I am back, promise

It has been ages since I last posted, so let me explain.

You might remember that I injured my calf in the Manchester 10K I did in May. Well, what a nightmare its been since then. Although I didn’t go to see a physiotherapist, I did see a sports therapist who thought I’d injured my Soleus muscle. Whatever it was, its been a pain, literally and metaphorically.

The day after the race, I attempted to go to work with the aid of a crutch, I made it as far as the 15 minute walk away and had to get the train home. I couldn’t weight bear on my leg and it was very painful, even touching it was not recommended. So after resting up for a full day I did make it to work the following day, with the aid of a crutch and walking very slowly.  I won’t bore you with all the details but that’s pretty much how its been until the last couple of weeks.

10 days ago I started the Kinetic Revolution 30 day challenge, after Julie at A Running Battle recommended it to me. Its a daily series of exercises to help strengthen your legs. Up to now it seems to be working, fingers crossed! Once I’ve finished it I’ll write up a proper post about it.

Going forward, I’m back online properly after buying some new kit yesterday. With the best will in the world blogging on an iPhone isn’t possible, for me anyway.

I’ve got a few reviews coming over the next few weeks and another competition for some great prizes. You might also get to read about my first runs since May! Wish me luck :)

John.

Home physiotherapy #2

Home physiotherapy kit

Rolling pin inspired by dawninwonderland

About a month ago I had some slight stiffness in my calf muscle, it was my own fault, a classic case of too much too soon! I can’t remember where I first got the idea, it might have been on another WP blog, but the idea was to use a frozen water bottle as a roller.

I’ve got to say that the roller has been a great success. I use it to roll my calf muscles, shins and IT band.  I usually roll for about 1 minute per muscle group, starting with the calf, then the outside & inside of my shins. I usually then move onto my hamstrings, quads and IT band. I’ve also tried it on my back and shoulders.

Simply put the bottle underneath the affected area, put your hands either side of your body and roll backwards and forwards. You’ll know when you hit the “sweet spot”.

My lovely knee

I usually do this two-three times a day after running and on rest days.

It isn’t at all painful, the ice has a slight anaesthetic affect as well as reducing (or in my case removing) any pain, while the ridges in the water bottle aid in the massaging of the muscle.

You will find that the muscles you have rolled are quite cold when you’ve finished, so I wouldn’t recommend any stretching at this point. I usually allow them to return to their normal temperature before moving again.

I usually finish off the session rolling the soles of my feet and my Achilles heal. By now, a lot of the water will have thawed so return the bottle to the freezer for the next session.

It works for me, I’d love to hear it has helped you too.

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

Running repairs (part 2)

A quick update while I wait for my water bottle to freeze.

I’ve had a sore calf muscle since my Friday’s run. Nothing too bad but I’ve given it four days rest with some running repairs and some gentle stretching throughout the day. A bit too much running too soon! After thinking about my running routine I’ve realised that I don’t spend enough time on the warm-up and cool-down (including stretching). Stupid boy!!

So what will I be doing with a frozen water bottle? I’ll be rolling it up the length of my calf muscle, you’ll get the idea from the picture below.

Running repairs

By now I should have been on the final leg of Monday’s run, that was the plan anyway.

On Saturday my left calf muscle was a bit tight from Friday’s run, which was a longer than planned. On Saturday I spent most of the day walking around a shopping centre, after a while the tightness seemed to ease off. It was still sore yesterday and this morning. The pain isn’t too bad, I think its a slight pull so some running repairs are in order.

I reluctantly decided to cancel this morning’s run and give myself another day’s rest and follow the RICE principles. I was looking forward to this mornings run but I figure that a couple (more) days rest is better than making the injury worse.

Its not easy being sensible!