Dealing with Setbacks and Minor Injuries

The ball was rolling.  My training was all going well, maybe too well.

My run, swim and bike times were improving and I was setting PB in all three disciplines, I had won my first race of the year (Somerley 10k on the first weekend of January), I had secured great sponsors and equipment to tackle the 2018 season (running season as well as my first triathlon season).

And then suddenly it felt like the dice were rolling instead of the ball….  a moment of clumsiness leaping over abandoned toys on the kitchen floor, and bam, I fracture my middle toe 🙁  Looking after the children at home seems to be by far the most dangerous activities of all the extreme sports I practice!

When the doctor showed me the clear fracture on the X-Ray, I tried to take perspective and reassure myself that it’s no biggy, it’s only a fractured toe, there are way more serious problems in life.  Nonetheless, it’s still really frustrating.  I know you have to be patient… But it’s still HARD, especially when sport is such a big part of your life…

50 Shades of Blue


No doubt this is a setback, as I now cannot run for probably approximately 4 weeks.  Instead of feeling sorry for myself and worrying about what I CAN’T do (well I still do a bit sometimes…), I’m trying to focus on the positives, what I CAN do and what is possible.


  1. Opportunity to Improve my Swim Technique

Swimming with only the pull buoy over the last couple of days has made me realize how much I would normally use my legs when swimming.  So perfect time to focus on improving my technique and work on my upper body, do strength training in the water with the hand paddles and practice swim drills.


  1. Opportunity to Focus on my Cycling

Cycling was to be my main area of focus for the winter anyway, as I’m still very new to the sport and I feel I can make the biggest gains on the bike.

For the first few days after my injury, I couldn’t manage to fit in my cycling shoes comfortably, so I had no choice than to hold off the bike not to risk delaying my recovery.  Hopefully I’ve been back on the bike this week, even though I had to stick to the turbo trainer as clipping/unclipping is still uncomfortable.  What a relief though, as I can go back to training  hard again!  I’m still keeping off big chainring sessions not to press on the pedals too hard and put extra pressure on the front of my foot.  I can’t wait to ride outside again… something to look forward to, hopefully in the near future…


  1. Work on my Strength & Conditioning

My S&C coach showed me the exercises I can do which aren’t weight bearing on the front of the foot (thanks Ali :)).  So even with a foot injury, I can concentrate not only on strengthening my upper body and core, but also on my legs with some exercise such as Romanian dead-lifts (the weight is on the heals, not the toes) or exercises resting your legs on a Swiss ball, using bands etc…. So no excuses!

Also the additional S&C sessions should benefit my rock-climbing, especially as it might take a while until I can put on my climbing shoes and bear weight on my toes (toes and footwork are quite crucial for rock-climbing…).


  1. Lean on your support network and learn from others

I’ve been very fortunate to be surrounded by my family and friends, who are providing much support.  They help me retain perspective, keep my smile on and I know they truly just want the best for me.  I’ve been fortunate to train with my friends Anna and Judy recently.  Not only do we work hard, we also have a great time together!  Just what I needed, thanks girls 🙂

Photos with Anna and Judy:  Just a ‘normal’ training day: the three of us upside down haha!!

I’m also lucky to have a great team of professionals helping me.  Jon, my running track coach, suggested aqua jogging to maintain the running routine and replicate my run sessions.  Something which appeals (I did aqua jogging years ago when I was training for Comrades ultra marathon) so something I should look into again too.

  1. Do Other Things – it’s OK!

As we all know, training for endurance sports can be very time consuming, and we all make sacrifices and have to prioritise training with our other commitments.

So I’m trying to maximize my suddenly increased free time.  I’ve been able to spend more time with the children and my husband Rob, watch my children’s hockey and football games, socialise with my friends, and focus on finding new clients for my sports modelling work.

I know I’ll be back training full swing soon (hopefully), so I’m trying to be efficient with my time, utilize it wisely and make the most of this recovery period.


  1. Stay Positive and Stay Hungry

My next A race is far enough ahead in the year (Ironman in July) that if I recover well, I should still have plenty of time to ramp up my training.  So I’m staying positive about achieving my sporting goals for 2018.

Don’t ever forget that  you play with your soul as well as your body”   Kareem Abdul-Jabbar (basketball player)


If anything else, this setback has just contributed to fuel the fire within, and I’m as hungry as ever to resume my training and work hard – not that I need extra determination 🙂


#staystrong #cimalp #triUK #totallywonderfuel #cervelo # TYRSports #deltanutritionandfitness #dare2dream #dare2be #nevergiveup

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