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Overcoming A Devastating Knee Injury!

sandbag training

Cam Ward, DVRT Master Australia (DVRT Australia Website)

It’s been a little over a week and I’ve been overwhelmed by the positive energy people have shown both prior to and post my first 60km Ultra Marathon. An event I have dreamt about for the last 8 years after a buddy pitched the idea. In late 2013 it came to a crashing mess which lead to knee surgery in 2014. Being a competitive runner, training for the Melbourne Marathon, one morning while preparing for a session I got off the floor and tore the cartilage in my left knee. I was crushed and five weeks post surgery I received the news no runner would EVER want to hear, “you will probably never run again!”

December 24th 2018 camping for Christmas in the high country of Victoria. The energetic demon in my head says, “can I run an Ultra Marathon in 2019”, the modest demon replies,”Dude you have just ran 6km and you are SPENT, how will you add the 0 and make it 60km”

knee injury

Using DVRT to just run again I thought was amazing, but taking it to another level I didn’t know if it was possible!

Well now you know what goes through a runners head! But was it possible, was I able to make the distance, would my body be able to sustain the impact?, would my knee just pack it in?

I’m a firm believer of ‘I’ll never know, unless I give it a go’. Anyone who has gone through any type of injury, especially a serious one knows you are not dealing with just the physical challenge, but mental one as well!

Taking a slightly different approach to this program, I wanted to heavily incorporate my LOVE for DVRT and improve my efficiency of movement to give a greater impact.

So what did I do!

In a nutshell…. I trained the ‘Plane’ and challenged the ‘Chain’ to get the ‘Gain’.

Ok….So I’m still on a high from the weekend!

Basically what I am saying is running isn’t all about SMASHING the pavement and running STUPID amounts of KMs. Yeah you have to run and depending on your distance, sometimes you have to run a lot. But incorporating more than calve raises and lunges into your strength program can take you to the next level.

Isn’t this how you train to run? Not if you understand the body!

If I look back at my program I completed a build phase averaging about 45-50km a week and then a 12 week program that took me to race day with an average of 60.80km. In comparison I was seeing some athletes running 100-120km per week in their biggest weeks.

I certainly wasn’t shooting for an Olympic qualifying time but wanted to finish well….BUT running two businesses, having a family, and playing the balancing act I just didn’t have the time to cover that amount of running.

My first loves after all!

But you still haven’t told us what you did!!

OK, OK, OK, so as I mentioned I really wanted to test TRUE Functional Training and see if I could follow a basic running program but truly pull the strength training together. I knew along the way, time would get me and some runs would need to be sacrificed. Now I’m not saying don’t run just strength train. What I am saying is…. I firmly believe having my body work more effectively, I was able to achieve the result I did. 

2-3 times a week for 20-30 minutes I would challenge my fascial chains, as per the images above (groups of muscles that improve my movement). I knew I had a weakness through my left hip that required a lot of work. But with little time I had to be really smart how I approached my strength work.

If I worked on improving the connection between my lats and glutes (posterior line) and dialed in on the communication between my left hip and right leg , glute (lateral sling) what would happen? 

sandbag training

Now this race was TOUGH but I was looking for a challenge and a challenge is what I got.

After 5 hours and 7 mins I firmly believe the work I did paid off.

knee injury

To finish 2nd in my age group and 18th from 100 athletes, I was pretty CHUFFED (Australian term?) with the return of all the hard work.

What I am more excited about and something I have been working on is the online program to assist runners to ‘Pain Free Running’ which will be released in the coming months. Whether your starting out with your running or looking to take it more serious, this program will be of much benefit to any runner

We will keep you posted……but until next time thanks for reading and BRING ON more pain free running.

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