Time to use this blog

It’s been an awful long time since my last post (in fact almost a year)
Reason being that it’s a bit of a farce to write a blog on running when you haven’t run for about a year (18th of May 2015 was when my injury presented itself, even writing that is painful, a whole bloody year). Originally it was thought to be an IT problem, the pain certainly had the symptoms but many Physio sessions later it looked like it was actually a problem with the Vastus Laseralis and my quads in general (solid was the word used)

More Physio and a near return to running was stalled by a Meniscus problem on the same leg, more Physio and some improvement but now I have what appears to be Patella tendon problems on both knees.

On the positive side I have been able to continue to cycle, completing a charity ride from Lynwood to Paris in June so I am not totally incapacitated (I think I would have gone mad if I couldn’t do anything) but all in all a pretty sad state of affairs.

So why post now?

Well for one, I am paying for a URL so it seems a waste to not use it. Secondly I figure if I do ever sort my knees out and run again maybe my experience may offer some help, I know that I have spent A LOT of time searching the internet for any titbit of information that may aid my recovery.

One thing I have added to my arsenal of rehabbing tools is an Ultrasound machine. I had this used on me when I had the Meniscus problem and placebo or not, it seemed to work and was enough to get me to Paris.

The new Ultrasound machine
The new Ultrasound machine

I have started using this as directed on my knees and while I have nothing really to report yet, I am hopeful this will show some benefits soon.

Secondly, I am adding weighted eccentric loading onto my routine. I have been using the leg press, pushing with both legs and lowering slowly (4-5 seconds) with one leg and it may just be in my head but I swear the tension/ache in my knees seems to go for a few hours after.

I do  have a goal to  aim for as well. I have entry to the North Downs at 50 next year and it would be great to mark my return to running with that event.

Time to move  forward and fix myself (and try and blog again)


Hike up Moel Famau

Following the path
Following the path
At Loggerheads
At Loggerheads
The river
The river
The Autumn scenery was quite something
The Autumn scenery was quite something
Quite nice paths to walk along
Quite nice paths to walk along

Moel Famau views7

Trying to get the views as the cloud started to come in
Trying to get the views as the cloud started to come in
Still more up, quite the hill this one
Still more up, quite the hill this one
No idea what type it is, no that wasn't a bite that I took out of it
No idea what type it is, no that wasn’t a bite that I took out of it
Lovely views
Lovely views
Autumn colours
Autumn colours

Gareth off ahead

Tried to get the shot of the rainbow
Tried to get the shot of the rainbow
Moel Famau Jubilee Tower
Moel Famau Jubilee Tower

A DNS and Injury

The big news  is  that I have decided to withdraw from the North Downs 100 this year. I spent a lot of time deliberating whether to withdraw now, later or see if I could get the necessary training in and hope for the best but the reality is that I don’t want to put myself through it knowing that I am not ready.

Last time I got to 60 miles but fell apart and I would have concerns over  even getting that far. I would rather take my name off the list and let someone else who wants to do the race have the chance. That said I am still hopefully going to be involved as I have offered to man an aid station if needed.

I wanted to write that the barefoot experience is a positive one but today’s run (albeit not barefoot but in my Xeros) has left me feeling quite frustrated and really coming to the end of my tether with running in general.

Running home my left knee started to hurt and progressively got worse until I had to stop, I stretched and started again after the pain went but it quickly returned. That was the summary of the rest of the run home, stopping, pain, stopping and so on.

The pain was located on the outside of the knee so can only assume its IT band related, so once again I am back to the drawing board and a frustrated runner who just wants to run!

However self pity to one side for the moment, I have a plan and am putting it out to the world to give a sense of accountability if I don’t stick to it.

I have drafted a daily conditioning plan below:


  • 200 meters barefoot everyday – 2 minutes estimate
  • Plank 45 Seconds x 3
  • Single Leg Squat x 5 each leg
  • Eccentric Calf Raises x 10
  • Side-lying Abduction x 10 each side (use resistance band as strength improves)
  • Pelvic Drop x5


  • Kneeling hip flexor stretch
  • Calf Stretch (Result Sport Calf Stretchers)
  • Hamstring
  • Groin (feet together, sitting)
  • Quad Stretch
  • Foam Roll
  • Tiger Tail

Hopefully the combination of strength, stretching and running form work everyday will slowly get me fixed and able to run. I think the problem is due to my form changing and the muscles not knowing what has happened, so I need to basically re-train myself from scratch (I sound like a broken record the number of times I have ‘gone from scratch’)

The only race I have is in June and I am going to drop to the half instead of the full marathon and that will be a ‘just get round affair’

Anyway, hopefully in a few weeks time I will be in a more positive state.

Should anyone reading this have any thoughts/suggestions please leave a comment, any advice will be welcome.

Week 2: Building Some More

Third week has gone and well into the fourth now, last week I ran last Tuesday 2.6 miles (longest so far) totally barefoot but after that my feet were tender for a few days so I ran on the Friday and Saturday with my Xero’s with a short barefoot warm down afterwards.

Yesterday (Week 3) I ran at lunch barefoot again, feet having recovered and set a new distance record of just over 3.10 miles (5km) and other than my feet again feeling tender the rest of my body felt relaxed and at ease.

It could just be me but I do feel like my feet are slowly changing shape, my big toe on both feet seems to have more mobility and my arches seem to be more pronounced. Outside of my feet my glutes now feel like they are firing more and my calf muscles, while still not 100%, feel relaxed. It’s a slow process and there is part of me that wants to get some shoes on and go for a long run, or run at the speeds I know I can before making the change but the ‘enforced’ training limits by being led by my feet long term feels like the right thing to do.

I do have a concern over my race plans for the year, I don’t see me being ready for a marathon in June and the NDW 100 might be off the table as well. I have a line in the sand date of May 18th to make a call on the NDW 100 and already probably going to drop to the half in June but hopefully what I lose out on this year will be paid back with many injury free years of running in the future.

Still early days, but if nothing else every run is truly exciting again.


Week 2

  • Barefoot: 2.63 Miles
  • Huaraches: 8.23 Miles
  • Cycling: 64.89 Miles

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