That's down to my latest running related acquisition a stick. Its a massage aid that seems to be highly recomended and allows the user to self massage deeply and work away at those tired and knotted muscles. I picked it up this morning and tried it straight away. Despite the soreness I'm impressed so far - I could feel the knots in my calf muscles and quads in the same way I do if I have a sports massage and hopefully repeated use will make a decent difference.
Yesterday I nipped down to Sheffield to a new podiatrist. I've worn orthotics for 2.5 years now to help control my overpronation and knew I was due for replacements but I also wanted to see if I could get advice on lower leg injury prevention and see if new orthotics could help further still. I was quite impressed by a pretty thorough examination of my posture, gait and movements and was told that my fairly severe over pronation is compounded by a tendency to land on the outside of my heel exaggerating the movement and misalignment further. Apparently I also run slightly pigeon toed, have slight curvature of my shins and my knee caps move incorrectly as I run. Other than that, all's good. I'm a biomechanical freak.
The old orthotics were confirmed to be worn out, crude in design but loosely effective in the past. £340 later and I have a pair of full carbon fibre orthotics on order that should be delivered by this time next week.
Good news is that they should cure most of my ills. Bad news is that they will take up to 6 weeks to bed in and could cause some pain during the process. At least that will be out of the way pre-Paris.
Other advice was to steer clear of hills or speed sessions for a little while as they will greatly increase my risk of injury in the short term. This was followed up with the advice that I should do runs of 13-15 miles for a few weeks before increasing mileage further.
That throws up some challenges. My already 'marathon training lite' programme calls for a speed session a week and LSRs of 14, 16 and 18 miles over the next 3 weeks. There is a scheduled cutback week after that though. I think I'll stick with the LSRs as planned as Paris won't be put back a few weeks to wait for me but will make sure I stay close to the slow pace and not let myself speed up too much like I did last time. I will chop out the speed sessions though and replace them with easy runs of the same distance maybe with the occasional slightly quicker mile. Hopefully that'll get me through to the cutback week in one piece by which time I'll have the benefit of the new orthotics being fairly bedded in too.
Despite the forecast bad weather, tomorrow's 14 miler is eagerly anticipated - I've put my kit out already - but I'm slightly anxious as it was 14 miles that marked the recuurence of injury in November. Fingers crossed.