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Hello! I have an old torn hamstring injury that hurts off and on. It is weaker than my good hamstring. Sometimes I don't feel it and I'm fine to run 6-7 miles but other times, I can't go much more than 3 and I have to walk home or switch to the elliptical if I'm at the gym. I'd really like to run a marathon someday--anyone have suggestions on how to overcome this injury? Should I do weights to strengthen the weak hamstring?
Back in June, I tore a hamstring and was sidelined for a while. It hurt pretty good at the time and it took probably about 6 weeks totally to heal (3 with no running at all and then another 3 of slowly building distance again). I did run my first HM in October and although the injury was healed and feels good I was strongly encouraged to start weight training to help with my overall fitness and hamstring/hip strength. I did start weight training in November and have been very consistent with training and have seen improvements. I wish I would have started weight training much earlier in my overall training. So yes, I suggest weight training to help build not only hamstring but hips and core as well. I do a full circuit 3 times a week. Not a ton of weight since I'm still new to weight lifting but its improving over time.
TRUST THE TRAINING!
I've heard speakers in the fitness field say that the hamstring is the innocent bystander between weak glutes and a weak calf meaning that the issue may not be with the hamstring but rather the problem is with the calf and glute. I'm a foam roller nut so forgive me for bringing it up again however you may want to really make sure your calf is stretched as well as your hip. Roll the glute and calf and then stretch. You may also want to roll and stretch out your back (lats). All those muscles back there are interconnected. If one it tight, it affects the others. If you don't know what to do with the foam roller, check out.
You may also want to be strengthening your glutes. If you're a weight lifter type, deadlifts are good. Some gyms have glute machines or you may want to check out the exercise pictures on www.coreessentials.biz. They have a bridge progression that is great for the glutes. Good luck!
Plan your run and then run your plan.
My pers. trainer told me once this very thing and that my hams were like Darth Vader with a light saber compared to my glutes which were an Ace of Spades card held up against that. I did a lot of work to build my weak glutes with him.... lots of squats, bridges, one-legged excercises and more. The result you ask? I was one heck of a hill runner before and now... they don't phase me physically at least. My run game has changed completely and things are even better than before. I have been quite the endurance gal and my endurance has improved. It has shifted the brunt of the impact from my hams to the glutes, and the glutes are the bigger of the two muscles. And let's not forget the real result... I can squat, lunge, etc like a guy could and have sometimes freaked those "weight lifting studs" out by what I, a little 5'4" petite gal can do. You know who I am talking about, right? We've all seen them...
Thanks everyone for the info; I did something to my hammy 3 months ago and it's been painful since then, but since the weather started getting better so I have just been out side running and on the bike. . . I'll have to get back to the gym and do my weights.
adult running life commenced: March 2009
2012 Rock n Roll USA Marathon 5:28:53 unseasonably hot day, full sunshine, sunburned and dehydrated during race
Omaha Maraton 5:17: __ yeah, new PR! Too bad the brain got in the way and slowed me down! ---recycled glass finisher medals.
April Fools 5K 32:13.7 age division: 28/71
7th half: Kansas City Hospital Hill 1/2--this thing is tough, but the heat/humidity were tougher: 2:45:43
8th half: Park 2 Park 1/2-New PR 2:21 and change
St. Louis FULL Marathon (my first!!!) Hilly, hilly, course full of turns 5:24
Sullivan Bros. Veterans' 5K 30:10 New 5K PR
4th half (5/1/10) --ran injured, DUMB move.
Sullivan Bros. Veteran's 5K/10K (11/2010) 1:07:17.7
6th half: Vegas half (12/2010) New PR! woot woot. 02:27:58
St. Patricks 8K (Wash. D.C.) (3/2009)
1st half 3:04 (5/2009)
10K 1:17 (10/31/09) HOT, humid, Kaua'i
3rd half: Vegas 1/2 (2:34:48) (12/2009)
I will live my life; life lived in fear is not living. ~~me