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Stop breaking down

March 18, 2012

On Tuesday I was forced to take a day off because my right hamstring was wrecked.  I usually take a day off every few weeks and I’m always 100% fine with that decision.  But when I’m forced to take a day off… well that just doesn’t sit right with me. I start thinking I’m getting off-track from my training and losing fitness.  The funny thing is that I was due for a day off anyways so it shouldn’t matter at all that I’m putting my feet up for a day. Once I had this exact conversation in my head I wasn’t worrying about the missed training.  My only worry was that I was in no condition to run and I had a race coming up in 12 days.

A couple of weeks ago both of my hamstrings were really tight after a workout and it took longer than I suspected for the soreness to dissipate and my right hamstring never got much better.  After this soreness lingered for a while I figured I was going to have to back off a bit to make sure I don’t bring this ache into a 30km race.  Even after backing off a bit my right hammy got worse.

For the past few weeks I have been experimenting with a new stride.  Along with this slight alteration in my stride I was doing some exercises to recruit my glutes in this new position.  I never mastered these new exercises and consequently I was running without recruiting my glutes, therefor overusing my hammys.  Now that I have this figured out I’m doing a bunch of glute recruitment exercises to get back to my normal stride and muscle recruitment.

Unfortunately this has left me with a sub-par running week (one less workout and a few missed km).  My training has gone really well since November so my fitness should be fine but when I’m uncomfortable running it messes with my head.  The good part is that if I keep improving at this rate I should feel pretty good mid-week, just in time for the 30km.

In my last blog I mentioned that I was about to check off the ATB 30km on my race bucket list barring disaster.  I haven’t quite dodged this hiccup and I’ll pull-out if need be but I’m optimistic everything will come around in time to race healthy.

The day after ATB I’m heading to Flagstaff, AZ to join 9 other teammates for a month long training camp.  The first few Speed Riverians got to Flagstaff this weekend and encountered a fresh foot of snow!  It looks like it will warm up in a few days and should be pretty nice by the time I get there.  Taylor Milne, Eric Gillis, Kyle Boorsma and I are sharing a house, which should be a lot of fun.

Weather here looks good for the next week, temps in the 20’s and then much colder for race day (Sunday) which will hopefully play to my advantage against the Africans.  Alene Reta, Kibet Rutto and Benson Cheruiyot look to be my main competitors next weekend.

Kibet and I running together last year in Kenya.


  1. Jason permalink
    March 18, 2012 7:57 pm

    I’m flying home from Calgary to TO for a visit and to do ATB. I told my parents to watch for you on the course, so you are pretty much committed to doing this race. Rest well.

  2. Emma permalink
    March 20, 2012 8:30 am

    It’s completely okay to take a rest break. As you know, always better to listen to your body. I’m sure you will run a great race. Good luck 🙂

  3. March 20, 2012 9:55 am

    No no no. Dont even talk about breaking down. Stretch those hammies thoroughly and you should be fine. All the best. Stay the course.

  4. JimInBurlington permalink
    March 23, 2012 1:41 pm

    Would be great if you could add some info on those glute recruitment exercises. I’m always interested in learning.

  5. Guenther Ball permalink
    March 25, 2012 9:00 pm

    It was amazing to see a fellow Hamiltonian cross that finish line; truly inspiring!!

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