Ab strain and marathon training (Read 54 times)

    So, I posted about an ab strain sometime last year so I apologize for another post but I am now in the middle of marathon training and that is slightly different than "off-season" running.

    Here is my story (again): Last May a few weeks after my marathon, basically, I strained my ab really badly. Insanely painful to run through. I am an idiot and did continue to run through it, though, to the best of my ability. I would occasionally have to stop and try and stretch or rub it or something. It bothered me quite often for months and started not bothering me as much last October. I did have some back spasm problems that kept me from work for 2 days in November, I felt like I was getting tazed every time that I moved. It sucked but I got through it and a week later ran a PR in a 5 mile turkey trot Smile My doc did send me to a PT to check out my back since it didn't heal overly quickly and he stretched me out and such, he also told me that my quads were insanely tight and roughly twice as strong as my hamstrings. So he had me doing some quad stretching and hammie strengthening, and I have been doing the hammie stuff once a week, the day before my rest day, and I've been stretching way more than I used to (though not as much as I did in the beginning).


    Ok, back to the original topic. So, I started getting back to some core exercises because I thought I was better. I had tried off and on for the last few months, but every time that I did I started to feel it get sore again. I did some core stuff the other day because I was feeling great (nothing big just some planks, crunches, obliques, and reverse crunches) and made it through my 8 mile run on Tuesday fine. Yesterday, however, I started feeling my ab pain again, more than I have in quite a while. My easy 4 miler turned into 2.25 miles of pain. Today's run was 2.5 miles of intervals (by necessity) instead of my 4 miles. I probably could have toughed out 4 miles but wasn't sure that was smart as a 4 mile run isn't as important as my weekend. Tomorrow is my off day and I have 17 on Saturday.


    My question for anyone is, what else should I be doing? It has been 10 months since I hurt it, and obviously it hasn't (and I haven't let it) heal. Anyone know any good stretches or strengthening stuff I should be doing? I have some Diclofenac (strong NSAID I had from my back spasms) and have taken that, but I am seriously at a loss and frustrated.


    Sorry for the long post, I tend to explain things too much and get off topic.

    King of PhotoShop

      I went through this in 2003, but remember it like yesterday. Ran a 21 miler, then went to the Y for some core stuff and doing situps, strained my ab, specifically the abdominis rectus muscle.  Went to the sports medicine doc (I am in TX and friends with the Dallas Cowboys dr.) and he sent me to the PT. Here is where my path differs from yours.


      The PT gave me a number of exercises to do, all core, but not the ones you describe (planks, etc.).  Rather, she did what most PT's do. She isolated the affected muscle and gave me very muscle specific strength-generating exercises to fire the muscles AROUND the abdominis rectus so that it could heal.  You don't say specifically what treatment the PT prescribed, and if you did those exercises in his or her presence and with observation and feedback, as mine did with me.


      If I were you, I would go back to the PT, one session only, and ask the PT for a very specific set of exercises that do not engage the strained muscle, but strengthen all the other subsidiary surrounding muscles.  This same approach is what is often done with knee pain.  The PT works to strengthen muscles around the patella first.  I would stop doing any core work that remotely engages that strained muscle.  Spareribs

      Future running partner.

        +1 on going back to the PT. I experienced this last year and over the summer I went to the PT and finally got it fixed.One thing my PT did that helped was to pinpoint exactly where the muscle spasms where and to massage them down before and between core exercises. This made some of the core work that was difficult to tolerate much more tolerable and allowed me to speed up recovery. I also believe that if you are prone to ab strains that there could be another problem that's making you prone to get these.

          Sent an email to the PT I saw down in Kentucky to see if he knew anyone in Columbus and what he recommended. I was in Kentucky doing some of my 3rd year medical rotations, but I am in Columbus right now. Then I remembered that I have a good friend that is also a marathon runner who is a PT, so I sent her a message. She may be able to help me also, and she recommended some good docs in the area that are runners if I needed to see a doc.

          I hadn't really wanted to go back to see a PT, mainly b/c I don't want to make a bigger deal out of it than I need to, but I may be better off in the long run.

          Thanks guys!