Wednesday, January 22, 2020

The ups and downs of triathlon - realising you are injured

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For those of you who read my Dambuster report, you might recall I mentioned using kinesio tape on my right leg for the race, due to some knee niggles.  Well, it seems the niggles were more serious than I at first thought. Ever since the race, my right knee has been steadily getting worse, to the point where I have now decided I really need to ease up for a week or so. 

Lucky then, that I am heading to Roth tomorrow to act as support for my girlfriend as she does her second iron-distance triathlon.

But still I can't help feeling that Beijing is awfully close and that I can't afford the time off training. I'm sure it's a catch-22 situation all too many of us are familiar with - do we keep training and risk making the injury worse, or do we back off and heal at the risk of losing an amount of fitness.

In my case, the answer is pretty clear cut.  The sheer amount of pain I am now in tells me I can't train, even though I want to.  The situation is not helped by having no clear idea of what has caused the current injury - and thus it's not 100% clear what to do to fix it.

Although all consulted seem to agree I have a case of "Runner's Knee", caused by the IT band, hamstrings and glutes all being overly tight (together with a weakened vMO - I've had four surgeries on my right knee, causing much muscle atrophy compared with left leg), what exactly is the main culprit behind the tightness is open to debate.  This only adds to the frustration as I wrack my brains to try to figure out what forms of exercise are okay to do, and what are not.

Right now, it's obvious that running itself is out, for 3-4 days at least. But can I still swim (obviously I can use a pull-buoy to remove the legs) or cycle gently on the turbo/gym bike?

My number one priority has to be Beijing, and arriving there as fit and strong as possible. So if a few days of total rest will help me achieve that, then so be it.  But if I can avoid worsening the injury and instead work on building other parts of my body / fitness, then that has to be even better.

And then there's food...! I've become accustomed to easily consuming 3,000+ calories a day with no weight gain.  Even though I'm now training less, I'm finding my appetite no less ravenous.  I think the hardest part of the trip to Roth could be avoiding becoming a bloater...!

Here's hoping the next blog update will be more positive and that I can get training back on track.

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Matt Fisher runs - so it's all his fault! He pretends to be a triathlete, but really he is a husband, father and company VP. But he has raced for the GB Age Group squad a few times and is a two-times qualifier for the IM70.3 world champs