Training I have stuck with the same movements the past few weeks and just working on progression with load, volume, and intensity. Overall satisfied to where this four weeks has taken me. The movements have been pain free from surgery site. I am just fixing the weakness and aftermath. I still am remaining beltless and focused on technique and better habits.
Prior to each lift I have not abandoned all my rehab/prehab exercises. I still diligently activate my core, tva, hips, and assess movement patterns. This process has taken longer on the days I have thrown in running. The pounding on concrete has not been the most successful and I am trying to be okay with the fact distance running cannot be an outlet if I wish to have the same rate of progress in the weight room.
I have been able to successfully pain free with running progressions on grass. This may be a 90 second interval and one-minute rest. Around medium intensity. For me to stay pain free not over striding and aggravating the hamstring/sciatic nerve in the gait cycle is very important. Rather than focusing on speed/distance I am tracking running cadence. This can be done with a simple phone app that plays a metronome meant to signal foot strike/the stance phase. The shorter the ground contact time the less force the runner will brake and have more elastic energy for propulsion. Quicker cadence also means less vertical oscillation or how high you bounce while running and resulting in more landing shock. For me less airtime means less time for the hip or pelvis to drop and tilt. The ankle knee and hip then triple extend to begin the swing phase where the landing foot then makes contact beneath the hips (I’m a midfoot striker) to repeat the cyclicic action. By using the metronome, one is forced to quickly hit the ground and not over stride which is the culprit for knee pain and not so much which part of your foot hits. Therefore, findings show at a given speed one who strikes less within a minute is over striding and have a lower stride-rate or cadence.
Cadence and stride length have a direct correlation. Speed, hip mobility, and height can slightly alter efficient running cadences for an individual. Typically, you do not want to be under. Jack Daniels an infamous running coach has said to have counted stride rate of elite runners at the 1984 Olympics all but one was over a 175 cadence. It has also been found that speed variance only effects 3% of stride rate as pace increases. I consistently test around 180 with the app. This involves running one minute. A simpler way is to count foot contacts for thirty seconds on even level ground and then multiply by 4 (remainder :30s+other leg). I aim to stay with the cadence each rep to know I am efficiently moving. Efficient movement means pain-free, safe movement. If a breakdown occurs I either take more rest after the rep or call it a day and condition other ways. Progression would be subtle 2.5% increases per rep or maintain the cadence longer.
This is an alternative way to develop running speed and technique and extremely helpful on your own. I visually cannot see form breakdown on my own running compared to when I watch my athletes run. You cannot just video a rep like when in the weightroom when you are covering some ground. Also if coming back from injury the mental battle of wanting to hit prior paces needs to be controlled. Your lung capacity and muscles may be ready, but mechanical load from running may be more than the healing injury can handle. Looking at cadence rather than speed has been an honest assessment of what I should do that day. And guess what speed is not too bad when you are efficiently performing.
I still have a long way to go and I may never be that girl who could whip out a ten mile run at any given moment and that is okay. I love the persistence years of running has given me and I am grateful, it gave me a place I could always escape for a little while. The confidence and tenacity it gave me to put one foot in front of the other no matter what is the same outlook I need now to get over not having it.