Hopefully this will be the last time i talk about this ankle injury because I’m ready to move on and start looking forward! For the first few weeks of wearing a compression sock and limping my way around the gym, I had many peeps ask me what I did wrong—and i had no real answer. That outside-the-ankle-pain and overall tightness just hit me hard one morning during the marathon taper. It never came through during training, it wasn’t something I was hiding from my coach or myself. I’ve spent long nights looking over my training log and trying to figure out what the heck i did… and I think I’m finally realizing it wasn’t one thing, it was several that and I should have known better. But hey, injuries are for learning if anything else right??
Here’s how it went down.
I increased mileage, speed, and didn’t increase recovery time. Specifically (or pacifically if you want to be punched) I should have taken extra time off immediately after the USA 1/2 in March. I didn’t have a giant PR and I wasn’t terribly sore after, but I should have taken off a solid 5-7 days. I think i took 3. A race is a race, and it is still physically and mentally demanding even though i felt fine.
The 18 miler. Remember the one i did on the dirt towpath? It was the exact path the marathon was going to be held on. Here’s where I’m an idiot. I don’t run on dirt.. ever. I run on asphalt bike paths. I don’t know why I thought my first time on dirt trails should be my most important, LONGEST run of my entire training plan. I should have done shorter trials first to get my legs accustomed to the terrain. I blame the crazy spring weather on not letting me get out on the dirt often enough and my own lack of common sense.
The New Balance Minimus shoes. I accidentally did 2 training runs in these, because i forgot my normal running shoes. Again–here i go running without common sense–Everyone knows you can’t drop from a 4mm shoe to frickin’ ZERO without easing into it right? Not this Einstein here. Not only did i run in these, i did track work in them. Speed work, in zero drop shoes the first time I ran in them.
This run (in the New Balance’s) was the first time i noticed ankle pain during push off (April 13th). I assumed it was just an “off” day, but little did i know that zero drop could have been the factor that strained my soleus in the first place.
Don’t get all up in arms–I’m not knocking zero drop shoes, it’s just common knowledge that you just don’t change to barefoot shoes in the middle of training. Again, bad decision making on my end. (for the record though, those are my FAVORITE shoes for lifting and walking in all day. I have never had any foot pain, arch pain or leg pain in those.)
The final thing looking back, and I’ve mentioned this a few times, is the warm up and recovery part of running. If I want to run more and run faster I need to warm up longer and recover better. End of story. I can’t skip this stuff anymore. Easy, long or hill work, i need to warm up my muscles and ankles. Afterward I need to consume a post-workout snack, ice my legs, compress and foam roll. It sounds like a lot of work, but if it means I can get back to racing, i’ll do it!
Tuesday: 3m easy, 20 min chest/biceps
Wednesday: 20 min back, pushups +major leg stretching
Thursday: 3.5m easy, 10 min abs
Friday: 30 min triceps/shoulders, 15 min quads
Sunday: 4.4m easy
Total Miles: 13.1 <—i did not do that on purpose, but i’m taking it as a good sign!
Do you guys go over training plans when injured?