Since resuming training sixteen days ago, I have waited with a slight nag of fear every day that I suddenly be knackered or that some old injury would act up. I knew that sooner or later, the feeling of flying would have to stop and some element of grind set in.
Luckily, when it happened, it was with ample warning and short-term effect. Coming through Clara Vale on my long run, I booted down the hills a bit hard and took a twist which left a fairly noticeable pain in my lower front shin. Any runner would be afraid to contract a freak injury to the shin, but after nursing myself with the care a mother would show a sick child, the area quickly settled.
In hindsight, I probably just got a slight twist of the retinaculum, a ligamentous band running around the entire upper ankle joint and serves as a stabiliser. Coming into the evening tide, I realised a second issue though: Despite the great workout, I had put a bit too much into the long run.
You need to act quick whenever there’s an imbalance in your system, so I picked a slightly slower and shorter version of Mondays run and that did the trick – by today I was back on target, matching my performance from last week’s Tuesday run but extending the duration at a lower heart rate. Now I have a midweek fartlek to be ready for the next medium-long run of the week.
MedFit – Spinal Assessment
I had my spinal assessment with MedFit today as well, which is basically a test of your flexibility and strength in your entire core area, taking around an hour. My flexibility was excellent in all directions: forward, backward, sideways and in rotation (twisting) but my strength generation when flexing forward or backwards was slightly below average for my age group and height. A clinical assessment pointed to excellent overall health and just minor tightness in hip and back to address with regular sports massage.
While John remains amazed at the rate of recovery of my Osteitis, it still flares up flexing the core, so he’s going to enter me into four week’s of spinal rehabilitation to help prepare me for the functional strength trainer who will take over later and look to all my strength and conditioning needs thereafter. As John told me: “I started this because in physiotherapy I can only really take people to 80% of where they should be, this centre will take them the last 20% of the way.”
He was surprised and delighted by what I had been able to take these past sixteen days but did send me away with one warning: “Never return to me again with an injury of that severity”, before adding, “you’ll be feeling the after-effects of the Osteitis for 12 months even when it does not affect your running”.
All in all, I am thrilled about the MedFit collaboration and expect it to harbour great utility for me in the future and support my long term career. In February, it’s time to return to physiology when Roman Denis of UCD will conduct a VO2 max test. While I’m undoubtedly fitter than ever, it will interesting to see the raw numbers of how I compare to my heyday in 2008.