Okay, so this week has basically been a write-off. I find it somewhat ironic that having reported on a well-executed first three months of training I now find myself with a (hopefully small) injury. A very sore (but thankfully not torn) Achilles heel in my right foot.
It ties back to, I believe, choosing the wrong pair of shoes for my last long run. After some heavy rain I chose trail shoes a week ago to do a 25km run, and while they were helpful for crossing fields, the majority of the run was on roads and the shoes just did not have the cushioning I needed. Coupled with the fact that on a social run I’m not disciplined enough to warm up my legs properly at the start. All-in-all an entirely avoidable scenario!
I now find myself unable to train effectively while two weeks away from my first race in, oooooh, eight months. Not ideal.
I tried self-recovery for a few days (this link had good advice which was directionally the same as the physio’s advice later) but then tried to run 8km with a 5kg backpack and was forced to “DNF” and walk in the rain back to the train station.
I sought some advice yesterday and had a very painful calf massage and have spent today doing, well, nothing. Just trying to rest it for another 24 hours.
I sneaked in an upper body strength session yesterday but there seems little point in hammering that again today, so I’ll take the mature decision to rest and hopefully get out on my bike tomorrow. I’d like to say I’ve also been mature in adjusting my diet this week, but perhaps predictably I’ve been eating the same as I normally would (while training reasonably hard for an hour each day) out of comfort and boredom.
So what’s my recovery plan? Well aside from a brief rest from running the advice from the physio was to massage on and around the Achilles to stimulate the alignment of collagen which helps to repair any micro-tears and to ice it (to promote blood flow).
I’m also finding that my Oofos flip flops are coming into their own! I’m finding I have to hobble around the house in bare feet, but the cushioning on these lets me walk pretty much normally. I’ve had them a few years now and they do offer your feet some relief after hard running sessions.
So I think the answer to the question in the title of the blog is:
- Let your body rest (in my mind that’s active recovery so gentle stretching, gentle massage and ice-packs)
- Seek advice
- Don’t beat yourself up
- Cut back on your food intake
- Prepare to resume training slowly
I’ve done pretty well at 1 to 3, less well on 4, and we’ll see how I get on with 5 next week!