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hateloveschool's picture
Joined: Dec 21 2006
Posts: 80
Scared to Restart

On the first weekend of this past semester, (September) I completed my first HIM. It was great, and I had a great time, but I hurt my back which killed my off-season training. I slept on the ground, took lots of pain killers, saw a therapist, did lots of stretching and had a miserable first half of an off-season. It got so bad, I quit reading posts on this forum. I almost thought about quitting because of all the pain that I had to deal with. It was really depressing to not be able to simply

Well, I didn't quit and I am at the point where I am off pain killers, can carry a bag on my back without any problems and have gone on two joyful runs (30 min. 10 min per mi) and here I am. I am planning on doing another HIM later in the summer (Late July or August), do a couple sprints earlier in the year and a half mararthon at the beginning of May.

I am an experienced triathlete on the sprint level and have been working up to the IM level until this injury occurred. (Never hurt your back, worst thing ever. I am 21 and I am saying that!) So I am picking up a lot of dashed pieces, at least it feels like, and I don't know where to begin. I won't be able to swim until March or April, when it gets warmer outside (I can only swim outside, for the most part because of where I live.) So I am limited to biking and running.

Something that I tend to do is take off too fast and burn myself out. With a full load of classes, I can't have that having nor do I want to happen. (Who really wants to have that happen, on second thought. lol) I want to start, but I am afraid of hurting my back again. So, how can I restart? How can I find out where I am at physically and begin to work up a training schedule again? Along with this question, should I do any weight lifting? I have lifted in the past, and it has been helpful, but part of the reason for my injury was that I didn't allow for recovery before I started to post-season lifting. At this point, with starting with broken pieces and trying to find where I am at should I lift or wait until next fall?

I essentially have two questions:
1. How can I restart with my situation?
2. Should I do any lifting at the beginning of my training?

kylie's picture
Joined: Jun 1 2004
Posts: 5521
I'd recommend talking to the

I'd recommend talking to the docs who helped it get better!

cuds's picture
Joined: Mar 30 2008
Posts: 145
+1 to Kylie.

+1 to Kylie.

PrinceofClydes's picture
Joined: Sep 13 2004
Posts: 3265
Yeah, Kylie's right. This is

Yeah, Kylie's right. This is one issue you have to refer to the medical people, after you tell them what you intend and get the okay, then get a good sports physiotherapist who has experience rehabbing back injuries to lay out an exercise program.
Trying to advise on this one by internet is too risky.

My experience with back injury and tri training is this:
two days after a tough day climbing hills on the bike I injured my sacro-iliac muscles.
This happened twice in exactly the same way: 2 days after climbing - pulled back muscle.

The message there was clear: be careful with fatigued muscles.

best of luck with the comeback.

PoC

"What you you get when you suffer? You get results!" - Paul Sherwin

gfd
gfd's picture
Joined: Jan 28 2006
Posts: 3086
MY experience with a back

MY experience with a back injury 3 years ago was frustrating both physically and mentally. You never know when it is going to flare up and it seems like constant discomfort was going to be a regular part of life. It was also frustrating because I didn't go to a doctor or chiropractor that could tell me what I wanted to hear; which was you can still train and it will be ok. In hindsight I should have found a chiro that specialized in working with athletes or have gone to a sports medicine facility.
MY back is fine know but I might have made it better much sooner had I not been stubborn and taken some educated advice. Go to a specialist, not just your family doctor. Good luck.

The Dude's picture
Joined: Oct 29 2008
Posts: 89
Try to find a doctor with

Try to find a doctor with experience working with fit athletes. Most doctors see older and less fit people, and their experiences with athletes are usually the weekend warrior types who suddenly overdo it after years of inactivity. As such, most doctors will simply tell you to stop your activity and wait for the body to heal itself.

wannakona's picture
Joined: Nov 6 2008
Posts: 737
Sorry can't give you any

Sorry can't give you any advice on how to start, i agree with posters above. Also take it easy, you probably don't want to over do it and be out for even longer period of time.
Having said that....

Good job on coming back, i can only imagine how hard it was.

Good luck!

Konstantin
www.TriBug.com

beads1985's picture
Joined: Mar 11 2004
Posts: 6147
+1 on taking it easy, and

+1 on taking it easy, and seeing you doctor.
You say yourself that you tend to take off too fast and burn yourself out.
This is a great time to learn to pace yourself. ;-) Good luck

TonisTri's picture
Joined: Jan 13 2008
Posts: 1238
The Dude wrote:Try to find a

[quote=The Dude]Try to find a doctor with experience working with fit athletes. Most doctors see older and less fit people, and their experiences with athletes are usually the weekend warrior types who suddenly overdo it after years of inactivity. As such, most doctors will simply tell you to stop your activity and wait for the body to heal itself. [/quote]

absolutely +1 on this. Most family docs have no frame of reference for your level of activity. a sports med doc will "get" you.

deepbluex's picture
Joined: Oct 5 2005
Posts: 897
just wondering - did you

just wondering - did you hurt your back at the race or is this something that happened later?

danpatgal's picture
Joined: Aug 22 2007
Posts: 122
I agree with what's been

I agree with what's been said above, and add that I've had back, hip and foot problems for YEARS that no chiropractor, podiatrist, orthopedic doctor, phyisical therapist, or other type of doctor has been helpful in resolving for me. The right kind of shoes helped my feet (along with cycling a lot), the right kind of bed helped my back, and the right kind of bicycle seat helped my hips (swimming yoga, and some light stretch-cord weight training helped with these last two). So, although I don't want to discourage you from getting professional advice, I would say that for these kinds of injuries you may need to become a little bit of your own Guinea pig to resolve them.

Good luck

hateloveschool's picture
Joined: Dec 21 2006
Posts: 80
deepbluex wrote:just

[quote=deepbluex]just wondering - did you hurt your back at the race or is this something that happened later? [/quote]
My injury was from during the race and then from not giving myself enough time to recover.

Thanks for the advice guys. I have talked with my physical therapist about restarting and he has worked with athletes before so he has a good idea of where I am coming from. He's suggested that I get back in, as well as begin lifting, but very slowly and beginning on a training plan which is a lot slower then I actually wanted to, but, ugh, he's right. lol

It's basically getting on the elliptical for a week, (keeps pressure off my back) and then start running for a couple and work in a couple lifting exercises. Most of it is going to be a lot of stretching, easy and slow workouts (focusing on form) and exercises that focus on strengthening core and back muscles. He's a great guy and so I think he'll be a great help, sucks to start so slow though, but I'm not sleeping on the floor again!

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