Last week quite literally ended with a limp for me. A pain in my kneecap had me hobbling around after my Sunday long run, and this training week looked to be in jeopardy. How did it go? Well, it could have been worse. But, it sure as heck could have been better as well, as the stats for the week show.
Distance Run: 47 kilometres (29 miles)
Running Elevation Gain: 109 metres (357 feet)
Time Running: 4 hours 58 minutes
Time Cross Training: 1 hour 1 minute
10 km (6.3 miles) early morning recovery run. I woke up feeling not too bad in the knee and ventured out for a recovery run before work. Seeing as I did my long run quite late the day before, I was still pretty beat at 6 AM, or just 12 hours later. Unfortunately, that was not the worst of it.
Towards the end of the run, a noticeable knee pain crept up on me. As the day progressed, my right knee tightened up completely. I was walking around with a limp for a second straight day, and it was clear that I wouldn’t be training as normal for the rest of the week.
Naturally, I pulled the emergency break after that start to the week. Tuesday was a full, albeit unplanned rest day.
6 km (3.6 miles) recovery run on the treadmill in the morning to test the knee. It was no good. When you get an injury that stops you from doing the training you want to do, it is easy to start feeling sorry for yourself. And I did. After moping around most of Tuesday, though, I tried to adopt a more constructive approach. When you can’t run, you should have two main priorities: Figure out what you can do reduce the fitness loss, and start doing rehab work to minimise time away from running.
In the evening I did 30 minutes of strength training in an effort to aid my recovery process from the injury. These were body weight exercises to strengthen my core, glutes and quads.
As an alternative to running, I spent an hour uphill walking on the treadmill. I set the incline to 10% and the pace to 6 kilometres per hour (3.7 mph). It wasn’t fun, but I managed to push my heart rate towards the upper limit of zone 1. My best estimate is that the cardiovascular stimulus of this session is close to a recovery run.
7.5 km (4.7 miles) easy on the treadmill in the morning to test the knee again. At this point, my knee was noticeably less bothersome than early in the week. This run and the hours after showed that it was not healed. Ordinary training was out the window for the rest of the week.
45 minutes uphill walk at 10% incline and 6.2 kph (3.8 mph) followed by 30 minutes of body strength rehab. Still not fun, but keeping my eye on the prize of getting healthy again.
13 km (8.3 miles) easy run on the treadmill. It is difficult to differentiate actual injury discomfort from hyperawareness of every sensation in the knee, but at around the hour the kneecap pain was back, and I called it. The one positive was that there was very little tightness as the day progressed.
On the bright note, I finally got started on supplemental strength training. It only took an injury for me to finally do it. Other than that, it was obviously not the week I was hoping for. This was supposed to be the week that kicked off the marathon specific part of my training cycle leading into a spring marathon. Instead, I barely ran.
All I can do is try to readjust my focus from training I’m not getting in, to getting healthy again. And once I get there, I can reevaluate my plan and goals. I have booked a consultation with a physiotherapist next week. A qualified look at my injury symptoms will hopefully help me get back to full training sooner rather than later.
If you want to look at all the stats from every single one of my runs, feel free to check out my Strava profile.