running blog

Clive Whaley

Down and Out


I have now had 5 days out from training with back pain. The hints I was getting on Monday and Tuesday were more than just a stiff back. I had obviously done some damage and the running was making it worse but I didn't realise (or didn't want to realise) until it was too late.

By the end of Tuesday and until today (Sunday) it has been like this … I experience a dull ache and sometimes sharp pain in my lower left back. It feels as though it is focused on the joint between the pelvis and the top of my bum. During the day the pain has been spreading to my head - giving me headaches. The pain, discomfort and stiffness is worst first thing in the morning. I can't bend forwards without resting my hands on my thighs. I have gradually gained more movement during the day and occasionally I have even tried about half a dozen jogging steps but the soreness and pain resounds right through the body. It is telling me DO NOT RUN!

On two evenings I have had hot baths, which have made me feel quite a bit better but on both occasions, the next morning - SLAM! - it's back where it was - stiff, painful and depressing. It definitely has affected my mood quite badly. Just when I was beginning to get into my stride, with my Marathon Training programme, I have been stopped in my tracks. I always feel bad when I let others down and on Wednesday, not only could I not do my own training run but I had to inform the local club that I couldn't coach that night - I was in pain and feeling really low (and to be honest it was the latter that was more disabling).

I suppose it shows how important this training is to me and also, unfortunately, shows that I am not as resilient or stoic as I used to be. Five days into this 'injury break' and after another relaxing hot bath, I can be a bit more philosophical about it but I know that this relatively minor set back, early on in my programme has hit me harder than it needs to. I think, and hope, that in a few days I will be back running again and the enforced rest will probably put an extra spring in my step for the first few days back. I will need to be a bit more cautious about the work I do in the Gym - I think that is the root cause. I don't want to cut out the strength exercises altogether but I might need to reduce the weights a bit and cut out some of the exercises, before I build each one back up again.

The last couple of days I have been doing stretches to promote recovery in the painful area. It's always difficult to strike the balance between 'rest' and 'active recovery'. You want to try and nudge it towards feeling better without risking further damage. Only time will tell if I've got it right.

In the meantime, my replacement running shoes have been delivered but I haven't even been motivated to try them on. Hey, now there's something to get excited about in a day or two when I start flying about the streets and footpaths of Bridport and West Bay again. Oh yes! it won't be long … I hope!