Upper Leg (Hamstring ??)

There seems to be a lot of Lower leg problems discussused and Upper leg back problems. I'm running 10Ks three times a week with recovery days in between. My hamstring on my left side seems constantly to ache (not much) just irritating. I stretch well and I feel happy with my running.Any suggestions


  • I'd try getting a proper sports massage in the first instance. the therapist will find any knots of tension and iron them out - be warned this could be painful. An alternative might be placing a cricket/golf ball under your hamstring whilst sitting down and pressing down hard while rolling the leg over the ball.

    I hope at least two of those 10ks are at a good steady "conversational" pace and NOT flat out. Too much speed work would place unnecessary stress on muscles/ligament and actually have a detrimental training effect.

    Also don't stretch before running - just take the first 5 minutes very slowly as a warm up. Afterwards try some active isolated stretching (do a google search for Gerard Hartmanns website on this, he is Paula Radcliffes physio).
  • Hi Richard,

    Do you still get this problem - sounds similar to one I'm having

    If not - how did you cure it?


  • It's kind of funny really. I went and had a couple of sessions at the physio. He massaged it and also gave me a training programme for building up the muscle. It was basically standing on your knees with someone holding your ankles and feet down. You then start to drop forward on to your hands but holding it as long as possible. Do 10 reps about three times. The other advice was to reduce the intesity of training. He said I was doing too much too soon. I had only been running for 4 months and I was up over 40kms a week. I cut down but was still plagued with the niggling hammys. Anyway I entered a 1/2 marathon worring that the injury would annoy me. I also hadn't run over 19kms in a session before so I was a little worried. I ran the race did it much faster than I thought (1hr 41mins) and didn't feel the hammys. I now run about 30 kms a week and if I feel the hammys again I don't run for a day or two. I think the best solution is to do a little training in the gym to build up the muscle. I intend to do this during the ice/smnow and frost of winter ready for training in the spring. I hope I helped. By the way, the funny thing was the fact that didn't feel a thing during the race and that my focus was the race and I performed beyond my expectations. That was my first race also. Good luck !
  • Thanks - and there's something in RW this month about hammies with exercises as well... when you described your strengthening exercise - I assume it's like a controlled "freefall" bending from the knees?
  • In the exercise you actually are in the kneeling position and drop forward onto your hands (so you don't smash your chin). Your legs are restrained at your feet or ankles and you try and resist the falling action as long as you fall forward slowly.
  • Sorry - I think I'm being thick! Keeping the rest of the body straight? I think my natural reaction is to bend from the hips.... Just caused great hilarity in the office by trying it
  • Watch your head on the desk !. Remember also you should do repetitions 6x. That should provide a bit of entertainment for your collegues. How often are you running and what's your history.
  • Running 4x a week at the mo', averaging 15/16 miles... (Well I would be if my hammy had stopped hurting - it's been sore since Mon pm & have had a couple of sessions of physio/sports massage on it. Ran first 10k race (47:18) on Sunday - fine after that... but apparently this type of injury often takes 24 hours to show... resting for another week before I run again.)

    Anyhow - history? Running since May, and have built up mileage slowly... but prior to that fit-v.fit for five years - since (very) late-20s Combination of tennis; gym; swimming; pretend-boxing against personal trainer; tae-bo; circuits etc etc 4/5 times a week over that time.

    Intending to run FLM06 - but may have to take a call on that in 2-3 weeks.... I think I might be being a bit ambitious!
  • P.S. My left hamstring has been prone to "the ache" since I started running - usually (before this last time) goes after a day. I stretch loads too
  • I thought about the FL06 but after the advice from my Physio I think it's just a little too much. I probably will look to do The Great North Run 06 and then Maybe if I'm still enjoying running do the London in '07. It's my left hammy that the problem is as well. I got someone to run behind me and they say I run kind of lopp sided. I might go and get an analysis on my step. This could be the reason. One side works harder than the other!. Haven't ran since Thursday and have been partying all weekend so I can't wait to get out tonight. NOt sure which run to do though.
  • Funnily enough I'm doing FLM06 because my physio said it would be good for me (I also have a very stiff upper back - which running should help).

    I think I have weak hip flexors on my left side which makes the hammy work harder - so I have to do a stretch pre-running to release these... also have to do some lifts.
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