Hamstrings, Adductors & Hip Flexors

10 messages
23/02/2011 at 05:50
Did VLM last year despite being plagued with various injuries, worked hard, came off crutches 5 weeks before but still did it in 5hrs (not happy with time but at least I finished). Since then the same theme of continual injuries and very little consistent training. I'm sensible, stretch, work on muscle groups (core, glutes, etc) for strength and stability, don't overtrain, gait analysis, good shoes, not overweight, cardio v fit, cross train etc etc but still I pick up injuries regularly ... as soon as one has healed, I head out for a few runs and then get injured again.

Right hip flexor has seemed weak since VLM. No amount of work seems to change this. Recently got hamstring pull and adductor pull too I think. No idea how.. at least 3 weeks ago and no improvement. Only just got over ITB on opposite leg. Def seems to be one side then the other.

So, what am I doing wrong?

Very unhappy bunny as just been given VLM 2011 place & fundraising for Macmillan and worried I won't make the start line at this rate.
23/02/2011 at 13:02

Hi Joanna,

I can really relate to your post - I had a stress fracture last spring so was on crutches too before a significant marathon. Also, I have been in the position before where you feel like you're just starting up again before some other niggle comes along and ruins your training/race plans.

I've also just got over a hip flexor strain - do you think maybe you have this?

I had a sports massage, saw a physio and cross-trained/rested. I biked a lot, but in hindsight, I think this was aggravating it.

It almost felt as though I needed to find this 'magic stretch' to be able to feel full flexbility and strength in the area again. Does yours feel like that?

The physio actually told me, oddly enough, to NOT stretch the area at all as I was only aggravating the inflammation whilst doing that. (And there I was going on all the hip flexor/inner and outer thigh stretch machines in the gym!) and surprisingly, it seemed to calm down a lot after that.

Obviously you are icing and taking ibuprofen as necessary?

Do you tend to switch between running surfaces much? Interestingly, mine came from switching between the tread and the road too much (and I'm certain my training on all that snow didn't help either).. I think this break in consistency can cause injury as our stride/form has to constantly adapt...

23/02/2011 at 14:22

to recovery from chronic injury you need to take at least 6 weeks off running. after an inital rest period you need a proper rehabilitation phase. to many runners just rest and start running, which though may work for minor injury, more severe needs to be dealt with properly. physiotherapy, stretching, strengthening before an eventually very gradual return to running. particularly with tendons you need a very long time to recover as the blood supply is poor. 

In all honesty if you really went from walking on crutches to running a marathon 5 weeks later I am not surprised you get injured. Madness !!

23/02/2011 at 14:40

What is your fluid intake like? Believe it or not this can have a huge impact on muscle tightness. If the muscles are dehyrated the cells become turgid and actually compact and tighten and as a result can cause injury.You can get electrolyte sachets realtively cheap in your local chemist which can tackle dehydration (even if you dont feel you are, the best indicator is not thirst but the pee colour test)

If you can try get to a sports therapist/ massus on a regular basis to keep you loose. You may stretch but a good therapist can trace tightness back to places you never thought were connected to the part you feel the tightness in. Recently had calf tightness which was a result of running on my toes so much and solution was stretching out a muscle on the sole of my foot because unbeknowing to me the muscles were directly connnected

 Other than this the only other tips I can give you seem to already be well up on. Stretching, yoga, enough rest, build mileage very slowly, work on strengthening muscles without over doing it

24/02/2011 at 23:05

I would agree with hydration. this is massive to ensure the fascia is allowed to mobilise. Drinking at least two litres of water a day is boring advice but it works. All forms of alternative therapy share a common instruction: drink 2+ litres of water after treatment.

 It sounds like you have a serious issue around your pelvis.

Take a look at this, hopefully it may help:



 Hope these help.


24/02/2011 at 23:25

Sorry I forgot to mention this, if your right hip flexor is tight, it could potentially be because of a problem with your LEFT ankle mobility.

 Check this test and see if both ankles are same or left is down?


 Use a measuring tape to find out your exact distance from wall. I always want my athletes to have at least 10cms.


25/02/2011 at 09:30
Wow! Thank you all so much. Your advice and thoughts have really helped. I'm the first to admit that I'm rubbish at hydration generally - although I always have electrolyte drinks available whilst running/recovery..it's the rest of the time that I'm a confirmed tea drinker!

I guess I have a lot to learn about stretching/pilates/yoga although did a huge amount of physio for last years VLM. (Yes, I really was mad enough to go from crutches to marathon in 5 weeks .. aren't all runners slightly mad though?!)

Over the last 24 hours I have been doing lots of stretching and think there is an improvement...hmm..will continue and see what happens.

Dave, your suggestion of 'issue around your pelvis' is correct. I've had a lot of physio for v poor stability in this area but all is good now. Physio had me doing lots of glutes build up too and I had lots and lots of electrotherapy too. The ankle test proved interesting: both ankles are the same but can only do 8.5cm from the wall not the 10cm suggested. So, will work on this as achilles feel really tight doing this exercise and it's an area I haven't worked on before.

Thank you again guys..a ton of useful info to focus on and your input has helped with motivation too.
M...eldy    pirate
28/02/2011 at 19:46
Dave O'Sullivan wrote (see)

Sorry I forgot to mention this, if your right hip flexor is tight, it could potentially be because of a problem with your LEFT ankle mobility.

 Check this test and see if both ankles are same or left is down?


 Use a measuring tape to find out your exact distance from wall. I always want my athletes to have at least 10cms.


Interesting test Dave !!    I have ongoing issues with my right achilles having torn it about 6 years ago

No tape measure to hand but the 'reach' on the right is half that of the left and I do have to odd niggle with the left hip flexor

Its good to have the corrective exercise .. I am not too sure I understand the clockwise & anti clockwise bit tho !

28/02/2011 at 21:30


 The clockwise or anti-clockwise is basically bringing your knee 'around the clock' over your toes.

Here is a basic version with some extra good advice from a colleague I know in the US but you will need to go around the clock also as well as just straight over your toes if that makes sense.

 Hope this helps.


Kind regards,



M...eldy    pirate
28/02/2011 at 21:44
Aha!  That makes perfect sense now ..... I was a little unsure what I was rotating where

It gave the cat a laugh anyway 

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