Torn Ankle Ligaments

Grrrr…. I’m annoyed!

I haven’t posted much about my triathlon training lately. I have been doing some, but nothing too much, just ticking along over the past few months. I had however been getting back into it ready for the winter.


My swimming rarely changes but I’ve been getting in the pool a couple of times a week and had been doing an aqua-jog once a week as part of one of my swims too.


I’d renewed my TrainerRoad subscription and had been enjoying some pretty tough workouts on the turbo trainer whilst working through the TrainerRoad 20 minute Power Accelerator Plan. As always these TrainerRoad session are difficult as they are based on your Functional Threshold Power and then tend to make you work pretty much as hard as you should be able to. There’s no hiding when you have power targets to hit and the final couple of intervals are often hell. I was enjoying the challenge though and getting back into it.

It wasn’t all indoor work though. The weather is still OK really and I’d been getting out on my mountain bike at least once a week too. These have been slow, easy, social rides but it’s still good to be out making the most of the local trails.


My running had been coming along too. I’ve had a sore achilles tendon for a couple of months but had been gradually increasing the distance I could run on it without it hurting and had now built up to about an hour of running with only mild achilles discomfort. I’d done a track session at MAF heart rate and was looking forward to doing some more MAF testing throughout the winter and some proper track sessions too. I was also hoping to get out into the hills for some trail running as well. It’s always nice in the winter to be out on the trails. Cold frosty mornings are the best for it, but it’s also fun splashing through the mud when it’s wet. I’m only running slowly at the moment, but sometimes it’s just nice to be out there enjoying it rather than worrying about your pace or any other numbers. Just the welsh hills and me, the perfect way to chill out whilst keeping fit and burning off the cakes. Sunday’s run was just the ticket.

Torn Ankle Ligaments

You may notice however that so far all of this has been in the past tense… I have been turbo training, I have been swimming and I have been running, everything seemed to be going in the right direction, I still had 10kg of weight to lose but even that was gradually coming down. That was until yesterday. I had a fairly good day planned and felt motivated. I was up nice and early, got some work done on the computer and was in Aberystwyth just after 6am ready for a run. I was going to be finished by 7:15am when the pool opened so would also fit a swim in before work. I was then working in the Sports and Exercise Dept. until 3pm at which time I was going to head home and jump on the turbo trainer for an hour.

All was going well, I headed out for a run through Penglais woods, up alongside the golf course and then out onto the hills above cliff terrace. I then ran down to the seafront and back up Brynymor road to the golf course, back along the trail on that side of the golf course and then back down the climb I’d come up earlier heading back to Penglais woods. I was running well, enjoying the early morning dampness and enjoying the trails too. My mind was wandering to thoughts of races I want to do next year when all of a sudden I was on the floor. I’d twisted my ankle again and fallen over. Pain was shooting up from the outside of my right ankle along with waves of annoyance. I immediately knoew what I’d done, it was exactly the same as when I tore some ligaments in this ankle a few years ago.

By the time I’d hobbled back through the woods to the University it was 7:40pm. I could still have gone swimming but my ankle was properly swollen by now and swimming would have been painful so that was the end of that. I hobbled around at work all day, with an ice-pack on the injury whenever I could. I did toy with the idea of still turbo-training once at home, but my ankle was in agony so I thought it best not to do anything. Instead I sat there with my ankle elevated eating cake.

Last time this happened I was unable to run for about 6 weeks and my ankle never really fully recovered. In fact, it often hurts whilst lying in bed so I sleep with it hanging out of the bed so that the duvet isn’t on top of it. It’s been weak ever since which is probably why a simple hidden rock and a small twist led to me spraining it yet again yesterday.

Why now?

It hurts just as much today still, but I’m hoping to at least be able to turbo train within the next few days. I know injuries like this can’t be helped and dealing with them are all part and parcel of being a triathlete, but why now? Why just as I was getting back on track with my training? And why just as I was looking forward to some nice winter trail runs? I was hoping that the longer trail runs would help me lose a bit of weight before Christmas and I was hoping to sign up to an off-road duathlon too. Now I don’t know when I’ll be able to run again at all, let alone get out on the trails. I think I’ll have to stick to road running or running on the track where there’s less chance of twisting my ankle.

Sometimes this training malarky can be more than frustrating!

3 Responses

  1. Alan says:

    Thankfully, although still swollen it is feeling a fair bit better today so I might not be off training for quite as long as I thought.

    I was going to go to the gym and turbo train anyway, but seeing as it is feeling better I think I’ll rest it for another day to help the healing process before doing anything too strenuous – I must be either getting sensible or getting lazy in my old age!

    Hopefully though it isn’t as bad as first thought. Fingers Crossed.


  1. Monday, November 3rd, 2014

    […] I may have overreacted in my frustration at twisting my ankle whilst on a run last Wednesday. Following the injury I rested it completely on Wednesday and […]

  2. Wednesday, November 26th, 2014

    […] been avoiding trail runs since spraining├é┬ámy ankle again a few weeks ago, but I had commented to Anna earlier in the week that I’d managed to do a […]

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Alan Cole

Alan is a Freelance Website Designer, Sports & Exercise Science Lab Technician and full time Dad & husband with far too many hobbies: Triathlete, Swimming, Cycling, Running, MTBing, Surfing, Windsurfing, SUPing, Gardening, Photography.... The list goes on.

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