The obstinate reality: part 2
A trend seems to arrise: shortly after I share my training plans, I get injured. Just when I’ve regained trust in my right calf (and hip), my left foot lets me down. After spending the weekend browsing for information I am pretty sure about the diagnosis: peroneal tendinopathy. For those who like detailed information: click here. For the others: it’s an injury in a tendon running along the outside of the heel that contributes to stabilizing the foot. I can identify at least three factors that put me at risk for an overuse injury to the peroneus tendons:
- I have a relatively high foot arch. As a result the peroneus muscles and tendons have to work harder to stabilize the foot.
- Nine years ago I broke my left ankle while bouldering. I strained the surrounding ligaments and tendons and the stability of the ankle joint is still slightly affected.
- Tightness in the calf muscles requires the peroneus muscles to compensate and work harder.
Trailrunning puts a higher demand on the ankles than road running does. And while training on the roads, I (consciously) alternate between stable and less stable shoes. So one thing is clear: I’m asking a lot from my ankles. After a long, fast training on a relatively unstable shoe (in this case the Nike Zoom Fly 3) my left peroneal tendon started nagging a bit. A short, light trailrun delivered the final blow.
And now? Recovery. And it may take a while. I hope to see the podotherapist this week. Until then I’ll follow my own plan. And that starts with stabilization for rest, regular cooling and applying compression. It’s important to realize that the goal is more than getting pain-free. I want to return to running stronger with a diminished risk of getting the same injury again, without losing more fitness than is necessary in the meantime. That’s why I start with simple balance exercises for my ankle and a light strength exercise for the peroneus muscles straight away. I can continue doing my strength and recovery routine for the core, hips and legs. And to maintain my cardiovascular fitness I can get on my bike.
Running will have to wait a little while. Right now I can’t even walk without pain. But there will be a moment that running becomes possible again for a short duration, at a low intensity and frequency. And when I have arrived there, I can gradually increase those guided by (the absence of) the pain I feel. I may take a while. The road to success is paved with failures. Setbacks are a given. To learn from them and get the best of out it, is a choice for me to make!