Facing An Injury During a Long Distance Race

We have all faced those rough sections of a race when it’s so hard to push forward.   I recently experienced this situation while racing in an ultra distance triathlon (DECA Iron – 10 Ironmans 10 days in a row).   This situation was unique for me and many of you may have faced it in an
event.

I experienced significant swelling from the top of my foot up through the shin area.    It was something completely new to me and the pain was excruciating.   I was not able to run the marathons on days 5 and 6 and mentally it was a challenge to keep going (8 hour marathons walking).    After consulting with the
professionals, it was not going to do any long-term damage and was caused by irritation of the sheathing covering the shinbone.   Also, probably a minor stress fracture.

We learned from other athletes who were experiencing similar pain and with some new technology we were able to lessen the pain and by the 7th day I was back to running the marathons.   If you have not used Kinesio tape in the past for an injury it’s worth checking out.  Also, for those of you like me who occasionally use running compression sleeves for the lower leg, consider using a complete compression sock.   It was remarkable that with Kinesio taping, a full compression sock that I borrowed from another athlete along with Ibuprofen that the pain and especially the swelling reduced significantly.    It’s something to consider if you ever experience muscle or joint pain during a long race.

There are many different types of Kinesio tape available in the marketplace along with specific books, classes and video resources on how to exactly tape the affected area.    I am still amazed how effective the product worked in combination with the compression full socks.

The key for me was to continue to tell myself to keep moving no matter how slow I was going during the race.   Also, there was no option of not finishing
and had it embedded into my subconscious unless I faced a serious injury, etc.   The key is to have a plan in place on how you will deal with the big challenges of a long race.    Consider different strategies on how to with an injury or painful situation during a race.

By Wayne Kurtz

Wayne Kurtz is founder of RaceTwitch.com and Endurance Racing Report,  he has a lifelong passion for racing in various endurance sport races throughout the world. He is also the author of: ‘Beyond the Iron, a training guide for ultra-distance triathlons.’

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