Ever since the Phoenix Half Marathon, my hamstrings have been SUPER tight. I’ve been doing the ice, foam roller and stretching, but nothing seems to be working. I thought the yoga the other night would have helped (all those down dogs!) but they actually feel even tighter since the class. What gives?
This morning, I got up to go for a run (I told you I would!) but first, I stretched inside and then did lots of these outside too. I love this stretch. It goes straight down the back of your legs.
You let your foot hang off and press down as you lean forward.
The run started out pretty good, it felt really good to loosen up a little bit. My hamstrings were already feeling better. But then I started to get twinges in my shins… and then pain…. and then:
Oh. My. Gosh. DO I HAVE FREAKIN’ SHIN SPLINTS AGAIN? I am paranoid about those because EVERY single time I start training again, I get them. And they don’t go away easily. I’ve had to deal with them since my High School field hockey days. I last had them while training for Boston, and the only thing that cured them was resting for a solid month. Every block or so, I stopped to stretch out some more. (Sometimes shin splints can be caused by tight calf muscles).
Here’s what I think happened:
- I ran the Phoenix Half without much training, which left me more sore than usual
- After the race, my muscles tightened up (especially my hamstrings)
- When I started running consistently after the race, my calves tightened up to alleviate my hamstrings a little bit.
- I did a lot of sprints last week, and that always messes up my shins. How am I supposed to get faster and fitter if I can’t sprint?!
So then I got to thinking, no one really likes a whiny running blogger, so I have to nip this thing in the butt and figure out what’s really going on mechanically with my legs and find a long term solution.
It’s not brain science, I know what I need to do:
- Ice every night
- Stretch every morning and every night (even when I don’t feel tight)
- Foam Roll the tight areas every night
- Get a massage to flush out the knots (this worked really well before Boston)
- Do more weight training/squats/lunges to strengthen my legs
Also, I know that Advil isn’t that healthy for runners, but I really feel like I need it. Thoughts?
PS. How funny is this? I saw this in someone’s yard today. So cute!
After a frustrating run, and finding motivation to garner a solution, I enjoyed some breakfast cookie oatmeal: Oats, Banana, Chocolate Protein Powder, Peanut Butter and Coconut.
Nothing like a blood sugar stabilizing breakfast. I buy the Trader Joes Chocolate Whey protein, and it seriously keeps me full for almost five hours!
There’s talk of a trip to Menchie’s today after lunch! Happy Friday!
Tomorrow is the big Celebrity Fitness Workout session with Kathy Kaehler! I’ll be sure to take lots of pictures!
Bummer about our shins!!! I can’t take any type of advil like stuff. Just gets me SICK. But I found Arnica. I found it a year or two ago (time flies) and even asked my doc. The powers that be say we just pee it out. It is a NATURAL method to assist the body in aches and pains.
My daughter took it when she got ran over by a car while on her bike (she was 16yrs old and her foot got hurt pretty badly). She didn’t want to take pain pills so we got her that. It helped heal her and no side effects. I actually take the SPORTINE (spelling might be off) for a few days before a race, then the morning of, during and after and the day after. When I do that I feel ZERO pain. (but you need to train and workout). I knew a 70 yr old lady who did the grand canyon (down then up again) in 1 day and was fine by using this stuff. (again she did train).
I much rather that stuff then advil anyways.
Get better! Are you goingto the doc?
Oh thanks! I’ve never heard of that stuff. I’ll have to look into it. I’m going to try to keep on with the icing, stretching and foam rolling and work on strengthening my leg muscles more and getting back into it. Thanks for the info!
What about your shoes…is it time for new ones or would another style help u for awhile? The ice bath right after you run really helps…it is painful while sitting in it but your legs feel so great afterwards. This has really helped with my tight calves lately. Keep us posted on it…hopefully it will get better soon.
Yea, you’re right. The ice baths are key. I might have to do that tonight. Thanks!
Advil is generally thought to be bad for runners because it prevents the kidneys from getting rid of bad stuff in your blood. When that happens, it makes the concentration of bad stuff go up. Since running usually makes people dehydrated, it makes that worse. The way to prevent that from happening (as long as you’re young, otherwise healthy, and don’t already have kidney problems) is to stay hydrated.
I don’t want everyone who reads this to think that Advil is always ok for runners; like any medication for any person, it’s a risk/benefit analysis. Call me if you want more drug advice! 🙂
Thanks!! We’ll see, that will be a last resort. 🙂