Hey guys, I've recently been plagued by a bout hamstring injuries and I don't know what to do. So first off I'm a newbie triathlete. I started gettin fb interested in the sport at the beginning of this year and began training for some races in the fall. In the early spring of 2016, I had a pretty decent hamstring strain in my right leg during a 100m sprint workout. It was bad enough to prompt me going to a pt, who said it was just a strain not a super big deal, things like that happen. She gave me some stretches to do and also noted that my hips were fairly weak and gave me stability exercises to do. I went home and rested for a couple weeks and it seemed to heal up pretty well. I stretched for a couple weeks after the injury but pretty soon after I stopped just out of neglect.
A couple months after that injury in the very early summer I had a minor tweak in my left outer hamstring, bicep femoris short head?, just during everyday activities. This is the first time I can remember that I felt the chronic injury that has plagued me since. This first instance the injury wasn't too bad but it was somewhat noticeable while walking. I rested a couple days and went back to training. Throughout the summer this injury would flare up every now and again and i would rest it and then resume training. About mid summer, a month to two months ago, I ran a fairly hard and long run of 10 miles at 7:00/mile pace, longer then I usually run. Halfway through this workout that chronic injury flared up and I just ran through it. When I finished I went home and kinda assumed I would just rest it and it would go away again.
However, the next day it was more noticeable than it previously had been. This prompted me to take 2 weeks off from training and I began reserching running injury prevention. I picked up Kelly Starrett's ready to run and began doing lacrosse ball rolling, flossing, and dynamic warm ups before all the sessions. I then resumed my training and was running moderate pace 5k runs only and the injury never really came up so I assumed that the Starrett style mobility work was working. Because I had taken off those two weeks from training I wasn't in the kind of shape I wanted to be for one of my races, so I took the week leading up to that race, last week, off and didn't train. I then re did my training program to include more intensity so I could be ready for my next race in about a month. Today was my first day back into the swing of things and it was supposed to be a fartlek run. I probably shouldn't have started off with so much intensity but oh well, during the week of rest and my warm up before my run, I noticed my hamstrings didn't feel really great. It's not that they hurt but there was a little discomfort. I wrote it off and assumed it would go away once I started my workout.
The first interval of my fartlek run, my hamstring injury, left outside hamstring almost right behind the knee, flares up again. I stopped running and walked home gutted and dismayed. These strings of injuries have been killing me as I love being outside running, biking, and swimming. I have a long history of athletics, weight training, boxing, soccer in hs, but I have never had so much fun as I am having with my triathlon training, this makes it all the more difficult when I get injured. Some notes about my injury: it is the lower part of my hamstrings, short head of the bicep femoris?, on the outside of my knee.
The injury is predominantly my left leg but I notice some discomfort in the same area of my right leg. I recently switched to minimalist shoes, Altra one 2.5's, and have been working on a forefoot strike, after having read ready to run. Since I have made this switch I have noticed my calves are EXTREMELY sore after my runs and I have been attributing this to my new style of running. I've also noticed that my left calf is noticeably tighter than my right. I'm not sure if calf tightness or weakness might somehow connect to my injury but I thought I would mention it.
Also, I think my hamstrings are noticeably weaker than my quads but I haven't tested this yet. I'm not sure if this imbalance is the cause of my injury, again I just want to make sure I address all factors. And finally my hips are a mess. my left hip is noticeably weaker than my right and my hips are VERY VERY tight. I hope I have given you guys enough info to maybe pinpoint my problem or problems. Any help or input is greatly appreciated, thanks in advance.