April 5, 2008

Decided to give my right leg a break for now

I've discussed in the past that I injured my right leg last November. The knee was swollen, and it hurt to bend my leg. After the injury, I reduced my running but did continue to run because the running didn't increase the pain. In fact, I had no pain during my runs or afterwords, just when I would bend my leg by sitting in a chair or kneeling on the floor.

The current swelling in my knee is gone, and my leg feels fine when I don't run. However, during the past few weeks, I've increased my running from 15 miles per week to 26 miles per week, the long run going from 5 miles to 10 miles. I've noticed that during my longer runs my right leg is starting to hurt while I run, and my leg is sore for about 24-48 hours after the run.

One problem that I've had as long as I can remember, I was probably born with it, is that when I sit down my muscles become stiff, and it takes about a minute of walking for the muscles to relax. During that minute, my right leg is sore, more now than a few weeks ago due to my running longer distances, and the leg feels fine after the muscles loosen up. Fine, that is, until I do another long run. As I mentioned above, the leg is sore during that run but feels fine after a day or two of rest.

I now realize that my leg is suffering from the longer distance that I've been doing during the past month, and I've decided to reduce my distance and run a shorter distance for a few weeks to let my leg heal. I thus didn't run today to give my leg some rest. I did walk about 1 1/4 mile round-trip to a church meeting, and my leg felt fine. During the coming week, I will try 5, 6, 7 miles for my three runs. If my leg is still sore during or after the longer runs, I'll go back to the 5, 5, 5 miles that I ran after the accident.

2 comments:

Anonymous said...

How many times a week do you run, Allen? Did you try doing the coordinating arm/leg thing? I did that again this week, and tried out the new way of lower abdominal breathing I just learned from my respirologist - I managed to increase my run by about a half-mile with no fatigue. Very pleased to have been told that as long as my knees hold out, I can run until I'm positively Ancient!! I do envy your flat terrain and dry climate, though. We are still having sleet/snow/rain mix this morning and I just can't bear to run in that muck. Maybe this afternoon...

Allen said...

I was running four times per week until I injured my leg last November. Due to the injury, I went from four to three times per week and reduced my mileage from about 23 miles/week to 15 miles/week.

The coordination between my arms and legs has become automatic. When my left foot goes forward, my right arm goes forward. I don't have to think about it anymore.

Concerning running until you're ancient. I read about a man who is 102 and is still running full marathons.