Thursday, April 30, 2009

More progress even (and a little geekiness for Mike)

Went for another 20 minute run on Tuesday - 2 minutes walking, 2 minutes running. My right knee a little sore, but not in the same way, more achey than anything else (so more typically patellofemorally).

Wednesday had another massage, which loosened things up a bit more (and he worked on my TFL, which was very tight and painful). The man really is a genius.

Thursday did a 45 minute ride on the trainer with no hassles. I'm going to do an hour on the trainer after work today, a 25 minute walk/run tomorrow, then an hour or so of Kate's Sunday ride.

And, I'm stretching my a** off (not literally, although there is lots of glute/piriformis stretching going on...).

Mike - because I owe you some geekiness - check out the SportTracks software, and what some of the plugins can do. Very, very cool (although a little complicated, given it's all open source designed). I can't get the GPSPower plugin to work properly (can't work out how to set up bike equipment on it) - but it does look cool - a poor man's power meter if you like (well, poor man's to the extent that I own a GPS watch, but not a power meter...).

Once I'm up and training, I'm very interested in getting either WKO+ or Raceday - both of which can take your GPS data, fix the elevation profile, then give you an equivalent 'flat' pace - so you can effectively compare how hard you worked on a hilly, and consequently slow, run.

Sunday, April 26, 2009

Some progress...

The massage appears to have helped (touch wood), so I am cautiously optimistic.

On Saturday I went for a 20 minute run walk (200 metres walking, 200 metres running) - no pain. Not much, but the last 20 minute run walk I did in early February hurt, so that's good.

On Sunday I did an hour of Kate's three hour ride. I was riding at a steady aerobic pace, on the flat, but no discernible pain (a little when I stood out of the saddle, but I can't expect perfection straight away!).

I'm going for another massage on Wednesday, to have another crack at any residual tightness, then I'll keep building up from there.

So - everyone send me your positive injury recovery vibes - June start here I come (once again, touch wood).

P.S. Kate is rocking the bike - she's looking heaps more comfortable and natural, which rocks.

Wednesday, April 22, 2009

Best. Massage. Ever.

That's all I have to say about that.

Monday, April 20, 2009


I decided that I'd get a massage to help loosen up my legs and fix (*touch wood*) my shoulder, which is, unsurprisingly, also bothering me...

So I'm getting a 90 minute massage on Wednesday night. Oddly enough, it's at the women's health centre. My massage is right after Mahe Drysdale's (that famous female athlete).

The massage therapist is a guy called Stephen Burden, who's the masseuse for the NZ Rowing team, and also a Sports Science lecturer. I've worked out that a good way to find sports medicine providers is to search for accredited providers on the NZ Academy of Sport website.

I'll let you know how it goes.

Wednesday, April 15, 2009

Injury update

I decided that I should perhaps see a doctor about the knees (and I needed to see one anyway, to get a flu shot).

So I went and saw Mike Bowen - an NZ Academy of Sport accredited doctor who was previously the doctor for the NZ Rowing team, the Chiefs and has also worked with the All Blacks (and who has worked with cyclists).

He thinks my knee injury is not a tendon problem at all, but patellofemoral syndrome, caused by a slight biomechanical problem, with pain referring to the tendon/tibia intersection. He also said that the exercises I have been doing for the problem (lots of squats) will actually have been exacerbating it...

Oddly enough, this is the same problem I had at the start of last year and had to sort out before I could start training properly, albeit that the symptoms were different. In both cases I had a reasonable break from exercise - so, I'm starting to think that while I need an offseason, it cetainly shouldn't be too long.

So, touch wood he's right, because at least that explains why the pain ain't been going away. I also know what I need to do in terms of treatment.

Might be 6 to 8 weeks before it's sorted - in the meantime, lots of flat cycling, and maybe even run/walking. That means I'll aim for June to start training properly - plenty of time for Rotorua, and certainly plenty of time before nationals the following year.

Mike - I'll have the geekiness for you soon...

Wednesday, April 8, 2009

My maiden post (well, unless you count the guest spots I've had on Kate's blog...)

What should this post be dedicated to? Drills? HR data? GPS Data (now that is cool - but I think I'll save that for my next post. Which will be super mega geeky)?

Nope. Only one thing for it. Injuries.

I am often injured. And it doesn't even matter what type of sport I'm playing. If I play team sports, I get the sort of injuries that people playing team sports get. Endurance sport; yes, the types of injuries endurance sport type folk get.

Now, this is by no means exhaustive list (only ACC will know that - for those from overseas, NZ's no fault accident compensation scheme which provides cover for injuries caused by accident, but which means we can't sue anyone ever); but I've suffered from the following in the last 2 years:
  • Jumper's knee (while training for 'round Taupo);
  • Patellofemoral syndrome (mostly right knee, had to sort it out before I started training with Gene, my then coach, for the Rotorua Half IM last year);
  • Chondromalacia in the left knee, which led to me going and visiting John Sloane, a kick ass podiatrist/biomechanist in Wellington, which resolved that issue, but then caused;
  • ITBS, because it turns out I'm proprioceptive, rather than mechanical, and the usual treatment for supination (which caused the injury above) did not work (this one forced me to pull out of my only attempt at a half marathon);
  • Calf pull;
  • Strange big toe injury (still around since November last year - apparently only ballerinas get this injury...); and
  • Mystery tendon injury in both knees.
The most recent injury is the most frustrating, because unlike all of the others, it doesn't appear to have been caused by anything in particular. My right knee started hurting at the intersection point between the patella tendon and the tibia the day after my stag do. I figured (given we played ball rush) that it must have been caused by something silly. Or perhaps a bad fit on the new bike. Once I moved to Hamilton, I saw a physio (former NZ Olympic cycling team physio), said probably some sort of patella pathology, and that I should be able to ride. I went for a relatively easy 40 minute ride, and the next day, my left knee was sore in exactly the same place (from a 40 minute ride!!!). So, took more time off (I have run once this year, and ridden only a handful of times), got some acupuncture, and while they are getting better (right a lot better), the left is still quite sore.

I'm riding regularly (but easily and for a short period at a time) at the moment, and they seem to be getting better, but the right knee was hurt late January, and the left late February, and it is very frustrating. I got my bike fit looked at by Cyclenutnz (for those who visit Sportzhub, you'll know who I mean) and it seems to have made a significant improvement.

My biggest annoyance is that I'm still not sure what's wrong. It seems wholly unlikely that they are some form of tendinitis, given the limited riding involved; however, no one ever wants to tell me what might actually be the problem. A little web doctoring suggests maybe I've bruised the tibia at the intersection points, and that I just have to wait.

In the meantime, I'm swimming a reasonable amount, riding a bit now, and (touch wood) will be running shortly. I'm really looking forward to training again; I miss it, and I think that if I can get injury free, I can get reasonably quick. So I'm doing a lot of structural work - which is supposed to address the tendon injury - but even if it isn't, should help prevent future injuries. Then I'll ease myself into it. I have nothing planned until the Rotorua Half IM in mid December (when I'll be going sub 5), then the national Olympic distance champs in March 2010 (while it might be a stretch next year, a goal is to eventually qualify for the NZ age group team), so I have a lot of time.

That's it. Touch wood I have no need to mention injuries again (other than the obvious niggles that go with high volumes of training). Having said that, there's a number of sports doctors, chiropractors, osteopaths, physios, massage therapists, acupuncturists and the like whose bank balances might not be so rosy without me.

Until next time (when I reveal my inner geek).