I had a physical therapy appointment on Thursday with the physical therapist who completed my initial evaluation. I was excited to share with him my progress in rehabing my hamstring.
On Tuesday I completed a DailyBurn workout that involved upper body circuits followed by cardio circuits. I didn’t modify any of the moves which meant I completed the actual jumps and quick movements. While I didn’t go super intense, I did the workout in its entirety and didn’t notice anything in my hamstring. I also had no dull aching while sitting later that night. On Wednesday I completed another day of my walk-run plan, this time walking 5 minutes, running 20 minutes and walking 5 minutes. The only thing I felt in my hamstring area was a bit of muscle soreness, but no actual pain/discomfort, rather an “I’m being worked” feeling. Again I felt fine sitting that evening as well.
I told the physical therapist I felt 95% back to normal. He asked me what was holding me back with the other 5%. I said I wasn’t sure if I could go full force – jump or sprint without hesitation just yet. He said that was normal in having the fear of re-injury and that the only way to be sure was to just test the hamstring.
He put me through a strength evaluation, stretching my legs in different positions and testing my resistance. My legs seemed to perform equally. Instead of having me do the glute/hip strengthening exercises that I had worked at past sessions, he had me work with a kettlebell and complete box jumps. I’ve used a lot of exercise equipment in my life, but have never actually used a kettlebell. He said that was to my benefit as most people use them incorrectly. He had me start by swinging it through my legs with a towel through the handle for me to hold onto then progressed to just swinging it without the towel. I had to really focus on driving forward fully and “popping” my hips at the top. I think it was as mental of a workout as it was a physical one.
We then moved onto a series of jumps including squat jumps on and off a box. My coordination was tested more than once with the exaggerated arm swings and I jokingly told him that despite being a hurdler in track, I really had no coordination. There was no pain in my hamstring throughout any of the exercises.
I had hoped I would be cleared to stop going to physical therapy weekly (copays do add up!) at the end of the session, but he asked that I come back for one more. He did allow me to cancel one appointment so that I would go at least two weeks before returning to allow me more time to work at home on power moves like dumbbell swings.
We also discussed my running as I’m wrapping up the final week of the walk-run plan. We agreed that I should try to work on adding more time onto the runs vs going back to my usual training by miles. It has been fun being limited to 30 mins and seeing how far of a distance I can log in that set amount of time, so I’m fine with trying this plan for now. I have always been a mileage based runner over a time based, so it might be good for me to try something new.
I will finish my last day of the plan with a 30 minute run, no walking. I plan to meet my running group on Wed. for their usual run and complete that final workout. I know I won’t keep up with them pace-wise, and I certainly won’t cover the amount of miles they will (normally 5-6), but it’ll be good to see them again and run somewhere other than my neighborhood.
I really don’t have any plans to train for anything at this point and I’m ok with that. I’d rather focus on building my total body strength and adding miles as they come. It’ll be the first time I haven’t specifically trained for anything in nearly two years. I’m treating it as a welcome break for me both mentally and physically in the hopes that when I’m ready to fully train again I’ll come back even stronger.
Do you train by miles or time or a combo of the two? Have you ever changed training styles?