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Thread: Couch to 169K..... or bust

  1. #1
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    Cool Couch to 169K..... or bust

    So right at the beginning of this year my right knee went kaput. To be fair the warning signs had been there a while, with a niggle late summer last year slowly getting worse and worse but with me bashing on running more and more. And then on a mid week head torch run on 8 January, almost exactly 7 weeks ago, the knee blew the last of its fuses. Long story short its probably some kind of relatively long standing cartilage tear causing the pain, well according to my physio anyway, but he reckons with some perseverance and gumption I should be able to get up and running again.

    And my progress so far has been:

    1. No progress at all for the first two weeks, lots of lolling about on the couch with a few dog walks and a couple of really quite painful walks up Penyghent from home. I was maintaining a morning 30 minute exercise regime though (stretches, limbering up, press ups, sits ups and what not)

    2. Next two weeks, bike rides were introduced and, generally, I was able to carry out short outings on the bike without too much reaction from the knee. I also introduced some more exercises to my morning limber up, including some squats and knee specific stretches, and started wii fit jogging - very painfully

    3. Third two weeks, the morning jogs on the wii fit (like a poor man's zwift while jogging on the spot on the living room carpet ) got a bit more comfortable (until about the 20 minute mark when they didn't) and the exercises definitely so, including some knee bends that would have been excruciating before. A bit longer distances on the bike and right towards the end I experimented with a couple of really quite uncomfortable two mile runs around the river from home, each run just over two miles long


    4. Last week - in the last 7 days I've kind of thrown caution to the wind. I did a pretty slow but successful 4.6 mile run up to the shoulder of Penyghent on Saturday without too much pain and, on Sunday, a huge (for me) 25.6 mile bike ride from home. Those two together meant that my knee didn't feel too great on Monday, so I rested apart from a couple of dog walks, but I ran 3.1 miles on Tuesday evening (successfully completing my very first couch to 5K program ) and a similar distance yesterday evening. My knee didn't much enjoy yesterday evening's run I must admit but feels pretty okay today. Shortish bike rides are planned for today and tomorrow with maybe another 5 mile or so run on Saturday and hopefully another long bike ride on Sunday.


    So far so good but really slow going in terms of real progress. Which brings me to the point of all this. I'm down yet again for the Lakeland 100 on 23rd July, in 5 months time, and I really want to be fit enough to a) run it and b) do well in it. I'll settle for just a) though. And at the minute 5 months doesn't seem long enough. The race is actually 105 miles long which is 169 kilometres.

    So, hopefully I won't bore anyone that bothers to read this thread, but the idea is that I catalogue my injury recovering, training and eventual success in my 'couch to 169K' fitness program. I guess I'm doing this mainly for my own motivation really - if I post about it, I'll look more of a prat if I fail
    Last edited by Fellbeast; 25-02-2021 at 01:32 PM.

  2. #2
    Moderator noel's Avatar
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    Good luck. Hopefully you can draw on some of your pre-injury fitness to get off to a good start.

  3. #3
    Master mr brightside's Avatar
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    The trick is to stop running before you end up knackered, pointless in hindsight, but there will be a next time i promise you.
    Luke Appleyard (Wharfedale)- quick on the dissent

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    Update:

    This past week has been a bit of a rollercoaster. Last Saturday I tried another run in the hills from home and my knee was pretty rubbish, starting to hurt quite soon into the run and not really not hurting at any point after that. So a shambles then, about 4.6 miles of a mixture of rubbish fell running and fell walking

    Things improved massively on Sunday with a 27 mile bike ride over into Littondale and back via Malham tops, with the ride preceded and followed by a couple of two mile dog walks. My knee felt good pretty much all of the way round and I only started to feel twinges towards the end of the dog walk in the evening. My knee again felt relatively okay on Monday too and I did a freezing cold 6.5 mile ride out on the bike (not wearing gloves was a big mistake) in the evening before taking the dogs out. But later that evening things went pear shaped and my knee flared up again and was really uncomfortable over night. On the back of that I knocked any plans for mid-week running on the head.

    Anyway for the past couple of days my knee has felt a fair bit better, and I even threw in a 14 mile bike ride yesterday with no repercussions (as yet) at all. I'm not quite sure whether to feel positive, with the pains earlier in the week perhaps being the darkest hour just before dawn, or whether my knee is just waiting for me to try another run before starting stabbing again

    My exercise efforts fall into four categories I guess:

    1. A first thing in the morning exercise regime, including a fair few knee testers, Mondays to Fridays. These are now working really well, with all sorts of knee folds and knee squats possible that were impossible initially

    2. Dog walks which on work days usually amount to 3 miles a day in total; 1 mile in the morning and 2 in the evening. My knee would always start to hurt towards the end of the 2 mile walk but, pleasingly, that hasn't happened the last couple of days

    3. Bike rides where I now don't really feel any pain while out, even pushing it in a heavy cog. Two or three or four outings each week. I have had delayed reactions following big rides but they haven't seemingly lasted that long

    4. Running - its still not happening, with the last run being crap although with a couple prior to that being slightly less crap

    So I guess I can see real improvement in 3 of the 4 areas, but its the running, the actual thing that I most want to improve, where results still aren't coming through

    Planning to run again on Saturday all being well and probably another long bike ride on Sunday. And see what happens....
    Last edited by Fellbeast; 04-03-2021 at 03:34 PM.

  5. #5
    Master Travs's Avatar
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    Good luck...

    I did the 10 Peaks Lakes (45 miles, 20,000ft) off the back of 40 mile weeks, and only a couple of previous Haworth Hobbles and LM42, in terms of ultra running.

    I'd imagine with your experience and background you could probably attempt the L100 with a reasonable chance of success, if you can work up to being able to manage 50+ miles a week at or above your required race-pace.

  6. #6
    Moderator noel's Avatar
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    Have you seen a physio about your knee?

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    Quote Originally Posted by noel View Post
    Have you seen a physio about your knee?
    Yeah, with three follow ups too. He thinks its likely to be a cartilage tear of some sort, probably with some old damage currently flaring up and causing the problem. He does though think that the current Ďsensitivityí of my knee can be worked on and hopefully overcome.

    I think the alternative would be an MRI scan which might diagnose the problem specifically but then require all sorts to put right. I canít help but feel that there is not much of my body that could stand up to the rigour of an MRI without some fault or other being identified so Iím trying the non-MRI option first

  8. #8
    Quote Originally Posted by Fellbeast View Post
    ...thinks...likely...of some sort, probably...does though think...hopefully.
    I've had good physios and bad ones.

    An alternative view is that if you go to a physio you have already self-diagnosed (or "hope") that a physio can cure the problem. Sometimes they can...but often they cannot.

    If you go to a Dr he is more likely to be open minded (not least because you aren't paying him as you leave the room) and suggest an X-ray or MRI scan.

    I cannot imagine why anyone would not want an X-ray/MRI scan to find out what the problem actually is.
    Last edited by Graham Breeze; 04-03-2021 at 05:58 PM.
    "...as dry as the Atacama desert".

  9. #9
    Master mr brightside's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Fellbeast View Post
    I think the alternative would be an MRI scan which might diagnose the problem specifically but then require all sorts to put right. I canít help but feel that there is not much of my body that could stand up to the rigour of an MRI without some fault or other being identified so Iím trying the non-MRI option first
    You haven't had it imaged? You don't have any reliable information on which to base your recovery program, i'd get it done quickly before it deteriorates to a point where a full recovery is unlikely. I get my physio to refer me and he looks at the report and the slices, and decides where to go from there, no NHS messing around...i just pay for it privately. I learnt a long time ago that i have all the power i need to make the best decisions, and that crossing my fingers and doing nothing is foolhardy.
    Luke Appleyard (Wharfedale)- quick on the dissent

  10. #10
    Senior Member Marco's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Fellbeast View Post
    ... 3. Bike rides where I now don't really feel any pain while out, even pushing it in a heavy cog. Two or three or four outings each week. I have had delayed reactions following big rides but they haven't seemingly lasted that long
    I want to be informative here, rather than critical, so I hope this is how it comes across.

    There is a risk in 'pushing it in a heavy cog'. Amongst other things you can beef up some of the quads in doing this, which may look impressive but will work against the balance of muscles you have for running. Taken to the extreme, I've been told, it can even lead to the kneecap being pulled out of its correct alignment. Top cyclists tend to pedal fast and 'spin' the gear around; this will also give you more knee bends per mile.

    Quote Originally Posted by Fellbeast View Post
    I think the alternative would be an MRI scan which might diagnose the problem specifically but then require all sorts to put right. I can’t help but feel that there is not much of my body that could stand up to the rigour of an MRI without some fault or other being identified so I’m trying the non-MRI option first
    I understand your reason for wanting to avoid having a MRI scan at the moment. When I had mine privately, almost two years ago, (£250 for the hip section) I came home with a CD of the images. I was almost physically sick when I saw the images; it wasn't a case of wondering if I'd ever run again, it was a case of wondering how the F I'd ever managed to run.

    It is also worth mentioning that I had a X-ray and saw a knee consultant (all NHS) in 1990 when I was unable to cycle because of the pain in my knee. (I was also getting pain walking and standing). I was 24 at the time, and the X-ray showed nothing of note. The consultant manipulated my leg and couldn't find anything either.

    It wasn't until many years later, when I saw a consultant privately who had a mass of letters after their name, that I understood about referred pain. The pain I'd had in my knee previously was actually coming from my hip where the real problem was.

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