A Forced Rest Period
Training week 13 – 15 has been very quiet due to a forced rest period. I have been dealing with the frustration of injury which is indeed incredibly frustrating.
At the end of training week 12 on my last run, it became apparent that my right groin area was becoming increasingly tight. While completing a 12km run along the flat coastline the tightness located deep in the groin started to develop into a dull ache. It was also noticeably harder to bring the right leg through for the next stride.
I finished the run, (luckily down by the ocean where my family was) and stripped down to my running tights to sit in the cold Atlantic for a while.
Whenever you have a suspected strain, it is best to get a cold pack on the area as soon as you can to help control any inflammation associated to the area. This was the next best thing I had available.
I have had some tightness in the groin areas in the past, but nothing that gave me too much trouble.
After about 15 minutes in the water we were ready to walk back home.
The Frustration of Injury
When putting my running shorts back on I noticed that the right leg was a lot harder to raise up and also hurt when doing so. My first thought was hmm!! Maybe this is a bit more serious than I first thought.
Walking back home the area was definitely tight and a bit sore. It was a little harder on the affected leg to bring the leg through, even at the walk.
Once home I iced it for 15 minutes then rubbed some anti-inflammatory cream into the area along with a little heat cream.
The next week was pretty much rest. Although it felt better, there was still a noticeable weakness/soreness when lifting the leg. It was still deep in the same area of the groin. So it looked like it was going to be another easy training week with no running.
Listen to Your Body
It is so important to try to be in tune with your body and notice any differences to the normal that might be presenting themselves.
I was thinking back to the weeks leading up to my sore groin, trying to work out what had bought this soreness on. I had realised that after getting out of the water for my morning swims it was a bit difficult to lift my right leg up to put my foot into my shorts. Now at the time I was just thinking that I was cold from the water and possibly getting old! But now I realize that the tightness was present a good week and a half to two weeks before the strain showed up. This was the warning sign that I should have taken more notice of (always learning).
Working it Out
So into week two of rest, I worked out this tightness down the front of my quadriceps was the heart of the problem. I didn’t want to start stretching the area, as that would stretch the groin also and I was worried about anymore stress on that area. So I started massaging along the top of the quadriceps. After a minute or two I could start to feel a tight ball of muscle that was quite sore. This tight muscle was not noticeable to me before massaging, which I thought was quite strange.
A couple of days went by and I was massaging the area morning and night. The groin area was definitely getting better, as I was loosening the tight muscle below it that was causing the problem. Because it was so tight, it was pulling on the groin area where the muscle inserts onto the pelvis area (the thinnest, weakest area).
Another week of massage and some light stretching (when there was no pain at all in the groin area) and I started back with some light easy runs.
Back on Track
Half-way through training week 16 and all is good. My groin area feels great with more freedom of movement through that area. I will be just easy running till the end of the week and will keep going with the massage to make sure the tightness doesn’t come back. With all the hill work I have been doing I am not surprised that I had this problem.
So the massage along with being strict with myself and doing my weekly strengthening exercise, I hope not to have anymore issues for a while.
Looking ahead I have a local race here in 3 weeks that I will probably do. It is only a 20 km trail, with not a ridiculous amount of elevation. I will see how I feel closer to that date, whether I enter it or not and how fast I plan to run it. It is not an important race but being local to me, it would be a nice one to do in lead up to the more important races I have planned.
Hopefully back with some of my weekly running stats for you next week. If you want to check out what I’m up to on Strava, click here.