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2013-07-24 11:40 AM

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Subject: IM training but can't run...help!
I had a spinal fusion in March...healing well...been released to swim and bike but not run yet. I have tried filling my run workouts with walking briskly and was hoping to be released to run last week; didn't happen. Now I have to wait until Oct to have another CT to check my bone healing status to be allowed to run. That will be less than a month out from my IM. I've tried the elliptical...it sucks, its awkward and makes my feet go numb! I just really wanna run again. I've done some light jogging on the treadmill but I'm scared that is pushing it too much. I've not tried aquajogging but I just don't think I wanna do that either. So please help! I know I'm pushing it a little but...dangit...isn't that what we do...push our bodies? Any other options out there I haven't thought of??

Edited by Dave 2.0 2013-07-24 11:46 AM


2013-07-24 11:58 AM
in reply to: Dave 2.0

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Subject: RE: IM training but can't run...help!

We like to push, but not break our bodies so we can keep going at it. Would try to fudge in some running if I wasn't supposed to.

Are you able to go hiking? The hillier the better.

2013-07-24 12:13 PM
in reply to: Dave 2.0

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Subject: RE: IM training but can't run...help!

1-I would ask why they are making you wait.  Is it not healed yet?

2-Why make you wait until october?  I think it wouldbe reasonable to re-check in 6 weeks

3-Do they know your goals?

4-Would they release you to an underwater treadmill or one of those anit-gravity treadmills?  The anti-gravity treadmills and underwater treadmills canbe hard to find but if they would release you to one of those it would take care of the running issue.  You might have to call around to a lot of PT places to find one and probably travel but its probably better than not running at all

2013-07-24 12:29 PM
in reply to: Dave 2.0

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Subject: RE: IM training but can't run...help!
My wife had back issues during her IM training, and did a lot of aqua jogging. It's not a *great* substitute for running, but she used it to stay in good shape and bounce back when she was ready.
2013-07-24 1:43 PM
in reply to: Socks

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Subject: RE: IM training but can't run...help!
Originally posted by Socks

1-I would ask why they are making you wait.  Is it not healed yet?

2-Why make you wait until october?  I think it wouldbe reasonable to re-check in 6 weeks

3-Do they know your goals?

4-Would they release you to an underwater treadmill or one of those anit-gravity treadmills?  The anti-gravity treadmills and underwater treadmills canbe hard to find but if they would release you to one of those it would take care of the running issue.  You might have to call around to a lot of PT places to find one and probably travel but its probably better than not running at all



The implants are stable but full bone-bridging can take 6 mos to 1 yr they say, and they don't want any impact on my spine until CT evidence of bone bridging has occurred. I'm guessing they don't expect much progress until then. Underwater treadmill is a good idea. Might check around for one of those.
2013-07-24 1:57 PM
in reply to: Dave 2.0

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Subject: RE: IM training but can't run...help!
Listen to Socks' suggestions on talking to your doctor(s). But, if you trust them and are still not cleared to run, then bike & swim A LOT. The IM run will suck if you are not trained to run, no question. But it will suck much less if you get to T2 in good shape and have plenty of energy left to push though the 'suck'. You can aquajog or hike or do elliptical to also stay in shape (and at least work some of the muscles involved in running), but I would really dedicate myself to the other two sports (as much as possible) if restricted from running.


2013-07-24 2:22 PM
in reply to: JohnnyKay

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Subject: RE: IM training but can't run...help!
Originally posted by JohnnyKay

Listen to Socks' suggestions on talking to your doctor(s). But, if you trust them and are still not cleared to run, then bike & swim A LOT. The IM run will suck if you are not trained to run, no question. But it will suck much less if you get to T2 in good shape and have plenty of energy left to push though the 'suck'. You can aquajog or hike or do elliptical to also stay in shape (and at least work some of the muscles involved in running), but I would really dedicate myself to the other two sports (as much as possible) if restricted from running.

I'm gonna keep on training and trying to keep in running shape until I get released and although I'm prepared for the run to suck, just like you said, maybe it won't suck quite as bad. I think I'll keep trying a little bit of everything (elliptical, aquajog - haven't done this yet, hiking) and train hard on the bike and swim. I think I will talk to the doc and ask if we can sched another CT a little earlier, also. Maybe I'll get some bone bridging soon.
Thanks for the insight everyone!
2013-07-24 3:01 PM
in reply to: Dave 2.0

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Subject: RE: IM training but can't run...help!
Originally posted by Dave 2.0
Originally posted by Socks

1-I would ask why they are making you wait.  Is it not healed yet?

2-Why make you wait until october?  I think it wouldbe reasonable to re-check in 6 weeks

3-Do they know your goals?

4-Would they release you to an underwater treadmill or one of those anit-gravity treadmills?  The anti-gravity treadmills and underwater treadmills canbe hard to find but if they would release you to one of those it would take care of the running issue.  You might have to call around to a lot of PT places to find one and probably travel but its probably better than not running at all

The implants are stable but full bone-bridging can take 6 mos to 1 yr they say, and they don't want any impact on my spine until CT evidence of bone bridging has occurred. I'm guessing they don't expect much progress until then. Underwater treadmill is a good idea. Might check around for one of those.

It can take 6 months to a year....or it could be sooner.  Mother nature tends to heal most things in 6 week increments. I can't explain it, it just is the way we are wired.   There is a chance you could have a lot more healing at 6weeks which is why I suggested that interval.  It also may somewhat depend on how many levels you had done.  More levels =  more healing to get done.  Another suggestion would be a bone stimulator.  Typically insurance doesn't pay for it until it becomes a delayed or a non union or in a fussy healing area but its worth a shot to discuss withy our docs what you want to do in November and see if they would be willing to give you an RX for one.  it might be easier to get one for a spine case than an ortho case.  Get the ultra sound one called exogen by Smith Nephew (I think S-N got bought but they used to carry it and I don't work for them or anything.  They have the only ultrasound bone stimulator and the science on US vs electric bone stim is better)    Believe it or not sometimes you can pick one up on ebay for not a whole lot of cash. It will do you no harm and may help and is worth trying.  If they potentially won't let you run until the 6-12 month mark you may need to prepare yourself mentally for no IM or walking the whole marathon.  I'm not trying to be a Debbie downer I just am trying to let you prepare yourself for that possibility.  GOOD LUCK!!

2013-07-24 3:51 PM
in reply to: Socks

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Subject: RE: IM training but can't run...help!
Originally posted by Socks

Originally posted by Dave 2.0
Originally posted by Socks

1-I would ask why they are making you wait.  Is it not healed yet?

2-Why make you wait until october?  I think it wouldbe reasonable to re-check in 6 weeks

3-Do they know your goals?

4-Would they release you to an underwater treadmill or one of those anit-gravity treadmills?  The anti-gravity treadmills and underwater treadmills canbe hard to find but if they would release you to one of those it would take care of the running issue.  You might have to call around to a lot of PT places to find one and probably travel but its probably better than not running at all

The implants are stable but full bone-bridging can take 6 mos to 1 yr they say, and they don't want any impact on my spine until CT evidence of bone bridging has occurred. I'm guessing they don't expect much progress until then. Underwater treadmill is a good idea. Might check around for one of those.

It can take 6 months to a year....or it could be sooner.  Mother nature tends to heal most things in 6 week increments. I can't explain it, it just is the way we are wired.   There is a chance you could have a lot more healing at 6weeks which is why I suggested that interval.  It also may somewhat depend on how many levels you had done.  More levels =  more healing to get done.  Another suggestion would be a bone stimulator.  Typically insurance doesn't pay for it until it becomes a delayed or a non union or in a fussy healing area but its worth a shot to discuss withy our docs what you want to do in November and see if they would be willing to give you an RX for one.  it might be easier to get one for a spine case than an ortho case.  Get the ultra sound one called exogen by Smith Nephew (I think S-N got bought but they used to carry it and I don't work for them or anything.  They have the only ultrasound bone stimulator and the science on US vs electric bone stim is better)    Believe it or not sometimes you can pick one up on ebay for not a whole lot of cash. It will do you no harm and may help and is worth trying.  If they potentially won't let you run until the 6-12 month mark you may need to prepare yourself mentally for no IM or walking the whole marathon.  I'm not trying to be a Debbie downer I just am trying to let you prepare yourself for that possibility.  GOOD LUCK!!



Awesome info!! Thanks so much! ...I have been preparing myself for walking the marathon with hopefully some running thrown in every couple of miles. Obviously I'd like to run much more than that so I'll check with the doc and see if I can get another CT a little sooner; the bone stim sounds pretty cool, I'll ask about that too! Thanks again Socks!
2013-07-24 5:21 PM
in reply to: Dave 2.0

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Subject: RE: IM training but can't run...help!
My piddly 4 weeks cause of achilles seems like nothing compared to your situation..... I was so paranoid about my 70.3 and took to walking briskly OTB. I did the eliptical at the gym. Boring. I used head phones and watched a TV.

I talked to others that had to layoff running and many of them mentioned bike fitness. Bike fitness does equate to some run fitness. Good luck! I know people have mostly or all walked IMs. HOpefully you dont have to, but if you do it is better then not trying/finishing.
2013-07-24 8:44 PM
in reply to: Dave 2.0

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Subject: RE: IM training but can't run...help!
How fast can you swim and bike... ? You will be walking most of the run. If you can finish that way do it otherwise consider your entry a sunk cost and target 2014.


2013-07-27 9:30 PM
in reply to: Dave 2.0

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Subject: RE: IM training but can't run...help!
Try pool running. You can do it in any pool so you could do a pool run workout and a swim workout in your regular lap pool. It's really great for leg excercise and it's a good cardiovascular excercise. Although, you're gonna look like an idiot and you will get some sideways looks haha http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=vLGgGBIUXWU
2013-07-28 10:05 AM
in reply to: Dave 2.0

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Subject: RE: IM training but can't run...help!
Originally posted by Dave 2.0

I had a spinal fusion in March...healing well...been released to swim and bike but not run yet. I have tried filling my run workouts with walking briskly and was hoping to be released to run last week; didn't happen. Now I have to wait until Oct to have another CT to check my bone healing status to be allowed to run. That will be less than a month out from my IM. I've tried the elliptical...it sucks, its awkward and makes my feet go numb! I just really wanna run again. I've done some light jogging on the treadmill but I'm scared that is pushing it too much. I've not tried aquajogging but I just don't think I wanna do that either. So please help! I know I'm pushing it a little but...dangit...isn't that what we do...push our bodies? Any other options out there I haven't thought of??


Dont Push It !!

Carl ,
B.S,AAS ,RRT
St.Lukes Hospital
Sports Medicine Staff
2013-07-28 10:58 AM
in reply to: Dave 2.0

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Subject: RE: IM training but can't run...help!
Just some encouragement and hope for you....swgtri did Vineman yesterday (with a PR) after having a stress fracture in her hip. She has only been aquajogging and doing the elliptical for the past 2 months or so. Obviously listen to your body and your treatment team, but it's nice to have some hope!
2013-07-28 11:40 AM
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Subject: RE: IM training but can't run...help!

You probably won't like my suggestions. First off if you are going to the race then aqua jog as much as possible. If you plan on "running" the marathon at IM then you may want to start walking for hours on end. That is if you are cleared to walk by your doctors. Not brisk walking but a walking progression to where you are close to the amount of time that you will be walking at the race. There are several threads on BT about how to walk the marathon portion of an IM.

At this point you won't really know until October if things are healing correctly.

The question really comes down to is this "Ironman" worth your long term health and the potential to ever do another race again. If you try to run/walk at the Ironman after surgery without adequate preparation is it going to cause long time problems?

Only you and your doctors know what is going to be the best choice for your body. People on this forum can offer suggestions of other people who went on to do amazing things in similar situations at their Ironman. Those people had "good" races and were fine. You have to ask yourself is this how you want to do your Ironman? Do you want to suffer through it just to say that you completed an Ironman? Is your finishing time important to you? Or is it the goal of completing the race enough for you? Are you prepared to have a harder time physically than you might have had if you were at 100%.

How long have you ridden your bike at this point? What does that feel like?Is it going to hold up for 112 miles? Has your doctor seen your training plan? Do they know your goals? What do they think?

Are you concerned at all about being hurt at the race during the swim or the bike? What would that do to your back? Sorry for being so blunt. But these are the things that you have to consider.

Having to make the decision to DNS an Ironman is not an easy one. But you can and will live through it and be okay. Also if you were to decide to DNS your race at this point you may be able to get some of your money back from WTC, flights, hotels etc.,

Unfortunately, I have had to make this decision several times due to injuries. In 2010 I broke my toe 9 days before Ironman Florida. There is probably still a thread here on BT with lots of people telling me that I could do the race. Due to the nature of my injury we decided to skip the race that year. It wasn't an easy choice but it was the best choice for my body at the time. I also had no desire to walk 26 miles on a broken toe. Other people have done it but it wasn't anything that I wanted to do.

You also want to think long and hard about going into a race knowing that you will walk 26.2 miles. Due to dehydration problems at IMTX11, I ended up walking the entire marathon. It took longer to walk the race than it did for the bike. It was not pleasant or anything that I would recommend.

If go into the race knowing that you are going to walk then you need to make a plan and train for this option.

This year I had knee surgery. Which basically took out my entire season of racing. I had to DNS at Galveston, Eagleman and BSLT.  On August 4th, I'll be swimming and biking at Boulder 70.3 and then DNFing.  We made the decision to go ahead and go to the race and DNF. I'm still not able to run at this point. Sure, I could have walked the 13.1 miles but why? We've had to change the entire focus of the rest of the year to accommodate for my injury/surgery. My blog is private but if you'd like to be added as a friend send me a note.

I think it is harder to make the decision to DNS or DNF when it is your first Ironman. Try to think long term and do what is going to be the best for you in the end. I'm sorry that you're having to go through this right now.



Edited by Catwoman 2013-07-28 11:48 AM
2013-07-28 2:45 PM
in reply to: 0

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Subject: RE: IM training but can't run...help!
Originally posted by Catwoman

You probably won't like my suggestions. First off if you are going to the race then aqua jog as much as possible. If you plan on "running" the marathon at IM then you may want to start walking for hours on end. That is if you are cleared to walk by your doctors. Not brisk walking but a walking progression to where you are close to the amount of time that you will be walking at the race. There are several threads on BT about how to walk the marathon portion of an IM.

At this point you won't really know until October if things are healing correctly.

The question really comes down to is this "Ironman" worth your long term health and the potential to ever do another race again. If you try to run/walk at the Ironman after surgery without adequate preparation is it going to cause long time problems?

Only you and your doctors know what is going to be the best choice for your body. People on this forum can offer suggestions of other people who went on to do amazing things in similar situations at their Ironman. Those people had "good" races and were fine. You have to ask yourself is this how you want to do your Ironman? Do you want to suffer through it just to say that you completed an Ironman? Is your finishing time important to you? Or is it the goal of completing the race enough for you? Are you prepared to have a harder time physically than you might have had if you were at 100%.

How long have you ridden your bike at this point? What does that feel like?Is it going to hold up for 112 miles? Has your doctor seen your training plan? Do they know your goals? What do they think?

Are you concerned at all about being hurt at the race during the swim or the bike? What would that do to your back? Sorry for being so blunt. But these are the things that you have to consider.

Having to make the decision to DNS an Ironman is not an easy one. But you can and will live through it and be okay. Also if you were to decide to DNS your race at this point you may be able to get some of your money back from WTC, flights, hotels etc.,

Unfortunately, I have had to make this decision several times due to injuries. In 2010 I broke my toe 9 days before Ironman Florida. There is probably still a thread here on BT with lots of people telling me that I could do the race. Due to the nature of my injury we decided to skip the race that year. It wasn't an easy choice but it was the best choice for my body at the time. I also had no desire to walk 26 miles on a broken toe. Other people have done it but it wasn't anything that I wanted to do.

You also want to think long and hard about going into a race knowing that you will walk 26.2 miles. Due to dehydration problems at IMTX11, I ended up walking the entire marathon. It took longer to walk the race than it did for the bike. It was not pleasant or anything that I would recommend.

If go into the race knowing that you are going to walk then you need to make a plan and train for this option.

This year I had knee surgery. Which basically took out my entire season of racing. I had to DNS at Galveston, Eagleman and BSLT.  On August 4th, I'll be swimming and biking at Boulder 70.3 and then DNFing.  We made the decision to go ahead and go to the race and DNF. I'm still not able to run at this point. Sure, I could have walked the 13.1 miles but why? We've had to change the entire focus of the rest of the year to accommodate for my injury/surgery. My blog is private but if you'd like to be added as a friend send me a note.

I think it is harder to make the decision to DNS or DNF when it is your first Ironman. Try to think long term and do what is going to be the best for you in the end. I'm sorry that you're having to go through this right now.





X5
Glad someone posted the above always being floated at St.Lukes ER during IMTX we get all sorts of triathlete patients from undiagnosed asthma,e-lyte deficiency , generallized fatigue ,this are coming from healthy triathletes who came prepared for IMTX. I can only imagine someone who is half fit going to do an IM.

Edited by strykergt 2013-07-28 2:46 PM


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