Sunday, June 28, 2009

Running injuries

In two days, I go visit my GP to check out my shins. I suspect my recent bout of shin splints are a result of tight calves and possible tendonitis. You don't lose 59 lbs and run over 565 miles in ll months without dinging yourself up every once and awhile. As most runners will attest, it's not if you get an injury, it's when you get an injury. Running is hard sport on the body, but those of us who love it can't imagine not running in some capacity. For my part, I've pulled my right quad, dinged both my knees, twisted both my ankles, and have danced on and off with shin splints and tight calves. The number of remedies and fixes are almost as numerous as the number of possible injuries. Of course, the general cure all invoked by most runners is "R.I.C.E." Rest, Ice, Compression and Elevation. Then there are the list of orthotics and shoe improvements to allegedly cushion the body from the pounding that the body takes while running. Physical therapy and massage are also sometimes necessary as well as NSAIDS like motrin or aleve. Then there is the never-ending list of curative tapes, wraps, and supports to cover nearly every injury of which you can conceive.

For my part, I've found that RICE is pretty effective for most of my injuries. It requires that I hold back on my training, so I'm not a big fan. However if I want to continue running, these are the sacrifices that I have to make. For my shin splints, I've also used ice/cold baths to reduce inflammation. Just sitting in a tub of cold water for 20 minutes or longer usually does wonders for my legs. A hot bath is nice for tight muscles in that it helps me relax. I've also found a good sports massage will really loosen up my muscles. I'm trying to cut back on the NSAIDS, but I will take a motrin or two on occasion. I recently bought the Stick. Essentially it looks like a long skinny rolling pin that is used on your muscles. I don't think it is the miracle cure for all my troubles, but it does help massage my sore and tight muscles after run.

As my office weight loss contest is over, I'm also heading back to the YMCA to hit the weights. Throught cross-training, I'll build stronger muscles and joints so that they can tolerate the abuse from the running. In addition, I'm doing more warm-ups pre-run and more stretching post-run. My warm-ups are usually just shaking out my limps and some jumps to get my muscles ready to move. I like to stretch throughout the day as well as after my runs to relieve my tightness and strengthen my joints.

As I have probably achieved my weight goals, hopefully my combination of weight lifting and running will make me an effective runner, marathoner, and possibly an ultramarathoner. We'll see.

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