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Thread: Running technique books/advice

  1. #1

    Running technique books/advice

    The background is that I've managed to rupture my quadraceps tendon (could post this in the injury section). All stitched back together, but several months of brace wearing, rehab etc ahead. Ideally I would like to return to running. Putting a positive spin on things, this is a great opportunity to think about technique etc, especially as my mechanics are going to be screwed for quite a while (amazing how quickly the quads wither when they are detached at one end). Any suggestions? I'll be working hard on physio etc in the meantime...Ta!

  2. #2
    Master Travs's Avatar
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    Can't offer anything specific, but you could do a lot worse than training with your local decent track club and doing some track-based sessions once or twice a week.

  3. #3
    Senior Member Marco's Avatar
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    When I had surgery to correct my hip dysplasia two years ago they had to cut a lot of the adductor muscles that were twice the size of my 'good' leg, due to incorrect muscle use for over five decades.

    The result was that after surgery I had a very weak leg which, (although different muscles), is probably what your leg is like at the moment. Sadly, because the surgery also involved re-building my pelvis with metal, my running days are now behind me and I have been forced into cycling.

    For the first few weeks of cycling I could barely put any force through the leg, due to the surgery, but it did improve slowly. It took several months before I could apply a respectable amount of force through the leg, and nearly a year before it was as strong as my 'good' leg.

    You are probably younger and fitter than me, so hopefully your recovery will be shorter. Against this, however, is the fact that cycling is easier on your muscles and doesn't have the sudden high loads that running does.

    I agree with Travs that if you want to work on technique a local decent track club would be good place to go, because on a track you are totally visible to the coaching team all of the time. I would, however, recommend a very steady approach whilst recovering, as it is important to avoid re-injury from pushing too hard too soon.

  4. #4
    Thanks Marco/Travis, definitely a long way from running yet. Eyeing up a turbo trainer as a Christmas present, and then run/walk stuff if everything heals and strength difference between legs not too bad. Hill running may be a bit challenging with all the eccentric down hill stuff, but would like to have that as the aim. I will look into some track stuff when the time comes!

  5. #5
    Senior Member Marco's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Lupi View Post
    Thanks Marco/Travis, definitely a long way from running yet. Eyeing up a turbo trainer as a Christmas present, and then run/walk stuff if everything heals and strength difference between legs not too bad. Hill running may be a bit challenging with all the eccentric down hill stuff, but would like to have that as the aim. I will look into some track stuff when the time comes!
    I don't see any reason why you shouldn't make a return to hill running, I just think that because of the very high forces involved with running downhill this should only be done after you have made a return to your normal top speed on a flat surface.

    It takes time to re-build muscle and strength, and this is something you can't really accelerate legally; from what you've said you seem to have a good understanding of this. A patient approach will probably yield the best results in the long term.

    One of the risks of returning too soon, is that you can adopt some imperfect technique. The problem with this is that this could become engrained. The advantage of running on the track with a decent club is that your technique can be viewed from front, back, left and right side easily and safely.

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    Master mr brightside's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Lupi View Post
    The background is that I've managed to rupture my quadraceps tendon (could post this in the injury section). All stitched back together, but several months of brace wearing, rehab etc ahead. Ideally I would like to return to running. Putting a positive spin on things, this is a great opportunity to think about technique etc, especially as my mechanics are going to be screwed for quite a while (amazing how quickly the quads wither when they are detached at one end). Any suggestions? I'll be working hard on physio etc in the meantime...Ta!
    How exactly did you do it?

  7. #7
    How I did it...I was running downhill (steady pace, nothing dramatic) and put my left foot down on some mud...which unfortunately was covering a hidden tree root. Left foot slipped underneath me along the root and I landed full weight on a fully flexed knee. A nasty tearing sensation and that was that. Luckily I had a telephone with me, warm gear etc so was able to contact someone to pick me up on a nearby road. A kind walker also helped me down to the road. I had to walk backwards though as all downhill. First lesson in the importance of quads on the downhill.

    Always bring a telephone and FRA kit is the moral here. Glad I did, would have been in a much worse state if it had happened at night, I had got cold etc. Really can't understand why anyone wouldn't. I was able to rescue myself (folding myself into the front seat of a fiat Panda wasn't pleasant though).

  8. #8
    Master mr brightside's Avatar
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    Errm, personally I don't think changing your running style will benefit you, but you may not want to listen to what I say.

    The affected area is going to be riddled with scar tissue so you may want to take steps to get rid of it. Scar tissue is less flexible and more prone to further microtearing. There is an article in a past fellrunner by Denise Park on cross friction massage which may be of interest to you.

    In the long term you will probably need to spend the next 3-5 years committing to a daily program of progressively increasing weight bearing exercises, coupled with daily stretching. I can't advise you on what to do, but I'd be doing both eccentric and ecentric loading if it were me.

    You'll probably only get one shot at doing this properly, get the right advice from a good private sports physio. If you try and cut corners, you're screwed.

  9. #9
    A quick update in case someone else with a similar injury needs some inspiration in the future. Lots of quite dramatic muscle wasting after the first 6/12 phase of rest/healing but since then, with physio, weights etc. I'm back running on the hills. Discomfort persists, especially after downhill and muscular endurance in that leg is lacking...but week on week small improvements. Managing an hour at a time now. Right/left thigh size is different, but the gap is closing. Also have an awesome new scar to add to my collection (price paid for an active life)!

  10. #10
    Master mr brightside's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Lupi View Post
    A quick update in case someone else with a similar injury needs some inspiration in the future. Lots of quite dramatic muscle wasting after the first 6/12 phase of rest/healing but since then, with physio, weights etc. I'm back running on the hills. Discomfort persists, especially after downhill and muscular endurance in that leg is lacking...but week on week small improvements. Managing an hour at a time now. Right/left thigh size is different, but the gap is closing. Also have an awesome new scar to add to my collection (price paid for an active life)!
    Good to know it's going well. Remember, you can only do this right once, if you tear it again that could be it for your running. It will be years before it's back to full strenght, not months.
    Luke Appleyard (Wharfedale)- quick on the dissent

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