I’m finding that while dealing with an injury is tough, figuring out if you’re truly healed and how to train post-injury poses its own set of challenges. My physical therapist had advised that it would be normal to feel some discomfort in my hamstring as I intensify my program and tax the tissue harder. This is due to the remodeling of the tissue.
For the most part anytime I’ve felt twinges in my hamstring in the past several weeks it’s tended to resolve in a short period of time, something that I’m to expect per the therapist. I need only be concerned if the pain is sharp or lingers.
Last Wednesday I ran with dad and Armand for a 5 mile loop. I watched my pace to ensure I didn’t push it too much given I had ran a challenging 6 mile loop with dad and Jason on Sunday. The run went fine though we got a bit wet during the middle portion thanks to passing showers. I had no issues with my hamstring. On Thursday I did a DailyBurn yoga workout and took a 15 minute walk around the cemetery with Jason. On Friday my hamstring continuously ached while I worked. No matter which way I sat the dullness persisted. Due to my workload I wasn’t able to get up and move around quite as often as I normally try to and wasn’t sure if this was aggravating the area or not.
Jason had planned for us to do a speed workout Fri. evening. This was partially due to him wanting to test out the workout feature of our new Garmin watches. I was debating on the smartness of doing the workout given the dull ache, but figured I could always back off the intensity or limit the number of intervals if needed. I really wanted to test out my hamstring’s limits to determine if it was bordering on being injured again.
We went to the park and completed a 1 mile warmup over to the high school campus and back. Then we had a 2 minute rest before beginning the .1 sprints that finished up a slight hill. I had done a similar workout back in February but couldn’t remember how much recovery time I gave myself before each sprint. Originally we planned for 2 minutes but that seemed too long, so Jason change it to 45 seconds. We found out soon enough that 45 seconds was not enough time to quickly walk/jog back to our starting point before the watch beeped to begin the next sprint. This ultimately pushed our ending point back which wouldn’t have been an issue except there was a fenced off area at the top of the hill so to get the full .1 in we had to turn around and start back down the hill. Jason continued to sprint, but I tended to ease up on the downhill portions so my sprints were more like .8 of a mile. We completed 10 of those sprints to get a full mile in then ran a half mile cooldown.
All evening and all day on Saturday I waited for my hamstring to start bothering me. It didn’t. Yesterday we went to the rail trail to run 6 miles. Again I was a bit concerned since the portion we ran was nearly all flat and I tend to need hills to break up my pace and give my leg muscles a change. The run went well though, and I think I could’ve ran farther as the morning weather felt more like fall than mid August. My hamstring behaved and I only felt it twinge a bit later that day while in the car for an extended period of time.
I feel much better having pushed my hamstring more and see that it didn’t cause any negative setbacks. I know I still need to be smart and not try to increase my mileage or pace too much too soon, but I feel like I can begin actual training without so much fear of re-injury.
Have you struggled with fear of re-injury after recovering from an injury? How do you determine your rest periods during a speed workout?