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31 Posts

Posted - March 15 2009 :  17:29:23  Show Profile
Does anyone have any winning advice for a constant nagging hamstring and inner groin and butt soreness, I stretch after every run, stay away from up hills and speed and still no relief, trying to get ready for the half mrathon, but even long distance bothers me.


679 Posts

Posted - March 20 2009 :  09:32:44  Show Profile
Hi Melody – I waited almost a week to respond because I too would welcome some “winning” advice.

By nagging, I presume you mean chronic. I am all too familiar with that. I could write a book on chronic hamstring and related injury experiences, but I’ll just isolate two actions we all can take to help repair and prevent these problems:

1) To ward off what Tim Noakes describes as hamstring micro-tears, in his book Lore Of Running, take meticulous care to not become dehydrated during hard running. Drink (water, ya know)! You can do this. It will help.

2) Hit the gym with a vengeance or build some resistance apparatus and work to remove your muscle strength imbalance(s) that may exist between quads and hamstrings AND from left leg to right leg in your hamstrings. You can do this – and it will help a lot. It will take time.

My sports doctor correctly discovered the root cause of my years of chronic hamstring difficulties by noting that a prior severe hamstring pull had left one hamstring muscle group noticeably smaller and weaker than the other side. A strength imbalance in the working muscles spells trouble. For years, I didn’t realize that was going on back there.

In strengthening the hamstrings, it’s important to avoid skimping on the “eccentric contraction” phase. That’s where the muscle is contracting while it is stretching. It’s theorized that’s where your hamstring problems usually occur. The muscle is under tremendous stress during the eccentric contraction phase of the running gait. This means, for example, when doing an exercise like hamstring curls, do not just raise the weight up then drop it down – we need to complete a smooth controlled motion on that return movement – that’s where the muscle is stretching while at the same time doing work. That’s the key.


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