Aug 3, 2008
I'm SO, SO, SO relieved to hear that you didn't try or attempt to do a 13 mile training today or yesterday. When you last mentioned something about not doing the 5k but doing 13 miles, I wanted to say something, but I was worried that I would come over as being too "negative" and not supportive of your efforts and enthusiasm. Reading your head coache's training plan for you, I have to say he/she really knows what she/he is talking about. It sounds definitely like a good cautious program that should get your over the hump and back on track. I agree with your assessment, a full marathon if possible, a half if you find that it is beyond reach. We are only blessed with ONE SET of healthy knees which we have use use for skiing as well.
Now, I'm going to get a bit technical. Knee injury is caused mainly by SPEED and/or DISTANCE and/or OVER-STRIDING. Over-striding is when a person's strides are too long so that when their feet hit the ground, their knees are not under the projection of their hips i.e. knees not within or too far outside the shadow which hips casts on the ground. The following picture is an "over emphasized" figure of over-striding:
I hope the picture doesn't get distorted. You see how the knees are way forward of the hips, instead of being under or close to under the hips (Somehow this webpage distorts the figure), I'm including following websites which discuss over-striding in more detail:http://www.runningplanet.com/trainin...-striding.htmlhttp://www.horwichrmiharriers.co.uk/...leandspeed.htmhttp://www.shapefit.com/forum/about4259.html
website with video which shows what over-striding looks like, with an example of a "good stride" as well as discussing the inefficiencies of too short of a stride,however, I would err on the side of too short vs too long:http://www.expertvillage.com/video/4...que-stride.htm
Many people ask, I see world class runners with "long strides", how come their knees aren't injured. Well, usually, world class runners with long strides are "sprinters". Also, if you look at the thigh muscles of sprinters, you will see how "well developed" they are. Strong upper thigh muscles WILL protected the knees of runners who have long strides, but not over a long distance of say 26.2 miles. Also if you look closely, when their feet strikes the ground, their knees are still close to being under their bodies. So, to protect the knees one should shortened one's stride. To make up for the loss in speed, one can increase the frequency of one's strides. But at this point, don't worry about speed, since speed will also cause knee injuries. You can think of this in skiing terms as "Tony knows" i.e. toe, knee, nose lined up on a straight line perpendicular to the ground
, (more or less at foot strike). As your coaches have said, the main concern is to finish the training and the race injury free.
Since I've never seen you run, but from what you've said about the nature of you're injury, I am only guessing that you may be "over-striding". Next time you may want to discuss this with a coach to ascertain if this is the case and if you need to do anything about it. However, whatever the case may be, shortening the stride brings many "injury free" benefits. Speed can be increased by increasing your stride rate somewhat. Have a nice weekend and enjoy your cross-training.
PS: My included web sites might be overkill