Monday, April 04, 2016

Stopped from running by a calf injury

After my last blog in early March I resumed my return to running fitness back in Canberra. For two weeks I was going well and in hindsight, a little overconfident, as I decided to race the ACT Veterans' 5000 metre track championship race on Thursday 17 March. I knew I wasn't nearly as fit as I'd been for the 2015 race but hoped to enjoy competing and perhaps run around 24 minutes. I started well enough, running 4:45 for the first k and having Angel M for company towards the tail of the 16 runner field.

It was a warm breezy evening and soon after three laps Angel went by and it was all I could do to follow him. The next ks were 4:58, 5:08 and 5:15 (not the type of splits you'd hope for in a good 5000 metre race). With two laps to go my left calf felt like it was cramping — had I not been so close to the finish of my last 5k track race for the season I would have stopped running. The leg was hurting! I finished the race (25:13 and 15th place) and took the next day off running, hoping to cure what I thought was a minor strain. Wrong! I made it 2k into Saturday's Parkrun before the calf "cramped" again and I had to walk.

I had eight days off running (I could still ride my bike) before resuming run training with an 8k run in Wagga. I made it through that run with minor discomfort from the calf but 6k into my run the following day it "cramped" again, just as it had done in the Parkrun. I suspect the initial injury had been a tear of a muscle or muscles in the calf which just hadn't repaired itself sufficiently to resume running. I've now had a further six days off and I can tell that the injury is slowly improving day by day. I'll wait until the dodgy calf feels exactly the same as the good one and can stand some vigorous massaging before resuming running. I hope you're all doing better than I am as the weather (in Australia at least) is now perfect for running.

Walking the Ginninderra Parkrun on Saturday 2 April. My cyclist self thinks running is a slow method of getting places, but walking takes forever!


Blogger TokyoRacer said...

Bummer! Yes, plenty of rest until it is completely healed.

9:45 pm  
Blogger strewth said...

And it's improving every day. Just take it slow. At least you can still walk and ride to keep sane!!

10:32 pm  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Oh, no! I hope your calf heals soon!

11:30 pm  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

How frustrating. I hope it continues to improve steadily

3:10 am  
Blogger Ewen said...

Thanks Bob - that's the cure for this one.

Ruth, if I couldn't ride my bike or walk I'd have to think about getting a job!

Thank you Anna :-)

Yes Canute, very frustrating, but at least I haven't got a major event coming up.

8:23 am  
Blogger Mark Watson said...

The life of a professional runner has many ups and downs. I'm sure this is nothing more than just a little hiccup. Hang in their buddy and look on the bright side ... those cotton t-shirts at the bottom of your drawer will do just fine on your recovery walks. It's a liberating kind of feeling. PS Lunch with Scott was a lot of fun. Wish you were there ...

10:31 am  
Blogger Ewen said...

Ah, that would've been fun Mark - sorry I missed it. Yes, that's one of the drawbacks of being a professional runner - getting injured and having too much time to think about it! I should pull on a cotton T-shirt and go back to work ;-)

11:09 am  
Blogger Janene said...

It is good to know the calf is on the mend. A good thing you had the bike to keep you from going around the bend. Here's hoping it is now the end of the injury trend ;-).

10:49 am  
Blogger Ewen said...

Ha ha - that was good J - well done.

2:42 pm  
Anonymous Raina said...

Hope you are doing better by now, Ewen! That was a few weeks ago.. I am glad you have the bike. Calves are so pesky sometimes. I do try to stretch mine daily (even if all else is totally neglected), but often forget.

4:52 pm  
Blogger Ewen said...

Hi Raina. It's hard to say until I try running again. It causes no problems when cycling or fast walking :-) I want to give it a full 3 weeks off running (one week to go) before trying running again. If it's good, the plan would be for a very slow and progressive build-up. Good point about stretching. Rolling or massage too me thinks :-)

5:03 pm  

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