Running has been going incredibly well the last 2.5 months when BAM! my ankle starts acting up and it seems I’m injured.
My ankle pain started pretty gradually during a speed workout last week and has continued to hurt every single run since, even after taking a few rest days.
I tried running again yesterday, and struggled through 3.5 miles. They were slow and didn’t feel good at all.
The pain is behind my left ankle and spreads forward up to the 5th metatarsal bone. After posting on the Runner’s World Barefoot Forum and doing some research of my own, all signs point to Peroneal Tendonitis.
I just dealt with hip tendonitis last year, and know how frustratingly slow tendonitis can be to heal, so I feel like slamming my head into a wall when I think about it. However, I’m only a week past the first signs of injury and I’m stopping activity immediately—hopefully the tendonitis is minimal and I can return to running in a few weeks.
There are a few possible reasons the tendonitis has developed, but looking back at my mileage from the last month, I can see the problem pretty clearly. I went from comfortably running 4-5 miles a week in Vibram Fivefingers (VFF) to pushing myself to 10-12 miles in VFF. Those miles seemed comfortable, but the progression was too quick for my body and overloaded the tendons. 10 Percent Rule say what?
I do want to note that I didn’t ever push myself to run through any Too Much Too Soon pain… I felt good running this mileage, but my body didn’t tolerate it well.
My current game plan is to RICE, RICE, baby. Lots of REST, ICE, COMPRESSION, and ELEVATION. I’ve also seen massaging and foam rolling the Peroneal tendons and muscles recommended on nearly every site I’ve read, so I’ll be doing that, too.
Once I’m pain-free, I’ll slowly make my return to running. Will that be in the VFF? I’m still thinking about that… I do LOVE barefoot (mid-foot strike) running, but I also have my eyes set on a fall marathon I’m registered for. Can I safely ramp up my mileage in the VFF for a marathon this year? I don’t know. I may choose to invest in a pair of minimalist (but still slightly-cushioned) training shoes for long runs and stick with the VFF for shorter runs. I’m still thinking about it, but I know the marathon is my priority
I’m heading on vacation next week, so maybe this injury happened at just the right time to slow me down and redirect my focus.