8 In crossfit/ fitness/ running

In order to run, I have stopped running

I’m not sure what’s going on with my legs at the moment. My running pace from June onwards has been slower than usual (2010 average pace: 5:48 min/km; 2011: 5:46; 2012: 5:26; 2013 so far: 5:31) and my left leg is being all weird on and off.  Right now it’s on again – there’s pain behind my knee (upper calf / lower hamstrings) when I kneel or when I stand up from sitting, walking and running are ok but Thursday I did 95 air squats at Crossfit, followed by 45 thrusters with 25kg and the rest of that afternoon the back of my leg was painful.

By Friday it was much better again. On and off. On and off.

It felt like that in July as well but I reduced my mileage and it went away. Physio has no idea what it is other than maybe just being related to my level of exercise and muscles all over being tight. Not very helpful.

This week I have not run at all. I have done Crossfit twice and went swimming twice. I don’t plan to run or Crossfit at all until the Royal Parks Half marathon next Sunday, I’ll stick to swimming.

At the moment I’m being optimistic about it and believe that I can run the half marathon with more ease than I did last month’s Run to the Beat.

In the long run though I’d like to get to the bottom of this. I have always increased my mileage gradually (by a few hundred km a year since I started running in April 2010) and I don’t think running 30-50km a week is a lot, so it doesn’t really make sense to me right now why I’m having this issue.

Running stats since I first started running

Running stats since I started running


Could it be that in trying to increase my cadence and slightly change my running form since May, I have actually messed up some muscles?  My 10k races this spring have been quite fast though and I’m much speedier going up hills running with smaller steps, but but but I can’t help but think that the change has been too much for my body.

Or could it be that I’m doing something wrong in Crossfit? The coaches always keep an eye on our form and I never go crazy with weights so I have no idea…

On Friday I had a massage and my masseuse, whom I’ve been seeing for years and who’s totally ace at what she does and can always tell what’s bothering me within the first 5 minutes, told me that I was getting too muscular and that perhaps my leg pain was caused by my quads getting too big.

I was kind of stunned to hear that and didn’t really know how to respond. In hindsight I’m not surprised, the society as a whole has been brainwashed to think that women should be thin and have no muscles 😐

Anyway, I felt a bit butch after her lecture but after Tweeting with some other weightlifting ladies that afternoon, I’m now totally at peace with the way my body looks. And sooner or later I’ll figure out what’s causing my leg troubles. After all – life’s a journey of discovery – it’d be boring if there were no challenges or ‘issues’ to figure out 🙂

Happy sunny Sunday!

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  • Reply
    September 30, 2013 at 5:59 am

    Whilst you know I would be very eyebrow raised at her mentioning your quads are getting too big what could be happening is your quads are getting stronger but you have a muscle imbalance elsewhere because of this? Are you sure you are not letting your quads do ALL the work and therefore have weak hamstrings and glutes causing problems with your knee?

    Ok having written the above I read your comments and see that has already been mentioned. Whilst you may do a lot of exercises for the hamstrings and glutes you still may not actually be activating as well as you think. Bret Contreras has an artice on t nation you might find helpful http://www.t-nation.com/free_online_article/sports_body_training_performance/dispelling_the_glute_myth

    • Reply
      September 30, 2013 at 10:46 am

      I think you’re spot on. I need to make sure my glutes and hamstrings are used properly. The quads are such large and dominant muscles, I think it’s easy for them to ‘take over’.

  • Reply
    September 29, 2013 at 2:05 pm

    I don’t know if that’s the case for you, but my quads were (well, still are) a bit too strong compared to my hamstrings and that caused my knee pain, so I’m working on my hamstrings to make them catch up my quads’ strenght. They say that this issue often makes knees hurt, and also when hip flexors and hamstrings are too tight too. Try some more stretching/yoga/pilates maybe (and rest)? And keep us posted! Hope everything resolves quickly!

    • Reply
      September 29, 2013 at 2:24 pm

      That’s why I do Crossfit – to strengthen my muscles all over and a lot of the stuff we do there is for hamstrings and glutes. Maybe I need to increase the weights when working on those muscles and decrease weights when working on quads…

  • Reply
    September 29, 2013 at 1:19 pm

    Maybe your body needs a break? Sometimes, it is good to do nothing and enjoy it. Or maybe you need more stretching as you have worked on your strength a lot? Happy to take you to Bikram if you like (I don’t know why, but I love it).

    • Reply
      September 29, 2013 at 2:25 pm

      That’s why I’m taking a two week break from running. I’d love to try Bikram, the only trouble is I tend to get very dizzy in hot rooms 😐

    • Reply
      September 30, 2013 at 10:45 am

      I just saw a great discount for 10 sessions of Bikram in my neighborhood so I’ve bought it! I’ll try it on Wednesday, let’s hope I don’t pass out.

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