Is there a test to know when you can begin full intensity sprints after a hamstring pull?
I stumbled a bit and pulled my left hamstring last week. It seemed like a very light pull at the time. I iced it and completely rested it. After day 3 I started doing static stretches and self massage.
On day 5 I did a few easy 10m accelerations (as Charlie advised to someone else on another thread). There were no problems and static flexibility was good.
On day 7, there was no pain at all when I contracted the muscle, so I warmed up and did one 30m sprint. It felt painful so I stopped after that. I still went home and did some vertical jumps onto a box and weighted pistols (neither of which caused any pain), so that it wouldn’t be a waste of a training day.
It is the next day, the hamstring is still sore. Did I add to the recovery time because of the one 30m sprint? I was planning to give it another try on day 10, but I am now a bit hesitant. What tests can I do to know if I’m ready to sprint again?
Generally speaking, I would advise against trying to test your hamstring regularly, as this will only prolong the recovery by causing further (micro-) trauma.
You are ready to sprint again if you don’t feel any pain or tightness in the muscle while sprinting.
If you really want to test for that, do it very carefully. Start with jogging and slowly increase your tempo. Don’t do any hard accelerations or decelerations and stop as soon as you feel even the slightest pain or discomfort.
Day 10 today and I went through a long warm-up and did a gradual build-up. Stopped as soon as I felt pain and terminated the session. I still did jump plyos (normal volume) and my resistance work-out.
Still frustrated that the hamstring has not recovered properly! I don’t have access to therapy this time since I don’t think ACC covers incidents like this (so no electro-stim, ultrasound or proper massage).
I’m going to try again on Day 12 - very frustrating as this seemed like a very light pull at the time and has happened at an inconvinient point of preseason.
Luckily I suffered a serious grade 2 pull on my other leg last season and know the consequences of trying to rush it back - I will play the waiting game on this one!