Tuesday, December 24, 2013

Injury impact on marathon (SCMM 2014 )training

This is not an uncommon occurrence with regular runners training for an event. All the workouts are going well, one is feeling quite confident of achieving the race goal and then suddenly the whole flow is disrupted due to an injury. Few things can be more frustrating for a runner. The workouts of week 8/16 had gone very well including a 32Km/2:48 long run. However, I had a severe strain in my left glutes and left calf during the week 7/16 intervals (3 x (2 x 1200m) in Kanteerva stadium. And for the first time since May 2013 I did not complete my planned workout and decided to abort  the training   after pushing through the 5th interval. Since then the training has been irregular punctuated by interactions with Dr. Gladson of Attitudeprime.  Of course I am down  both physically and mentally . SCMM is one of the most important events in my running calendar - not least because I have been running it every year since it started in 2004. It is well organised event with fantastic spectator support and I have been lucky enough to improve my FM timing every year. The PB of 3:37:20 in last year's edition got me a place in Boston 2014. The way my training was going  I was looking forward to matching or slightly bettering last year's time (3:35). Now the last few weeks I was not even sure whether I would make it to the starting line. 

I am not able to figure out the cause for this injury. It could be a combination of one or more of the following:

  • Muscle fatigue due to doing a tempo run and a fast long run(21K/1:45) within a week of the fastish 50Km at the Bangalore Ultra
  • Lack of flexibility due to inadequate and/or incorrect stretching post the workout
  • Lack of strength - it has been 8 months since I stopped the strengthening sessions at Manipal hospital(though I am doing  leg curls, leg press and calf press in my apartment complex gym apart from squats and lunges)
  • Change of shoes  - I switched to a new Brooks Defyance5 after the ultra - the previous one having put in nearly 1500Kms
  • Fatigue due to back to back workouts without adequate rest for recovery - due to travel schedule I ran a 12K tempo run on 1st Dec afternoon within 36 hours of running a fairly fast 32Km on 30th morning

Following is the summary of my workouts the past 3 weeks:
Week 7 of 16
Dec 1  - 12Km/60 mins  tempo run
Dec 3  - 26.5Kms/50 mins cycling
Dec 4 - 5 x 1200m intervals
No long run
Week 6 of 16
Dec 9  - 9Km Tempo run
Dec 10 - 23.38K/45 mins cycling
Dec 12 - 23.4K/45 mins cycling
Dec 15 - 21.2K/1:50 long run (goal was to do 32Km but had to stop due to pain in glutes,hamstring and numbness in sole - all on the left side)
No intervals
Week 5 of 16
Dec 16 23.56Km/45 mins cycling
Dec 19 5k/30 mins easy run
Dec 22 16Km Tempo run
No long run
No intervals

Based on discussions with Dr. Gladson I have decided not to do any more interval training. Though the glutes are better now the left side l does not feel normal and I dont want to take any chances. For the remaining 3 weeks I am going to stay with a tempo run, an easy run and a long run and 1 or 2 cycling workouts. The 32Km long run this weekend , probably on 29th Dec, will be the most crucial run to determine my readiness for Mumbai. I will determine my strategy for the race based on how that goes. In any case I am keen on not missing Mumbai - in the worst case I will not race and will run to finish around 4 hours or so - keeping fingers crossed!

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