INJURY: More News

I was back in the Carysfort Clinic for my umpteenth visit this season. John had called me in the morning to see how I was getting along and got me an appointment in the afternoon to look into my posterior knee pain.

The consultation finished with a harsh berating to stop reading books about injuries as it would only drive me up the wall (as it did!). This was triggered by my inquiry about potential damage to the lateral femoral epicondyle (not a question he gets every day from his reaction).

In the end, he performed a few test, showing that there is no ligament or meniscus damage, he did confess, however, that while he was very happy with the development (the knee was less swollen and more mobile than a week ago), this type of injury takes 6-12 weeks to clear on average.

He had understated the effects in order to keep me motivated and to avoid a mental backlash from having me suffer two long-term injuries within a short space of time. I've been off for almost 4 weeks now, however, and John has instructed me to do 3 runs between now and next Wednesday and come back again for another checkup.

Major Changes, Major Redesign
This prompted me to do a major redesign of next year's training programme. I'm basically planning to restart the whole program on the 29th of December and have it run in a continuous 52-week cycle until the 27th of December next year. I also changed to make-up from focusing on one big peak period over Summer to two shorter peak periods, one from 18th of May until its culmination at Snowdon on the 26th of July.

A one week break will ensure before a new cycle restarts which will peak from 26th of October until 6th of December allowing for me to be at my peak in the vast majority of the cross-country season. This is followed by a three-week complete rest in late December before I restart my annual cycle on 28th of December 2009.

Effectively, this means that all going well, this injury should not disrupt my training in any major way looking at next year's targets. The only backlash is that I will be doing Base training while the Winter League is on, meaning the races will have little meaning both competitively and physically for me to do.

First Test
I went out and did a 4.3km test run, clocking a decent 22min, even though I felt very slow (which I suppose is a good thing). Tiny cramps did occur on the posterior after, but they weren't painful or anything like what I experienced after running 14.5km on Friday.

With my new plan, I now have 18 days (almost 3 weeks) to test my strength and heal properly before commencing SERIOUS training (pun fully intended) a la Sleamaker.

If I can get my old niggles further reduced at the Laser Centre in January, chances of seeing me back in an approximation of this year's early form should not be too far out. If nothing else, I've learned a lot on how to deal with injuries both mentally, physically and logistically.