So I've had a few back issues of late, but fortunately the worst is past. My last few training runs have been totally pain-free, and I can finally stand straight in the mirror. Tomorrow I will race the Rundle's Revenge 50km here in Canmore, which will be a good test of my recovery. If I feel pain, though, I'll either drop, or quit racing and make this a slow training run.

Having an injury - pretty rare for me fortunately - can be a very negative experience, but I think that there are always positives to come from any negative. There is always something to learn. During the last frustrating few weeks I've gathered a few take home messages, which I've summarized below.

1) Never take fitness and good health for granted

2) Stretch more after runs - something I have been terrible at. My hamstring and quad (in) flexibility certainly contribute to my back pain.

3) Work on some basic strength - ALL YEAR ROUND, not just in the winter. I was pretty good in the gym this winter, but I realize that I need to rep up some strength training through the race season - particularly the glutes! I think I have a pretty good repertoire of glute strengthening exercises now. I'm doing these daily. The test will be to persevere!

4) Don't neglect the simple recovery tools - those little 1% things that can make all the difference. Diet, sleep, flexibility, foam roller, compression wear all have a good place.

5) Don't ignore the niggles - they may develop into something bigger. I have od twinges of back pain from time to time, and tend to ignore them as they go away. Not a good plan.

6) Cross training has it's rewards too. Hiking, biking, climbing - lots of fun!

7) Good hands-on therapists can be your best friends!

Thanks for ActiveEdge ( and Dave Proctor ( for the torture sessions over the last few weeks

 The cross training can be fun!

The cross training can be fun!

But never take this for granted