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Ran my first half marathon a week ago and achieved all my goals. Finished, and ran the time I wanted. Next day, sprained my ankle pretty good. Initial pain was pretty bad, but I could put weight on it initially with a slight limp. Plenty of RICE and I feel like I'm walking without the limp, and there is still a bit of residual pain every now and then.
Now I'm going on Day 8 of rest (after running nearly every day for the 8 weeks leading up to the half). I decided that I would try and still continue going to Spin classes, and my ankle feels 100% normal during class.
Here's my concern/question. What kind of loss am I looking at when I can resume running? 50%? More? I know that nothing can help you be a better runner than running, but the spinning has to help, right?......right?
Any suggestions for recovery? Comments on the loss I'm looking at?
Thanks in advance.
8 days with good cardio is just a good rest for your legs and better for your ankle. 2 weeks or more will probably be noticeable in your calf muscles, which aren't getting much of a workout on the bike. Assuming your ankle is healing well, a week or two of calf raises and wobble board might be a good rehab before you start pushing it again.
My rule of thumb is 2 weeks off = 4 weeks back. The quality cardio should cut this down. Since you just completed a target event any loss now is just the base phase of a new training cycle.
I highly recommend, in addition to giving the ankle time to recover from the acute injury, that you put effort into strengthening it. I read someplace (not sure if it's reliable) that the single largest risk factor for spraining your ankle is having PREVIOUSLY sprained your ankle. I think it's incredible how easy it is to sprain it again when it's weak following a sprain. My PT said the nerves can get messed up, your brain tends to not trust it, your gait changes, etc.
One of the simple things to strengthen it and also work the nerves is balancing on one foot. I could only do about 30 seconds to start before it tuckered out. I built that up to about 2 minutes. Then try closing your eyes. This really helps the nerves, the ability of the ankle and brain to tell where it is in space (proprioception sp?), and increase the chances when you step on a rock or something, your ankle can right itself. You can also hold your foot in the air trace the alphabet in the air, moving just at the ankle.
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