My knee hurts.
A physical therapist confirmed it last Friday.
Basically the diagnosis goes somewhat like this…my quads are rock stars and my glutes and hammies are not…yet. Because I have neglected to include adequate strength training and yoga in my training program for this marathon, my quads are doing most of the work which is resulting in my knee caps getting pulled too much in the wrong direction. (or something to that effect ;))
I’m also not wearing the shoes my physical therapist would recommend for long distance running. He is coincidentally, also a ChiRunning instructor and is onboard with minimalist shoes BUT he advises wearing them for shorter road races, not marathons. He says that the pounding your body experiences during a marathon necessitates support by a shoe with more padding.
So with 4 weeks left until 26.2 miles what’s a girl to do?! Here comes those three little words every girl loves to hear…buy new shoes!
My physical therapist teaches correct running form using ChiRunning techniques, although that type of rehab program isn’t ideal given the timing of my marathon so we’re essentially going to treat it with a band-aid approach to get me through to October 9th. Afterwards, I’ll back down on mileage and work with him to perfect my form, strength training exercises, yoga practice etc until I’m the most perfect runner ever! Or at least until I can be assured I’m running correctly and won’t incur additional injuries.
I have been given a regimen of exercises to do daily that will strengthen my core, hamstrings, and glutes – among other essential muscles I never learned the name of and have too many syllables to remember ;). I’ll also have weekly appointments with my physical therapist during which we will go over (and add to) the strength exercises and my running form. He’ll also spend about 20 – 30 minutes giving my legs the most painful deep-tissue massage on the planet. Seriously. I was so sore after my first appointment you would have thought I’d actually just run the marathon!
A couple of important tips I learned from my physical therapist:
- As your running increases in time and mileage, so should your strength training and yoga/stretching. Otherwise, you just increase your chances for injury.
- Yoga is VERY important for runners.
- The benefits of yoga are cumulative, meaning that you will get more out of 10 minutes of practice every day than one hour every week.
PS – If you’re new to the blog, or just need a reminder…my favorite day of the year is just one month from today!!!