Sunday, 13 January 2013

Injury can be a right pain in the .....

Ignore those niggling pains at your peril I tell you as someone who failed to adhere to that very simple advice.  For a couple of weeks now my left calf muscle has felt very tight.  A lack of stretching probably contributed to this.  I have been trying to stretch it out ever since, by pulling my toes back with my leg extended whenever I get a few moments in the day, but it will take some time for the weeks of neglect to be reversed.

Yesterday I went to the track to do one of the half marathon specific workouts I found on the internet.  A 2 mile warm up followed by 7 x 1 mile at 10 seconds slower than 10k pace with a 1 minute rest in between each set, and finally a 1 mile cool down.

I completed 2 sets without any problem, then part way into the 3rd set my left calf muscle started to tighten up.  It was kind of a niggle rather than a pain so I chose to ignore it, thinking that it would loosen up during the subsequent sets.  It was not as if I was sprinting after all.

What a fool I was, as in the final metres of the 4th set, just as I was rounding the corner onto the home straight, I felt a sudden sharp pain and I ground to a halt, clutching at my left calf.  It was clear that I would not be able to continue the session, but I couldn't even walk properly.  I limped off the track in pain.

I have been following RICE treatment, which is recommended for sprains.  R for rest, I for ice, C for compression and E for elevation.  Today the pain is slightly reduced, but I am certainly not going to be able to run today or for the next few days.

Why didn't I listen to my body when I got that niggle in the 3rd set?  If only I had stopped then, then I wouldn't be in this situation I am in now.  Luckily there is no major swelling or bruising at the site of the injury, suggesting that it is a grade two strain.  It is still going to take a couple of weeks to heal fully though.

With the Barcelona marathon only 5 weeks ago, this is seriously going to impact my chances of getting a new PB.  The only way I can think to keep things on track is to substitute running with swimming for the next week or so, so that I do not lose any cardiovascular fitness.  From everything I have read, swimming is fine after a day or two of complete rest when you have calf strain, as long as it does not hurt whilst you are swimming, and as long as you do not overdo it.

No comments:

Post a comment