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2014-01-16 12:24 PM

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Expert
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Boise, ID
Subject: Custom Training Plan - Running Advice

Hi All,

I am working toward IM CDA in June. I upgraded to Gold today and created my custom training plan. I have 4 swims, 3 bikes and 5 runs per week. I will split these between morning, 2:00pm or so, and late evening. No kids and my wife is 100% behind me on this so not too many worries on time constraints, hence the number of workouts. I am not sure if the custom plan just goes for a weekly mileage goal or what but in the past more frequency on the run has helped me avoid injury which is why I chose to do 5 per week rather than 3 longer runs. 

My question is this. I started running again from scratch in mid October, took things slow and such. Got up to a little over 15 miles per week, then in the first week of December I tore my left calf. Took the next 4 weeks off of running to give it ample time to heal so it wouldn't be a recurring problem for my IM training. I am easing back into running in the last 2 weeks or so. No more than 2 miles per run so far. 

Anyway, my plan has my short runs at just under 2 miles, which is fine, I can handle that. It has a medium run at 3.3 miles and then a long of 4.7. This is all in the first week. It does build slowly from there. My problem is I don't think that a 4.7 mile run is going to be wise at this given time. I don't want to risk another calf injury.

So do I modify on my own and decrease the mileage to what I think will work and try to catch up to the plan in the next month or so. Or would it be better to meet the mileage requirement of the plan but use a run/walk when needed to reduce risk to my calf? I imagine something along the lines of run a mile, walk for 2 minutes to stretch out calf, rinse and repeat sort of thing until my calf gets too tired and then finish whatever is left with walking. Fitness wise the 4.7 does not worry me, but I really don't want to hurt my calf again and end up with another chunk of time off. So do I just cut the run or do I complete the mileage with run/walk?

Thanks



2014-01-16 1:21 PM
in reply to: Aarondb4

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Not a Coach
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Subject: RE: Custom Training Plan - Running Advice

How did you tear your calk?  Is it fully healed?  When you say started running from scratch in Oct, what do you mean?  When did you last run before that?  How much were you running then?

In general, you don't try to 'catch up' to a plan.  You start based upon where you are able to train and build at a rate that you can sustain.  If that allows you to catch up to the plan, great.  If not, so be it.  If you are going to be well off training to run the marathon for the IM (sounds likely), then you should definitely consider a run/walk option.  And, possibly, other 'non-traditional' training for your IM (for example, maybe some long, all day hiking).

2014-01-16 2:06 PM
in reply to: JohnnyKay

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Subject: RE: Custom Training Plan - Running Advice

With a run build where you tore your calf at 15 miles a week I'd be concerned to how that happened.  What kind of pace were you running?  I think you need to figure what and why this happened before launching into an even more aggressive build.  I certainly think that a reduced pace including run/walk is something to look at.  You need to build base and durability to get through this without recurring injuries.

2014-01-17 10:44 AM
in reply to: popsracer

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Subject: RE: Custom Training Plan - Running Advice

 

I ran 4.5 miles on a Sunday afternoon to finish a 16 mile week then I went running again Monday morning at 6:00am. Was supposed to do 2 miles, got one mile into and my calf started to get more and more painful on every step, I should have stopped but I figured it was just tight and would loosen up. Eventually it "popped" and I struggled to walk off the track. 

No official diagnosis on the calf, but my sister is a PT and she said based on symptoms and what happened it was likely a small tear. It hurt to walk for a few days, was uncomfortable for probably a week and a half or so. I took 4 weeks off of running, kept up with the bike and swim, to hopefully allow it to heal fully. 

I still feel it a bit on a hard ride, but once it is fatigued I am backing off big time. I think if I stay cautious I should be okay.

That was the basis for my question though. I can comfortably run 2-3 miles, but 4.7 is going to be a bit much at this point. So do I just run the 2-3 when my plan calls for 4.7 or should I run 2-3 then finish the 4.7 by walking until my legs catch up and are able to take the beating?

If I could adjust the plan down from the start I would but I don't see an option to do that.

2014-01-17 2:46 PM
in reply to: #4932976


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Subject: RE: Custom Training Plan - Running Advice
Whether you do the 4.5mi now or skip the long runs for a few weeks, you're going to have to monitor that injury carefully. I would suggest that if you feel even a twinge there during a run that you stop and ice it and get a diagnosis from a physiatrist or orthopod. I don't think skipping a couple of the long runs, especially at the beginning of the plan will impede your fitness. Distance training is a lot about muscle memory and I think you'll build the same muscle memory now doing two 2mi runs as you would one 4miler. good luck
2014-01-17 3:17 PM
in reply to: Aarondb4

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Kenmore, Washington
Subject: RE: Custom Training Plan - Running Advice
Sounds like your calf is a time bomb waiting to go off. It's probably full of inflexible scar tissue from your previous injury. I suffered a very similar injury a few years ago, felt just like you do after a few weeks off, started running again, and tore my calf a second time within two weeks.

Deep tissue massage with a PT, foam roller, or stick combined with walks and very low impact runs should fix you up. Break up that scar tissue and promote blood flow for faster healing.



2014-01-17 5:11 PM
in reply to: pnwdan

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Subject: RE: Custom Training Plan - Running Advice

Originally posted by pnwdan Sounds like your calf is a time bomb waiting to go off. It's probably full of inflexible scar tissue from your previous injury. I suffered a very similar injury a few years ago, felt just like you do after a few weeks off, started running again, and tore my calf a second time within two weeks. Deep tissue massage with a PT, foam roller, or stick combined with walks and very low impact runs should fix you up. Break up that scar tissue and promote blood flow for faster healing.

Thanks for sharing your experience. You are right it does feel more tender when I work it now, makes me a bit nervous. I will keep up on the ice, foam roller and stick. Hopefully between that and some nice easy running/walking, I'll be able to get it to come back around. 

So I think I will attempt to stick to the plan, just finish the mileage with walking if needed. I doubt excessive walking is going to hurt me too much and if nothing else it should help loosen things up down there.

Thanks all.

2014-01-19 5:06 PM
in reply to: Aarondb4

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142
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Kenmore, Washington
Subject: RE: Custom Training Plan - Running Advice
Glad to hear you are already using a foam roller and stick. I would drop the ice and replace it with a heat pack. Ice is useful right after a major injury but I wouldn't use it after normal training. You want more blood in that calf, not less. Walking is awesome and will speed your recovery.

I did tons of reading on soft tissue injury and rehab when I was hurt and could not run. Check out page 3 of this PDF

http://www.google.com/url?sa=t&rct=j&q=&esrc=s&source=web&cd=10&cad...

From the article:

C. The Wound Healing Process

1. Reaction: The Inflammatory Phase
This first phase can last up to 72 hours, and involves a number of inflammatory responses, manifested by pain, swelling, redness, and increased local temperature. Accumulation of exsudate and oedema begins the process of tissue repair following injury when a blood clot forms and seals the area. In musculotendinous injuries, there is myofilament reaction and peripheral muscle fiber contraction within the first two hours. Oedema and anoxia result in cell damage and death within the first 24 hours, and the release of protein breakdown products from damaged cells leads to further oedema, tissue hypoxia, and cell death. Oedema and joint swelling, with or without pain, is associated with a reflex inhibition of spinal activation of skeletal muscle. Phagocytosis then begins to rid the area of cell debris and oedema.

2. Regeneration and Repair: The Fibro-elastic/Collagen-forming Phase
This phase lasts from 48 hours up to 6 weeks. During this time structures are rebuilt and regeneration occurs. Fibroblasts begin to synthesise scar tissue. These cells produce Type III collagen, which appears in about four days, and is random and immature in its fiber organisation. Capillary budding occurs, bringing nutrition to the area, and collagen cross-linking begins. As the process proceeds, the number of fibroblasts decreases as more collagen is laid down. This phase ends with the beginning of wound contracture and shortening of the margins of the injured area.

3. Remodelling Phase
This phase lasts from 3 weeks to 12 months. Gradually, cross-linking and shortening of the collagen fibers promote formation of a tight, strong scar. It is characterised by remodelling of collagen so as to increase the functional capabilities of the muscle, tendon, or other tissues. Final aggregation, orientation, and arrangement of collagen fibers occur during this phase. Regeneration of the injured muscle does not fully restore muscle tissue to its prior levels, as fibrous scar tissue slows muscle healing. The two processes of healing and fibrosis compete with each other and impair complete regeneration. Transforming Growth Factor–Beta 1(TGF-ß1) is an ubiquitous substance that initiates a cascade of events that activate both myogenesis and fibrosis.
2014-01-19 6:35 PM
in reply to: Aarondb4

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Subject: RE: Custom Training Plan - Running Advice
What pace are you doing your runs at (relative to, say, your 5k or 10k pace)? Should you perhaps be slowing the runs down a little.

I would advise against starting right in with a run of almost 5 miles. I've had similar injuries to you in recent years, and when I start back the 'long run' may be as little as 2 miles. I add more variation in the length of the runs as I add more miles.

My injuries have been minor calf tears or cramps, achilles problems, plantar fasciitis ... basically all parts of the same chain. After I would fix one of the links, one of the others would start acting up. It has been quite frustrating, and has brought me to a standstill in races where I was feeling great. Right now, though, I'm enjoying my most un-injured state in a while, and this despite building the mileage to 60 mpw. I'm not sure what has been the single most important contributor to this, but the things that I've done are: (i) work on calf/achilles strengthening with daily eccentric heel drop / calf-raise exercises (initially on flat floor, now on stairs, single leg); (ii) run in Hokas; (iii) build slowly and be very cautious with speed work.
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