Samantha Flanders: Injury rehabilitation

Samantha Flanders

It was my worst nightmare! After years of distance running my left hamstring decided to call it quits for the second time in less than 18 months. Two of the three hamstrings tendons had once again detached themselves from the bone and the only option was surgery, take two.

For someone who has always been somewhat ‘obsessed’ with running, the realisation of not being able to train for an indefinite amount of time was unimaginable. The thought of time missed from running, interrupted routines, gradual loss of fitness, not to mention the mood swings, was too much to contemplate. I needed a positive action plan to help me stay motivated and focused throughout my recovery. Enter Rikki and Valeri (Val).

On 7 December 2013 I underwent reattachment surgery for the second time. The first 12 weeks post-surgery were probably the toughest. During this time Rikki developed an upper body weights programme for me that was both safe and effective. Over this period I noticed significant improvements in my upper body and core strength, which has improved my swimming.

12 weeks post-surgery, enter Val. Having been instrumental in Matthew Lloyd’s comeback following his hamstring injury, Val was the obvious choice in regard to the rehabilitation of mine. In just a short period of time Val was able to make an objective assessment of what needed to be done and has developed a strength and conditioning programme for me which will help my performance and also prevent future injury. After 4 weeks on Val’s programme I am already noticing improvements in both the strength and flexibility of my hamstring, and am now able to run an easy 6km.

Despite being Rikki’s sister, both Rikki and Val always remained extremely professional, enthusiastic and reliable when taking me through my programmes. They are both very passionate about what they do and are always striving to get the best out of their clients (and siblings). Their programmes and training methods are always well thought-out and never boring. By working on my weaknesses and making the necessary changes, both Rikki and Val have helped me become stronger, more aware, better prepared and most importantly helped me stay sane throughout my recovery.

Injury or no injury, there is never an excuse to stop training. With the help and guidance of Rikki and Val you may even discover something you never knew you were good at!

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