Slow and steady wins the race!

How many times have you been mostly better and started skipping those vital exercises session? Or maybe just stopped altogether?  So often when life begins to return to normal, things slip.  This is where the continued reviewing and goal setting kicks in to keep us moving forward.

14 weeks since the onset of my left knee injury, I can honestly say I have kept up my exercises, adapting as I have gone to keep the recovery moving forward.

So what has kept me motivated as the weeks have ticked by?

  • Mixing sessions. Once the initial short runs (and I mean short, as in a couple of minutes long) had been mastered without aggravation, adding variety in the form of location, hill repeats, and intervals kept my interest as well as providing my body with adaptation challenges.
  • Running with others. While I am not yet back to running with my club, I have been able to join in with sessions with my husband. The motivation to keep going (or to even head out the door in the rain in the first place) is much easier when you have company.
  • Targets on set dates. Mapping out mileage targets for each week as allowed me to progress gradually in a controlled way but also gave me key targets to look forward to. Completing 5km on my birthday has definitely been a small win and now means I can return to Park Run with my friends!
  • Trying new things. When you are missing things you would usually enjoy and feel pain each day, emotions can begin to run a little low. I have thoroughly enjoyed taking part in the Fin Fit sessions at Cromhall Quarry. Like circuit training but with bodyweight exercises mixed with swimming rather than running intervals, these sessions are a lot of fun and definitely not something I have done before.

Ongoing maintenance with the help of Izzie

Whilst I am progressing along nicely as planned, support with ongoing maintenance continues to be a real benefit.

Our new massage therapist in the clinic, Izzie, has been fantastic, listening to how my progress is going and supporting my daily stretch routine with 30-minute massage sessions each month.

I have to admit my knee was sore going downstairs again after the 5km time trial, but booking a massage with Izzie the next day on my quads and hamstrings really helped me recover.

So how am I not letting my gym-based strength exercises get stale?

Some functional and traditional exercises remain in my programme – squats, deadlift, planks – but by combining exercises, this can act not only in a time-saving fashion but also as a more functional way to work whole-body strength, control, and stability.

  • Squat to overhead press (this will turn into single-leg squat later)
  • Deadlift combined with bent-over row (could also be a reverse fly too)
  • Rolling from hand side plank to front plank with shoulder taps, then onto the other side
  • High step-up into hop (the start of plyometrics returning to my training)
  • Mountain climbers with a Bosu ball or TRX

Looking forward to re-running my 5km time trial route in mid-November to assess my progress.