Ankle Rehab: Unexpected Pool Antics & Being A Plank

Just over 3 weeks have passed since I stared at that Rice Krispy on the x-ray displaying an avulsion fracture.

So what’s been happening? 


After initial serious rest, I got down to working on the other bits.  The non-running bits.

Ankle Fracture has meant: 

  • CORE
  • RUNNING IN WATER (oh yeah - involves running- I can’t help myself)
  • EYEBROW LIFTS (Joke - that's just my sarcasm. Doesn't require training).

So core.

Turns out my upper body strength needs working on. 

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Oh yeah and my lower body. Ha!

As confirmed with Russian twists, side plank, calf raises etc.  With my coach Donnie overseeing, I am varying it up quite a lot, and the music doth blare during the odd varied rep. Kanye will make me stronger. I am actually enjoying the variety of different exercises (after all, running is just one direction, but plank can be done front AND side!!). Ha.

So why work on abs etc, when the ankle is the actual issue? Being strong for mountain ascents/descents requires a bit of welly, so getting myself stronger this winter was something I had hoped to do anyway . The logic being, if I can get better at core work, then hopefully it will fuel the fire for when I get on the trail, especially for longer distances, next year.

As part of rehab, one thing I was recommended by the physio, was deep water running.

Literally, running, in water. It involves a flotation belt and the vast expanse of the swimming pool.

The Heliopic Hotel in Chamonix is a really, really nice hotel. During a bit of a treat stay there recently, I decided this was the time to debut my new activity. 

Picture the serene scene. Vacationers relaxing by the pool, drinking herbal tea, dipping in the jacuzzi. Me, well I’ve popped my belt on and i’m trying to pretend I am 2000m up, not submerged in water. 

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I envisaged the thought process of every guest: “Maybe she can’t swim?”  “Does she realise the track is the other end of town?”. Regardless, I had a neoprene support sock on to assist my ankle, I was belted up, and I was away! Considering there is no impact, and the movement is fairly fluid (ha), I was amazed at how tired I was after about an hour. Keen to do more for sure.

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What else? A bit of cycling and a bit of rowing. Walking, even a little uphill, has been recommended as part of active recovery (we’re not talking Brévent here but at least a foot on a trail was a wonderful thing fairly recently).  Bit of Pilates as part of core too. In terms of the foot itself, I am trying to keep it flexible and massage the area. 

So the biggest impact of the past 3 weeks? Well not the trail for one! In all seriousness, it has been the reinforcement that running is not just about your feet. 


Oh it’s been an absolute ball (ache).

No, actually, it has been OK. I mean you can’t get that dramatic about a skeletal coco pop. My body is ‘doing it’s thing’ with healing, so I am letting the mind stay active with working on core/other training and working on other stuff in my life. 

I find when I am out on the trail for hours, I think. Funnily enough, when I am off the trail for hours, I think. So all this thinking has turned into a bit of planning. Next year, I will have a few different goals (and no doubt the odd random adventure slotted in last minute, as always happens when you hang out with like-minded people).

Race list? Next post.