Here's the background: was pretty inactive as a youngster but started cycling 50 miles a week from March/April 2010 andthen running in March 2011 aged 15, started gently and ran maybe a couple of times a week but didn't take it seriously and only ran maybe 7-8 miles a week with no structured training. Started taking it seriously from September 2011 onwards till April 2012 when I had to stop running with shin pain. Was able to carry on cycling a good 3-4 months though.
Recently found out that my shin pain was simply 'growing pains' from the bone growing faster than the muscle and the shin attachments becoming inflamed. They have ruled out all other physiological causes with MRI and Bone scans etc. The consultant has given me the all clear to start training and said I may have to train through the pain a bit but it should subside naturally over the next year (18 soon) and training will do no damage at all.
I've been seeing a NHS physio for about 2 months now and he's had me doing loads of strengthening and stretching. 2 weeks ago went for my first run since September (even back then I was only just jogging and never got further than that). Shins were fine but my knees were hurting during the run. I ran on grass and did 4 x 2 minute jogs with 2 min walks in between. I ran again this afternoon and shins were fine which is good but once again my knees (above the kneecap) was flaring up a bit but subsided after the run.
My Physio isn't worried but surely if I build up to training hard again I'm worried about starting another injury if my knees can't handle 5 x 2 min jogs on grass now! I've never had any knee problems in the past at all, even when training 35mpw on road. I don't understand it. I understand I have probably deconditioned having been inactive for 6 months but when I started running I was a lot less conditioned than I am now after my rehab....
Basically I'm a 17 year old distance runner. Started running in March last year when I fancied having a go at a 10k race near me. Since then it's become my biggest obsession, and being out injured for 4 months has left me pretty depressed.
Being a perfectionist and very competitive can be stressful at times. I want to be at the top end, I've been inspired by the Olympics and I want to get right up the top end in my age group and be well known, win a medal in Rio or 2020. Sounds a bit unrealistic I know.
One year after starting running, I ran 37:30 for 10k. I can run a mile in 5 mins (but that was training, I can imagine I can do faster in a race). I'm 6ft 4 and quite slender built which I believe is an advantage. I've not been sporty until these last couple of years, I love mountaineering but do it rarely. I've cycled to school for over 2 years every day, 50 miles of cycling a week, and before I started running this is all I really did. I did karate and football for a bit in my younger years but gave up that.
I just wanted to ask whether there's any hope for me as I feel like I can't compete with my age group- because I started much later than them. The majority have been doing it since they were 12-13 and are already running 4:20 for a mile if not more, 35 min 10ks and 16 minute 5k's. I generally race against all ages rather than race track events in championships or age categories, but I know if I wanted to pursue my dream I'd probably have to go onto shorter distances. I love the longer distances, but most of my age group seem to race only track. By my 'age group', I'm referring to some of the whizz kids from other local clubs who I've heard of, researched, and sometimes spill into the races which I do.
I feel like I can't compete because they train the same structure, intensity and mileage as me- to beat them I would have to train more but risk getting injured. So even if I match it, they're going to keep improving and I will never catch them. The majority of these kids who are a lot faster than me and have competed for county are also younger than me. I'm at a disadvantage too because it seems these kids have been supported and encouraged by parents. My dad is an ex-marathon runner and has taught me a lot but I can't even get lifts to track or races.. these kids get full backing from their parents who have introduced them from a young age and take them all over the country to compete. If they're already really quick, I just don't think I'll ever catch them and get high ranked in my age categories in races. They never seem to get injuries- I've got bad problems with my biomechanics hence my injuries- I just don't feel like I'm a naturally talented runner whereas these guys are.
Can any of you enlighten me? Thanks for any advice and replies.