Posted by: Steph | 2009-07-17

Ankle and Weight

Hi, My question is two fold. I am a runner, but have been having problems with my ankles. last year after to beach runs while on holiday i developed a sore ankle, that would swell on the outer side, it also hurt when i walked flat footed (in other words only when walking on my tip toes was i not sore), i rested for a month and then was fine. This year i was running fine and then i have an op which had me out of action for a month and then begining June i started running again in the gym, now two weeks ago the ankle started again with the same syms. So for the past week i have been swimming and cycling instead of running and then doing powerplate because i hear it is good for injuries. However i seem to have added 2kg this week alone!!! I can' t see that it could be muscle as i have always been fit, and i can feel that i have put on weight, i feel a bit uncomfortable. Now where do i go from here? When can i start running again, and what can i do to stop this ankle injury from returning, and about the weight - how come so much so quickly and how do i get rid of it if i can' t run?
I hope you can give me some guide lines to get back on the right path.


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Our expert says:
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Hi Steph

Sounds as though you might have some sort of weakness or instability in the ankle, and that you might do well from improving the strength of the ankles. If there is any weakness, it will get exposed right away when you start training, which seems to have been the case for you.

I think you need to look at how you might improve the strength of that ankle. The Powerplate is a good way to do it - also consider simple balance exercises. If you balance on one leg at a time, eyes closed, you're teaching your ankle how to be more stable, and that's more important, often, than strength.

As for the weight gain, I wouldn't panic just yet. 2kg can happen quite co-incidentally. You drink a glass or two of water, you eat a meal, and the next thing you have 1kg of weight added. Then our mass does vary by 1 to 2kg from day to day, so you can't take one measurement too seriously. Rather track it over weeks and see how it's changing.

Of course, given the change in activity, one expects the slight increase. If you're feeling heavier and sluggish, it might not simply be a function of increasing mass. You might, for example, have increased your plasma volume - that happens as a result of training, and I seem to recall a study that found that swimming caused a larger increase than other activities. So there is a chance that some of the weight gain is because you've literally made more blood, thanks to swimming.

Ultimately, this is all secondary, and you need to sort out the ankle problem. I think balance, Powerplate, and then perhaps consider seeing a physio, only once, to get some more exercises that they can demonstrate for you, and see if that will help.

Good luck

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