It’s been over four weeks since my last ultra now. I sustained a nasty injury to the back of my knee, basically the tendon where the gastrocnemius joins my knee felt sprained or torn. (I should have had it checked out but I’m a pig headed bloke). It started to get better with rest and so I thought I could train around it.

I’ve had injury before so I’m quite used to improvising. There is a saying in the marines, ‘adapt improvise and overcome’.

So I started with gym work, upper body was obviously fine, press ups, pull ups, dips, all the good old bread and butter stuff. Lower body exercise like walking lunges and squats seemed to be fine too, I tried to do pistol squats but this was very painful.

Short bursts on the treadmill didn’t seem to antagonise it either. I actually found after a week I could get good interval sessions in on the treadmill without too much stress to my injury.

Training through an injury has two benefits,

One it keeps the body ticking over getting blood into the tissues around the injury and keeping some movement around the joint.

Two it releases endorphins and makes you feel better, your still keeping in shape and your positivity increases. (Which I believe drastically improves healing time)

obviously you you can overdo the training and put yourself back but if your genuinely careful there is still lots you can do while healing.

So I have been working intervals on the treadmill, for a few weeks now, the last two weekend I completed two 10km races, the Bristol 10km and the runthroughuk 10km at the Olympic park. After a year of running in which my first race was a 40 minute 10km I have broken the 40 minute mark… Twice. (39:55 and 39:52)

This has lead me to two conclusions…. Interval training rocks and treadmills DO have a place in my armoury.

It was Donnie Campbell who put me onto the idea that treadmills are great for speed work. He told me he would do his interval work on treadmills to push himself harder than he could on his own.

Another great runner Graham Green uses treadmills too, he told me ‘if indoor rowers and indoor bikes are good enough for Olympic rowers and cyclists why shouldn’t treadmills be for runners?)

For me I can push my heart rate up and go that extra distance by writing down what speed and times I am going to complete, it’s tough, but I enjoy tough training and it’s so handy for me to be able to do it at work.

I have to stress I’m talking about hard fast intervals here, if you are going to jog on a treadmill for twenty minutes while watching the news maybe your time could be better spent.

I’m happy with my two modest PB’s and while I can’t get down to any track sessions I’m glad I have the treadmill to fall back on.

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