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Quick question for runners

Old 08-19-16, 04:13 PM
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Quick question for runners

Situation: I'm running in a 5K, HR department-encouraged type thing, which meanss completely non-competitive, just jog. I started some training last week, made some slight improvements but still way off from where I wanted to be aerobically and conditioning the legs. I hadn't run previously since a year ago so I'm out of running shape, 57 years old, and have had to walk at some point during the 3 miles.

The problem is, I suffered a slight ankle sprain while jogging this week, and found out today that the run is sooner than I expected - end of next week. I really need at least another couple of workouts. Judging from the feeling today (manageable) I think I could wrap it and get a run in this weekend and Mon or Tues. It wasn't twisted or landed wrong - I think it was just weakness in the tendon that flared up with the shock of repetitive landings. What would you do, brace it up and maybe taking a chance with the workouts? Switch to a treadmill? Substitute another workout? Or stay off it until the run and go with what you've got?
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Old 08-19-16, 04:19 PM
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A single week isn't going to really put much of a dent in your running fitness. I think it's better to keep the impact load pretty light and give you ankle proper time to heal. Get some walks in. When you're confident in your ankle, go for a jog. Personally, I think you should make the 5K a run-walk. Take consistent walk breaks during event. Have fun with it and stay injury-free. Also, I'm just some rando on the internet. If you have serious concerns talk to your doctor.
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Old 08-19-16, 06:44 PM
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Originally Posted by birru
A single week isn't going to really put much of a dent in your running fitness. I think it's better to keep the impact load pretty light and give you ankle proper time to heal. Get some walks in. When you're confident in your ankle, go for a jog. Personally, I think you should make the 5K a run-walk. Take consistent walk breaks during event. Have fun with it and stay injury-free. Also, I'm just some rando on the internet. If you have serious concerns talk to your doctor.
Not looking for medical opinions, just training, so doctors won't be necessary. I'll probably feel confident in it by Sunday then, giving me perhaps enough time for several more workouts.
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Old 08-19-16, 07:30 PM
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I wouldn't run at all. Not at all. Walk, sure. Even walk fast, but nothing, absolutely nothing that causes the injury to hurt. No ibuprofen or aspirin to kill pain, either. You could try to see if you could speed walk without it hurting and do that on the 5k. If you want, you could try wrapping it for the 5k, but I wouldn't do that otherwise.

You've probably injured some connective tissue somewhere. Starting running, one should run 100, walk 100 maybe for a couple of weeks. Then gradually decrease the walk, increase the run. It's so easy to hurt yourself running when you haven't been strengthening that tissue for years. Muscle gets stronger much faster, which only makes it worse.

Another thing you could try is Nordic walking, which is done with a long smooth stride with a bit of a kick at the end of the stride. Youtube "nordic walking". Poles are helpful but not necessary to walk Nordic. No impact is the idea.
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Old 08-20-16, 12:56 PM
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@Carbonfiberboy no painkillers for me - I need to feel what's going on.

I took your advice with a 3-mile walk today, slow 55 minutes but after loosening up but it feels like recovering faster than I expected. Jogging a couple of hundred yards didn't feel good but didn't get any worse either. Maybe treadmill tomorrow
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Old 08-20-16, 01:23 PM
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My rule of thumb is to run. If as am running it continues to hurt, stop. If when you run it subsides, continue running. Good luck and don't forget to have fun.
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Old 08-20-16, 04:40 PM
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Originally Posted by texaspandj
My rule of thumb is to run. If as am running it continues to hurt, stop. If when you run it subsides, continue running. Good luck and don't forget to have fun.
Kind of what I was thinking: if it doesn't feel worse, maybe you're not making it worse.

I'm still working up to the condition where it's "having fun" though. I had twinges and pains in the first half mile of the first run, starting at the feet and working their way up to the hips. They lined out within a mile, although this sprain happened without warning several runs later. But if you just stop at the first flash of pain you might as well not start. It boils down to what is the risk of further injury IMO.

I did get to do some running today, more like a slow jog https://www.strava.com/activities/684252481 with walking when the ankle began to protest. Obviously I need the conditioning work, but also a day or two rest before the "run" doesn't give me much opportunity.

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Old 08-21-16, 08:48 PM
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Many years ago I was training for a marathon and I injured my calf. Running on it was out of the question while it recovered. I did most of my training on the Elliptical Trainer since it resembled the running motion more than any other aerobic machine I could find without the impact. It healed in time to get a few runs in before the race and was able to survive the marathon. Not my best by any means but a sub 4 hour nonetheless.
You could give it a try if you still have time. It will get your heart rate up and you will still be recovering while your working on your aerobic conditioning.
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Old 08-22-16, 06:54 AM
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Can't argue with success so elliptical it is for a couple of days, and then a couple of days off the legs for everything to hopefully recover a little. If anyone else 50+ is tempted to try 0 to 5K run, take it from me that 10 days is not optimal. I thought I had another couple of weeks though.
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Old 08-22-16, 09:26 AM
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Originally Posted by wphamilton
Can't argue with success so elliptical it is for a couple of days, and then a couple of days off the legs for everything to hopefully recover a little. If anyone else 50+ is tempted to try 0 to 5K run, take it from me that 10 days is not optimal. I thought I had another couple of weeks though.
If I were going to do a 5k run, I wouldn't train for it at all. I run once a year, a 4+ mile trail run on an island we visit. No problem. It's always a fun experience. I've had a couple days off all training before it and I can go pretty hard. I used to run almost every day, 50 years ago.
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Old 08-22-16, 09:44 AM
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Originally Posted by Carbonfiberboy
If I were going to do a 5k run, I wouldn't train for it at all. I run once a year, a 4+ mile trail run on an island we visit. No problem. It's always a fun experience. I've had a couple days off all training before it and I can go pretty hard. I used to run almost every day, 50 years ago.
Ten years ago I'd do that, and had a 26 minutes time which I was actually happy about. But let it go too long and it simply isn't possible. 40 years ago I ran track, and nothing since then except once every few years. I'm starting basically from scratch (what I mean by 0 to 5K) except for generally good cardiovascular. Appalling weakness in some areas. My goals are very modest on this one, but even so I'm not one to fail a goal by lack of effort. Longer term I want to be in running shape enough to make a regular habit of moderate workouts.

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Old 08-22-16, 01:55 PM
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Originally Posted by wphamilton
Ten years ago I'd do that, and had a 26 minutes time which I was actually happy about. But let it go too long and it simply isn't possible. 40 years ago I ran track, and nothing since then except once every few years. I'm starting basically from scratch (what I mean by 0 to 5K) except for generally good cardiovascular. Appalling weakness in some areas. My goals are very modest on this one, but even so I'm not one to fail a goal by lack of effort. Longer term I want to be in running shape enough to make a regular habit of moderate workouts.
I am a regular runner, just got home from running intervals on asphalt..I'm in my sixties & a big guy. If I was nursing an injury or pre-injury and still wanted to maintain run fitness I'd do trail/dirt/grass running (or treadmill). Running trails is fairly low impact unless you are bombing, and the varied surface engages more stabilizing muscles. Just take is slow, nothing wrong with a 4-5 mph jogging pace, it will help you with base line fitness. Stay away from hills.
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Old 08-25-16, 06:55 PM
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Originally Posted by TCR Rider
Many years ago I was training for a marathon and I injured my calf. Running on it was out of the question while it recovered. I did most of my training on the Elliptical Trainer
I did the run today, and while not meeting my original goals I never did get winded, thanks I think to a couple of hours on the elliptical per your suggestion. I was OK for a couple of miles, but several downhill grades were jarring and the ankle acted up.

But now I can let it heal up for a bit with just non-impact exercises.
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Old 08-25-16, 08:16 PM
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Originally Posted by wphamilton
I did the run today, and while not meeting my original goals I never did get winded, thanks I think to a couple of hours on the elliptical per your suggestion. I was OK for a couple of miles, but several downhill grades were jarring and the ankle acted up.

But now I can let it heal up for a bit with just non-impact exercises.
Glad to hear you finished and lived to tell the tale.
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Old 08-26-16, 11:31 AM
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I would definitely brace it with a neoprene ankle sleeve to start with. I would take a run/walk approach in your training and for the actual event. Try to avoid running or walking on concrete, and even asphalt if you can. A level dirt trail would be best. If you're going to go on grass make sure the grass is short and the ground is decently level without a lot of holes or ruts as a weakened ankle can roll easily. Any swelling? If so, ice it. Good luck.
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Old 08-27-16, 10:01 AM
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Originally Posted by CrankyNeck
I would definitely brace it with a neoprene ankle sleeve to start with. I would take a run/walk approach in your training and for the actual event. Try to avoid running or walking on concrete, and even asphalt if you can. A level dirt trail would be best. If you're going to go on grass make sure the grass is short and the ground is decently level without a lot of holes or ruts as a weakened ankle can roll easily. Any swelling? If so, ice it. Good luck.
Now you tell me

Although @Carbonfiberboy said something similar, and to be honest I'd have run about 8 minutes faster if I hadn't trained at all. Even so I believe that I've gained something for when I hit it again, after these ankles get back to normal.
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Old 10-23-16, 03:09 PM
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Just to update this with a final resolution, since then I rehabbed on the treadmill, and then gradually increased time and pace on the treadmill until I could do it for 30 minutes without pain, and without lingering pain afterwards. Finally today I ran outside https://www.strava.com/activities/753975413 without any particular difficulty. I know that's slow but I was just glad to run it and 9:16 pace is faster than I targeted, so at least I now have something to build on. Thanks to all respondents.
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Old 10-25-16, 01:58 PM
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Glad things were going well. I'm much more of a runner than a cyclist myself. One thing I hear is that the effects of training take about 2 weeks happen, meaning anything you do within 2 weeks of a race is of little benefit, and part of why folks often taper for a couple weeks before a big event. Overdoing things right off the bat seems to be a very common thing in runners, so just ease into it slowly. Don't worry at all about a 9:xx pace, heck half of my runs are 9+ even though I can do 5ks in 18 minute range. I tried to adhere to the 10% rule when I was starting over running, not exceeding my previous weekly mileage by more than 10% each week. And I rarely did 2 days in a row the first year, stuck with every other day for the extra recovery. Other advice I like to give is to keep your cadence up enough so your stride is short enough your landing roughly under the center of gravity and not sticking your leg way out and whacking your heels into the ground.
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