If you have been reading the blog lately, you know that I have been having issues with my left ankle. Not during runs, it never bothers me during runs, but after the run and the next day it can be very sore and almost lock up. It also can make a very lovely clicking sound.
With that in mind I took a few days off after the WFPS Half Marahon on Sunday to rest it and now the plan is to try to figure out what exactly I am doing to aggravate it. Treadmill and outdoor runs both can cause the problem and I use different shoes inside versus outside as well. So it doesn’t appear to be gear.
My current guess is form and probably some of the extra weight I am carrying (which will impact my form as well).
I also probably need to spend some dedicated time strengthening the ankle. I did a bunch of stairs yesterday to do start work on that. I could definitely feel the pressure on the ankle as I did that but didn’t really have any issues afterward.
Tonight I figured I would ease my way into running on it and pay extra attention to my form as I did so to see if I could see any issues.
I started with a 5 minute walk at 4 mph, the first 2.5 minutes at 5% incline and the next 2.5 minutes at 10% incline. There were no real issues with my ankle doing that so I felt confident trying a run. (I am thinking that I might do this as a warm up for all my treadmill runs for a while – it warms up the legs and gets the blood flowing but also stretches out the ankle and should help strengthen it too.)
I did find that at a 10% incline I would hit my head on the drop ceiling in the basement.
My plan for the run was to do 5 min run / 1 min walk cycles and evaluate my ankle after each repeat. I started with 6 mph and that cycle went well so I did the next one at 6.5. That went well too so I switched to 7 mph for the next. I still felt strong after that one but did notice that I kept being tempted to hang onto the treadmill – I didn’t but the temptation kept coming up. That is something I am going to have to watch for as it could wreck my form (but I don’t have the option to hang on with the outdoor runs so it probably isn’t the root cause of my issue but I will still need to watch for it).
The next 5 minute cycle I went back down to 6 mph and after the 1 minute walk break I was at 24 minutes and I decided to push to the 30 minute mark and not walk at the 29 minute mark. I set this last 6 minutes at 7 mph and watched myself closely – no holding on!
So in the end the walk was about 0.35 miles and the 30 minute run was 3.1 miles. Not fast and not long but so far my ankle feels fine. We’ll see how it feels tomorrow but I should be able to slowly ramp up what I did tonight and rebuild without risking injury too much. I will try that for a week or 2 and re-evaluate and then if all goes well I will start to push back to where I want to be and grab some redemption next spring!