What you need to know about adaptation

Title: Understanding Proximal Hamstring Tendinopathy: The Importance of Adaptation


Proximal hamstring tendinopathy (PHT) can be a challenging condition, whether you’re an athlete or not. In this podcast episode transcript turned blog article, we will delve into the critical concept of adaptation and how it applies to managing PHT. Understanding adaptation is a key step in overcoming this condition, and we’ll explore its relevance in your journey to recovery.

Chapter 1: Meet Injury-Prone Pete

In this chapter, we meet “Injury-Prone Pete,” a once-active individual whose sedentary lifestyle led to weight gain and health concerns. He decided to take up running for fitness but faced initial struggles. Pete’s journey reflects the importance of adaptation, as he gradually built his running capacity and adapted to the new stress placed on his body.

Chapter 2: Why Adaptation Matters

Adaptation is essential for preventing injuries like PHT. When we subject our bodies to specific loads under the right conditions, they adapt and become more resilient, reducing the risk of injury. On the contrary, injuries occur when we push our bodies too hard, too quickly, without allowing sufficient time for adaptation. This principle applies not just to running but to various physical activities.

Chapter 3: The Adaptation Zone

In the journey of adaptation, there’s a critical zone to consider. To illustrate, think of a graph with the Y-axis representing the daily load your body experiences. When you engage in activities like housework, the load is minimal and insufficient for adaptation. However, when you run, you cross the threshold required for adaptation. Going beyond the maximum line can lead to overuse injuries. Pacing and allowing adaptation are essential.

Chapter 4: The Iceberg Analogy

The “Iceberg Analogy” offers a powerful visualization of your body’s capacity and resilience. Imagine your body as an iceberg, where the larger the iceberg (your buffer), the better. A bigger iceberg signifies more resilience and a lower risk of injury. To build this metaphorical iceberg, you need the right conditions and gradual progression without causing damage.

Chapter 5: Adapting to Specific Body Parts

Adaptation isn’t uniform across your body. Different body parts have different adaptation zones. For example, your Achilles might adapt more quickly than your knees if you have a history of activities that strengthen your Achilles. Understanding these variations can help you tailor your rehabilitation strategies.

Chapter 6: Applying the Adaptation Sweet Spot

To effectively manage PHT, it’s crucial to find your “adaptation sweet spot.” This sweet spot varies from person to person and can even change daily depending on the condition of your tendon. By working within this sweet spot, you ensure that your body adapts without pushing it beyond its limits.


Understanding adaptation is a foundational principle in managing PHT. It helps you identify the causes of your condition and provides insight into your rehabilitation process. By working within your adaptation sweet spot, you can gradually build resilience, reduce the risk of injury, and take control of your rehabilitation.

This blog article summarizes the key points from the podcast episode, offering insights into how adaptation plays a crucial role in overcoming proximal hamstring tendinopathy. Remember, knowledge is power, and by understanding adaptation, you can take meaningful steps towards a pain-free future. If you want to explore more on this topic, you can also check out the Run Smarter podcast.