From Setback to Comeback: How to Get Started Running After Hamstring Tendinopathy

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In this week’s installment of our series, “From Setback to Comeback,” find out how our very own retail manager is persevering through a bout with hamstring tendinopathy that has plagued her for almost two years. Her determination to overcome injury and return to her beloved trails is motivational.

To those of you suffering through a setback, you are not alone, and we feel your pain…literally.


 

Meet Tera.  Without injury, she averages 50-90 miles per week. Being an avid trail runner, her favorite local trails are Irish Hills, West Cuesta, Montana De Oro, and Big/Little Falls.  She has competed in many distances, but her favorite distance is the ultra marathon (50k-100 miles).

 

 


What caused you to take a break from running? Approximately how much time did you have to take off?

Tera: I was diagnosed with high hamstring tendinopathy and mine included a partial tear. It all started in August of 2015 and has lasted ’til present day.


Were you able to do any other kinds of fitness activities? If so, what did you do?

Tera: I could do some slow, short distance running and some hiking, but I spent most of time mountain biking.


How did this running break affect you emotionally?

Tera: The first 6 months were the worst. I always defined myself as a runner and had to learn that running isn’t all that I am. I am still a runner, but I am so much more. Trying to stay positive is the best thing to do for the mind, body, and spirit, but sometimes the length of time you have to deal with an injury with uncertain outcomes can wear you down emotionally. I had to focus on all the positives that the break has given me, such as reading more books, spending more time with my family, and strengthening friendships. I had to get creative figuring out how to spend time with my running friends outside of running!


Can you briefly explain the progression of your comeback? How did you ease back into it?

Tera: After surgery in January 2017, it’s been a very slow comeback. First I had to learn to walk with and without the use of crutches. I have had to do lots of PT and core strengthening. Then, I was able to ride the bike, and finally I transitioned into fast walking. Now, I’m able to do short running segments. I started with 3X30 seconds, then 3X1 minute (every other day). I’ll increase the duration of these segments by 1 minute each week until I get to 3X5 minutes, and then I’ll try a full 10-15 minute run and then increase duration from there weekly.


How long did this process take for you (from start of comeback until you felt fully fit again)?

Tera: This is a current work in progress for me. Hopefully in less than a year I’ll be running at normal capacity. We’ll see. I’m not going to push it; just really going to listen to what my body tells me.


Any tips of advice or encouragement you can offer to other runners that are sidelined?

Tera: Stay positive. It’s tough, but running doesn’t define who we are entirely. Enjoy the other things you love about life. Life is full of countless, amazing opportunities if you are willing to look for them. Keep yourself occupied and the downtime will pass quickly.


Thank you for sharing your struggle with us, Tera. Your perseverance and positive attitude are inspirational, to the say the least.

*This is just our shared experience, please note that we are not doctors and encourage you to take the advice from a trained professional with expertise concerning your particular ailment.

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Jenny is a marathon mom in every sense of the word. Not only does she run marathons, but she is constantly running around with her two kids, helping to teach them the value of an active lifestyle.

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