It’s the plight of runners everywhere. You’re cruising along, admiring the scenery, grooving to your tunes, remarking at how good your body feels, when suddenly your ankle rolls over a curb, a root, uneven ground.
Explicit words ensue.
Now you’re stuck a certain number of miles from home with a tender ankle. What do you do?
This exact scenario happened when I was 4.5 miles away from my apartment on my long run this morning.
- Don’t Stop Moving. If you stop, sit, rest, your ankle is going to immediately start swelling and limit your mobility. Keep moving. It might take a few steps for your gait to be normal again, but the adrenaline will shortly take over and you won’t feel too much pain, if any.
- Find Flat Ground. Your ankle is going to be tender and unhappy. Find the flattest possibly path to be on while you make your way back.
- RICE. When you make it to your destination, follow the RICE acronym. Rest, ice, compression, elevation. A cold river you can stick your feet in also works if you don’t have ice.
- Wear Supportive Shoes. As you move through your day, wear shoes with a lot of support. If you’re at home, don’t walk around barefoot as your ankle might roll again from being tender and the way you might be gingerly stepping. If you have a second pair of sneakers, wear them.
- Give it a Few Days. My ankle roll tenderness typically lasts 3-4 days. Be gentle on your next runs and don’t overwork yourself. Your ankle needs time to recover.
- Strengthen it. When your ankle heals, spend some time and strengthen it. Point your toe and spell out the lowercase ABC’s. This works on your ankle range of motion, making it harder to roll on your next run.
RQ: What was your worst ankle roll situation? Any other suggestions to add?