Coming Back from Injury

By Kimberly Mitchell

Back in January, I hit the ground running. I had a new coach starting on New Year’s Day. I had access to a treadmill whenever I needed and my bike was nicely set up along with my parabolic rollers. The first week went great. By March, cabin fever had set in. With the days getting longer, I decided to do my longest 2019 run. At just over 10 km, it felt great. I followed this run up with an extended training session at my local tri club. I rode my longest indoor ride – 2 hours!  When I awoke the next morning, I was sore. My right calf hurt so much I could barely walk. As the day went on my leg felt worse. I faced the fact I had an overuse injury.

I knew that pushing through the pain would not make it better. I decided to take a few days rest with ice and ointment. It didn’t help. My mood went downhill. A car accident the next week was a wake-up call. I had been pushing very hard. Harder than my body was ready to handle. I took a whole week of rest and made appointments for chiropractic care, physiotherapy and massage.

As I reflect on the last few weeks, there are a few things I’ve learned to do better.

  1. Be more specific in my training feedback for my coach. It’s nice to say ‘this workout was not my best’, but I now know that my coach needs to know how I’m handling the volume and intensity.
  2. Nutrition is a very important part of training. My body sometimes seems very efficient at burning through my carb stores. I am learning to fuel enough to keep me at my best.
  3. I wasn’t doing much post-workout – not much stretching and rarely any rolling. Now I make sure to do both.

I’m thankful to be back to training. Now the trick is to make habits out of my improvements in order to avoid future injuries.