I am in the midst of early rehab exercise progressions to treat high hamstring tendinopathy (HHT) and have taken a break from running as of 2 weeks ago to avoid making the problem worse. I’ve been trail running for 20+ years but in 2018 I started with coached training for 50K distance races and it was in that year that the HHT developed. Last spring, I worked with a physio to successfully return to running and I ran two 50K trail races and ~1500 km of training distance (which is low for some, but for me was my biggest year to date) essentially without pain. I continued to run through the winter but reduced the volume and shifted my focus to base building by doing slow runs of various lengths (up to 20 km or 2-ish hours) consistently through the week, and at/just below AeT. I also included cross-country (both skate and classic) skiing and maintained a fairly consistent core stability and general strength routine. This was all done without the classic pain in the butt HHT symptom.
This year I opted to ‘coach myself’ and started with the UA Big Vert plan in January to prepare for a May 29th 50K trail race. All was going well until I started with the hill sprint workouts at which point the tendon pain returned. Now I’m stuck with HHT, once again, but this time 10 weeks out from this race!
I am wondering how I can maintain (or even build) my aerobic base while I rehabilitate the injury. If good trail conditions persist, I can cross-country ski for a while longer but I find (at least while skate skiing) I can’t keep my heart rate below my AeT and still maintain forward momentum on my skis! I haven’t tried my classics since the HHT returned, but I may be able to maintain a slower pace and lower HR in that mode. Wondering if any of the UA coaches have any advice or feedback. Is it reasonable to apply my running specific AeT to workouts on my skate or classic skis? As well, once its too warm to ski, what’s the best alternative to running while recovering from HHT? I want to wait a couple more weeks before trying short walk-runs to test the hamstring tendon but no matter how you cut it, I’ll have lost at least 4 weeks of actual run training. Although I will have to see how quickly my body responds to the rehab progression, do you have any other advice for preparing for the May race, given the injury?