Wednesday, August 26, 2009

How I am getting my bad knee in shape for the Reggae Marathon

The light at the end of the tunnel is not a train!

After so publicly committing to running in the Reggae Marathon this December in Negril, Jamaica http://reggaemarathon.com/blog/ I have been frustrated with the left knee injury. The same pain kept me from finishing the Toronto Marathon many years ago.

True confession: I did this to myself. I got a great pair of Nike racing flats for my birthday from one of my kids. Loved them. Felt like I was running barefoot. Unfortunately I did some long runs in March in them that is the root cause for the injury. I know, I know...

But with help from Mike McCluskey, founder of of the Wasaga Beach Road Runners http://sites.google.com/site/wasagabeachroadrunners/ (he and his wife are great story tellers), my road back is starting to look good. Here are the things I am doing:
  1. Stretching. Before and after each run. Yes, my bad habit of not warming up or stretching before and after running is gone for good.
  2. Good running shoes. The Adidas Supernova Cushion 7 shoes are fantastic http://www.adidas.com/campaigns/running_fw09/content/products-grid.aspx?clicktop=FOOTWEAR. Great support with 'Adiprene' in heel and fore foot. And the toe box accommodates my 'wide-ish' feet.
  3. Shorten my stride. Mike suggested this along with faster turnover. It took a while to get used to this, but now I find I can run faster with less effort and stress. Thanks Mike.
  4. Walk after a run. Whew, just how long has it taken me to figure this out. Now I finish every run with about 10 minutes of walking. Helps get the pulse rate down, and keeps the muscles from tightening up.
  5. Massage. I now massage the muscles above and below the knee more regularly. I really don't know if this works, but it feels great.

Mike suggested one more thing: Ice the muscles after each run. He suggested sitting in a bath with ice cubes! Imagine a male from Jamaica doing that? NOT!. I can handle an ice wrap however and will add that to my routine.

Shameless fundraising plug: Please donate to the Canadian Diabetes Association. This link will take you to the blog post with detailed instructions and the official donation form: http://mykalsreport.blogspot.com/2009/08/how-to-donate-to-reggae-marathon-run.html. I will update the progress shortly.

Until next time...

PS: Picture above taken by Sally this past July at Beach Area 6, Wasaga Beach

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