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Finding The Culprit

4 12 2009

1. On December 8, it will be one month sice I finished the PIM Pasig River Marathon where I had an injury. “Purists & Hardcores” in running are not supposed to be talking or discussing much about their injuries related to running but for the benifit of the “newbies”/beginners who are reading this blog, I don’t want them to experience what I am going through right now. The way I look at it, it will take weeks for me to rest and recover to give ample time for my muscle strain to heal.

2. Age—At my present age of 57, I consider myself as a strong and seasoned runner but my age is trying to catch up with reality. Various studies indicate that those runners who remain highly fit and avoid serious injury or illness will average at least 0.5 percent decline in performance per year from age 35 to 60 years old. After the age of 60, performance dropoff tends to increase. I think this is the reason why running-related injury is starting to show up. I hope that through my running, I would be able to slow down the aging process.

3. Ample Time For Rest & Recovery—I have to re-evaluate my road races in the coming months as I need more time to rest and recover in between road races. At least, one ultramarathon race and two marathon races per year would be a good quota for a year.

4. More Stretching & Warm-Up—Before my races for the months of October and November, I shortened my stretching “rituals” and warm-up exercises. I was too confident that the early kilometers of the race with a slow pace would “warm-up” my running legs but I was wrong! I should have made some extended warm-up jogging and stretching exercises before finally going to the coral in the starting area. At least, I would be able to sweat a little before the start of the race. It would be more effective if I did some “drills” before the race. The older you get, you need more time to warm-up and stretch before a major road race.

5. Supplementary Training/Weight Training—For almost six months, I stopped going to the gym for my supplementary weight training and concentrated more with my tempo, interval and long runs in preparation for the MILO Finals, QCIM Half-Marathon, SIM and PIM Pasig Marathon. I was wrong! Some of those tiny muscle groups in my legs were not strengthened by just running only. I still believe that there is a need for strength training to complement one’s running workouts. Pilates and Yoga are also recommended as additional supplementary training for older runners like me.

6. Deep-Muscle Massage With More Time To Heal—I always find time to have a regular deep-muscle massage before and after marathon races. After a satisfactory performance in the Subic International Marathon, I had a massage because of the occurrence of a muscle cramps on my left lower leg on the last kilometer before the Finish Line. I did not wait for my muscles to recover and immediately had a long run a day after the race. After the run, this was where I started to feel a muscle strain on my calf muscle. Instead of resting, I went out again to do my long runs. More massage was done on my legs but I was not able to have my affected muscle to heal for a longer time until I joined the PIM Pasig River Marathon. It is then advisable not to run a distance of a marathon race when there is a pain (even a slight pain!) that recurs whenever you have your running workouts at least two weeks before the actual race. 

7. Combination of Everything—The way I look at what had happened, the cause of my injury is a combination of what I’ve stated above—old age (ha! ha! ha!), more time to heal & recover after major races, more time for pain to heal after massage, and lack of supplementary weight training & warm-up/stretching.

(Note: Next post will be “Finding The Cure”)

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6 responses

5 12 2009
runnerforchrist

Thanks for sharing…Also, may I add…run smarter and not harder.

See you at the races.

5 12 2009
kingofpots

ronnie, thanks for the suggestion..yes, i admit that i am also “hard-headed” just like you and the other “purists & hardcore” runners.

5 12 2009
rickgaston

A former champion triathlete had mentioned that it takes him much longer to warm up now, sometimes the warmup is even longer than a race if it’s a 5k. He also mentioned the warm down. For the strength training I think that it’s a good idea for runners of all ages especially endurance athletes. I was told that the endurance racing and training breaks the muscles down and not necessarily strengthens them. I hate strength training especially when I am ramping up for a race because I feel it slows me down in my run training but it’s true. I need to do more but the little I do has helped a lot. Work on the core is invaluable and as a trail runner I need it to stabilize my body for fast descents on technical downhills. I’m less worn out at the end of the year than I used to be with all the strength training. I hate it but I value it, just like stretching.

It could be old age or sometimes injury just happens. When a young athlete gets injured nobody says it’s because of their age. BR because of your continued dedication to running, staying fit, I bet many people half your age have more injuries than you do or have a higher potential for injury.

5 12 2009
kingofpots

thanks rick for sharing your friends’ experiences. well, my case proves the general statement that “Shit happens” or there is always the “Murphy’s Law” to contend with.

5 12 2009
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