The Great Manchester 10k 2014

I did it, I completed the Great Manchester 10k today.

photo (15)Like I said yesterday, I’ve been doing a lot of foam rolling and icing on my ankle and shin for the last couple of days so I was a bit nervous this morning. Once I got to Manchester I was ok though, it was a agreat atmosphere and, it was hot today which is unusual for the north of England. Being the sensible guy I am (sometimes) I took some factor 30 sunscreen and smothered myself in it before the start. Not a nice mental picture I know, but it did the job.

After the warm-up we all shuffled to the start line, the atmosphere was great with all the people lining the streets shouting your name. The start gun went off and we started, there was the usual rush as some runners sprinted and weaved their way through the mass of people.

Within the first mile what struck me was the sound of thousand’s of running shoes hitting the ground and the sound of panting from some people. I looked at my watch and I was slightly faster than I wanted, 9:33. I decided to settle into this and see how it went.

It was hot, but not unbearable by any stretch. I reached the 5k mark at about 29 minutes which I was pretty pleased with. I thought about my shin and ankle, everything seemed ok, so far.

The next couple of miles went past with no bother, although by the end of mile 5, I did start to feel some pain in the top of my foot which radiated up my shin. At around mile 6, the pain had got worse and was affecting my gait slightly.

With the finish line in sight I managed a sprint (AKA, a slightly faster hobble) and crossed the line in 59:35, beating my previous PB by 13 minutes. I was pleased but looked a pathetic site limping along to collect my medal.

Walking very slowly to the train station was painful, but I managed it. Once I got home I’ve been icing and massaging my leg, it feels slightly better. Time will tell!

That was April, and I’m glad its over

April was a bad month for me.

At the end of March I took a couple of weeks off because of a niggling calf injury. After the two weeks rest I did a two mile run with no problems and followed this up with a three miler a couple of days later. I didn’t have any pain during either runs, but a couple of days after the last run I realized that the calf hadn’t healed properly. Continue reading

First run

I did my first run in over two weeks on Wednesday. I originally planned to run on Tuesday but I still had a slight niggling pain in my calf so gave myself another 24hrs rest.

The run went well, no pain and an added bonus of running in decent weather. No rain, wind, sleet or snow to contend with, the sun even made an appearance. I did two miles, I don’t know the time, my Garmin cut out after 1.5 miles. The main focus of the run was to see if the injury had cleared up so I wasn’t bothered too much.

Before the run I made sure I warmed-up enough and gave my calf muscles/shins five minutes on the foam roller. I also added in some ankle rotations and free squats for good measure. Once I got home I did my cool down routine followed by some stretching. I finished off the session with more foam rolling.

Later that night I did some more home physio with my old favourite, the frozen water bottle.

It may be time to invest in some compression socks?

Relief in a bottle

Frozen Powerade bottleI spent yesterday gently stretching and icing my sore leg. It worked because the tightness had gone and I was able to walk around with no problems, there was still some slight tightness at the back of my knee though. Massaging the area helped but I needed something to give a deeper massage, I don’t have a foam roller so a DIY approach was needed!

I was able to test drive roll the frozen water bottle today on my leg and it worked a treat! The combination of the ice and the rolling action really seemed to loosen the muscle. I used it on the full length of both my legs and the soles of my feet. I followed this with some more gentle stretching.

A gentle walk of about 5 km went ok, so if I feel up to it I’ll do a gentle run on Thursday.

I’ve saved the best till last, a picture of my knee and roller in action. Enjoy!

My lovely knee

Stretching for runners

Runner's World magazine, published by Rodale s...

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I’ve realised that I need to stretch more, after a run my calf muscles seem a little tight. So after every run I now do the upper calf stretch and hold it for around 30 seconds on each leg.

I needed more, so a quick search on Google found the Runner’s World guide to stretching for runners. Hopefully incorporating these in every workout should do the trick. I’ll keep you posted!