Hamstring injury

After a year of not-so-good-performances, my athlete has trained very hard (and smart!), was positive about the new season - all the good things. Two days ago - in good form - he ran at his first national meeting in the 200m. After about 100m - as he accelerated into the straight - he went up in the air … hamstring injury. (He said he could hear the “pop” sound.) According to the doctor, grade 2 torn. A BIG disappointment.

Background - we have started in August last year. 3 weeks ago, he had 3 BRILLIANT training sessions (with SLOW tempo inbetween), the next week I haven’t pushed him so hard, the last 5 days before the race he had a stiff groin and therefore he only did warm up, rhythm exercises, and even rested 2 days before the time.

In the warm up before the race, he hasn’t experienced ANY pain or stiffness, he looked “light”, running out of his hips, relaxed … NO sign of what will follow.

What could be the cause?

Had he been getting any sort of therapy or restorative measures (ice baths, salt baths, etc.)?

Yes - Ice Bath, only once in 2 weeks, Epsom Salts bath 2 - 3 times per week.

Maybe it wasn’t the hamstring directly, but another biomechanical default that caused the hamstring to overwork/overcompensate? That was the case for me, I kept getting a mild strain in my left hamstring, went to see an ART practictioner, and he assessed me all over. Come to find out that the most likley cause for my reoccuring strain was that other muscles and/or functions weren’t up to par as they should’ve been. After only 3 sessions, I feel great, no pain whatsoever. Just a thought, if you have the time, maybe look into a chiropractor that is certified in ART in your area… Hope that was of some help.


perhaps the gap after the good training sessions till the race with the problems/irritations have something to do with it; i.e., hamstrings losing touch with sprinting and although the week(s)/days before the race and in the warm-up he felt ok, the race itself might have been a different thing altogether in terms of intensity on hamstrings;

the fact that he was well rested maybe made him put extra load on his hams, since good training was still in him…

was it on the inside, or outside leg vs. the curve?

Thanks for all the advice. We have had ultra sound taken this afternoon - very high up in the hamstring, it is “partially torned”. Lower down another place of concern, according to the doctor.

Now to stay positive …!!

It is the right leg - thus the outside leg in the bend.

Sprint coach,

I am sorry to hear about your athlete. I know how frusterating injuries can be.

One thought I had regarding training was how many practices he ran in spikes at full speed before the race?

For recovery from the injury. I know Compex has come out with a machine for muscle tears. Depending where you are at, it might be covered by insurance. Some guys from the Minnesota Timberwolves have used it to help them heal faster for muscle injuries. Just a thought…

greater range of motion and more stress?

anyway, hope all goes well and back to training in no time!

My athlete had 3 sessions at the physio now - and the improvement in the leg movement, is incredible. The physio uses physio techiques together with chiropractor skills. He is very positive - according to him, my athlete will COMPETE in 4 or 5 weeks time. And luckily that is way ahead of time for the Nationals.

The good week of training consisted of the following: (week BEFORE the competition) -

Monday - Short speed, WT
Tuesday - Special Endurance: 250, 160 [15’]
Wednesday - Tempo
Thursday - Speed Endurance: 150, 120 [15’]
Friday - Tempo
Saturday - Meeting … run the 200m at 3/4-pace, WT

He is actually a 400m athlete (low 45"), but we have decided to concentrate on 200m work for a month, before we would have gone over to 400m-specific-work.

The last week before the competition (and the injury) - he did not do much, as I said before.

Thanks for the words of sympathy and support!!

short speedwork is CNS stressive, so following it up with special endurance runs might have set him up for injuries. again it may not be the cause at all but im sure that if youd follow his training over the past weeks you would notice that youve been neglecting strengthening the hamstring muscle group which might have caused that. sorry to hear about it though

does this mean you’d prefer to have these two sessions the other way round? i don’t see a problem with that, although i’d prefer a day’s gap between the two

my concern is the two rather similar sp. end. sessions within 3-4 days, the gap (due to irritation) and then the race…

i just think he got out of his normal training and rhythm and for a guy with these speeds this counts a lot…


How many therapy sessions with your massage/ chiropractor therapist did your athlete have during this and the following week? Was your athlete fully recovered for each of the subsequent sessions? What was the volume of speed on the Monday - why two track sessions back-to-back?

What weights did your athlete do on the Monday? Is there a history of SI misallignment?

thats what i ment, tempo work in between speed sessions

ok, i see and i agree;
nevertheless, you might have to do something like that as adaptation to quality sessions back-to-back for a busy weekend etc…


Sprintcoach… how’s the rehab?

Guys, what about rehab?
Any surefire techniques?

Training format mistakes aside, what about proper warmup and stretching?
-havent, yet but on my way to search previous hammy posts.

Joe just pulled his yesterday. Trainer hopefully can see him today.
I hope it may be a combo cramp/strain if that makes a difference (minimal strain, partialy cramp). ?

Does he drink his 8 glasses of water a day?

Poor neurodynamics? :slight_smile:

I was thinking of cramping but I guess neurodynamics could be the answer! :rolleyes:

Driving an injured athlete to and fro a physio, the pool, the gym … you won’t have time to write or read the Forum!

Just an update:

The improvement within a week was INCREDIBLE. A week ago, my athlete could not WALK on his own, now he can move from one place to another (!), climb stairs, etc.

The answer? Proper rehab! The physio is VERY good, using chiropractor techniques as well. My athlete could handle the pool sessions - at first very slow movements, but yesterday a full hour-session, including rhythm exercises and jumps in the pool. Today he is a bit “sore” … I think it’s more stiffness than soreness!

This week we will start on the track - at first a walk, until I am satisfied that he could handle a jog, etc.

I do think the success with an injury like this is -
(1) to be active as soon as possible, without going “into pain”;
(2) to be positive - the injury must NOT stick in the athlete’s mind;
(3) from a coach’s viewpoint, to WAIT until the injury is healed, before you put “stress” on the body.

I do believe that 2005 will STILL be my athlete’s year … how difficult it may be seem some days! Our National season is on it’s way - I hope that my athlete will be ready for the last 2 meetings in March … and the Championships in April.

Ps. The reason for the Special Endurance immediately after a Speed session - as I have learnt from Charlie - special endurance cannot be at PURE speed (100%) pace, therefore one CAN do the one after the other, without tempo in between.

I still believe that this way of training is a preparation for WC - heats and semi’s one day after another.

i agree sprint_coach and that’s what i suspected and sent to Komy; if it’s for a specific purpose, you have no choice but try it!

Glad all is going well! I am sure you’ll be ready be then -hope so at least!

Keep… driving! :slight_smile: