Coming back from injury

I finally got my first bad injury about a month ago. I was running a lot during that time as I was preparing for a marathon on June 22nd. I decided to do a 5K during the first week of June for fun. I had been feeling a little tenderness in my right ankle, but didn't think much of it. During the 5K, it suddenly got really bad, and I stopped halfway through with the thought of saving myself for the marathon. As the day progressed, my ankle swelled up and I could barely walk. It stayed like this for almost two weeks. I eventually got sick of limping, and healed a bit, and was able to teach myself how to walk smoothly. After about two weeks, I even went out for a couple of short runs. The ankle was still tender, though, so I didn't run any more and continued to rest. All this time, I was doing one-legged balancing exercises and other similar stuff as rehab.

I'd kind of forgotten about running when a friend mentioned a 5K on July 4th. I was feeling pretty good, so I entered. With almost no exercise for a month, I got through it with no pain in 20:55. After a day off, I then ran 7 miles yesterday and am going to run again today. 

The ankle is still good. It turns out that the pain was in the peroneal tendon. This seems to be a more uncommon injury. There are several things I think may have caused this, but I won't go into them now. I think knowing what was injured and what I was doing wrong will help me be more aware and hopefully keep me from having this injury again. The whole experience was actually pretty interesting and kind of fun in a way. Yet another puzzle to solve. It helps that I'm pain free and running again pretty well.

Anyone else have injury experiences they want to share? After going through this, it would be interesting to hear what other people have gone through.


  • I have experienced peroneal tendon issues in the past.  I experienced it for the first time after running a 5 mile trail race - it took me about 2 months to completely resolve and start running again.  Around a year later I had two ankle turns while hiking which at first I thought was a sprained ankle but in reality it was also the peroneal tendon as well (just feeling it in a lower spot on the ankle).  I was able to continue running after about 10 days at reduced mileage and also went to PT for massage work with Graston Technique, PT person also had me started rolling that area with my TP roller, massaging with tennis ball and started balancing exercises.   It took a while to resolve completely, but I still continue the rolling and balancing to keep things in check. 
  • Just wondering if you have biomechanical issues, or form issues which you or your PT think may have caused your peroneal tendon problems?
  • I've had a lot of issues in the past and have been working on my bio-mechanics/form for some time focusing on hip/pelvis/core strengthening as well as form.  In the case of the peroneal issues both times it came up was related to trail activity so she wanted to make sure I added the exercises to strengthen the muscles and improve range of motion and balance.   She is great and never looks at just the "symptom" but the whole body - so from a bio-mechanics perspective she was happy with results of all the work I have done (and continue to do) and felt adding the balancing/rolling will help it not become a problem that keeps coming back.   Not sure if that really answered your question,  
  • I had what I think was some irritation of the peroneus longus tendon after trying to run a marathon in flats for the first time. For me, moving to a higher drop shoe for a bit seemed to help clear it up. Wrote about it here:
  • edited July 2014
    That's exactly what I've done too. I had been running a lot in zero drop minimalist shoes. For the 5K, I wore my MV3s, which might even have a negative drop. The problem really flared up in those shoes, so I figured all of the low drop stuff was part of the problem. During the month I was recovering, I wore shoes with heels like regular leather shoes, the Adios Boost, and occasionally the Kinvara. Now that I'm running again, I'm mainly running in the Boost and the Kinvara. I ran once in my Samsons. The pain in the peroneal area is gone, so I'm hoping I have solved it. It's pretty cool to figure stuff out and fix it. Ran another 5K today in the old Piranhas and felt great. Hard, hilly course, so slow time of 21:05, but still good enough for 1st AG.

  • Yeah, the MV3 kind of scares me a bit, don't really want lugs in a shoe that flat and firm.
  • My ankle still feels good after 2 5Ks and moderate weekly mileage. I had a similar problem with the left ankle back in 2012 when I started running more seriously and entering races. It swelled up and hurt in the same fashion as this recent injury, but then the problem suddenly disappeared, never to return. The same thing seems to have happened this time. I've heard something about inflammation maybe being a good thing in some cases. Is it possible that this was something my ankles had to go through in order to become stronger? Since I overpronate, it would make sense that my ankles are more prone to injury than other parts of my legs. Maybe these injuries were my body's way of reinforcing a weak area. Does this seem like a reasonable theory?
  • Inflammation is part of a normal repair process, so yes, at times it may be good to let it run its course to let things heal and get stronger. Kind of a case by case thing, but popping anti-inflammatories for every ache or pain might be counterproductive in some cases.
  • When i started running some 8-9 years ago i did expect to be running some years afterwards in races. Now i do 10k 21k and 42k races a lot. I transitioned from neutral shoes to the Five Fingers. In the beginning i had a lot of pain in my legs in different spots. Then i heard that natural running would be better. So i transitioned to the fivers, but the pain didn't stop. I even fractured my second metatarsus during a trail race. Even then i did not give up. All because i got told at one point that the body of an  marathon runner needs 5 years starting with that first marathon to the one five years later, to be prepared on the physical level. Not the endurance or strength and training level, but on the physical ( fibres,tendons,nerves) to be fully prepared to get the best of his body. Thats why i still feel like on a transition. If something hurts i wont take pills. I give it some time maybe some rest and if it does not go away i go first to my kine, then to a homeopath who doses acupuncture and ifthey dont find the cause then i will go to a doctor. Thats how i deal with the pain issue.
  • I usually ignore pain, but this last time I had trouble walking for a couple of weeks. Now the ankle is better and there isn't a trace of swelling. I'm hoping that all the inflammation made this ankle stronger. 
  • Sure it did make it stronger but if pain comes back on that same spot, i would go to have someone look after it. Thats my point of view
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