It’s now 3 months since my op but the road to a full recovery still has some distance to be covered. I threw one crutch away in early May and slipped into my moon boot, gradually and gingerly increasing the weight on my injured leg still aided by one crutch. After about three weeks and consultation with the surgeon I dispatched the moon boot in favour of a trainer. I remember thinking at the time that this seemed to be early in my rehab and that maybe I could get back to a gentle jog in no time at all. I quickly found that this was not going to be the case. Psychologically more than physically it’s a huge step to take, all the while I’m thinking I could undo all the work if I fall, or do too much, and what is too much? I basically had to play it by ear.
Sadly a swift return to the roads or trails is not going to happen. Little did I realise just how much muscle mass was lost whilst hobbling around on crutches. Because of COVID I have been unable to receive face-to-face physio which has made it a little difficult to gauge progress. I was given some simple exercises and added to these with a strength session devised by Martin Whittaker at One Take Fitness. It was important to increase my upper body strength as this helps recovery, so I have a daily routine consisting of stretches and strength moves incorporating squats, push-ups, plank, hip and leg extensions, step-ups, plus warm up and cool down.
I have also been walking, which had been advised, usually 40 minutes – 1 hour plus, but not every day however. I do stand a lot during the day whether at work or in the garden and attempt to take more weight onto my injured leg. The telltale sign of overdoing things is a swelling of the ankle and calf.
The exercises are definitely working, to progress gradually I either add weight, via a rucksack on my back, or increase the time of my sets whilst decreasing recovery. The one thought that I have to keep in mind is that it is going to take time, it will be a slow recovery and I need to ease back to full health and not do too much too soon.
During COVID many will ease back on their running, even losing their mojo completely. Don’t despair, take each day as it comes, enjoy the time out, you will get back to where you were, it just takes time. Do exercise to maintain some level of fitness even if it is simply going for a walk. The road is long but there is a destination that will be reached in time as long as we all stay positive.
For me, I’m looking at end of August as a realistic comeback.