Saturday, September 26, 2009

Planned run 40 minutes

Date: Fri, Sep 25, 2009 6:37 PM
Avg Pace: 04:44 min/km
Distance: 8.45 km

Good run considering 5 days off after the HM and avoiding running due to bad left knee. Went out slow for the first 2 km, stopped to do thorough stretching, and then took off faster for the rest of the run. Ended up going quite quick for the last 6km or so, which is good considering the last 5 days no running.

I have visited a sports injury specialist to work out what is going on with my left knee. He was quite thorough, but found nothing specific wrong, speculated about soft tissue or ligament problems.

Offered advice to strengthen knees with weights machines, so I will follow up with that. I have to do the following:

- first two weeks, mild training, stretching, and at least one day rest between runs
- Third week may begin again with harder training again if all is well

If the problem does not clear itself up after three weeks or so, do a hard distance run to bring the problem on and arrange an MRI scan to have a good look at what is really happening.

I took 5 days off after the HM in Mooloolaba on Saturday just to give my knee some time to get better. I went to the dentist Thursday to get a small filling done - My first dentist visit in 16 years happened just three weeks ago, and that was all I needed doing, one small filling. Pretty good outcome there!!

Then with my left upper jaw and lips/face still numb, I went to the sport injury clinic, and after that I went to the gym to do some of the strengthening work the guy suggested I do.

SO here I am, after this run, which followed yesterday's gym work. This is something of a revelation, but I sort of felt it was so anyway - I need to improve my strength. A couple of things have lead me to this conclusion.

First of all, apparently when you run in your forties, you need to do extra work to increase muscle mass. Your body is losing muscle due to ageing. To get fast you need to build and maintain the muscle mass.

This recent experience with knee injury is almost certainly something to do with lacking strength, because the problem only ever effects my running at the end of a _long_ run. With weakened muscles, I fall into a gate that causes the problem.

Finally, there is this thing called the Vo2 max. One big factor that influences Vo2Max is muscle mass - and a factor that determines speed in distance running is Vo2Max.

I conclude that to help me get faster, and help avoid injury, strength training specifically on knees, and glutes will help a great deal. I need to increase muscle mass and strength by weight training, allow my knee to recover and then hit training a little harder when the knee is fully recovered.

Oh yeh and I have been thinking about the full marathon I was planning to do in July 2010. According to a lot of articles I have read, you should do at least 2 to three years of steady training before the full marathon should be attempted. This allows the body to adapt and the physiological changes to happen. This helps reduce the possibility of injury. So I am thinking I will do another HM in July 2010 and perhaps do the full marathon later in the year or even in 2011.

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