Four weeks out from the Virgin Money London Marathon, LDN Brunch Club founder Stephen Adjaidoo discusses his recent ankle injury and getting back into training.
I’ve recently had some time off running due to injury (a bad ankle sprain from tripping on uneven ground) and as training distances start to increase, it’s been challenging to find a balance between allowing my body to recover from injury whilst also trying to continue training for the marathon. For me, this meant more time in the gym doing strength and conditioning exercises, as well as miles on the cross trainer and laps in the pool to maintain a similar level of cardio activity. Once I was able to bear weight on my ankle, I started some ligament strengthening and unilateral exercises to try and help build strength and maintain stability. As I’ve ventured back out to running on the road, I’ve also used KT tape to help provide some support.
Like me, a lot of people often find this is the time in the marathon training journey when injuries are most likely to occur. It can be hard to figure out what might be a genuine injury and what might be a niggle that won’t necessarily cause any disruption to training. In most cases, a physiotherapist or similar professional should be able to help diagnose the root cause of any injury and, most importantly, help give advice on how to stop the same issue reoccurring.
With most people now probably on the road for over 30-40 miles and around four hours a week, many will be running and training with some level of tiredness or fatigue. It’s likely this might lead to some loss or change of running form (the way you run), which can in turn cause stress and strain on different parts of the body.
As a result, you might start to feel aching, pain or discomfort during training. This can be felt in a number of places, but common injuries can include:
ITBS(IT Band Syndrome) – an overuse injury which can cause pain down the outside of the thigh to the knee
Runners Knee – a sudden or dull pain in the knee most often caused by poor running form and/or a lack of conditioning.
It’s also common for runners to get tight hips, shin splints and blisters.
I’d always recommend making sure a training plan allows for a good amount of strength and conditioning work including: squats, deadlifts, core work, isometric exercises and some single sided (unilateral) exercises. I personally also try to regularly attend yoga classes and, if feeling the stress or strain of training, sometimes switch out a run in the training plan to hit the pool and swim for the same amount of time.
Lastly, it’s often overlooked but also really important to remember to fuel your training with plenty of good food and make sure you get enough rest. For more information, check out this blog post I wrote recently on nutrition before, during, and after runs.