:mad: :frowning: Hi guys, I’m after some guidance but don’t know if you can help. One of my group pulled his hamstring last night, its the 3rd year in a row this has happend and always immediately pre outdoor season. I started a thread this time last year and had good advice given to me although I couldn’t put it all straight into action. He recovered from the hammy last year and competed mid june only to pull an adductor muscle. He has had physiotherapy and advice and is checked every session by myself and on a slightly less frequent basis by a member of the group who is qualified. I have changed the training quite a bit in line with Charlie’s dvd’s and written work and tailoring it to the level of athlete with good help from TC et al. He has a pb of 11.0 ht and 11.02 fat. The session was not much different to what we have been doing - 4x30m from standing 3x30m blocks 4.21 4.19 4.15 ht from 1st movement. Followed by 1x150m with full recovery and 1x120m. Unfortunately it all ended after 80m of the 150m. He ran two 150’s into a slight breeze last week in 17.5 and 17.6 following some standing 30m and a couple of blocks 30m. The reason for the injuries has been that the pelvis gets out of alignment during speed sessions. We check this by observing his leg length when sitting up with straight legs. If one is longer than the other we stop altogether or do something with low intensity. Last night his legs were the same throughout, I checked between and after the 30m block runs. His hamstring mobilty was good and no discomfort was felt on any of the runs. The pull is in the same place as last year just above the knee on the outside of the hamstring of the left leg. I have tried to be so careful in monitoring this guy, we only do two high intensity workouts - Monday and Thursday the rest is tempo and rest. The weights that follow the track work is not high in volume and is cut short if he is tired or the track work has been suprisingly quick or if his hips are not correct. Is it possible that an athlete can be quick (his turnover certainly is) but the body just isn’t built to run fast and stay injury free. Would 400m be a safer bet or would we just hit the same problems (would appreciate KitKat’s thoughts on this one) he ran a controlled 300m in 38 last Thursday. I feel that I’m running out of ideas re this athlete who is a good guy and I really want to help him get over this problem. He’s 24/25 about 1.76 tall and is very slightly built, though can lift pretty well for his size, don’t have his stats to hand. Look forward to any help, particularly from Charlie, TopCat, and Kit Kat.

I don’t know what to say, sounds like you have been doing everything in your power to prevent this from happening - a lot more than most people. Short of massage every session before the runs to check tone there is not much more that could be done.

Has he been getting massage?

What type of massage would one be able to reasonably get often to prevent injuries? How often?

Few thoughts : In this workout, you gave him 6 x 30m, which kind of create a stereotype, the body gets used to the same body position, in these short distances the hamstring doesn’t fully stretch unlike during full speed 150m. Then pause and 2 x 150m at speed which might start to be very fast at this time of the year and this get the system abruptly out of the stereotype.

3 possible solutions ?: 1) was his posterior chain prepared/warmed up enough before running the 2 x 150m,
2) should you use a more progressive format like 10-15-20-30 or 20-30-40 or use 40 to 50m runs with intensity limit at 20m to 30m ?
3) keep you format of 30m distances which makes timing comparison possible within the workout and between each workouts, but add some drills or physio during the warm-up to prepare hamstring to do their job and before the SE runs.

I think this should be the first question asked when an injury occurs.

He has been getting some, but not as much as he probably should, and certainly not immediately prior to training sessions.

Thanks PJ he had a good recovery in between the 30’s and the 150m where he ran beyond 30m at high speed to prepare for the longer sprint.

Cheers TC, I daresay I need to find a massage course. Whenever I have checked they have clashed with my work hours.

Was he ever fully recovered from the first injury? I think the “blame” should be on the rehabilitation proecedures or there lack of - I doubt your current program was at “fault”.

It’s possible a scar left tightness on the location of injury and led to a loss in muscle elasticity, hence the obligation to take care to workout design, and of course therapy.

The 1st set of 4 were done from a standing start and only a set of 3 from blocks. My way of thinking was if he ran further before the 150s he woud bw taxing the CNS more than running 30m. Will certainly take your comments on board though, what do you other guys think. ? He has had some manipulation when he has been tight in the hamstrings and/or lower back.

Thanks for your support Stevemac.

That’s a good question Steel, but I bet its a hard one to answer. ?

Highly dependant on material conditions

To go along with what PJ has said, I use a standard warmup that includes drills with progressively greater ROM, 1X60m buildup with a 30m acceleration limit, and 2X30m from blocks, and don’t have these hamstring injury problems. I would strongly recommend looking at 1-2+ 60m buildups in your warmup. Another way of doing it might be, say 3X150, where the intensities for the 150s are 90%, 95%, 100%, so the athlete is not really trying to run at 100% when not yet ready.

A couple of more points:

(1) Mixing training modes in the same workout. The speed of the athlete is such that the 150s would be special endurance, not SE, which means mixing speed and SE in the same workout. Charlie does not seem to like this. There was some discussion of JS doing workouts like 5X60 + 3X200, (In the elactate threshold thread, I think) and CF seems to think this is a injury risk if done for an extended period. It’s looking like Charlie’s right (again).

(2) Is there an overstriding issue? The injury occurred in a part of the leg most likely to get injured if fully extended, and occurred at a distance (80 meters) where 100m guys run out of gas and start to open up their stride. Perhaps some attention to maintaining arm and leg motion (stepping over) and NOT opening up the stride might be in order.

I had a grade 2 upper hamstring tear, so I’m particularly interested in injury prevention tips here.

lkh, would something like first starting off with a ground based mobility warmup(pushups, jumping jacks, iron cross, scorpions, fire hydrants, etc)…then moving on to say a light 800m…then some static stretches, then some dynamic drills…be a sufficient pre-warmup before any sprinting in your mind?

How would you adjust the buildups in different workouts?(i.e accel development, max velocity, speed endurance, etc) ?

Also, I’m gonna assume mixing training modes should be avoided if possible?

p.s. i hope this post isnt hijacking this thread cuz im not tryin to…im, just curious as well

Thanks ikh, he is very careful how he warms up having had problems in the past. We do include progressive build ups before the 30s and before the longer work. The use of longer work following the 30s was something I use after reading the Long to Short graph from Charlie’s Vancouver 2004 presentation - am I missing something here. Good idea re the progressive 150’s I will certainly consider that, and when he’s fit will double check the issue of overstriding, though I can usually tell when he overcooks it as he has been guilty of that in previous years when he has suffered an injury. Its mostly boils down to losing muscle control because of the hip/pelvic problem and he works harder to overcome this while sprinting. He is learning to feel when this begins to occur, but this episode occured very quickly without warning with a muscle spasm in the lower hamstring.

Many thanks for your comments.

I have had some experience of very similar problems. My advice would be:
1 - There are more ways to check for hip alignment and mobility than the sitting leg length. These might give you more information by delving that little bit deeper.
2 - Is it truly a tear? I ask this as at the time it will feel like it, but with a soft tissue trauna it will definately feel worse the next day. Whereas with a spasm it will feel no worse and probs slightly better. Problem arises that with the spasm there may be a subsequent tear also, but I would check if it is more spasm. This would relate to the hip problem
3 - Has he has his neural flexibility checked out, as this is what can assist in causing the spasm with the pelvic alignment being poor - tightness in periformis and stress put on sciatic nerve

There is a guy doing some courses for coaches with UKA so that these things can be checked every session by a coach to help prevent spasms and subsequent possible tears occuring. He is called Martin Haines and they advertise these courses thru the UKA website.

The place you are describing where the injury is felt appears to be long head of biceps femoris. Often it is felt here as this is very tendonous and the long head is the one that is the longest muscle end to end. The stresses will be felt more there as the tendon is less elastic than the muscle. The problem is often higher up putting tension on the long head. If that makes sense?


Tin, good post as usual, hit the nail on the head. The pain eased by Wednesday, but wierd sensation in the calf followed. By Thursday he had recovered mobility and could jog without pain. Physio suspects sciatic related problem and is taking a more in depth look at this Wednesday at the clinic rather than track side. Many thanks for the information, its good that as usual there is positive feedback and support on this site. Will keep you updated. I will check out the course your referring to.