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  • Writer's pictureJonny Miller

Running with an injury

Updated: Jun 24, 2020

Drama has beset the household, the Ultra Marathon Runner (UMR) is injured...

Now no-one likes being injured, least of all anyone who is highly competitive and is likely to race a granny to a lamppost for a ‘win’, but the UMR is injured, and is now nicknamed el-grumpo! After the last few runs the UMR has come back complaining of knee pain, on the outside of his right knee.


We are lucky enough to live next door to an amazing bakery, Jade Boulangerie, which is open during Lock-down and yesterday as I was walking back home from my daily exercise and there was no queue – result!

I wandered in and said ‘I have a very grumpy person next door, can I please have cake, as I think it might be the only thing to put a smile on el-grumpo’s face’!

Not the usual request and the bakery owner burst out laughing from behind his mask, and kindly slipped a mango and coconut cake in a box for me to present to el-grumpo.


So how does injury affect the Ultra Marathon Runner (UMR) household. Well it’s a bit like when the Titanic hit the iceberg. Initially there was lots of panic, and annoyance. Annoyance that the superhuman body had let the UMR down and relinquished him to the settee, and panic because although all his races are cancelled or postponed, if he can’t go running then he will be stuck in the house with me!

Then there was the realization that this could be something big, and dramatic.

Now on a more serious note, the affects of running on mental health are well documented, and the UMR will be the first to admit that running is definitely his way of processing the day, sorting out his head and getting a dose of happy hormones at the same time. So along side the annoyance of the UMR’s body letting him down, there was also the awareness that he won’t be getting his hit of endorphins, or ‘runners high’ as it is known.


The effect of the cake lasted little more than half an hour, and then I was badgered for a diagnosis. Being Personal Trainer, I have a good idea of what the knee injury might be, but at the end of the day I am not a doctor, or physio. Still the questions continued:

“What do you think it is?”

“How long will I be out?”

“What can I do to fix it over night?”

“Did you say I needed to rest it?, but my schedule says I’m got a 20 miler tomorrow ”

It doesn’t really matter what my answers are, as to be honest the UMR is quite possibly one of the most stubborn people I know.

He can channel that stubbornness when things get hard in a race and convert it to mental grit to get over the finish line but when he is injured he doesn’t really want to hear my answers unless they can provide him with a quick fix.


My diagnosis was simply ‘runner’s knee’.

It is a condition often brought about by:

1. Overuse – Overuse? Really?

2. Changing up your training too quickly – so zooming over south east London chasing down segments on Strava instead of running the trails might be a reason for your runner’s knee perhaps?

3. Lack of stretching and foam rolling – Did you really warm-up and stretch after every run?

4. Not rehabbing old injuries properly

Any of the above could apply to the UMR so now it was a case of getting him fit again so we could ditch the nickname el-grumpo, plus he has a virtual 100 mile race (of course he has, I mean that is normal virtual race isn’t it!) which he will probably do regardless of the injury.


Today is a first as he has taken my advice. The Ultra Marathon Runner (UMR) is not going to run, he is icing his knee & taking some anti-inflammatory drugs. Tomorrow we will start on some gentle rehab, with my aim of getting him fit enough to run his virtual 100 miler on Bank Holiday Monday - but even if he isn’t fit the UMR will dig into his reserves of stubbornness and complete the race regardless, because that is what he does.

- Heather


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