As you may have gathered, Mr D and I are training for a half marathon at the moment. Or at least we were! If you follow me on Twitter (@rehab4runners) then you may have seen me tweet about an injury which has reared its ugly head and put a halt on our training.
I started to feel a bit of a niggle on my inner ankle a few weeks back, just at the start of a run and being a typical runner I ignored it (what’s that saying about taking your own advice?!). It didn’t really get any worse so I did a bit of calf stretching and pretty much ignored it.
We did an 8-mile run on the Saturday the weekend before Easter and it went really well. My speed was improving and hills were less of a daunting prospect! We then did a fast 6 miles on the Monday and I think after that was when it started to get worse. Probably at least in part because of the two relatively long runs with only one days rest. I could now feel it after the run and it was tight the next morning coming down the stairs.
We were then off on a short holiday and took our trainers with us so we could do our interval session in our hotel gym. But after a day’s sightseeing involving lots of walking, steps and hills (Dubrovnik, hey!), a couple of minutes on the treadmill was enough for me to decide to pack it in and rest it. If only I had! More walking followed – in less than ideal footwear – and it was really quite sore for the next couple of days.
When we got home we were due to do another 8 miles the next morning. I tried a quick 5 minutes round the block and decided it was no good, this needed some proper treatment. And I haven’t run since!
The condition I have diagnosed myself with is Tibialis Posterior Tendonitis (more accurately known as a tendinopathy). You can read more about it by following the link here.
So, having learned my lesson, I have thrown myself into treating the injury and addressing any biomechanical and muscle imbalance issues. Initially I taped the foot into a slightly inverted position to unload the tendon and let it rest. I have also used self massage and ultrasound therapy to help the tendon heal as quick as possible. I’ve worn the most sensible and boring shoes I can find and not run, jumped or even walked very much – much to my personal trainers dismay!
Strengthening the tendon in an eccentric manner with a rehab band, as well as doing single leg heel drops and eccentric eversion exercises on a step are really important and I am building these on a daily basis. Tomorrow I’m off to a local running shop for a gait analysis to check how much that foot is pronating and if I need more support whilst running.
The tendon is now feeling much better. No pain at all on a daily basis or when performing exercises and it is barely even sore to touch now. Depending on the results of the gait analysis I am hoping to get back to running at the weekend. A couple of short tester runs first and then a build back up to the level we were at. Hopefully. If all goes well we should still be able to make the half marathon we are booked in for on the 1st June. If not, then – I don’t think we will 😦