Since my injury on W8R3 back in March, I have been terribly cautious about venturing out again. I went back to week 3, repeating each run twice or even 3 times, and have switched my running style so that I'm now a forefoot striker (but not yet in barefoot shoes).
All this led up to today, where once again I tackled the fearsome Week 5 Run 3. Up bright and early, a light breakfast, an hour's wait, then out onto my usual route. Having done this run and more before, I knew what to expect from Laura, and also had a general idea of how I would feel. The morning was warm and humid, which meant I warmed up quickly, but was sweating buckets after the first five minutes!
The weird thing was I kept waiting for the pain to arrive. Yes, I was breathing like a wounded warthog (scaring the horses in the nearby fields), and started off as if every step was likely to be my last, but once I had been going for five minutes or so, I found I could relax and enjoy the run, rather than enduring it. I even managed to pick up the pace for the last three minutes, without any ill effects.
The moral of the story is - forefoot striking seems to be the answer for me. By using this method I reduce the shock through the knee joint, which means I haven't had a reoccurrence of the MCL injury that laid me out for two months. At present I'm still using standard running shoes, but may look at switching to more minimal ones in the future.
Forefoot striking may not work for everyone, and I'd be interested to hear how other people have got on. When making the change I started off very slowly, letting my body (especially calves) adapt to the change of style. I've noticed that my calves don't get as stiff or my feet as tired as they did first time around.
Next stop - 2 more 20 minute runs, and then maybe looking at W6R3 and beyond.