Here is an update on how I’ve been getting on since my last treatment session with you back in December. I’ve delayed sending this as I wanted to include an update of the Highlander Mountain Marathon.
When I came to Physio in December I had been suffering with a strained adductor muscle (since August) and recurrent problems with my calf and ankle muscles which you’d diagnosed were caused by poor upper body posture from working at a laptop all day. I was keen to get these problems sorted out so I could be fit enough to start training in earnest in the New Year for the Highlander Mountain Marathon at the end of April. My training runs prior to seeing you had been very irregular, at the most consisting of a long weekend run and one other 10k run per week.
Your physio sessions got me back running again and the advice you gave me about my posture and running form chimed with advice I’d been given by Susie Baker, my Alexander Technique teacher, in the past.
New leaf in 2015
I decided to turn over a new leaf in 2015 and set myself a target of running or walking at least 5km every day. I’m pleased to say this is something that I am still doing and I usually only have a walking instead of running day once a fortnight or so.
Running every day
Contrary to fears that running every day was going to exacerbate the calf and ankle problems I had been suffering with, I found that the aches and pains lessened and then disappeared completely. Running every day gave me the opportunity to concentrate on my posture more and to practice running with good form. Knowing that I have to do 5km every day means that as soon as I get any pains or niggles I treat them straight away with either stretching, wobble board or foam roller as appropriate. I have even had a couple of sports massages from Katherine Golik to treat tired legs. I’m going to continue with running every day for the foreseeable future: I’m used to it now and it’s become a habit. The only thing I would add is more core exercises to enable me to maintain good form over longer distances.
Highlander Mountain Marathon and Butcombe Trail
As well as the Highlander Mountain Marathon in April (running 32 miles with 3,890m of ascent over a weekend with a backpack containing food, clothes, sleeping bag and tent), I ran the length of the Butcombe Trail during one long day in March: an unsupported solo run of 48 miles in 11 hours (which included time for map reading and stopping in several pubs on the way round for tea, coffee and extra water).
Man v Horse marathon
My next challenge is the Man v Horse marathon in June followed by a 50+ mile ultra in September.
OUCH! HIP PAIN
Week two of not being able to run and after a pain-filled weekend trying to juggle a two year old who refuses to walk down the stairs, I hastily book a second appointment with John at his AAA-Physio Clinic in Bristol BS8. As I hobble (very much a left leg limp) the short distance from my office to Moti, I am aware that every step is pinching my left hip and is a struggle.
And so the debrief, I have managed to spin and row in the week since I first saw John, but the pain I’m experiencing hasn’t eased at all. In fact, if anything it’s much worse. Carrying said two-year-old halfway across the Downs to the circus certainly didn’t help.
I’ve been to the doctors (usual anti-inflammatory prescription and inconclusive x-ray) to no avail and am told it could be six weeks before I can run again…
After a brief look at the extension on my left hip (or lack of it) John sets to work on my back. I’m shocked at how painful my lower back is. Ten years post-surgery, I am somewhat used to niggling there but as John works his way around my lower spine, I feel sharp shooting pains that actually make me scream. And so, the initial diagnosis is reiterated. In my inability to stabilise my core, I’m causing myself all kinds of problems in my neck, arms and, most painfully, my hip.
BACK TO RUNNING
I think it’s going to be a slow road back to stability and running, but leaving the clinic, into the driving Bristol rain, I’m already feeling a bit stronger and if I really put my mind to it, can see how strong core (deep breath in relax into the stomach) does help ease the pain. Another challenge…and one I’m determined to win.
Top of right glute painful, John has identified that my right foot veers left just at the end of my stride, meaning my hip twists probably causing the pain. It’s only in the last month.
Question is what causes it; shoes, stance or what?
1. New tyres – popped in to Moti and the attentive chaps spent 45 mins sorting that in line with John’s instructions. Very different but comfy, hope an old foot injury in my foot isn’t aggravated as it always casts a shadow over new shoes.
2. Posture – while standing – ‘peering over cliff’, this is the one I’ve been concentrating on, feet, knees, pelvis and head, oh and chest and shoulders if a man can concentrate on more than 4 things at once! While sitting – pelvis, shoulders and head (superman eyes)
3. Running style – shorter stride landing on ball of foot not so heavily on heel, pelvis, elbows (pushing back and not too far forward), and the head, again. Needs working on at the next session.
I really should stretch more.
Been running and out on MTB, neither very good. Torn between resting and pain of getting fit again once John has worked his magic vs glute and back pain of continuing exercise.
Problem – I think I do a good level of exercise, 3-4 hours a week, often including 10-15 miles (running) off-road, I also do circuits at least once a week, in the hope that it will keep the body in shape, and that I can keep up with the kids and defeat ageing, while enjoying the countryside west of Bristol.
However, every couple of years the body rebels and all sorts of random parts of the body rebel. Back – Knees – Ankle – Neck
Treatment – ring John @AAA-Physio and get myself booked in. Somehow he identifies which bits of my back are the root cause and tells me I don’t sit properly at my desk. He also finds aches I didn’t know I had. A few crunches and 24 hours of thinking not much has changed… ..the old body is revived!
1) I really should stretch more often & use free the exercise sheets on John’s website
2) I shouldn’t wait till my backs ceases up or a muscle locks up before seeing John
3) Chasing balls is for dogs and not middle aged men!
Hello – I’m still a bit behind in my plan of being able to run 5 miles in 45 mins.
I have a whole raft of excuses…
But anyway – I ‘m now happily running for 30 mins, no calf pain, no stress-fractured-but-now-mended metatarsal pain – just a couple of blisters (from running in walking shoes…) and the odd footy twinge (from being a bit too slothful over the weeks and not running enough…)
So – hooray – I think I’m well on the road to my goal
John has continued to show me exersises i can do to fit around my work to help strengthen my leg but he has also carefully analysed my running technique. When he studied my running on a treadmill he showed me how much my left leg was heal striking which is whats causing my injury pain. He then showed me that this was all because of the distance my legs were landing in front of me, I am now pleased to say that through his guidance and this smaller stride technique the pain in my left leg does not feel as bad as it has during previous runs. Like all new things this will take me time to adjust to.