Week 8: The Verge of Breaking Point

21st January 2016

This past 10 days has been riddled with knee pain. I managed what felt like a knee tendinopathy last weekend but Monday/ Tuesday was not pretty at all- the patella tendon pain changed to a pin-point pain on the bone. Going down stairs was the worst. I foam rolled incessantly for the 3 days we were in the Yorkshire Dales on holiday. Thursday I got some fantastic treatment with Barry Edwards at Team Bath and managed some posterior chain work in the gym. Barry diagnosed that the tightness in my ITB and quads created a compression of my patella on my knee joint- hence the boney pain- not good. Saturday I tested it out and it felt terrible just 100 yds from the house.

Screenshot 2016-02-21 22.02.28Screenshot 2016-02-21 22.02.13

Sunday, it felt better still but what to do? Do I wait until later in the week and try run after work- that was pretty tough in week 5 after a day on my feet. Or worse still, I’d need to find a good few hours to cycle 90km in and around work in substitute for the run? Neither appealed to me. Against all my best judgement, I decided to give it a go. My plan was to open out my quads as much as I could, get it really warm with exercises that didn’t hurt. I IMG_0108added some leggings to the usual running get-up to keep it warm and set out with no intentions or expectations for the run.
I was 90% certain that this wouldn’t go well. I set out on a reverse of the bristol circular that I’d done a couple of times before, walking down the hill to start and then slowly getting speeding up. It didn’t feel great but it wasn’t too bad. I mixed up the route and went wherever I fancied, speeding up and slowing down whenever I liked. It wasn’t pretty  but the last 10km was probably the most enjoyable running I’ve done this year. Turns out you never know until you try.

So week 7 taught me a few things. If I’m going to complete IMG_0112this year without substitutions then I need to take my recovery and training a lot more seriously. Nutrition, foam rolling, hydrotherapy, good warm ups and warm downs need to be regular and focussed. So it started to day with a warm down after the run with a litre of squash, 2 toast with peanut butter and a massive dose of rice with dinner. I now haven’t done any effective strength training for 2 weeks with a busy last week before my holiday, a few days away from a gym and then injury. I just can’t afford to get weaker and I’ve got to commit to maintaining lower body strength as well as trying to improve aerobic fitness. What I learned today was something that I’ve known for a while but struggled with up until now- enjoy the journey, Screenshot 2016-02-21 22.22.27relax on the move and focus on things more than just run times- it really doesn’t matter. Sometimes that motivation to bin myself will be there, sometimes not- no pressure to do either.

6 days to get on top of my knee before week 9. 6am in the gym with my accomplice Luke Vella tomorrow should be a good start. At the start of week 8 we’re on £2780. Please keep the donations coming for The Grand Appeal and spread the word as far as possible.

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