Well, you’re not doomed:) Some thoughts to help a tendon injury is….wait for it….Strength. This helps you gain more fatigue resistance, and resistance to tendon injury. A focused calf strength program with progression to tolerance of 6rm loads will help the tendon. The other elephant in the room is the effect of nerve irritation has on tightening up the posterior chain. It can either directly be the cause of pain, or the effect of activation/irritation of the nerves to the hamstring/hip/calf. Food for thought.
I was never very consistent about training at any point in my life until the start of 2020, when I began to slowly up my running volume from 4 hours/week to coming close to 8 hours by May. I follow the rules about not increasing volume by more than 10%/week, but in spite of that I ended up getting a bad calf strain in early May and after holding off training for a few weeks, I went to physical therapy where they said it was gastroc strain.
I spent most of the summer getting over this injury and easing back into running, using roller skiing as an alternate, low impact alternative when my leg acted up. By August, I was done with PT and able to run 8 hours/week without any issue at all and I seemed to have corrected some of the underlying problems which led to my injury (poor hip stability, lack of flexibility). At the end of August, I did a 29.5 mile trail run, which I trained/tapered for as if it were a race, and didn’t have any major issues with afterwards at all save for typical soreness.
However, in the couple of weeks since that “race” in which I’ve been training again, I’ve noticed my right leg has been causing problems again. My right arch has gotten very flat and weak (which has been an issue on and off in the past), and I have this mysterious pain behind my right knee. Because of this, I took a few days off and thought I was better, but just today during my run, I had this really bad pain on my right foot that’s hard to describe (it felt a bit like a rubber band inside of it getting too tight).
In light of all this, I’m dropping my volume for the next week or two, but I was wondering what I should be doing on top of stretching/rolling and TFTUA style strength workouts as a long term routine to avoid this kind of injury? I can’t imagine I’m doomed to spending the rest of my life doing no more than 8 hours/week…
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