Hi Pete et al.,
I’m a 42-year-old runner, currently training for a east coast 50K with big elevation. It’s my second ultra. My first was a 50K with about 6K feet of climbing, and I finished in about 7:38, which was a 66% on Ultrasignup. I’m a mid-pack guy, apparently.
I’m currently in week 9 of Mike Foote’s big vert training plan. All has been going smoothly until yesterday, when I finished my run with some back discomfort that progressed to a more debilitating pain and lack of mobility throughout the day. It feels like I used to feel if I had a really hard day in the squat rack and I had a hard time standing up straight the next morning.
Friday morning I ran hill sprints, which included a small bit of uphill skipping/bounding. I didn’t notice any significant problems after. In fact, soreness was on the light side.
Saturday, I got out to the mountain early (about 3am) and started a three-hour session “running” (read:power hiking) up the mountain and jogging back down. It was slow going b/c it was (1) dark, and (2) the top half of the mountain was in a dense cloud. I stumbled in a couple of places so it’s possible I could have tweaked my back stabilizing to avoid a fall. I dropped off my waist pack after my first loop (5mi / 1,500 feet of gain) b/c I was noticing some lower back discomfort and I thought the pack might be the culprit. I decided I didn’t need to carry water and I could loop back to the car every 5 miles. Second and third loops went relatively smoothly. No real issues other than the lack of visibility.
When I got in the car to head home, I just felt tired and sore. No big deal. I got home at about 7:00 am and fell into bed for an hour or so. At 9am I got up and was having trouble moving around b/c of the back soreness. At one point, I thought I was stuck on the couch, but I eventually made it up.
That evening, I put on a lower back support (just a weight lifting belt) and made it to my kid’s little league game. I was able to throw BP with no discomfort, so I thought I was back on the right track.
Today I’m in pain again and having trouble moving around. Not as bad as yesterday, but still fairly significant.
I don’t think I have ever done back to back hard days before, such as Friday hill sprints and Saturday long run.
I guess my questions are: (1) what the heck have I done to myself, and how likely is it that the culprit is long mountain running the day after a hill sprint session; (2) is the answer to the instant problem going to involve rest and massage or do I need to think about seeing a medical professional; and (3) would adding some modest compound lifting moves to my weekly plan build core strength and help prevent something like this from happening again?