Sunday, December 17, 2006

That's it!

I could have cried today, only ten minutes into my long run and this ankle pain comes back. I said to my self "that's it back to square one!" It was hurting pretty badly and I thought I'd better head back to the car.

Anyway, I was walking back and decided to give my calf a massage and try again, did that and pain was still there. I flopped down on a grassy embankment, lay back and put my hands over my face in frustration. After laying there for five minutes, contemplating taking up darts, I sat up and did a few stretches touching my toes. I got up and tried again, but this time it felt OK. I sat down again and slowly stretched in the same manor holding the stretch for the count of 15, 4 times on each leg. It was pretty hard to hold these as my legs were tight as.

After I got up again I ran for an hour and a half with no problems at all. So that was it, tight hamstrings! I kinda feel silly that I didn't pick it up sooner but very happy that I did and relieved that I have nothing more than lack of flexibility.

I'm going to introduce some stretching into my progam now. Does anyone know of good ones to fix tight hamstrings? I want to know more about the working of the muscles and tendons etc it is amazing to me how tight back upper legs can give me a feeling of pain coming from deep low in the ankle.


  1. Wow! Something so simple! All of this biomechanics stuff still amazes me - I would not have even thought to stretch hammies for an ankle pain.

    (If it's any consolation - I understand the despair you felt before the run.) Glad it's working out for you now.

  2. Glad to hear it wasn't anything too bad Scott - nice run in the end.

    Biomechanics 101 "the shin bone connected to knee bone, the knee bone connected to thigh bone, the thigh bone....."


  3. I thought I visited at the wrong time but I am glad to hear that there was a happy ending.

    In my opiniom the basic stretches work the best. Sitting on the floor with your feet splayed in front of you, grasping your ankle or foot and holding for 10-15 secs a few times each leg works for me.

    The referral of pain is sometimes caused by an area that is tight or inflammed pushing on nerve bundles which are linked to another part of the body. However hamstring problems usually cause lower back pain, maybe it was one of those freaky things that happen to us all. In any case hopefully it doesn't occur again.

    Sorry for the long one :-)

  4. What a relief, something so simple. If you find some new hammy stretches let me know - my are like piano wire at times!

  5. Wow, glad that it turned out to be so simple!

    My favorite hammy stretch is to sit on the floor, one leg straight, bending and turning the other leg in so that the sole of the foot touches the inside of the straight knee (for an even better stretch, move the "bent" foot further towards your groin). Lean forward AT THE HIPS (not the lower back) trying to push your chest forward towards the "straight" foot. Keep your toes (on the straight leg) pointed towards the sky. Hold for 15 - 20 seconds, 3 times each side. If you don't feel that stretch, there's a problem. Keep at it and you should eventually be able to rest your chin on your knee.

    I couldn't survive without stretching after a run! Besides, if I don't stretch my hammy's, within a week my back in serious trouble.

  6. The one where you get someone else to stretch it is good... on your back, leg straight, in air - other person holds calf and pushes gradually back until you feel a stretch. Other person releases pressure slightly, then pushes a bit further etc etc.

    Hamstring 'strengthening' exercises are also an excellent thing to do for 'dodgy' hamstrings.

  7. Good for you Scott. I thought I was going to have you as company in the band of the walking wounded marching towards Tokyo. I hope i find a magic cure like that too. Ganbatte!