No, I haven't dropped off the face of the earth or been booked off running due to my back. I've just been incredibly busy at work and when not at work, I've been frantically coding a new PHP based API wrapper - phpZenfolio - for the guys at Zenfolio. All this busy-ness saps inspiration, but I'm feeling a bit inspired to write an update, so here goes.
First, the important part: the running. What's happening with the running? Well, I'm still doing it and am now back on track and running as I was before my injury. I'm diligently sticking to a 5k training programme from Brain Training for Runners to ensure I don't push things to soon, but also to actually give me a proper progressive and measurable training programme.
I've gone for the 5k programme for a couple of reasons:
- It's a moderate volume programme so I'm not likely to be doing too much too soon.
- All the training runs are well within the limits of being able to do them completely barefoot. The 10k programme starts to push things to the point where I would likely be running on sensitive feet quite often which would severely affect my ability to actually train at the required intensity, but also affect the build up of the skin and flesh under my feet.
- I've always been better at the shorter distances than the long and I think concentrating on 5k for a while will do me the world of good in the long run. The increased emphasis on speed will definitely help with the 10ks later.
I'm also still running barefoot, though I am starting to "warm up" my Evos and huaraches in preparation for winter. I plan to run for as long as possible barefoot, but just in case we get another severe winter like last year, I want to be sure I don't get any blisters when I switch to using one of these for any extended period of time later when my mileage is higher.
Things are going well with my back or more precisely my right SI joint and lower back. I now have a diagnosis: a hypo-mobile right sacroiliac joint most likely caused by the use of my abs and hamstrings when I should be using my glutes and pelvic muscles.
I've been given some SI joint stretches to do 3 times a day along with a progressively longer list of pelvic exercises designed to strengthen my pelvic muscles and teach my body to engage my pelvic muscles rather than handing control to my abs or hamstrings. These are surprisingly simple exercises, but they take a bit of concentration to do right and it takes a while to get into the swing of things. Things like pelvic tilts and pelvic bridges. Simple exercises, but in someone "hamstring-centric" like me, it's tough forcing myself to disengage my hamstrings and let my other muscles do the work.
One thing is for certain, the pain is significantly reduced and I think I'm starting to notice the benefit of these exercises in my running. The physio did mention this would be a consequence and would actually benefit my running. With this bit of news, I have some renewed enthusiasm to keep performing the exercises and make sure I'm doing them right.
In a "toe bone is connected to the finger bone" sort of way, my hip problem is likely to have contributed to whatever caused my foot injury, if not being the primary cause.
I've decided to put all racing on the back-burner for the moment to concentrate on training and sorting out my hip/lower back problem. This includes the Reading Parkruns. Whilst these aren't formal races, they do have a race feel to them and I can't help but push and race them, especially now I've cracked 20 mins more often than not.
Depending on the weather and how my training goes, I may pick up running the Parkruns in November, maybe December. I'll certainly be picking them up again before summer next year 😀
So all in all, things are going well with me. I've got a few weeks holiday coming up, so running will take a bit of a backseat but I'll be back refreshed and rearing to go.