Jonny's thoughts on Injury
Winter Highs and Lows
Over the Christmas-New Year period I managed to get a lot of training under my belt. The upshot of this left me feeling pretty happy with my efforts which showed in my fitness and an improvement in results. I managed to get a new 3km pb (8:53) as well some very good results in a few races up Newcastle way (3rd and 1st). I found myself finishing one session and straight away looking forward to the next. Returning to Sheffield, I was looking forward to continuing improving my training building up towards my season opener. These feelings are all well and good, however they can lead you to over-train. This occurs when you ask too much of your body without giving it the required rest, which can often lead to injury and illness. This unfortunately happened to me.
After the New Years Day race I competed in, my legs became very tight which was compounded by my training over the subsequent days. This led to compensation in my running style and a pain located in my right forefoot which I initially dismissed as bruising. By the time I returned to Sheffield this pain had escalated and I could hardly walk so training had ceased. My thoughts had turned quite negative expecting a stress fracture and a long layoff. Yet a trip to the physio stated Morton’s Neuroma, which is inflammation of the nerves between the metatarsals….RELIEF! During the past two weeks I have been steadily building my training back up whilst managing the injury. That is to say it still remains to some extent. Disappointingly it resulted in me missing the British University and College Sports Cross Country race last weekend and I’m now in a bit of a rush to regain fitness before more important race later in the season.
To deal with my injury I found that Ibuprofen and age old RICE (Rest Ice Compression Elevation) technique helped a lot to bring down the inflammation. And in my case the use of a pedi-roller (available in the store) was brilliant, relieving all the tightness in my foot and decreasing the pain I experienced.
I wouldn't have been in this position however if I had listened to my body and taken a rest, yes heinsight is a wonderful thing but prevention really is the best way of not picking up these little injuries that can turn into real problems.
Here are my top 5 tips to avoid overtraining injuries (from experience).
- Avoid increasing training distance or mileage by more than 10% year on year. I use an online training log so I can check on how my training is progressing.
- If you are honestly feeling tired, take a session off, you most likely do need the rest.
- To avoid muscle injuries a maintained level of flexibility is required, and so I have built in a program of stretching in to my training which I stick to
- If you have a niggle which is refusing to disappear, even when resting, go see someone as continuing to run on it may and probably will cause more damage.
- Select an appropriate plan which allows time to recover in between goal