Training for my first dualthons, it’s now “crunch time”

With less than two weeks left before my first duathlon race, it’s now “crunch time” for training. I’ve always been athletic, but as far as running goes, it’s been several years since I had run for fitness. So, when cyclocross season ended for me in December, I started a run training program. The 9 weeks to a 5k training program is a great program for anyone. And, it was great for me too. It’s not designed to make me a top 5k runner, but it is great for training my muscles for a consistent run to compliment my cycling. My goal was to run the occasional 5k and to race the occasional duathlon.

Biking through the winter off season, running the treadmill a couple times a week and everything going great with my training, I suddenly encountered a mysterious knee injury. With a significant amount of pain in the outside of my knee, all workout activity was immediately put on hold. If I could have put walking on hold too, I would have. Thinking that maybe I was just over doing a bit, I iced my knee often and waited a few days to see what would happen and how it would feel. No change. I finally went to see my doctor. X-rays were negative, meaning no sign of a stress fracture. That’s a relief. However, it was more than likely a strained LCL. I still had stability in my knee so it didn’t appear to be severed. That’s good news. But only an MRI would verfy any damage to the LCL. Most activity had to be completely put on hold for a few weeks.

So with about 3 week of pretty intense PT and rehab using moist heat, electro-stimulation, massage and easy pedaling, my knee was virtually pain free. And now it feels better than before the injury.

With feeling no effect from the injury while cycling, I have raced one mountain bike race and one road time trial race. But I haven’t run until yesterday. I felt good, but the run was definitely much slower than I thought it would be. I was actually surprised how quickly my muscles change away from running.

Now it’s time to get back to running and prepare for three weekends of short duathlon races. The three races are 1.5 mile run/8 mile bike/1.5 mile run. So, even with this setback, I’m pretty sure I can handle the runs.

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