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Stage 2: The Half-Marathon Recovery

  • By Gareth Lockwood

Stage 2: The Half-Marathon Recovery

When the smoke clears, the foot rears its ugly head.  How I persevered with my training and stayed focused despite having an injury.

So.  Waking up the following day after my first half marathon I certainly had some muscle soreness (DOMS) and general stiffness, but all in all, nothing too remarkable.

That being said I was aware of a niggle on the side of my right foot.  As the day progressed, so did the discomfort. Skip ahead a day, my foot is commanding my full attention.  It’s now become uncomfortable for me to walk on and after a bit of researching I was concerned there was a small stress fracture around the cuboid area where the pain was emanating from.

Frustrated?  Yes. Totally surprised?  No! I’d run more miles than I ever had before.  Over a half marathon with no sport specific training. I definitely could have prepared better to avoid potential injury.  I let my mental determination override the intense physicality.

Well, training can’t just stop there.  I’m committed. (Or should be committed to somewhere with quilted walls).  So I used the rowing machine and cracked on with weights. I just had to manipulate certain training aspects - changing foot placement, dropping the weight, and I took to using a stationary rolling road bike… a lot!  Wherever the sun was, that’s where myself and the bike would end up. Twice per week, come rain or shine, I sat on that bike. An uncomfortable bike at that. I could’ve used a golf putter as a seat and had less discomfort.

I found the bike pretty tough at times.  The rolling road creates a lot more tension than regular bike riding, so my overall output was higher.  For my workouts I would warm up on lower gears for 5-10 minutes to get my legs and cardio system acclimated.  I’d then ride between 1-3 hours in the highest gear to replicate the slow methodical movement and drag of pulling a car.  Think being waist deep in mud. The bike was a god send, as I could gradually increase my cardio whilst resting my foot. Although my poor tooshie would say otherwise.


 

After two weeks of ice packs, elevation and taking good care of my foot I was back on track, back to running.  In hindsight I was actually grateful of the injury so early on, it was a big slap in the face from the universe.  A strong mind is useless when you’re sat on the floor icing an injury. Take good care of the physical, so that the mental can do the rest.

 

Thanks for following my progress as always!  For further reading:

 

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