Running is such a funny sport, one minute you can be flying and running really well, the next you can be struck down with an injury. After a solid 2014/2015 track season I was looking forward to getting into the winter grind of training. Unfortunately for me I was running over winter, but most of it was in the pool.
In early June this year I was struck down with an Achilles injury. Fortunately for me it wasn’t a bad one. The diagnosis was that I had inflamed the Achilles tendon sheath, but because I caught it early I was informed it would settle down quickly with the right treatment, however it took a lot longer than expected. At first glance we thought it would settle within 1-2 weeks but it actually took 8 weeks to completely settle down. The frustrating thing for me was that I had no symptoms of this injury coming on. My body was completely fine and I had no niggles at all. I remember completing my session on the Monday night and feeling completely fine, I then woke up Tuesday morning to go for my recovery run and experienced sharp shooting pains into my Achilles. I couldn’t believe it. How can you be completely fine one day and the next day you can barely run.
The first two weeks of the injury I kept trying to run. I was still running 6 days a week but for only 20-30 mins, Still no improvement. The 2nd week I decided to run every 2nd day for 20-30mins. There was a slight improvement but the pain was still there so I had no alternative but to stop and rest.
The only other available alternative to running for me was pool running which consumed most of June and July. I HATE pool running but it had to be done. If I wanted to keep my base fitness and make my return to running slightly easier then I knew I had to do it. I think the reason I don’t like pool running is I think about how frustrating it is to be stuck inside the pool while everyone else is out running. Pool running made me feel like I wasn’t gaining anything but in hindsight I was because I was maintaining my base fitness. I tend to get quite down and angry when Im injured (just ask my girlfriend), which is probably the same for most athletes but keeping a training routine all be it being in the pool kept me sane. Luckily for me a few of my training partners were also injured so we helped each other out and did pool sessions together.
August came around and I got the all clear to start running again. It was important to stay patient whilst building up my mileage. It took about 3 months to build up to avoid further injury. I’ve been back running now since August and back in full training since October. I made sure I kept up my gym work but put a bit more emphasis on doing calf raises to make sure I am stronger so this injury doesn’t re occur.
Looking to this summer I’m not sure what my schedule will look like. I will probably start off with a couple of low key meets and then after Christmas I’ll look to mix it with the big boys again on the AA tour. My coach and I are currently very focused on training and haven’t even discussed any races yet. With the amount of talent around in the middle distance ranks at the moment this season is going to be very exciting for all involved!