The Village Velodrome Appreciation Society

A blog about jitensha and jogging

Friday, October 06, 2006

Good advice

I emailed everyone at Namban Rengo 2 days ago, asking for advice about my knee. I got some very good advice from one club member who seemed to know exactly what I was going through. Here's his advice:

"Not sure if I can help with your particular knee problems but it may well be all connected. Starting with shoes (old ones too old or new ones too new), followed by ankle pain and finally knee probs.
Also how much mileage did you put on recently? Have you increased rapidly (like +10% per week over the last 3-4 weeks)? If so everything you describe can be side effects from overtraining. This normally comes together with unusual sleep patterns, like being dead tired in the evening but waking up in the middle of the night and having difficulties getting back to sleep, or cravings for sweets, or getting shaky when your regular meals are delayed etc.
If I remember correctly you are a kinda fast sub-18m-5k-guy with pretty ambitious marathon goals, right? Well, you may be fast over 5k but building up a decent mileage for your 42k goals will take some time - say 1-2 years. Maybe I am totally on the wrong track here now.
Anyway, I just went through the early stages of overtraining. First I thought I was injured because everything just hurt and the pain didn't go away as usual (thighs, lower legs and feet - basically everything and one leads to another I guess).
I took the same 4 day break, cut down the mileage more than 50% the following week and did this mileage only in recovery speed to figure out what's really going on. I am now building up again but still reduce intensity quite a bit (before, I ran hard not only on the track but also most times during the week and even the weekly long run at Marathon speed).
I went to Oda field yesterday after a 2-week break from hard running and gave it a controlled blast. And it felt good again! To my surprise the remaining little pains went away. Still, I will be very careful the next couple of weeks. Take a break, be easy on the throttle"

All this seemed to sound right. I'd just swapped to new shoes (the ankle pain started after going to Asics DS Trainers, the knee pain just after swapping to new Mizunos with sorbathane heel lifts). I'd been increasing my mileage and also running each mile much faster. On top of that my sleep has been erratic because of nightshifts at work which I've been doing more of. AND I have a craving for chocolate. The only thing I still worry about is my pain doesn't feel like muscle pain.

So, after four days off I went out last night for 30 minutes. It felt good to run again. My left leg wasn't perfect but I could run. I ran slowly, which actually made the pain more noticeable (when I'm going fast my leg pains go away until I slow again). I woke this morning with much less knee pain, although my ankle feels worse. But I figure that as long as the pain keeps moving around I'm OK. Right now the part that hurts most is the top, outside left part of my ankle (just in front of the boney bit of the ankle on the outside).

I have decided to press on with my plan to run the 5km track race on the 15th of October. I have been put in race 3, which I guess is based on times run in the past. So I'm probably in the 17-18 minute group - it will be a tough race for me if this is the case. I might even come last!

After that run is the Run for the Cure event a week later. That might be my last race for awhile. I haven't entered any other events after that, so that will be a good time to just take stock and work out what I want to focus on. Also, I am expecting to hear soon whether I have been lucky enough to be given a place in the Tokyo Marathon . I think I will hear today. My training will have to change if I am going to run 42km instead of 5km.

Oh, and another bit of good advice, this time on stretching... the 6 minute hamstring stretch. Have a look...
Cut and paste this into your address bar: if that doesn't work, just type "David Fleckenstein, MPT" into Google and look for his stretching PDF.


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