Running

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  • Hackney Half postponed, of course. Sigh.

  • Watson Farrell tonight if we’re still allowed out.

    Not really feeling this one at all.

  • Soooooo... I fell in a hole while running on the towpath back at the beginning of Feb (I shouldn't have been running anyway as I had a suspected stress fracture at the time so it serves me right) and sprained my ankle. I ignored it for a few days and only admitted that I'd hurt it when it swelled up to the point that other people commented on it. It's not really got much better, it's gone down a lot but it's still visibly swollen. Hurts quite a bit. I do the whole RICE thing (working from makes this easy) but I'd like to do some exercises to strengthen it as this is the 3rd (4th? can't remember) time I've sprained this ankle. Physio is awkward in the special times we're living through, so I thought I'd ask the internet. Any advice?

  • I've came across this a while back and found it useful for a modeate sprain (though it was very moderate). If your ankle is still visibly swollen after 2 months could you have torn something?

  • this is the 3rd (4th? can't remember) time I've sprained this ankle

    I have a vague memory that ankle proprioception drops off a cliff once you sprain it, making it far more likely that you'll sprain it again. Maybe it's worth proprioception exercises.

  • Oh cool thanks - don't suppose you have a copy of it (paywall)? I don't know if it's torn, when I did it a few years ago I heard it snap and had really pronounced bruising (also it REALLY hurt) so this definitely feels less serious. Just annoying that it's dragging on.

  • Yes, I read that too, once you do it the first time it's much easier to do it again and again and again. Running is so dumb. Got any proprioception exercises you could recommend?

  • I eat lots of ice cream and cake.

  • There’s a lady who takes you through ankle work on YouTube.

    She seems sweet and nice.

    She’s the devil. Really works though I’ll find it it’s all band work.

  • Not a doctor or a physio but here's what happened to me last year.

    I had a quite severe sprain (and avulsion fracture of the medial malleolus - basically the ligament on the inside of the ankle was stretched and rather than snapping/tearing itself it pulled away a small chunk of bone).

    I did it playing 5-a-side football (no-one near me, no-one kicked me, just tried to change direction quickly and it went ping). Foot seemed to slip forward and I heard a click. It hurt a bit and I was limping for 5 minutes afterwards so I took my turn in goal. 5 minutes later it felt ok so continued to play another 40 minutes on it eventually returning to normal and running on it and shooting hard. Adrenaline is great but it wears off, on the way to the pub after a shower I was limping a bit, after 4 hours in the pub I was limping much more and faced with a mile and a bit walk home (with a train in the middle) I opted for an Uber.

    Next morning I couldn't put any weight on it at all, my wife dropped me at nearby minor injuries at QMH and I was seen, x-rayed and given crutches and referrals to the fracture clinic and physiotherapy all within 45 minutes. Classic sprained ankle bruise lines along the side of the foot and very swollen.

    Needed crutches for 2 days as I really couldn't put weight on it but after those two days I was able to get by without them but with a limp.

    Got a physio appointment a couple of weeks later and I was given a bunch of exercises to strengthen the ankle:-

    • Calf raises (both ankles, with support of a chair available if required) with a pencil on the floor half way under the arch and the idea is to put the foot down without rolling inwards by avoiding touching the pen
    • Sit in a chair, feet shoulder width apart, green physio band around the top half of the dodgy foot and, holding on to the other end, pull it round the opposite knee. Then flex the ankle outwards making sure not to twist the leg, only the ankle.
    • One legged dips, chair for support, stand on one leg, bend knee to dip down (keeping back vertical)
    • Stand on one leg on a bosu ball (bought a cheap one from eBay) and balance
      Build up to 30 (or 30s) of each, 3 or 4 times a week, starting off gently (really couldn't do more than a few of each at first before fatigue).

    Icing for 15 minutes at a time (ice in a plastic bag and then wrapped inside a tea-towel and tied around my ankle. Raised up. Keep doing this once or twice a day for weeks and weeks. Avoid getting the ankle too warm (I like a nice hot bath but kept my foot out as much as I could).

    Next phyiso appt (2 weeks later) was re-assessed and hadn't progressed enough so continued on that regime. I couldn't do enough of all of those exercises without discomfort or fatigue.

    Phyiso appt 2 weeks after that and I could. This time I had the following exercises added:-

    • Lunges onto a bosu ball (knee level with toes at end of lunge)
    • Squats (both legs) on a bosu ball (standing on the domed side, nearby chair for support if required)
    • The "star" - stand on the bad ankle and touch the toes of the other foot as far away as possible in the 4 compass points, i.e. far in-front of you, far to one side, far back and then as far as possible to the side of the dodgy ankle (good ankle passing behind bad ankle)

    At first I was very wobbly on these as I didn't have much side-to-side support from the muscles/ligaments in the ankle. Again build to 30/30s.

    Fracture clinic consultant wasn't interested in me. Physio was going well and a boot would have only been a pain in the arse.

    Another two appointments (4 weeks) and I got the final set of exercises (on top of everything so far):-

    • Single leg squats on a bosu ball (standing on the domed side, nearby chair for support if required) - don't forget to do the other side
    • Bouncing on the ball of the foot (start with both feet) - build to 30s again
    • Once you can bounce on the ball of the feet for 30s (both feet) then do it on a single foot (this is the one which was uncomfortable quickly)
    • Extend the "star" to 8 compass points (i.e. including NE,SE,SW,NW).

    The bosu ball really helped and the "star" was the key exercise according to my physio. That and actually doing the physio rather than staring at the list of exercises and not doing them. Also do the balance/squat/dip exercises (even the others) on the good ankle too, helps you understand how it should feel and give you an idea of where your fatigue level is.

    After all of that I was told to do Couch to 5K from the beginning. Not for fitness (I'd been continuing to swim and cycle) but to progressively build up the load on the ankle as it wasn't used to the pounding action of running nor the side-to-side stresses of small adjustments when running. Injury was 1st August, C25KW1D1 was 9th December and I was doing a gentle 5K (39 minute parkrun with my 10yo daughter) by 18th January.

    (Also was cycling gently a few weeks after and doing a spin class a month after the injury but this could have been even easier, I just waited for the first physio appt to give the ok. Was back swimming from just 4 days after doing it although I mostly use a pull buoy now as I'm lazy.)

    P.S. Good luck and GWS.

  • The video I described is mostly this.

    This is absolutely amazing breakdown and advice.

  • Looks like @Greenbank has it covered, but one exercise I like to do on a regular basis that may help with ankle strength is "Runner Touch". (I think it's also useful for exercising the IT band, judging by the burn.)

    I managed to twist my right ankle a few times and it definitely weakens, but I think it recovers well in the long term as I've not had any incidents for quite a while now.

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=5-SoCqdR­1x8

  • oh sorry - i loaded it up before i linked you and i could access all of it... possibly try with incognito mode. i def dont have an account! it's mostly exercises like drawing alphabet with foot, heel resting on floor, resistance band flexing etc. nothing particuarly special.

  • Has anyone been running in Richmond Park recently? I'm going to have do decamp to my dad's for a couple days (he's out of town in isolation), thought whilst I was local I'd run there with the dog. What's the vibe?

  • Silver linings - In March I have clocked up the most distance over the month since I was marathon training three years ago.. got my 5km PB.. just ordered some nice new shoes with the money I cannot spend in pubs.. Enjoying daytime runs with each of my teenage sons cruising around the near-deserted streets (and taking wildly-circuitous routes to avoid the elderly and infirm).

  • Yeah March was a good month for me too.

    Anyone got any decent routines for some speed work maybe like an hour or so of effort?

  • OMG this is phenomenal! Thank you so much. I'm going to write it all up and put it on my fridge to force myself to do it. #rep

  • Too cold for ice cream for me yet... oreos however...

  • Cool, I'll try with a different internet set up (all manner of internet woes here). Thank you!

  • That's awesome.

  • That's the end of the Barkley then.

  • That's the end of the Barkley then.

    Not today.

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Running

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