So last week I suffered a grade 1 tear of my calf muscle whilst running to work (my bus was late!). I was lucky – it actually felt a lot worse than it is. I really thought I’d hurt my Achilles, which would have been a disaster! It’s not the best news given that I have the Oxford half marathon on Sunday, but with some treatment – sports massages, physio, strapping with KT tape to support the calf I can hopefully overcome it quickly. It’s made me realise just how inadequate my post-run routine is. A few token static stretches, even some yoga stretches that are generally deeper are simply not enough when you are training for speed and endurance as frequently as I am. It seems the cause of the injury in the first place is tight muscles and lots of knots.
So my new routine includes the following:
– Drinking lots of water to help the lymphatic system drain and prevent the knots
– Lots more stretching throughout the day
– Slow recovery runs to help loosen the muscles
– Maxifuel recovery drink – replaces electrolytes and provides protein
– Foam rollering like a mo fo and using the massage ball
– In the absence of having the dollar for a sports massage, I’ve been using Songbird warming rub to help relax and the loosen the leg muscles
– Bathing with Epsom salts after a long or hard run
– At least monthly sports massages
– Ibuprofen to reduce swelling and inflammation in my injury
It’s terrible that having an injury makes you reassess how effective your post-run routine is, but I’ve been lucky that my injury is very minor. Call it a warning if you will, but I intend on continuing most of these for as long as I’m running!