The good news in March was that I came in 2nd place at Norcal in Redding for the 3 mile run at about a 6:24 minute per mile pace. Unfortunately a muscle on the top of my right knee has become irritated.
It is pretty heartbreaking to put in so much work to have one little muscle get in the way of my success, but sometimes that happens. I have been doing all the right things, easing back on the training a bit, icing the knee, anti-inflammatory medication and such, but it is not better yet. I think I will be able to complete the upcoming race, but it probably will not be as fast as I had hoped.
One of the things I am learning is that as I get less young and still want to race Ironmans I need to do more muscle balance work. Here’s a great at-home muscle balance test. With swimming I have balanced my freestyle workouts with intermixed breaststroke sets and added some strength training to keep my shoulder muscles in balance to prevent impingement issues. This becomes more important as my long swim is up over 4200 yards with over 10,000 weekly yards. However, I have not figured out how exactly to balance the muscles in my knees for biking and running with 34 hours of workouts this month. So, this is a work in progress.
Ironman Texas is only 6 weeks away. I will do my best to get to the race start as healthy as I can and race as well as I can. Given how demanding Ironman training is, it does not take much to throw everything off. Each year I learn more about how to train better. Here are some simple exercises that help quad-to-hamstring strength, and stay tuned to see how things turn out.
Stephen Bratton proud SwimEx owner.