume quietly in the corner, trying not to run….

Ongoing ITBS treatment saga

My physio Sudhir is on holiday this week, on a meditation retreat (!), so he’s having his colleague torture me for the week.

Anna was disappointed to hear of the forgotten orthotic as it limits the exercises I can do, but instead I received a pummelling to my ilio-tibial band, more acupuncture and instruction in stepping up and stepping down (I’m sure regular readers will not be surprised that even the act of climbing up one step I can screw up…).

I was also subjected to “active stretching” for my hamstrings – code for my resisting a reasonably painful stretch – but did feel distinctly more limber after it, if slightly sore.

It’s odd, having gotten so used to the orthotics  correcting my flat-footedness, even a day and a half without them has me feeling slightly weird of leg. Hopefully it’ll arrive in the post tomorrow and the regular routine can resume – now supplemented with elaborate “clam” exercises for my glutes (which I need to be working to exhaustion a couple of times a day, apparently). Ah well.

In related news, the diet continues. I’ve managed to keep to it for 5/6 days now, 1,500 calories or thereabouts a day, only breaking the day of a pair of friends’ engagement drinks (although I broke it in style thanks to the BBQ – doubling my calorie limit for the day). Hopefully the weight loss will resume shortly and I can at least prepare to have less weight to carry around the half-marathon circuit! I’ll blog more about the diet over on Division6, seeing as it involves soup once again and that’s more a topic for that blog…

Argh, forgotten orthotic

My flat-footedness has seen me in orthotics for the best part of the last three years. And today, for the first time, I left my right orthotic  60 miles from my right foot. Which means I have to get through a couple of days of physio exercises without it, as well as generally walking around, and I’m feeling ever so slightly fragile – like I could lose stability and pronate the hell out of my foot at any moment. Thankfully, my lovely mother-in-law is rescuing it from the Wellington boot in which it is currently ensconced and dispatching it back to me by the Royallast of Mail-services on offer in these British Isles.

Here’s hoping I make it to Wednesday.

For the curious, the rolling continues to vary in its painfulness. It is distinctly diminished from when this whole debacle began, but still quite bloody painful.

For the curious about James, I’m hoping he blogs his London tri experience soon!