Friday, July 31, 2009

Getting stronger

A while back I was training a lot and I was training hard.

I was trying to build my speed so I could pass the shuttle run test for the defence force. I could run for miles, I just didn't run them very fast. The shuttle run involves continuous running between 2 lines set 20metres apart, in time to recorded beeps that slowly speed up.

I was determined, this was not going to stop me getting in. I had learnt how to do push ups, I could run for 8 kms, after starting at less than 1km, but I couldn't get to level 7.5.

I made a fatal mistake, I started to overtrain. I have good endurance and I approached getting faster with an endurance mind set. Everyday I would start with the shuttle run, then do my normal 5km run, trying to go faster and further than last time. I added in a hill climb, just to try to get that extra strength.

I have never had a sports injury before in my life. Not once. Probably because I have never really done full on, high intensity exercise before.

The approach was all wrong. Eventually I pulled a muscle in my bum. Not a huge issue, I kept running. A few days later on the same leg, my knee gave out. No problem, I kept training.

Until it hurt too much. Iason told me I needed to rest. I rested.

Iason suggested we focus on just doing short bursts of high intensity sprints. To help bring up my speed. I stopped the shuttle run for awhile, which involved turning, put more strain on my knee. I started the sprints.

Iason took me to the shop to buy really high quality runners. You see, I didn't realise it, I wasn't an unfit geek any more, I was one of those fit people, who have to get the right gear to exercise in or they might injure themselves.

My knee healed and I passed the shuttle run, just.

I had to watch my knee from then on. I noticed that it actually hurt more after long periods of standing or walking. Not just my knee, my hip and ankle both hurt too. I am certain it all happened because I pulled that muscle and kept running. I think my body tried to take pressure off my glutinmous maximus (bum) and my knee got the brunt of it.

An interesting thing has been happening. While doing lower body weights exercise I could feel small muscles near my knee working. Not wanting to hurt my knee, I was very careful to watch my technique and not push to hard.

Those muscles that support my knee have gotten stronger. My knee is feeling stronger. I can stand for hours, without a dull pain starting in my knee. I am starting to push harder in those exercises.

I also get neck pain, a common problem for us geeks, too much time on the computer, too much time lugging around said computer (the bag weighs 7kgs including books). I am hoping as my back strengthens that this pain will lessen as well.

Of course, I could just stop carrying so many things around or volunteering in the canteen to stand on me feet for several hours. I could just not get out of bed in the morning.

Nah, I have things to do and being strong means I can do them better and in less pain.

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