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Tibialis Posterior Injury - I don't want to stop running everyday, but it's so painful!

I gave myself a challenge to run at least a mile every day - I often run more. But for the past few days, this pain in my ankle has been hindering me. I'm limping everywhere; running endorphins don't even make it disappear. I had to cut my run short today because of it...I want to follow through with my challenge, but I don't want to %$#^ anything up. What do I do?!

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Take a break from running until the pain goes away.  The pain is your body telling you to stop and heal.  Good things come to those who wait.  In matters of health and fitness, patience is a virtue.

Do you think walking will be okay? I don't want to be completely sedentary...

Only if it's not painful.  You could do some light dumbbell work while sitting on the couch lol

I trained hard for months for the local city marathon...started feeling pain 2 weeks prior.  Decided to lay off training and try to run the marathon since I worked so hard and already paid my non-refundable fees.  Well, the pain was the start of a stress fracture, only ran a few miles and then limped off the track, really inflamed the leg and it took months to recover.  It's better to stop and heal when you feel real pain. 

Agree with John.  No program is sacred, but your health is.  

You wouldn't be quitting on yourself, Tara. You'd be honoring your body's needs, and right now it needs to rest and heal.  Keep pushing through an injury and you might ensure that you're saddled with it for years or the rest of your life. 

But that doesn't mean you need to blob on your couch.  There's nothing wrong with the rest of your body.  Experiment with other forms of movement, especially strength, either bodyweight or weighted.  Do this for intense intervals, and you'll in no way miss standard cardio.  Try pilates, most of which is on your back.  Can you access a rowing machine?  That can be even tougher than running, if you go hard enough.  

Rest. Please rest. Oh won't you please just rest. You won't lose any lean gainz from taking the rest days that you need. You've basically just been pouring on the damage and fatigue without actually restoring that trauma with proper rest. Your results would actually be superior short term and more sustainable long term if you deloaded into a 2/3x a week routine. 

One of your big concerns appears to be that rest = sedentary. No way is this the case, there is plenty you can be doing on your rest days. Such as any type of stretching and mobility work, handstand skill work against the wall, self-massage sessions. Walking has an incredibly restorative effect for runners on their rest day, because the name of the game for effective recovery is filling that area with blood without working it hard. So whatever you do: Intensity low, reps high. Though walking is natural enough that we need not think of it in reps, but that's how it is anyway.

The fitness you want isn't built by extraordinary bursts of enthusiasm and willpower, it's built by more measured and consistent practice for years. So take your time, you can run 6 or 7 day weeks in a few years once you've developed the joints, soft tissue and strength.

I wouldn't necessarily recommend that you include strength training on your rest days just yet, as has been suggested by others. As a beginner whose overdoing it your central nervous system is probably quaking under the current strain, and I really think your rest days need a character of gentleness about them. Spreading yourself across too many goals so soon necessarily lessens the quality of the attention that we can give to each of them. I'd say steer more towards the breathe-control and yoga spectrum rather than the heaving bench pressing spectrum.

One last edit: I hugely recommend spending 30 mins a day in the squat position. i.e just sitting there in the bottom phase of the squat. Heels down, ass to grass. This is going to improve hip, knee and ankle mobility ten fold rather quickly. Your injury may not actually be in the ankle area, so it's a good idea to do this because it brings the whole system into mobility work and the issue is likely to be resolved that way with the right gentle practice. If you can't get heels to the ground at first, slide something under them for support such as a book or blanket. Try to remove the need for this as soon as you're able.

Happy resting

I forgot to say one thing more! If I can continue speaking frankly, the goal you have is of poor quality. When you start training progressively, consistently and more understandingly with your body you're going to learn a lot of the ins and outs of your sport and you'll be a lot more able to formulate your own high quality goals. High quality goals are usually defined as those which can be critically measured. So, something like achieving a sub-28 minute 10k would be a good goal because when this is your goal and you see that your performance is declining, you would be naturally inclined to change what you're doing in order to continue improving your times. The numbers are hard proof of whether what you're doing is working or not. Choose a distance and choose a time you'd like to be able to run that distance in. A good goal like this will naturally reinforce rest because your #1 priority is improving those times, and you will know that you can do that with proper rest. 

The goal that you currently have produces a tendency to keep the accelerator down even when the chassis is falling apart, because it doesn't include any criteria of how much quality the exercise is performed with. The goal requires only that you do it, which technically could include hobbling and limping the whole way. And according to that goal you'd be doing well. Bring in some time measurement and things should get a whole lot better for you.

Jeez, I thought of something else. I just want to be thorough.

You should be using minimalist shoes, such as Brooks Green Silence. There are plenty of options. Anything that isn't minimalist has too much heel cushioning and thus allows the user to run with a gait that does a lot of violence to the body. 

This may be part of your issue, but the lack of rests' relevance to the injury is certain. This is a case of 'ands' rather than 'ors', so both problems need to be fixed.

I think that's all now.

Thank you for your post! 

I must admit I don't have rest days either. I have rest hours maybe...But I had to adapt my routine these days to be easy on an overstressed joint in my foot and realized that wider range of different activities (other than taekwondo and running) which are sometimes intense training, sometimes just relaxing while moving actually are very beneficial.

I've been exercising "exessively" for 3 years now but I find that it only starts causing trouble when you ONE THING in exess; every day over and over again.

Also it seems to be true that if you train the same every day you only get the same or worse results. When I tried doing 100 crunches a day I had to split them into sets of 20. I gave it up and now train my upper body every few days; whenever I feel like it. Yesterday I did 100 crunches in a row easily!

My partner and I seem like the laziest people: Just hanging around all day, eating, studying a little, maybe doing some housework here and there...I'd say 18-20 hours a day we spend relaxing and recovering from the other 6-4 hours we've been very active. That's how it works for us...

I'm sorry, but I cannot wholly trust someone who claims 30 minutes of physical activity a day is worse than only working out for an hour to an hour and a half for the whole week. I just can't believe that. 

"One of your big concerns appears to be that rest = sedentary. No way is this the case, there is plenty you can be doing on your rest days. Such as any type of stretching and mobility work, handstand skill work against the wall, self-massage sessions, walking"

Nowhere did I say what you think I did. I said that your running would benefit from deloading the overall weekly volume, however conscious physical activity generally can and should be increased, but it can't all be intense as your ankle will testify.

Well then trust me! =D I train 1-4h a day and am very active some more.

I tell you: STOP RUNNING. Do something else. Go swimming, ride your bike...that's what I do right now. My foot is this healing and I don't want to ruin it forever so I am easy on it. So should you. 

My associate Craig raises many excellent points, Tara.

A quiet week spent deloading from vigorous pursuits could be very helpful, focusing instead on gentle movements to keep the blood flowing--qi gong, tai chi, yoga, self massage.

And once you're fully recovered and begin to reincorporate running on a more periodic basis, balanced with other fitness modalities including strength work, make form your first priority.  My favorite guidance is from www.chirunning.com.

They offer many vids on youtube as well.

And finally, do not use ice on your ankle or any other injury unless the pain is so bad that you would otherwise take drugs.  You need maximum blood flow to the affected region and ice only restricts that.  

Fast healing to you!



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