So it happened… I got injured.

Last Monday at a club running session, I had an ache in my left hip flexor. I stretched between intervals but by the time we had finished the session and I’d driven home, it was even more painful. I couldn’t put any weight down on my left leg and was struggling to walk, particularly going up and down stairs. I iced it and decided to rest for a few days.

I’ve always had niggles in my left leg, and been aware that this leg is not as strong as my right. Over the years I’ve been running I’ve had pains in my shin, ankle, foot, knee, groin and calf- it tends to shift around but always on the left leg. This time it culminated in my hip and was more painful than ever before!

Our club physio Gary Carr fitted me in for appointment on Wednesday evening. He tested the strength of my legs in various places and massaged my left quad. He believes my left hip flexor has become overloaded because my glutes, adductors and quads are weak. He explained that the way I sit and lay have contributed, as I often sit with my leg tucked underneath me or sleep with one leg bent. This pulls on the muscles and over time leads to them becoming weaker. 

I’ve been working hard on strength training and correcting muscular imbalances with my personal trainer this year, so I must admit I was disappointed to get injured as a result of weak muscles.

Apparently the hip flexors start in the abdomen- who knew? Gary wanted to work on this area to release the muscles, but I have a phobia of my stomach being touched and couldn’t bear to be prodded there. He gave me exercises which I’ve been doing diligently every day. I’m also aware of how I lay in bed and how I sit at my desk- I keep correcting myself when I’ve fallen back into old habits. He said I can attempt to run as soon as I can walk without pain… that hasn’t happened as yet!

Last Sunday, was the Havering Aquathlon- an swim/run event hosted by my club. I’ve been looking forward to taking part and beating last years time, but I knew it was best for me to pull out seeing as I could barely walk. Instead I volunteered on the poolside counting swim laps- it was just as fun and I got to look super official with my stopwatch and clipboard!

Almost two weeks later, the pain is still persisting and I’m struggling to walk. I attempted a club ride this week but had to turn back after only a few miles as it hurt too much to push down or pull up on the pedal. I slowly rode home alone sulking to myself. I was able to swim for the first time yesterday, completing 1900m without any pain in the lake at Stubbers. 

I had a Personal Training session yesterday where we worked on some low impact exercises to promote blood supply to my hip and relieve some of the pain. We also foam-rolled my hip and IT band, which was just unbearable! I’m planning to head back to Fitness First today to repeat the exercises, as I can feel that they’ve helped already. 

Having an injury is obviously very frustrating. I’d like to make the most of the Bank Holiday weekend with a long bike ride or run, but it’s not to be. I’m just going to focus on the things I can do- swimming and strength training. 

I’ve got another two triathlons and a sea swimming event in September. I’ll be disappointed to miss them, but I’m staying positive and hoping I’ll recover in time to race. I don’t want to end my season early. I want to come back from this stronger and having learned how to deal with niggling pains. 

How do you deal with injury? 

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