My Running Rehab Plan

Wednesday, Oct 24, 2012 at 13:04

TriathlonOz - Michelle

Monday 8th October was meant to be the start of my 6 week rehab plan but it didn't initially go as planned but I'm only a week behind as I'll explain later. This plan, provided by my sports doctor who is a specialist in knee injuries, was designed to slowly rebuild by running distance without causing any knee aggravation after a period of 6 weeks of NO RUNNING, and prior to this my running was mostly ineffective due to chronic knee pain (ITB) that was forcing me to stop after very small distances anyway.

Here's the plan:

3 runs per week - all based on time. All on hard/firm surfaces. No hills, no sand, no grass and ideally done at varying paces, starting slow and building pace, rather than "intervals". The "long" run is meant to be done at the slowest pace.

Week 1: 10mins, 12mins, 10mins
Week 2: 12mins, 15mins, 12mins
Week 3: 15mins, 20mins, 15mins
Week 4: 20mins, 25mins, 20mins
Week 5: 25mins, 30mins, 25mins
Week 6: 30mins, 40mins, 30mins

So, I started run 1, week 1 and got to 6mins and had to stop due to the return of the usual tightness in my knee. With tears of frustration I walked home and decided I needed another week of rest off running and probably stick to the treadmill.

So last week, I restarted Week 1 and used my home treadmill on Monday, ran on the footpath on Wednesday, and on the gym treadmill on Friday. No pain, all smiles. Pace reasonable for such poor run fitness, so I'll give that a tick.

I survived last week too but did all three runs on the gym treadmill (it feels easier) and started this week reasonably well too. In fact, at the gym on Monday morning I was smiling as I was settling into my 12min run and I had to hold myself back from doing an air punch of happiness! I remember this feeling, this is how running is meant to feel!

Today, I've just done my first 15min run on my home treadmill but it was tough and I felt a bit of tightness beginning in my left knee after 10mins. The last 5 minutes were challenging but I survived. The trouble is I am not feeling very run-fit, but that will come.

Running is just a part of my schedule. I usually cycle 2-3 times a week, and should be swimming twice a week. I also like to do strength training with weights at the gym 1-2 times a week.

I am committed to the Albany Half Ironman triathlon in early January, and I'd like to do the Interclub Sprint Triathlon and the Hillarys Sprint Triathlon (both in December) so I'm trying to gradually get the swim-ride-run thing happening, despite the nursing of the knee.

Weight, Diet & Supplements


After the MRI, the doctor put me onto a Glucosamine/Chondroitin supplement, which is Blackmores Joint Forumula Advanced (very expensive). I also sometimes take Fish Oil (for cholesterol), and a Magnesium/Zinc/Selenium/Chromium tablet if I can be bothered.

I have also made some changes to my diet after gaining some information from Helen Airey and attending a talk she hosted at her home with nutritionist guest speakers Nat & Tracy. They covered lots of things that resonated with me as being healthy on the inside is very important to me. I've never been keen to take supplements or multivitamins but had been noticing a big response to having a Berroca Performance before an early morning ride and so together with the stuff above had started to rethink the quality of the vitamins and minerals that I'm absorbing through the foods we eat. I've always believed that you don't need supplements if you eat massive amounts of fresh, raw, salad vegies so our daily lunch is a gorgeous big homemade crunchy salad featuring the 7 colours of the rainbow if possible. All our fruit/veg comes from the growers markets in Wanneroo, having given up on supermarkets many years ago. But what I never thought about was the quality of the soil this produce is grown in, and therefore the potential uptake of the nutrients. If you saw how much raw food we eat in this house, you'd think we were vegans - but we're far from it! I am sure I am healthy generally, as I never get sick with colds, sore throats, coughs etc and if one is going around the family I can quickly shake it if I get even a slight touch of feeling "odd" within a day.

But what I am looking for is ways to improve recovery because post-weight training I am often sore and have aches in my elbows and recently I had to quit karate training due to days of pains in the back of my knees after doing a class (and the knee doctor saying that was the worst sport I could be doing for my knee condition).

So, I am currently experimenting with some new foods that I've not bothered to include in my diet previously. This includes making my own kefir and substituting this for whenever I would normally have yoghurt or milk; making green vegie juices and green smoothies with things like avocado, spinach, celery, cucumber, and adding a green fruit like kiwi or green apple and making it smooth with frozen banana yum! I've also cut back on adding animal proteins in my lunch salads, which for me was tin tuna, feta cheese, cold meats etc, and feeling ok to snack more regularly by choosing raw or alkaline foods, and experimenting with various other ingredients which are new to me - flax seed meal, flax oil, raw cacao powder & cacao butter, stevia, chia seeds, goji berries, buckwheat flour, and experimenting with making using stevia to replace sugar in all my cooking (eg. tomato sauce, muffins for kids etc). I love cooking with new ingredients and experimenting in the kitchen so this is all rather fun for now and I love snacking on all this yummy stuff - and best of all I'm losing those last few kilos that have been hanging around all year, which is very interesting to notice.

Triathlon Events & Races


So, hopefully things will just tick along with the running rehab and next you'll hear of me should be good news about the Interclub on 2nd December!

In the meantime, entries for the 2013 Busselton Half Ironman open tonight, but I realised that even if my knee does get sorted, I've got the Albany Half to get through and to back that up with another half ironman in May is perhaps too much for me, so I'm entering Busselton as the cyclist for a team. If things have improved with my knee, I can then opt to enter the Mandurah IM70.3 in October as an individual, or better still, do the full Anaconda, which has always been on my wish list. Who knows? I like the idea of options and I have the best team mate Kate who is an great runner but doesn't cycle so she needs me and I need her!
Some wish for it, others work for it!
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