Tempo work during a Hamstring Twinge

Tomorrow’s a tempo recovery day. Today, I twinged my hamstring during Speed work. Certainly not a grade 3, but it’s to the point where I don’t feel comfortable performing Charlie’s tempo even on a bike… what should I do? I have inconsistent access to a hand bike during the week but it’s dicy with the facility being opened or closed. looking for training options until I can get the hamstring resolved?

Also, any thoughts on when and how I should return to med ball throws and weights.

Day 1-3: (Day 2 or 3 - upper body work)
1: Rest
2: Ice
3: Compression
4: Elevation
5: Advil
6: Stem above injury site

Don’t rush the process.

Regards weights, find out why your hamstring pulled and what function of your hamstring it affects. I pulled my hamstrings 5 times and every time it only affected knee flexion. This meant I could squat heavy without causing any problems but I could not do hamstring curls. My hamstrings pulled due to neural tension steming from the low back and it manifested in the swing phase of the sprint when the leg is out in front. This scenario is not uncommon in sprinters. It took me 10 years to fully appreciate this issue which is why it kept happening.

However this may not be you, your hamstring may be affecting hip extension which means you certainly can NOT squat and you will have to progress slowly into lower body work.

Finding a great physio in the first instance is vital to lessen the chance of reocurrence.

Get healthy - if you pull your hammy you don’t need to be doing any lower body weights for at least 10-14 days…

Hi Thornhill…this may change your thinking, it’s out of Australia where they are kind of smart and try stuff and don’t tend to stick to old school thinking…

Hamstring Rehabilitation Program

  1. You must do exactly as this program suggests otherwise you will run the risk of re-injury and that could set you back 2-3 months.

  2. We are going to do reps over 100m, starting at quite a slow pace, and gradually increasing the pace day by day.

  3. You will need to do 16-24 reps over 100m, timing the middle 40m. This is so that you can tell how fast you are running day by day, and not going by how fast it feels.

  4. Each day you are allowed to run 16-24 x 100m and you are allowed to increase the pace day by day but only to the point where you feel you are not “forcing it”. If you can feel pain in the leg then it means that you are probably forcing it, and trying to go too fast.
    So for example, on the 1st day you may be able to run the middle 40m in 10s, then on the next day you may be able to run it in 9s then on the next day you may be able to run it in 8s etc.

  5. After a few days of running reps you may not need to run 24 x 100m. So you may 24 for 3-4 days then decrease this to 20 or 18 or 16. You are just looking for the point where the hamstring “lets go”. This is where from one rep to the next you will all of a sudden notice it feeling a lot “free-er” and easier.

  6. The recovery between each 100m rep is just a slow walk back. Nothing shorter than this as we don’t want you running in a fatigued state.

  7. Once you can run the middle 40m at 100% then make the acceleration phase shorter (e.g 20m) and then middle 40m piece longer (e.g 50m). You can keep decreasing the acceleration phase until then you can accelerate at 100%.

  8. Once you can run the middle 40m section at 100% then you should be able to race 3 days after this.

  9. It is far better to run too slow than too fast. The idea is to finish all reps and for the hammy to feel better and looser, not tighter and more sore!

Let me know what you think.

Great post… I also pulled a hammie 4 days ago…
When is a good time to start this process, gofast?

This is my progress so far:

Day 1: pulled the hammie on a 5th rep 80m.
Applied ice almost immediately
Kept icing throughout the evening.
Voltaren puncture before sleep.

Day 2 (Friday):
Just a bit of biking (transportation purposes), which felt almost completely fine (98%), unlike the day before.
Voltaren puncture before sleep and votaren + icey/hot cream

Day 3 (Saturday):
Biked to the gym pain-free.
Gym: Upper body workout and abs.
EMS: glutes and calves (pulsing)
Biked back.
Voltaren pill before sleep and votaren + icey/hot cream

Day 4 (Sunday):
Biked to the gym pain free.
Treadmill @4.5-5km/hr: alternating walking with jogging for 25’. No problems
40min of drills: (a whole lot of single leg A skips, also ended up doing running A skips with no problems. Satisfied =) )
abdominals and stretching (but not the hammie)
30min swimming (breastroke)
30min SPA (sauna+cold, hydromassage)
Biking more this day, no problems.
(stopped the voltaren because now I need to know if it’s masking any pain)
votaren + icey/hot cream

Day 5 (Monday) - today
this morning:
15min jogging with no problems
10min drills on grass
7 x 30-40m strides (grass). Just some tightness here, so then walked home.

How do you know you pulled your hamstring? If so, this would be extremely mild with such fast recovery to enable biking, drills etc. Do you know that it was not neural tension?

I’m pretty sure it’s a first degree, I know a muscle pull when I feel it :slight_smile: (I’ve had a few).
The first day biking was not ok, but I was trying not to use the injured muscle.
Drills were on day 4, so it’s not so soon if you think about it.
Andd I have an EMS (and also did those strong anti-inflammatory injections) :wink:

Right I see. I will let Gofast answer your question but you would usually start running after you can jog without pain.

Another session that Charlie advised was back to back 10m sprints for running after a hamstring injury, starting slow and building up to near maximum once able. This way, the fitness and power of the sprint could be maintained without putting the hamstring under too much stress(the swing phase is less dynamic). I believe you can do several hundred metres in total with this session. I tried it once and was impressed.

Yeah I would say bike etc after 48 hours then maybe look to start the running program around day 4.

I have used Charlies 10 x10 x 10m hamstring protocol with great success with hamstring tears. You just do the 10m runs at a pace where you feel no pain which is usually begins at a shuffle, turn around and go again. After about 3-4 workouts I can usually go at a much faster pace and be back in about 2-3 weeks.

It’s a very intelligent work out really. It gave me the idea of my warm up which (after the usual drills and strides on grass) involves starting with 3 x 10m sprints before I gradually increase the distance to 40m before starting the proper session. This way I get a feel for anything that may not be quite right in the hams without risking a full blown sprint. It also seems to warm me up more efficiently.

Thoughts on foam rolling a hamstring pull: Grade 1, Grade 2, Grade 3?

Sounds good… I as of recently have moved all my tempo work to the bike as I’m on my feet for over 6 hours each day and have not secured adequate means of recovery for my ankles. I’ve tried maintaining field based tempo but have run into inflammation and the like.

I’m having trouble differentiating between the sensation of ‘slight inflammation’ and ‘hamstring being just a bit stressed from work, which is natural, since it just underwent a pull’.
Or shall there be absolutely 0 sensation?

Thoughts on foam rolling a hamstring pull: Grade 1, Grade 2, Grade 3?

I don’t think you need to foam roll the hamstring if you are getting therapy which is a must to help it heal…massage especially, needles some rehab work etc.

Stef, there should be a slight tightness in the hammy but that should have disappeared by about day 7-10 I would have thought. If not you need your therapist to be getting into it a little with some massage.

What about if I’m not getting therapy?

You have to get some massage on it to help break up the scar tissue that will have formed. If you don’t the chances of pulling it again are pretty high.

Scar tissue can breakdown and align well with agressive foam rolling and stretching but the therapist may improve the situation by breaking it down more so. If you do choose to go to a therapist seek out the best from recommendations. Most therapists are average (like most tradesmen) and you can visit several times with the hope of correct diagnosis and intervention but you cannot be certain you have had this.

To add, seeing a therapist should not just be about massage, these days the whole body approach to sports injury is out there and should be used. With the best therapists there will be less trial and error with diagnosis and treatment and you can actually save money. Most hamstring injuries are prone to reocurrence because there are underlying issues which have not been addressed, it is rarely just local weakness in the muscle.