Injury Woes

Moving up to Middle distance/half Ironman races this year I had two main concerns: –

  1. Getting enough training volume in over the winter to be competitive
  2. Not getting injured

I could probably get round most events on pure effort/stubbornness (I did a 12 hour time trial a few years back off the back of a longest ride of 40 miles and covered 220 miles on the day!). However, putting in more volume seems sensible when going from a 750m swim, 20k bike and 5k run to a 1.9k/ 90k/21k. Generally, I seemed to be doing OK on that front.

Since starting triathlon I’ve become much more familiar with being injured. I’m in good company though as one or other of the Brownlee brothers almost always seems to injured too (hopefully they will be fighting fit for the Rio Olympics though!).

Unfortunately this latter issue has struck again, just as everything was falling into place for the 2016 season.

This most recent irritation started with just a few niggles in my back and right calf. Despite heeding the warning signs, resting and getting some sports therapy things progressed towards what seemed like shin-splints and then a stress fracture of the lower tibia.

An MRI scan later and thankfully there’s no fracture. Great news! However,  rest and careful rehab has still been required as the scan showed a ‘pre-fracture’ area where the tibialis posterior tendon attaches to the bone on the inside of the lower right shin.

So, I’ve had to re-think my early season plans.

Out went the Broadland half marathon, Trowse 10k and National Duathlon championships. The latter was particularly disappointing as it doubled as a selection race for the European Paratri champs and some of the other internationals. Not much I could do about it.

Instead I have been doing daily rehab work and modifying my training by increasing my swim, bike and core work to compensate for not running.

I also need to try and address the underlying problem. As far as I can tell it’s not just a case of running too much, rather that something else has changed. A recent trip to the Foot Function Centre showed that I was generating almost 3 times as much force through the right foot/leg compared to the left…They’ve given me a temporary modification to my insole (a small heel raise) and you wouldn’t believe the difference – the forces were instantly even. Amazing.

The bottom line seems to be that due to my poor sight I rotate to the left to use my stronger right eye, placing more pressure on the right lower leg. My back also got worse after walking into a metal post. which probably means I’ve not been moving as well as ‘normal’.

Sports massage sessions have been aiding the back issue, but what I’ve really found helpful is acupuncture. Pretty funny since I’m needle phobic. It’s OK, I just don’t look.

Positively, over the past couple of weeks I’ve started jogging again. This week I’ve been able to run more regularly and over longer distances,  so things are moving in the right direction again. Hurrah!!

I’m now looking forward to getting back to proper racing starting with the Waveney Tri on 8th May.


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