Unable to run due to post PB soreness. Why & How Long off?

Question:

Having knocked 3 mins off my 10k PB I am now unable to run due to soreness in my knee, back of leg and hip…how long before I get back on the saddle? ….why after every PB do I become injured and unable to run…..London 10k for example….limping straight after…please give me guidance oh fountain of running brilliance….you are my hero…guiding light…..too much?

Answer:

Without wanting to give the obvious “it’s impossible to say over the internet”… response – I can’t give an exact diagnosis as to what your particular issue is – and nor would I be able to assist in person since I’m in no way qualified, however, in true McCarkiss spirit, I shall attempt to form a logical response based on snippets of information attained over the years.

To me the obvious answer is that as we (/our muscles) fatigue, we’re less able to hold good form, and as form deteriorates we’re placing additional strain on muscles/ligaments which try to compensate for the fatigued muscles which are no longer able to do their job correctly – much like someone who beasts the gym for the first time in many years, we ‘cope’ for the duration of the session, but the aftermath can be rather painful as the muscles simple aren’t used to such abuse.

How this happens in relation to your PB efforts I have no definitive answer, however a PB would require a particularly big effort, which would potentially induce a greater amount of fatigue and amplify  the situation described above. Stay in your comfort zone and you’re not pushing yourself to the limit, thus less problems likely to occur – It’s safer, but less fun (IMO).

The perfect resolution would be to see a sports therapist (such as the MCKEP team’s sports therapy solution: http://www.pastherapy.co.uk/) where particular areas of weakness could be identified, and strengthening program(s) suggested to help prevent/minimise repeat scenarios… the cheaper and simpler option (although perhaps not quite as effective) is to just add some basic/generic strength and core exercises to your training regime.

As for how long until you’re back in the saddle… God knows… how much does it hurt? how quickly do you normally recover? I’ve had seemingly fairly basic injuries that have knocked me out for several months – and some that have lasted only a few days, our very own McCarthy has been continuing to train with a chronic ankle injury for circa 6 months now – uncomfortable but he smashed out a 10k PB at the weekend. If it’s just soreness rather than an injury then once you feel just about comfortable enough to go for a jog (probably a couple of days time) then I would go for a short, easy paced jog just to get things moving again, this usually helps me feel better if I’ve done something silly like hills/fell running and my legs are throbbing the following day.

Hope that’s of some use as it was an attempt at a serious/sensible response!

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