So far I have raised 35% of my target of £1000 for Shelterbox. I hope I can raise it in time. Huge thanks for everyone who has donated so far on my justgiving page (you can find the icon that takes you to the page all over my website ..hint!). Your support means a huge amount to me. Please don't stop donating!!
I have managed most of my training for the 150 mile self sufficient race, almost injury free. Last Tuesday I completed a 46.5 mile run along the Cornish coast from Lizard to Lands End with a rucksack weighing 7kg.
At around 32 miles I started to get cramps. Annoyingly I had forgotten to pack anything salty and my electrolytes were not doing the trick. It was about 7pm and I was on the tricky finish of the coastal path route from Larmona to Lands End. Each time I clambered over a rock, either my hip flexor or calf would cramp up.
I was contemplating making a detour to a nearby pub ...no, not to drown my sorrows..., but to buy a bag of crisps or salty peanuts. However, as luck would have it, I crossed paths with a lovely lady who had hiked from Treen. I explained my dilemma and asked if she knew the best place to purchase something salty.
As if by magic she produced from her bag some Taokaenoi Crispy Seaweed, (I can hear some of you going urgh!) it was amazing. My cramps stopped instantly. I am now on the hunt for it so that I can buy some to take to Jordan with me. If anyone knows where I can buy it from, please message me!
Incidentally, I owe my lack of injuries to my strength training routine which I include three times a week as well as my running. I concentrate on doing low weight/high rep leg extensions. I also hold the leg extension as an isometric contraction for up to 60 seconds, doing one leg at a time.
These type of exercises really develop the muscles surrounding the knees, they act as shock absorbers as well as stabilisers, minimalising potential ligament damage from high mileage coupled with uneven terrain.
I hear time and time again, clients saying that running has 'caused' their bad knees, or that they can't run because they have bad knees. It isn't the running itself that is the problem, it is usually poor running technique, poor footwear or increasing mileage too quickly without allowing time for the muscles to get conditioned, and often it just highlights a knee problem that is already there.
Even if you are very fit and active, if you are not used to running, but decide that you are suddenly going to start doing lots of miles because your fitness is there - stop! Introduce running gradually because there really isn't any sport that uses the running muscles - like running does! You need to condition those legs first.
If you train properly, there is no reason why you should get bad knees.