March 23, 2015

Back to Running...Slowly. Hamstring Exercises.

Week of March 16 ~ 22

Hello. I'm happy to say that I ran every day this week. 3k, then 3.5k, then a whole 4k! Just 1k at a time, then a walk break. Slowly, slowly...meaning slow pace and slowly working my way back.
No pain in the hamstring or anywhere. But I'll be very cautious for a month.
Then I'll try to train for a month and then run the Sendai Half on May 17th. Not fast, but pain-free, I hope.

The goal is to never again get injured. Which means being very, very careful. Well, we'll see.

I had the hamstring problem diagnosed at a place called Tokyo Physio, run by two Australian triathletes. The diagnosis was that the hamstring (and glutes also) was too weak. So the cure is to strengthen it. Rest does not help - you have to make it stronger. So I've got a series of exercises that I do 4 or 5 times a week. This is a good idea for every runner, actually, to prevent hamstring problems.

Quick course:
1) Single leg squat. Stand on right leg, touch left hand to right foot, back up. 10x. Then switch. Set of 3.
2) Stand on right leg, Raise left knee, then extend left leg behind you, leaning forward with arms out for balance. Back to standing position. 10 x 3 each leg.
3) Lie on back, feet pulled back to nearly touch butt, pull left leg to chest, push up on right foot. You're working the right glute. You can also just extend the left leg. VERY good for glutes. 10 x 3 each leg.
4) Use a big ball - the kind they have in gyms. Lie on your back with your legs extended so feet are on top of ball. Pull both legs back (bend knees) so ball comes back to you. Then raise left leg and extend right leg which is still on the ball. You're working the right hamstring. 10 x 3 each leg. I've found that at home, this can be done with a chair that has casters so it moves. A big ball is of course preferable.
5) Calf raises. Stand on the edge of a stair or anything so that your heel extends down. Raise up. Use both legs or one at a time if you can. 10 x 3 both legs.

They told me to do these two days, then one day off. I do them four days out of seven.


  1. Good to see you back Bob. Thanks for the strengthening exercises and all the best for the ramp up to the half in May.

  2. I'll do those strengthening exercises too! Thanks. Are you going to run Sendai with the Namban people? Have you done it before? Is it a good course? I'd like to run it one day. All the best with your rehab.

  3. Scott, yes, we have I think 6 or 7 people going. It's a great course,flat and scenic. I've done it twice. Sendai, it turns out, is a really nice city, wide streets, very green.

  4. I've been to Sendai a couple of times. Really love it up there. Maybe next year I could join you guys for that race.

  5. Good to see you back Bob, and running, even if slowly and carefully. Geez, not sure I'd be wanting to run a half (even slowly) that soon. I'm sure you'll be wary of the injury and ready to stop if need be.
    Just tried a single leg squat - very difficult. Think I need to work on that (and balance)!

  6. Yay! So, if you need "slow" running buddies, I'm here for you!

  7. hi Bob, glad you're back running. Any plan to visit Bangkok in the near future?