Sunday, 7 July 2013

Hamstrung by injury

It's been an up and down few weeks, with my first real taste of injury since I started training seriously. Following a holiday, I competed the following day over 100m and 200m and began to feel some real tightness in my hamstring. I put the slower than usual performances down to the lack of training and decided to push on through the pain barrier a bit in the hope that my body would rapidly adapt to the intensity of the training again quickly, and that it'd prove to be nothing more than a niggle. However, after competing in an open meeting at Lee Valley, I began to realise that the injury was more serious than I initially feared. I didn't feel like I had the usual explosive power out of the blocks, and that my leg left wasn't in a fit state to properly drive me forward. In spite of this, the following weekend was the biggest competition of the season for me, the South East England Championships, and I didn't want to miss it. Following some intense stretching a number of hot baths and some industrial strength ibuprofen, I turned up in Watford hoping that my body held together. After a really good warm in my trainers, I wasn't in any discomfort, and believed that by some miracle turn of events that my hamstring had rapidly healed. However, as soon as I put my spikes on I began to realise that this was quite naive, and that I was seriously struggling. After limping through my 100m on the Saturday, I spent the afternoon and evening trying to patch myself together to get through my 200m the following day. This proved to be the straw that broke the camels back, and with around 50m to go my hamstring completely seized up. My momentum took me over the line, and I had to be helped off the track by St Johns ambulance, which was pretty hard to swallow! By some bizarre turn of events, the run actually turned out too be a new pb for my 200m, but I knew that I needed to have some physio and let it heal properly. After a week of no running, weights, stretches and a sports massage, I returned to training, and the hamstring felt strong again. During this time, I had agreed to work with a new coach in addition to what I was doing already. He works with elite athletes, including a couple of GB sprinters, and I'm feeling pretty lucky to have the chance to have someone give me such rapid, specific and high level feedback on my technique in training. I'm confident that this will help take me to the next level, and push me closer to my goal. Following my first session with him, I completed the week by training at my club as usual, and competed yesterday at the BOXD OFF international in Bromley. The weather was absolutely glorious, and I felt confident that it was a day for good times. Sadly, I had managed to get slightly lost on the way to the track, and so couldn't get in as thorough a warm up as I would normally like. This, coupled with a strong headwind, meant that my 100m time was far from my best, and I was dissatisfied with my race. However, the 200m offered me the opportunity to almost immediately atone for my performance, and thankfully I did, running a new pb and taking off a further 0.14s off my time. This means I've now taken over 2 seconds off my 200m time in 10 months, and this was one of my early season goals. I'm hopeful that I can continue to bring this time down even further between now and the end of the season, and that I'll be well set for when winter training starts again in 8 weeks. Between now and then I've 3 more races, including finishing my season in Liverpool, so I'll keep working hard and hope that I can go out on a high on my home turf.

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