Concurrent Strength Training & Running 2015: Eight-Week Workout Cycle III

Discussion in 'Training Information/Training Regimens' started by Bare Lee, Apr 25, 2015.

  1. Bare Lee

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    Your enthusiasm for the Swiss bar got me after T-Grip again. I got through to them yesterday and apparently one of their bars was featured in a movie about bodybuilding called "Generation Iron" and that set off a sales spike. But they said they have a few laid away, and will look into getting my order filled this week. I don't want a refund, because they're willing to sell it to me for $200, whereas the current price is $350. It will be cool to try the Pendlay Rows with a neutral grip. With the T-Grip bar, I can do rows, pullovers and curls. So I'll just need two bars. I would like to get rid of some of the clutter in my workout space.

    Yah, I think shorter daily runs might help. Don't forget the stretches though. I think they helped me a lot. Speaking of kinetic chains, I have this weird tightness/strain in my right leg again. Not sure if it was set off by lifting or running, but it really tightened up on me during Sunday's walk/run. I rolled my calves and shins before heading out, and everything felt fairly loose, but then first the calf started to tighten, then my hamstring, and then finally my right glute, until I had a slight limp. Yesterday I avoided squats and deadlifts, but walked a fair amount in the evening going down to the park with my son. Today it feels looser. It's the same thing I felt last fall, so it's some combination of deadlifting and running I think. Gotta get more vigilant about stretching now that I'm just about over my shingles and able to work out/run more fully.

    I find my natural squat stance is fairly narrow, just a little more than shoulder-width. Any wider and my knee doesn't seem to track as well. Glad to hear you're still squatting in any case. I'm pretty excited about reaching 300 later this summer. It's funny how absurd Rippetoe and others' endorsement of the squat as "the king of lifts" seemed to me a year ago, but I'm a true believer now.
     
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  2. Abide

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    Well I have only had it for a bit and haven't loaded it really heavy but I think it will be worth it in the long run. Especially if I can start doing more pressing with it. It will help too then I can do squats and the press super-setted without changing weights. I haven't used it for pull overs or skull crushers yet and I think it might be bit too big for that. But the 5ft version you are getting should be perfect.

    That's irritating, did you do something else that day like yard work? My hamstrings are really sore today but I think its from doing some lunges every twenty minutes to get me out of my chair. It's strange how just a few reps of something easy can make you tight initially? But yeah being regular has been really helpful for me lately and also taking more frequent breaks from sitting at work. Hopefully with your vigilance it will be a minor niggle.

    Yeah my knee's don't track exactly perfect but I have been working on the driving the knees out to work on the adductors. I'm going relatively light but it still feels heavy in this stance. I'm really working a low bar ass back squat rip style. But yeah its definitely a good lift the one bad thing is it really ignites my hunger!
     
  3. Bare Lee

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    Yah, the 5ft version will also just fit inside my power rack, so I should be able to use it for presses. Maybe use the neutral-grip bar on the presses once or twice a week? Especially for the bench press, it might be a good way of keeping my shoulders nice and healthy while at the same time make some progress. I would like to hit a 300 bench press some time in the future.

    Now that I think of it, my right knee area felt kinda tight last week when kneeling down for my OH Press, so I dunno, just got work a bit harder at keeping it loose I guess. It's already a lot looser today and I'll probably try to run on it in a bit, and then try light squats and/or deadlifts tomorrow to see how it handles them. Once again, consistency is key. Seems when I'm running and lifting consistently these niggles become pretty rare. Cycle II was magical for me that way, lifting-wise, then the shingles threw a big wrench in the gears. Just have to put it all together now . . .

    Yah, I gotta get back to using my sit-stand-squat desk more fully. It's so easy just to sit and sit.

    I'm really sold on the Rip-style squat, feels really natural to me now. I don't know if I put my ass back/shoulders forward quite as much as he does, and I try to avoid his two-phase hip>leg drive. I mostly go by how balanced and solid I feel, but I like to keep the concentric portion monophasic. I don't think about the technique much at all any more, and 275 feels very comfortable, so I'm ready to start pushing the squat I think. Once I get back to full workouts again, my appetite should come back to normal, but you're right, the squat and deadlift cause the biggest spikes in hunger. For me, it just doesn't feel like a workout without the lower body lifts. I just did presses yesterday and today it barely feels like I worked out.
     
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  4. BroadArrow

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    i haven't been doing a whole lot of "training" since i've been sucked into "doing" with the new house. clearing brush and pulling weed trees out by hand are a whole lot like rows or deadlifts or something. and mowing the lawn with an old-fashioned reel-style push mower with a 40lb child on my back seems a lot like pushing those prowler things or whatever it is that people spend big bucks to do in a gym. but, i guess you don't step on oak twigs in a gym, either...

    hopefully, i'll get the major stuff done so i can feel ok getting back to the more structured movements. it will be interesting to see how much i have decayed or preserved after a couple weeks of not doing the formal workouts.

    it seems like with these 8-week planning cycles that we do about 4 weeks of work and then it goes splat. :)
     
  5. Abide

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    No kidding, well hopefully the next one will be a good full one. I think you will be alright BA especially with the extra work you have been doing.

    Speaking of next cycle, I'm still trying to figure out what template I should run? I think I am getting closer to being able to bench and press so maybe I can go to more of a 5-6 lifts? But I am not sure if I can make the time right now?

    I just laid out the next 9 weeks, shit maybe I need to dumb down the next cycle, just over two months to Leadville.

    Capture.JPG
     
  6. Abide

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    Not sure if you saw this yet, its a big read. I'll try to read it today. http://www.strengtheory.com/complete-strength-training-guide/

    Hey I tried the kneeling presses, they are actually quite difficult. I would say more difficult than standing actually. I could see how they might cause some strain on the rear end trying to support the weight with a bended knee. It's really too bad you can't expand your roof upwards...
     
  7. Bare Lee

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    Yah, it's pretty funny. I think I've learned a few lessons on how to prevent stupid training injuries, lessons I already knew but hadn't yet learned to be strict about, but not sure about how to prevent something like shingles, or in Abide's case, wiping out while racing. But if I can avoid the stupid injuries, then hopefully, I'll be able to jump back on the consistency train and train consistently for the rest of the year.

    Speaking of shingles, Monday, Tuesday, and so far today the pain has become very manageable, more annoying than distracting for the most part. Hopefully I'll be able to get off the painkillers in another week or two, but I feel close to fully functional now, and should be able to start training full bore pretty soon.

    I know BA was kidding, but I've always been suspicious about yardwork making any contribution to strength unless you're moving rocks or digging ditches. Most yardwork is more stamina or endurance. I'm halfway decided to turn our yard back into one of those trendy 'prairie' yards with wild, indigenous plants, except the lawn is nice for the kids to play on. Anyway, must be exciting for BA to be organizing his new digs. Look forward to seeing what his workout space solution is.

    Yah, I would dumb it down, go into maintenance mode, and do everything possible to set yourself up for a finish at Leadville. You will always remember the race, but you won't remember whether or not you were able to bench your normal maxes before or after it (unless you look at your training log).
    I don't think the hammie strain or tightness around the knee is caused by the kneeling press, but rather, that's when I first noticed the tightness. I think the tightness is caused by either getting back into the deadlifts after the shingle layoff, or getting back into running after the shingles layoff, or both. Nothing serious, it's a lot better today from just a few days of rest and a little stretching. I'll probably try some squats and deadlifts today, Friday at the latest, and I'll trying running at least a mile on it tomorrow.

    But yeah, the kneeling presses are difficult. The secret is bracing well so you don't lean or fall backwards. Wearing a belt really helps. Speaking of belts, I'm really liking the lever belt, although it's going to take a while to break in.

    That Nuckols piece is a good resource, a good compliation of his articles. Not sure what to make of it though. I don't really want to cut down on my training volume for the main lifts, but he recommends more accessory stuff at the intermediate level. I just don't see the sense of that when I'm still making good gains just do the big lifts, but perhaps I'm not a true intermediate in his scheme. Plus, I don't really want to do all those Westside exercises. I think I'd rather do different lifts like pullovers, lunges, or dips than box squats and deficit deadlifts. I have, however, taken his volume/work capacity gospel to heart. That's the puzzle I'm trying to solve. How much volume can I manage without making my workouts or recovery too long? Probably doesn't matter until I first solve the consistency puzzle, which is hampered more by happenstance and stupidity than programming. I think as I rehab out of the shingles, I'll first try to simply get through three sets of each of the main lifts. When I'm able to do that, I think about where I can add more sets or more exercises.
     
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  8. Abide

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    I don't know either I struggle with implementing both the volumes and the intensities. It's really hard to use percentages right now as I don't even have a good baseline to use.
    I really just need to build back some consistency in lifting at least 3 days a week for full workouts. Maybe I should just lay out a plan now and follow it as prescribed until after Leadville. Or do like you 3 main lifts a day? And then some light volume work of the same lift?
     
  9. Bare Lee

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    Actually, I do four "performance lifts' each workout, and then the upper body pulls, but I consider all six of them equally important in terms of overall strength development. That's the problem with most programs really, including Nuckols. They cater to people with competitive performance goals, whether it's powerlifting, weightlifting, bodybuilding, or strongman. Or they tend more towards the conditioning/functional training side. Very few programs seem to be written for guys like us who simply want good overall strength development and balance.

    That said, I agree that the performance lifts--squats, deadlifts, overhead press, bench press--are most amenable to measuring or expressing absolute strength in 1RMs (that's why they're called performance lifts, right?), and it's fun and motivating to track those in training. However, that is not to say that I consider the overhead press a lot more important than, for example, rows. True, if I could only choose three lifts to do in a workout, I would probably go with the first three I do in my workout order: Squat, OH Press, and Deadlift. You could get pretty strong just with those, but for balance, I need the Bench Press, Pulldown/-up, and Rows.

    So that's my first constraint in programming. I want to do all six lifts, three times a week. That's already a fair amount of volume, but really, this is a more of a frequency approach, first and foremost, it seems to me. That is, the volume is derivative of my primary goal to do all six lifts frequently--three times a week.

    Then there's my second constraint in programming, which is simply the desire to complete a workout within an hour.

    Then there's my suspicious theory that squats drive deadlift development, and overhead presses drive bench press development, so, according to this unproven hypothesis, if any of the lifts are to receive greater volume, it should be the squat and overhead press.

    So, in the past, these constraints and hypothesis have lead me to program either all six lifts at three sets a piece, with squats and overhead press first, or four sets for squats and overhead press, once again first, then two sets for deadlifts and bench press, and three sets for the upper body pulls. This last program gave me pretty good results in Cycle II. What I wanted to try this cycle was to add a set to each of the performance lifts, but shingles shut that down.

    So I'm thinking next cycle, or even next week, try to re-establish the routine I had in Cycle II, and then add volume once I can complete each workout in less than an hour. Or maybe start with four sets for squats and overhead press, three sets for deadlifts and bench, and three sets for pulldowns, pendlay rows, and two sets for one-hand dumbbell rows even if that takes more than an hour, and then work to build work capacity until I can do it all in an hour or less.

    One added innovation I might try is to do the first set of Monday's 5RM and Wednesday's 8RM workouts at 85% and 75%, respectively, and then at 80% and 70% on subsequent sets. I tried this yesterday on the bench press, and it felt pretty good. It's a way to maintain some intensity and activation on the first set, then go for lighter volume on the others, with less time in between sets. So that's similar to your idea. I'll post my plan on next week's template.
    I know, everything is out-of-whack right now. It was great at the end of Cycle II, when I knew the loading percentages and weekly increases exactly. Now I have to recalibrate, for the OHP at least, and probably the Deadlift and Bench as well, maybe even the Squat if this right hammie strain proves more serious than I think it is.
     
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  10. Abide

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    Yeah I'm in agreement with you about wanting to get the 6 lifts in at least 3 times a week. Wish I could figure out a way to make that work again sometime. I still have a problem of doing heavy squats, deadlift and pendlay rows in the same day. Which is actually the main reason why I'm not just adopting your plan. I do like it but I think it's just too much intensity and volume for me. I mean initially with lighter loads I am ok with it, but once things get heavy and the rests for the press are creeping up to 2-3 minutes it becomes difficult to work up the motivation. Plus morning workouts do blow in terms of motivation compared to the evening ones, wish I could find a way to get a decent chunk done at night. I don't know maybe that's the trick to work more in the lighter ranges? I haven't had a chance to look at the new layout though? I do need to come up with another plan, I would love the next 8 weeks to be completely brainless so I can focus on other things for a bit. I'll give it some thought on the weekend. Another issue I have is on paper things end up looking a lot easier than when I am in the gym at 6:00am after a short night sleep...

    Well the knee's still acting like a piece of shit, almost zero change in it from last time I ran. I tried out my luna's too and they didn't provide any relief. So I'm gonna keep running through the strengthening and stretching exercises, which I don't think are really helping that much, and who knows what else. Maybe I'll start doing the Contreas hip thrusts a couple of times a week. Well the good news is I have 24hrs to finish the 110k which is doable walking.

    I keep coming back to thinking I should drop the weighted squats. I am not sure why either? I seem to have better luck from an injury perspective when I was pushing the DL more frequently and not squatting much. Maybe the DL frequency is more important for my case?
     
  11. Abide

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    BTW glad to hear you are feeling better too. That's a relief.

    Glad you are liking the lever belt. When you mentioned you had it too tight I was gonna link a belt article about how you should keep it about a finger width loose. I'll look around to see if I can find the article, but it seems like you figured it out. Now that I keep mine a bit looser I just leave it on all the time.

    Yeah the belt I am using really works great with the deadlift but it really digs in my ribs and the front of my pelvis for squats. I bought that other Velcro belt too, which was a bit of a let down. It's just too flexible and really doesn't give any support in comparison to the PL one I am using. Catch 22 huh!
     
  12. Bare Lee

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    Yah, no doubt, it's hard to get everything in, and lately I don't even come close, so I dunno. But I think it's better to work one or all of the six lifts less than to leave one or more out in order to increase the volume of one or all of those remaining. Maybe I should start out ultra minimal, just to make sure I get everything in, and then add. I could do three sets of squats and overhead presses, then just two sets of everything else. Or even just do two sets for everything, and build from there. My uncle had shingles several years ago and he said he felt fatigued for four months afterwards, so perhaps there's some underlying fatigue I'm not acknowledging. One way or another, it's frustrating to have seemingly lost so much work capacity in such a short time.

    I guess I would say I think frequency is more important than intensity or volume, and intensity is more important than volume. So I guess, for me, I need to first re-establish the frequency, then intensity (full sets of 5RM, 8RM, and 1-3RM), then finally, if I can, add volume. I think after reading Nuckols I got too caught up in adding volume, and have unwittingly been reducing the two parameters that are actually more important.

    Another way to get all six lifts in every time would be to alternate doing some light, some heavy, as I think we discussed at some point.

    It's cool you can walk if need be, that takes some pressure off. I kinda doubt you're going to lick the ITBS unless you're willing to break it down and start over again with reduced mileage though. More of the same is probably not going to do it, but I hope I'm wrong. I sure hope you're being vigilant about the side stretch, I think that's probably most important. Keep stretching the tight ITB.

    It's funny, I have a big beef against the SockDoc for being an anti-stretching absolutist, but I was re-reading his thoughts on Ibuprofen, or NSAIDS more generally. I noticed my right knee is actually swollen, not just tight, and I'm wondering if taking so much Ibuprofen over the last 5-6 weeks is the cause. I went the whole day yesterday without any painkillers, but then the pain came back yesterday evening. This morning it's still there, but kinda manageable, so I guess I'll just try to deal with it for a few days and see if it diminishes again. I really gotta start lifting and running seriously again, this layoff is killing me. I'm starting to get insomnia again.

    Back to your ITBS, I can't imagine squats being the culprit. I would think it's just the opposite, that by giving your hips a good stretch while squatting, you'd be keeping the ITB healthy. But if they're not working out for you, no sense continuing, the deadlifts are probably enough for the lower body considering how much biking and running you do.
    Ha, yeah, I was until yesterday evening. Still, the overall trend is towards healing, so I can't be discouraged by these little setbacks. It seems like the shingles healing process isn't as linear as I assumed it would be. I seem to do better for a few days, then worse for a few days, but each better is better, and each worse isn't as bad.

    Yah, I guess if it's too tight then it's counterproductive, as your abdominals will no longer be able to fully contract, right. I did look up some instructional videos after I tried the belt extra tight.

    If you can order it over there, you should really check out the Spud Nylon belt, the three-ply. It's flexible around the edges, but still pretty heavy duty. I wasn't unhappy with mine, and I still use it when the lever belt starts to dig in. The lever is a lot more convenient, but the velcro on the Spud works fine too.

    Anyway, the plan I had in mind for next cycle is

    Monday--5RM
    First set @ 85%,
    ensuing sets @ 80%
    for all four performance lifts,
    then pulldowns and rows @ 85%.

    Wednesday--8RM
    First set @ 75%,
    ensuing sets @ 70%
    for all four performance lifts,
    then pulldowns and rows @ 75%.

    Friday--1-3RM
    Single @ 100%,
    Double @ 95%,
    then 2x3 or 3x3 @ 90%
    for all four performance lifts,
    then pulldowns and rows @ 90%.

    For sets, my options are basically

    On Monday and Wednesday
    Everything for 3 sets,
    or
    Squats and OHP for 3 sets,
    Deadlift and Bench for 2 sets
    Pulldowns and Rows for 3 sets
    or
    Squats and OHP for 4 sets,
    Deadlift and Bench for 3 sets
    Pulldowns and Rows for 3 sets

    On Friday
    1/2/3/3
    0r
    1/2/3/3/3
    for all four performance lifts
    and
    3/3/3 for Pulldowns and Rows

    or

    1/2/3/3/3 for Squats and Overhead Press
    1/2/3/3 for Deadlift and Bench Press
    and
    3/3/3 for Pulldowns and Rows
     
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  13. Barefoot Dama

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    Abide, I am sorry to hear about your ITB issues I hope you bring it under control sooner rather than later.
    For me there are two things that really irritate the ITB big times and they are running downhill and biking if I avoid doing those two things my ITB is good.
    I know that some people don't believe( I won't mention any names BL) that squatting messes up the ITB/Knee because when squatting with very heavy loads even if you're carefull about maintaing good form sometimes there is the ever so slightest knee dip that could give knee/ITB issues. I am not an expert buy any means it's just my own experience. It's just like running very fatigued-form goes to hell. Also increasing mileaged rather quickly could be another thing to think about.
    Sorry.
     

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  14. Bare Lee

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    I'm no expert by any means, but if ITBS is a repetitive stress type injury, then I doubt Abide is doing enough squat reps to have caused it, although of course squats or any number of things may irritate it now that it's inflamed or injured. It's probably with good reason it's known as a runner's injury, and not a powerlifter's. I don't recall anyone on the lifting sites mentioning ITBS, but once again, I'm no expert. OK, a quick Google search for "Squatting and ITBS" and here's a thread about it: http://startingstrength.com/resources/forum/mark-rippetoe-q-and-a/8723-itbs-squats.html (Note the search yielded mostly running sites.)

    But it seems like most people are like Dama, they get it from repetitive stress, i.e., biking and running.

    In my experience, there were a certain amount of reps necessary, around the four-mile mark if I remember correctly, before it would come on. So my strategy was to stop to stretch quite frequently and stop running before I got to four miles. It took some trail and error, increasing the distance bit, reducing it a bit, but eventually I was able to get beyond four miles.

    Edit: Hey Dama, do you think Ibuprofen could cause my right knee to swell?
     
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  15. Barefoot Dama

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    I think that my issues are not caused by repetitive stress but by my messed up back it's not like I am running tons a mileage I barely do the minimum-you know what a lazy butt I am.
    No, I don't think Ibuprofen is causing your knee swelling but it does weaken soft tissue so something to think about.
     

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  16. Abide

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    Yeah the knee cave is a problem of mine. The exercises I have been working on are supposed to help strengthen that while squatting. I think for now I am going to keep squatting but keep the weight lower until I can fix the ITBS.
    Oddly enough though biking doesn't cause any pain or irritation, and it actually helps relieve the pain if I bike after running. For my case is definitely a running thing. But yeah running downhill hurts the worse and then flats are manageable. Its perfectly fine again when I run uphill too? That's why I called it strictly an eccentric running injury, because when you take that piece out it doesn't cause any pain. Also there is no pain when I walk either.
     
  17. Bare Lee

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    Interesting idea about ITBS and the eccentric phase of running. Is there any way you could train hills exclusively for a week or two? Also, I wonder if you're overstriding or 'reaching' just a bit with your landings? Maybe try running barefoot for a while to see if that helps adjust the landing?

    As for knee cave, I used to get that, but I guess just sheer repetition and practice kind of took care of it all by itself. Not sure what I'm doing different, but knee cave hasn't been an issue for me for something like nine months or longer. At some point, I guess foot angle, stance width, and bar position all aligned and took care of the problem. So maybe just keep plugging away at moderate loads?
     
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  18. Abide

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    Yeah exactly my thoughts. I think I have always had the leg strength capacity to lift heavier loads on the squats so I have never needed to develop the support mechanisms to do it correctly. So maybe a higher rep / lower weight plan will work to really build the right patterning. The knee cave starts to happen once I get over bodyweight and after the 3rd rep or so. Its really fatigue thing I think? Who knows maybe it is related?

    Yeah I have some small hills that are close but it's tough to get out and run more frequently. I think I'll do a lot more hills when I have a little more free time next month. I've thought about the overstriding thing too, I wish my feet were a bit tougher right now so I cold knock out a decent length barefoot run. I will see what I can do this week and try to get a couple of shorter barefoot runs per your advice.

    Saw you think the swelling might be from your drugs, hopefully you see it clear up soon if so.
     
  19. Bare Lee

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    Yah, at some point, my squat started to feel really solid. I still tweak the stance a bit, doing a little dance after unracking, but it's small adjustments. I think you need a certain amount of weight to enforce good form, so I would caution about making the loads too light. Anything in the 5-8 rep range, or 75-85% is probably adequate. I also found there's a sort of optimal speed or tempo for descent. If it's too fast, when lifting with lighter weight, then the bounce back up is less controlled. Too slow, and I lose the stretch reflex completely. Anyway, good luck in finding your squat groove. You've got the training experience and lifting intuitions, so it's just a matter of time.

    Also good luck on finding the right combo of run types to lessen the ITBS. Of course, I'm just throwing out ideas, based on my limited experience and shallow knowledge. Glad that some of them make sense to you too.

    Yah, the swelling in my right knee is definitely down, and the joint less stiff, since going off both the Gabapentin and Ibuprofen last week. I can almost descend stairs normally now. It never really hurt, just felt stiff, so I think the symptoms are consistent with edema, which is a side effect of both Gabapentin and Ibuprofen, but seems to be more commonly listed as a side effect for the former.

    Unfortunately, since going off painkillers, it's been a little hard to deal with the constant, if moderate to mild, pain all the time. The topical oitments don't seem to help at all, and I don't like the feeling of having more than a couple of beers at night, so it's been hard to sleep soundly. I tried the hydromorphone again, but it gives me strange dreams. I might go back on Ibuprofen, but I wanted to wait for the swelling to go down enough that I could control for variables. If the swelling returns after beginning the Ibuprofen, then that was it, and not the Gabapentin. If the swelling continues to diminish or disappears, then it was the Gabapetin. I'm assuming it was the Gabapentin because I had been taking the Ibuprofen for longer before the swelling occurred--I began the Gabapentin just a week or two before I noticed the swelling. And I've never had any trouble taking Ibuprofen for short periods in the past, although this is probably the longest I've taken it. I know Ibuprofen can screw you up too, though, as Dama notes, so not sure how much longer I should allow myself to take it.

    I guess last week I stopped waiting for it to heal quickly. I might have to put up with this for a while yet, so I need a solution that allows me to function during the day without any side effects. At the moment, I don't see any optimal solution. The good news is the pain is worst when I'm just sitting. Activity lessens it or makes it go away completely, so no excuses not to run and lift once the swelling goes down.

    I never realized how tricky pain management is. My sympathy for people who have to endure chronic pain, often magnitudes worse than what I'm dealing with, has greatly increased with this experience.

    I was beginning to get back into the lifting and running before this swelling became a problem almost two weeks ago. Now I'm wondering, since my current program is so far out of whack, and, as you've noted, I no longer have a good sense of what my baseline is, if I should try something radically new, like a super high volume routine, at least until everything feels comfortable again.
     
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  20. Abide

    Abide
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    Barefooters
    1. Nederland -...

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    Good point maybe I'll just stick with body weight loads and keep them to sets of five. I really should also try to stick with one stance.
    I'm also having some trouble kindling the motivation to get regular in the gym, which is becoming a bit annoying. I'm still thinking I should switch to the evenings when I have a lot more energy.
    One good note I can do my first push up since the injury. I think the iso pushups do help with these kind of injuries

    Yeah same here on both points, not only healing quickly but also a long slow road to get back again. Oh well it's about the journey right?

    I might caution on switching to a radically different plan right away, you might end up in my situation with the plan hopping. I think it might be best to get back to the basics and focus on consistency to get a good idea of where loads are currently at. Even if you just start out by knocking 10-20lbs off and go from there? I think the return to strength for you will come faster than you think. But doing something radical might prevent it from happening? I think these kind of plans are good to do when you need a break from the regular plan, but not initially during the base building if that makes sense.
     

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