Sleep, run, stretch, eat, rest … and OUCH! It’s just about race time and something starts hurting … abnormally sore. Do you back off, stop running … or just suck it up and do the next session? 24 days out … a snip over 3 weeks from race day. This weekend could be the longest run some of you do before race day … which means you’ve been training hard. Your body has taken a pounding and has experienced various versions of ecstacy and agony. But suddenly your calf/hamstring/glute/foot says “ENOUGH”.
So what do you do? Here’s my recommendation to anyone who asks**. If it hasn’t put you in hospital or left you unable to move for an hour, take 2 Nurophen plus (if you can) and sleep on it. You could even chuck some Comfrey Gel or Fisiocrem on it. Most of these injuries also need ice (NOT HEAT!) for the inflammation. If it is a sharp pain, skip the rest of this paragraph! If it’s still sore in the morning, gently roll it out and try light running. If you are still limping after 1km, turn around and take the rest of the morning / evening off.
If that doesn’t resolve it you have two options. First, STOP intensive training for a few days … do some pool running, or a gentle short run, or cross training (cycling, swimming, etc). Second, book in with your sports physiotherapist / sports podiatrist (who is probably a facebook friend anyway!) (PS If you don’t have a sports physio / podiatrist on your team, it’s time to get one!!) DON’T wait a week; DON’T go out and do the next track or interval session; DON’T consult Dr Google! If you’ve got this far with little injury, it’s likely that you can repair in time for The Event; Rest and investing in good medical advice are as integral to training as any workout session!
** I’m a runner with experience, not a medical professional. The suggestions here are general and not specific to any particular situation. If in ANY doubt, consult your Physiotherapist or Sports Podiatrist.
Running tip #11: If it hurts … Slow down, stop and consult.