It’s been a pretty rough year all up with 6 independent injuries so far. Firstly there was my right vastus lateralis tendon which didn’t handle my high volume over summer as well as my lungs. This took about 2 months of few little training but with it gone in later February I got my teeth into the best training I’ve done all year (including some speed work which is a rarity now). Over this period I developed medial tibial stress syndrome in my right shin. Lots of cycling and running on soft ground got me through NZ Orienteering Champs on good form but the increaseed length of time on soft ground, particularly at high intensity at NZ Champs, left me with Achilles tendonitis on both sides. This tipped my training back to becoming cycling based and both the stress syndrome and tendonitis went away during this period marking 2 months for the stress syndrome and 1 month for my Achilles. In May I bizarrely developed a neural tension issue in my left sciatic nerve felt as a sharp stabbing pain below my ankle if I extended my leg into certain positions. This forced me to steer my training away from terrain to prevent further damage and after a precautionary week off I found I could complete most of my training on firm grass or on the bike with no issues.
In early May I had started to include strength and conditioning back into my training as I had been doing in the last two years but this time I was determined to build it up much slower. Shortly after the pain from the neural tension issue became less frequent, I had to have more time off to prevent my ITB syndrome from developing further. It came on very rapidly on both sides and I didn’t really know why but in hindsight I suspect too much time sitting at work had allowed by hip flexors to tighten. I missed a number of weeks of quality training before I made progress into the issue and after icing and stretch the pain became more irregular and appeared to shift into the sides of both my knee caps. This caused a much more predicable pain which I relieved by stretching my quads and after 2 weeks of continued quad stretching the issue was gone.
The first day that I felt no pain was 2 Saturdays ago. But it was not a day without problems. Something in my left buttock began to get significantly sore. I suspected this was a follow on from the tight glutes I was experiencing over the 5 days prior or maybe from the increased amount of rolling and trigger balling I was doing. . Warren from SportsLab suspected it was referred pain from my quadratus lumborum after poking around last Friday. I raced really well last Friday and pushed hard for the entire race with no problems but after I cooled down I couldn’t run more than a few steps without the pain becoming uncomfortable.
After taking last week completely off I gave my legs a tester yesterday and a proper run in the Waitaks yesterday. Everything went well so I’m hopeful that my injuries have passed enough to not inhibit my racing over the next month in Europe. I fly out tomorrow!
Here are the 2 quality orienteering session I did last weekend. AOTC training on Saturday and Auckland OY 1 on Sunday. Both were in a relatively familiar area but I was feeling disciplined and focused almost all of the time. I was genuinely confused with a few spots in the open dunes on both days and I also struggled with a section of Saturday’s corridor exercise. I was patient and went back to a last known point twice but could make sense out of the map. After removing the corridor on OCAD and overlaying the GPS I could see where I ended up but my GPS track didn’t agree with the contour features I had passed on the way so I think the area is at least a little bit warped.
Expect some good posts about my time in Sweden and Czech Republic over the next month!