So this morning I got up early(ish) for my....walk. It is now 8 weeks since I saw the physio and I should be able to run, but you know, I can still feel that tight hip flexor/glute, so I did some reading . This is what I came up with:
- Start walking. Apart from walking on our holiday, I haven't been out and about. Did you know that when walking, your body absorbs 2 times your body weight? It is a great stepping stone to get the body ready for the more intensive running. It's how I started running. My physio was adamant that it takes the body a long time to get used to the stresses of running - the muscular-skeletal system, that is, not the cardio-vascular (that is much more adaptable). Some websites recommend building up to 10-15 miles (16-24km) of pain free walking before attempting any running. So I'm approaching my walking the same as my running - three walks a during the week and a long walk (or bushwalk) on the weekend.
- Re-introduce running by alternating running and walking - most websites suggest run one minute, walk three. I might even re-do Couch to 5K! I reckon it will feel weird just running! And goodness knows I've probably lost most of my aerobic fitness that I built up. But it's OK, I know it can come back. I'll have to make sure there is no pain in my hip when I run - otherwise I'm not sufficiently healed to run again.
- One website recommended running at 25-50% of your pre-injury pace. Considering I was running at about 8 min/km that means 16-20 min/km. I can walk faster than that - can you imagine what it would look like trying to run that slow? Is it actually possible to run that slow? I'll just take it real easy - concentrate on form and not worry about pace.
- Don't increase distance, frequency, intensity or pace of running at the same time. My physio said the injury was a classic case of "too much, too soon". So, first I'll just concentrate on building up to 5km. And then slowly (ever so slowly, with walk breaks if needs be) increase the distance. Pace will come (one day, maybe).
- Use the foam roller after every run and then stretch. Strengthening exercises on the off days.
- Try to do some yoga or pilates once a week. I went to a yoga class last week and really, really enjoyed it. The instructor also does pilates and massage. I'm going to go get a really good massage too. My body will thank me later (after the pain subsides).
I am just enjoying getting out in the fresh air again. So is my dog.
I'm "only" walking, but it's a step in the right direction!!