Category Archives: Injury Free

Injuries…

I noticed a recent search term for my blog was “powerlifting injuries” so I thought I better clear it up online so people don’t think that powerlifting is a dangerous sport. I actually think it is one of the safest sports around, and is very good for your body generally speaking.

My most recent injury is a back injury – probably very common amongst powerlifters. It’s either a torn QL ligament or minor disc irritation.

I did it in the middle of strongman training, although it was during a deadlift – one of the powerlifting lifts. To be clear, this was a long time coming. I had referred pain in my glute for several months leading up to this, and when the QL went snap, the deadlift was just the last straw.

On the day, I had already done a fair amount of work. I had lifted heavier than I had before in other things such as the yolk and squat. I had also done log clean & jerks, and heavy farmers walks. All these things use your back so I was already fatigued. When it came to the deadlift, I was focusing on strong glutes, due to the recent referred pain in my glutes, which at the time I didn’t realise was caused by my back. I knew I had to strengthen my glutes, so I was really making an effort to use them in the deadlift.

So it wasn’t due to bad form. It wasn’t due to lifting too much. It wasn’t due to a weak back. It wasn’t due to those obvious things.

It was because I had become complacent. My clients’ warm ups were better than my own. I usually skimmed through my own warm ups, and did minimal direct anterior ab work. This meant my back took the brunt of the load. Not to mention that throughout winter my laptop lives in the lounge room where it’s warmer, so I slouch on the couch when working at home. My back is pretty strong, so it could get away with this for a long time… before it snapped.

So now I am taking my training much more seriously. I mean, if you are going to train and compete in sports, you may as well treat yourself like you are a serious athlete. All that training is going to catch up with you sooner or later.

This means:

  • Thorough warm ups so I am completely ready for lifting
  • Direct anterior ab work to build a stronger core to assist my back
  • More direct glute work so I have buns of steel to assist my back
  • Plenty of stretching afterwards to minimize tight muscles
  • Massage on tight muscles in between training to minimise muscle imbalances
  • Experimenting with supplements to improve recovery such as fish oil
  • Experimenting with other recovery techniques such as having a sauna

So basically… all the things that an athlete should be doing.

I personally believe that with correct form, nothing is impossible.

So… onto my running injury – tarsal tunnel syndrome. This is something that built up over years. I did not see anyone about it, and then when I did, I just kept running race after race! Although I rarely believe rest is the answer, modifying training should be.

My running form is pretty good. But when you have tight muscles, causing imbalances, the last thing you should be doing is running ultras. I did not pay attention to my body. I did not treat my body as an athlete should. All the points mentioned above… I did not do.

So now… while it is physically possible for me to go for a 3 hour run, it is not wise.

I should be doing all the above points. I should be treating my body much better. And I have no doubt that if I do that, and build up my distance sensibly, then there is no reason  I should not be able to run ultras again.

And I know everyone in the world will disagree with me on this point: But I see no reason why I cannot be a powerlifter and an ultra-runner at the same time 😉

No reason I can’t get back to this again

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22 months of achilles pain GONE

For a the past few weeks I’ve had some issues in one of the patella tendons in my right knee. It was painful at times and started to be felt while running. Last weekend I attended a kettlebell workshop and when I couldn’t kneel on it to do TGUs, the instructors recommended a physio.

So on Thursday I went to see Andrew Lock in Hawthorn. I had high hopes since he was recommended by people I respect, so I thought I’d also mention this ongoing achillies problem in the hope he’d have some thoughts on that.

While sitting in the waiting room I browsed some of the titles on the shelves.

He did some tests on my legs and I seemed fine. So a little digging into lower back later, and my achilles was fixed!! He explained the science behind it. Stuff to do with nerves and stuff. I was in shock really.

All Friday I kept poking it, expecting it to hurt at any moment, but nothing!

Today was a lovely day for a run.


Even after 25km of hills – something that would normally aggravate the achilles – I was not limping. No problems at all. Unbelievable!

I’ve still got 2 weeks til I next see him, so that’s 2 weeks to see if I can stuff it up again. Not that I want to, I just can’t believe it was fixed so quickly.

From Achillies to Plantar Fascia

Oh dear. So the achillies issue is just about sorted. A 5 min warm up walk and gentle run eases the strain so it is barely noticeable for the rest of my runs. But as of a couple of days ago, my plantar fascia has developed pain! HOW ANNOYING!!

Most of my internet research says PF pain is usually in the heal. Well the pain I experience is along the arch of my foot, basically the whole PF right up to the ball of my foot. I am thinking that in my attempts to alleviate the achillies pain, I have been over-emphasising the dorsiflection of my foot, therefore putting strain on the PF, causing inflammation, causing pain.

Last night I massaged my right foot, focusing on PF, achillies and calf muscles. This morning I tried not to concentrate too hard on what my foot was doing, and tried to let it do whatever it wanted to do (within reason!). It was still sore, but better than yesterday.

So I guess it’s official. 2008 is not an injury free year. I still intend on doing a long run tomorrow, more as a confidence builder for the 30k race the following week. I am hoping that tonight’s aerobics class wont aggravate it, although I’m sure it will. Totally unsure about what shoes to wear tomorrow. The five fingers will be best, but I’d like my long run to take in some trails and gravel sections so maybe I’ll try the Asics, but of course, the Asics will probably make the injury worse.

Sore feet

Lately the balls of my feet have been feeling quite sore. I think it’s due to running a bit too much on less than perfect ground in the five fingers when my feet aren’t quite up to it yet. A couple of times this week (including this morning) I considered the option of socks and cushioned shoes due to the general feeling that my feet just didn’t want to hurt when they step on little rocks. But then I remembered – It’s April and I have been injury free all year! Four months is a record! …So I put on the five fingers again.

I’m going to keep doing my long runs in the Asics for now. I just can’t run on gravel or rough ground in the five fingers. I know I need to work on it, probably starting with some short walks to get used to it. Actually I was thinking a few barefoot walks would probably solve the issue of the sore feet, but I feel quite busy at the moment and I could only fit in walks in the evening after work. The morning is my running time and I don’t want to cut back on that at the moment. Maybe during an easy week I’ll give it a go….if I remember.