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Friday, January 23, 2015

I'm running!

In deep water!

But you know, it's not that terrible. I've run in the pool before, and it's dreadfully boring, but this time I did some asking and researching on making pool running workouts actually count. And it's been working. I actually feel a little sore today! Usually, pool running just feels like I'm sort of sloshing about in a bathtub.
What I've found helped:
1. Keeping my form correct. I tighten my muscles, stand up straight, and try to mimic running stride. I can't drive my leg back as far, but otherwise it's fairly accurate.
2. Increasing cadence like crazy.
With the faster turnover and better form, I actually feel like I'm getting a real workout, and the bonus is that I'm using some running muscles. Maybe I won't be as sore when I get back into running this time (my calves generally feel punished!).
The PT has a camera system set up behind and next to the treadmill, so you can watch your footstrike the entire time. I actually think my gait looks pretty good and even at this point!

Not only have I hit the pool a few times, I've been running on the Alter G at physical therapy. This is not really an area covered in any of the recovery protocols for hip labral surgery, so we are going out on a limb here, which does make me nervous. My concerns are that:
1. I'm running, albeit with reduced weight, very early in recovery; the impact is minimal, but it is repetitious.
2. Treadmills are basically banned forever following hip labral repairs.
3. I have no guidelines to refer to to determine what percent body-weight I should run at or for how long.

But, worries aside, I figured I'd try it (in the interests of science, of course. Not in the interests of actually running for a few minutes). I reasoned that I could always stop if it hurt, and I could start with a short period of time just in case I discovered that it started to hurt later. So, the first day I went for ten minutes total, but only six were running - I did 2 minutes each warm-up and cool-down. It didn't hurt to run, and it didn't hurt later, so I was comfortable with repeating it next week (I'm only doing PT once a week this time). Wednesday I increased time to 15 minutes. Both days I was set at 50% weight, which seems very, very light, but I'd rather be safe than sorry!
So far, I've had no repercussions. I can't say that it was pain-free, because I have baseline low-level pain, but there was absolutely no increase in pain or change in the type, quality, or location of the pain. That's the green-light to continue. My PT and I will gradually increase the weight as time goes by.


  1. Wow! That's awesome that you are moving so much--and interesting about the treadmill long term w/ this procedure. In my world, treadmill banning isn't a bad thing!

    There's a really great article on pool running, I think by McMillan? that ran in Running Times years ago if you want to look it up. It gives an 8-week workout plan, full of intervals, etc. Might make it even better!

  2. I'm happy for you that you're running, even if it's pool/Alter G running. :)

  3. I'm really curious to know what it feels like to run on an Alter G treadmill. Only the pros get to use those. I'm glad you are on the mend and running again even for just a brief amount of time. Nothing feels as good as running :)

  4. That's great news Grace! It seems like Aquatic-running would be great at strengthening smaller stabilizing muscles, and really allow you to work on form.

  5. It must feel great to be back running - even if it's not quite how you'd normally do it. Every week you're a step closer to the real thing.

  6. Well that is great that you are taking steps to get back to running! I hope the pool running continues to go well!

  7. Love love love the AlterG!! To me it always feels like running on the moon. Or, what I expect running on the moon would feel like. Hopefully it doesn't give you any pain & you're able to do it fairly often!

  8. I am going to be incredibly interested in any comparison you do of deep water running versus the alter G. Consider it a reader request? :)

  9. Hey, girl! So glad you are getting in some "running" workouts! I'm sure they will pay off in the long run. (Haha, see what I did there- that pun?)

    Pfitzinger (author of Advanced Marathoning) also published a water running training plan. It's full of TOUGH workouts. I used them when I was laid up with achilles issues.

    Google it, or if you can't find it, send me a FB message and I'll send it to you!