I have been training quite hard for my first marathon, which is in 3 weeks
(NYC). Last week, during a 21 mile training run, I experienced extreme pain in
my right hamstring. i should havestopped, bit I did not. Now, after 8 miles, I
have pain in the hamstring and am afraid I will not be able to do the marathon.
Peter, tough break. All hope is not lost, however. If the tear is small, and
you are able to keep the sweling down to a minimum, you might be ok. In our
clinic, we start acute hamstring strains on their stomach, their knee flexedto
90 degrees, their foot resting against a firm object (a couch, or even the
wall). We then have the patient flex their knee, allowing their foot to drop
toward their butt. They repeat this for several hours on day one. After a day or
so of icinng and flexing gravity assisted, they move away form the wall, and
begin to flex against gravity before they let their foot drop to their butt.
This is a useful exercise for a day or two. Once they can flex against gravity
from a fully extended position, I get them on their feet, and begin to challenge
the muscle in a loaded position. Remember, the muscle is a two joint muscle, so
it must be stretched across the hip and the knee as it contracts during the
deceleration phase of motion. We begin with lunges, and we get to jumoping,
hopping, skipping before we let the patient try running. Keep in mind, that here
are three planes of motion, and while the hamstring looks like a sagital plane
muscle, it is primarily a transverse plane muscle at the knee, so make sure to
test rotational manouvers under load before you begin to jump. Ice for at least
a half hour every day regardless of the amount of pain you are experiencing.
Finally, don't forget, you need to keep up your aerobic training while you are
convalescing, so stationary bike, trair climber, and or swimming should be ok.
Make sure you are pain free during these activities. You might have to ride with
just one leg initially, and you might have to swim with a float between your
legs...that's ok, make sure you keep building your VO2MAX even while you are
Good luck, I hope you get to com