Tag Archives: injury

Uh Oh!

Up until now training has been going really well. I am noticing a huge difference in my twice weekly gym work and am really enjoying it (which for me is huge – I tend to get really bored, really easily.)

Today I went on a solo 10 mile trail run in the rain:



I passed 2 people within the first mile and then no-one for the next 9! Perfect me time. When I got home I was freezing. I had a shower but couldn’t get warm. Luckily a lovely meal in a pub soon did the trick.

You may have noticed that I started this post saying that training has been going well. Notice the ‘up until now’ phrase? I shouldn’t have run today. When I got up the ball area of my foot hurt when I walked on it. This is not that unusual for me so I didn’t think much of it. (I have expanding ligaments in my feet.) When I started running it was a bit sore and I contemplated turning back but I had 2 days off running, it didn’t hurt yesterday and I could think of no reason why it would hurt, also the pain wasn’t too bad. 10 miles later and I am hobbling.  Uh oh. I should have rested. I will now be resting this week and finding cross training to do in its place. Guttted.

On the other hand I have found a ‘new’ challenge for yoga:

It is a 31 day course with Adriene and you can sign up here. I did the first one yesterday. The thirty minutes went so quickly. It was fairly gentle (apart from some of the stomach ones) but it is meant to be restorative. I have signed up and will keep you posted.

PS: I have managed to do yoga everyday for a over a week!


Stop Running and Stop Panicking!

This post is for all those of you out there suffering from running related injuries. I know that there are a lot of you. I also understand how you are feeling but this post will hopefully make you feel a lot better and slightly more optimistic about any events coming up.


On Christmas eve I agreed to doing a run that I shouldn’t have done. As you all know, the run up to Christmas is a busy time so runs had become the barest minimum. With a 10k race coming up on New Years eve I was keen to try to build my confidence.

On Sunday I ran a 10k

6..21 mi


8:57 min/mi

Avg Pace



I was more than happy with that. My downfall really came when I agreed to run a paced run on Christmas eve with a friend.
6.21 mi
8:57 min/mi
Avg Pace


I had pain from the beginning but I pushed through…….BIG mistake. From that day on it hurt when I walked. The next few days were horrid as I came to terms with what I had stupidly done. I knew that rest was a good idea. I tried anti inflammatories. I googled it (never to be advised). Finally I consulted a physio. I wanted answers now and I wanted to do it properly as I have a marathon to train for! If you haven’t read the diagnosis then you can here.

It was three weeks before I put on my trainers again. I did do swimming, rowing and biking as I need to get those endorphins from somewhere but nothing is quite like running. 😦

On the 14th January I took the executive decision that I could run/walk a couple of miles. I was very careful as I had not had the official go ahead from the physio so definitely did more walking than running but all felt good.


The next day I got the all clear to go ahead and walk/run 🙂 This is what I did:

3.08 mi
9:53 min/mi
Avg Pace


All still felt fine. I then did some more run/walks until finally on the 21st January I finally ran 3 miles, 5 weeks after my final run.
3.00 mi
9:10 min/mi
Avg Pace


Look at the pace – not too shabby at all. I have now run 40 miles since then, gradually increasing the miles each week. (With a week off running due to a cold I might add!)

Last week I ran 8 miles in one go which is the furthest that I have run this year BUT and the best bit is that I did it in an average pace of 9.50 which I don’t think is too bad at all. The last time that I ran 8 miles pre injury was December the 8th and the average pace was 9.38.

So my purpose in writing this is that despite having had a total of 4 weeks out of 7 off running, my overall pace has not dropped anywhere as near as much as I expected. If anything I feel stronger than before. My body has had a bit of a rest, the pressure has been taken off me and I am enjoying running more than ever. Everytime I go out I remind myself how lucky I am to be able to go for a run.

lucky running

Original picture from here.

So if you have an injury my advice would be to cross train and to give it the rest it needs to repair itself. Your body will not go back to being a beginner runner overnight. All those miles and training really do count. So stop panicking and give your body the time it needs. Your body will definitely thank you for it.


As for me I am continuing to add-on the miles as I build up for the London Marathon which I am running for Mind. To read my story click here. To donate click here.

Lamp post intervals

Last week I had the all clear from the physio to gently start running again, well run/walk that is. It was just as well because I had decided that I was probably OK to do this on Monday and so had done a short one already.

I still took it easy, running for three lamp posts and walking for one. I also unintentionally ran quite fast – hitting sub 8 minute mile pace each time I ran. This was really encouraging to me as it meant that the gym work and swimming had kept my fitness levels up.

My sats from my first official run

My stats from my first official run. The blue is the speed – see how it is quite regular.

I have to say that I didn’t find run/walking easy at all. I lost my rhythm and felt that getting started again was really hard work. Also lamp posts are just not even. Some are really close together and some are a long way apart. Why? Why not put them the same distance from each other?

Despite this I am really happy to say that there is no pain in my foot at all following both of the ‘proper’ runs which means (to me) that I am ready to get back into it. I just don’t know how to progress without going too fast and injuring myself again.

I also have to try to gain trust in my foot again. When I am concentrating on it I am sure that it hurts/twinges etc but when I am not it is fine. I went out with my son today and was focusing on him – not my foot thus it was all absolutely fine. I am sure that it is fine but the brain is a powerful thing!

Finally, I had a really great session in the gym this weekend with my Personal Trainer. A couple of weeks ago he introduced skater squats to me. These are one-legged squats where you try to get your knee as close to the floor as possible.

I surprised myself (and maybe my trainer too?) at how strong I have become. I really hope that I can now get on with the running side without any problems.nj

I must be a top sports person!

I now have a gym membership, a personal trainer and a physio. All that I now need is a driver, chef/nutritionist….


Joking aside, I ended 2014 with an injury to my Achilles (an injury all the top sports people have according to my husband!) This is partly why I have been so quiet over the Christmas period. Social media was full of the runs that everyone was doing and the training programs that they had started. All far too depressing for me.


I tried to be really sensible and rest it knowing that an injury now is not too bad but if I made it worse the marathon may well be in jeopardy again. I can’t have that! Still annoying though, especially as, unusually for this time of year we have had some gloriously sunny days………


Having rested it for 5 days, I needed to know more hence the phone call to the physio. I needed to know what I had done and get some concrete information. Death by Google was just scaring me. Luckily they had an appointment for later that day YAY!!.


Never one to be normal or easy I made the poor (lovely) man work for his money. He prodded and poked but could not make it hurt (maybe I should be grateful?). Eventually he left my ankle and moved up to my calf. THAT HURT!

Looking at this you can see that the calf and the achilles is linked.     Source



Do you think of massages as nice and relaxing? Well this one wasn’t. IT HURT. A LOT. Mind you, I was happy with anything if it was going to help. The next day I was sent some stretches to do at home. I am doing them. Religiously,

I was told no running for a week or two. Rubbish when I am supposed to be in week one of my marathon training program. The only consolation is that all the programs start of with minimal millage so I am not missing that much. Maybe a rest will do me good? I am trying to keep my cv up by swimming, biking and rowing in the gym  but it is not the same. I miss running….the freedom…….fresh air……..

My secret hope is that the pain is all gone by the time I return to the physio on Monday (well I can dream…….;))

I shall keep you informed….Sorry to moan.

What is your stride length?

Last week I dispelled the myth that longer legs mean that you run faster. This week I have done some research into how the length of your stride effects your running speed. I, myself am aware that I vary the length of my stride throughout my runs. When I am beginning to struggle with my running I tend to consciously shorten my stride length. I cannot guarantee how long this lasts for as we have noticed that when we suggest that we should slow down a bit we don’t really manage it. Indeed we often end up going faster (in our heads though we have eased off and that is all that matters? Right?)


Sourdoughkaty left the following on comment last week:

Ayerveda holds that there are 3 basic body types. They are identified by many markers, one of which is running style. The three styles are described as like a deer, like a tiger, or like a bear. Speed, power, endurance

I like the visual nature of this. Simple and easy to understand. Thanks for sharing this 🙂

Variation factors

Apparently our stride length depends on a variety of different variants:

Stride length is dependent upon a number of factors, including skeletal structure, muscular strength, and flexibility.

Runners World.com

The article goes on to say:

Recent research indicates that running form, in particular stride length, differs between road running and treadmill running.

It also says that there are studies showing that increasing the stride length makes you more prone to injury and therefore it is better to increase speed turnover in order to move faster.

A claim to dispute this:

Nomeathelete claims that the way to stay injury free is to run 180 steps per minute when you run. This is because:

When you turn your legs over at this rate, you:

  • Are forced to take shorter, lighter strides
  • Keep your feet underneath you, rather than way out in front
  • Strike the ground with your midfoot, rather than your heel
  • Spend more time in the air and less time “braking” on the ground

All these factors add up to two big things: Greater efficiency, and dramatically reduced risk of injury.


His view is that the number of the steps per minute is important in order to remain injury free. In order to go faster therefore he says that you :

For slow, relaxed runs, you’ll be taking very short steps, and when you want to open it up for a 5K or something even shorter and faster, you’ll lengthen your stride so that you cover more ground with each step.  But you’re still taking 180+ steps each minute at all speeds.

Hmmm that to me makes sense but at the same time it worries me that longer strides may mean that you over stretch which would result in possible injury?  Oh dear. I am a bit confused now.

A final view-point:

Corerunning puts a little bit of common sense into the theory of running 180 steps per minute – combining some of the points from the first article with the second. He gives a range within to run: between 170 – 180 steps per minute (for both feet.) The fewer steps will obviously be for a slower pace and the larger number of steps will be for speed work. He also realistically points out that what is right for one person may not be right for everyone (therefore taking account of individual differences).

He goes on to say that to go faster you do need to increase your stride length but not by much. He shows this table:

look at table below from the book, Healthy Intelligent Training: The Proven Principles of Arthur Lydiard by Keith Livingstone (a great book by the way):

5km Performance & Stride Length
SL (m) 2.0 2.01 2.02 2.03 2.04
Increase 0.5% 1% 1.5% 2%
# strides 2500 2488 2475 2463 2450
Time 14:00 13:55.8 13:51.7 13:47.6 13:39

What this table shows is how much faster you can run a 5k with only a 2% increase in stride length (SL).

He goes on to say that he doesn’t worry about stride lengths but on the speed of footfall as:

…..most recreational runners have too low a cadence. Many are below 170.

He finishes off by saying:

It’s important to keep in mind that you should work on your cadence during your easier runs. Everyone’s cadence naturally goes up when doing speed work but the key is to make your normal running cadence fall in that magic range.


I know what I shall be working on this weekend. How about you?


Post Marathon Update

I am going to do a very quick update on my running.  It has been a fair while after all!

Immediately Afterwards

Yes I did feel awful but I was very surprised to be able to walk about relatively pain-free the next day. Yes I was a bit sore and stiff but not as bad as I had thought. When I answered the phone at half past seven to find that I was being asked to go and work for the day I didn’t really hesitate. I never ever thought that would be possible. I did no exercise however until Friday – 4 days later. I went to the gym.


I mainly did this because I knew that I was not going to be able to do anything for at least a week due to the second op on my back. I had a nice ‘relaxed’ session that didn’t involve a lot of running!!

Post Op

You will all be very aware that I had slightly more than I expected taken from my back so did no exercise for nearly 2 weeks (Aren’t I a good girl?)

Back Running

Last week I started with a few 3 mile runs – nice and gentle. To be honest I could not do much else. I was finding it quite hard to breath and my legs just weren’t really co-operating. My Garmin was telling me that I was running just under 10 minute miles which for three miles is really slow. I do wonder if this is normal? After the first time I ran my legs hurt the next day. I really couldn’t believe it. 2 weeks ago I had run a marathon and now I could barely manage three miles. Do you think this is normal?


Over the bank holiday we went on a bike ride (7-8 miles). It was very slow as we had little people biking with us. That was no worries – even with an extra body on the back of my bike. It reignited my fire and so I went running the next day. During this run (5 miles this time) my knee started hurting. There was no obvious reason for it but I found it hurt to walk for the rest of the day. I spoke to my running partner and she said that it sounded just like what she has. It is apparently very common and not a problem with the knee but with the hip and upper leg muscles. I have to say that at the gym today my right leg (the one with the hurt knee) did feel really tight. I think that I need to focus on stretching it out and strengthening it. Does anyone have any ideas if I am on the right lines? I hate not being able to run 😦

One Final Observation

This week I have been talking to someone who has just started running and she said that she actively tries to go out at times when she won’t be seen. I remember doing this – choosing routes that are away from the majority of people and where I face less chance of being seen . Yesterday however – when I was really struggling with my pace I realised that I really did not mind or worry about what anyone thought of me. I know that I have done a marathon and that has given me a real confidence boost. I no longer care what other people think – I know what I can do and that is all that matters 🙂 Believe me – for me that is a HUGE step forward.

What have you done that has changed your attitude?