Recovering from an Injury

by | Updated: December 3rd, 2016 | Read time: 2 minutes

Dear Amy,

Have you ever been injured? How did you stay motivated to train during your injury?

Coming from a swimming background, my biggest hurdle in triathlon training has been the pounding my legs have had to endure while running. The first few years were not pretty. I had my share of lower leg injuries from plantar fasciitis to  stress fractures  to  tendinitis.

One injury that stands out happened in September 2008, the day before I was supposed to run an Olympic distance race. I went for what should have been an easy, 30-minute, loosen-up jog. After about 15 minutes, an excruciating pain in my foot forced me to stop. I could barely walk and ended up hobbling home in tears.

A visit to the doctor confirmed that I had a stress fracture in my fourth metatarsal, and I would have to be in a boot for the next six to eight weeks. I was devastated. I let myself mope for a day, and then told myself to accept the injury and deal with it.

It’s hard to stay motivated when injured, but I focused on what I could do rather than what I couldn’t do. I could still:

  • Swim and bike (super easy!). Being able to train for two out of the three sports was better than nothing!
  • Lift weights and work on building a stronger core.
  • Eat healthy. It was during this injury period that I started eating gluten free.
  • Keep a positive attitude, knowing I’d come back stronger and fresher after this minor setback.
  • Start planning to race my first Ironman as a professional (Ironman Wisconsin) in 2009, which was a year away from the date of my stress fracture.

Being in a boot actually went by rather quickly. I slowly increased my running mileage and was running injury-free for the first time in about two years. Also, during this time my swimming and biking was stronger than ever, because I was focused on those two sports.

I continued following my year-long plan leading up to Ironman Wisconsin and ended up winning my first Ironman as a professional!

Amy Marsh is a four time Ironman champion, two time IronDistance champion, and was named the 2010 USAT Long Distance Triathlete of the Year. Brandon Marsh has been competing in triathlons since 1988, and can be counted on to be a top-10 contender in every event he enters. Got a question about swim-bike-run or sports nutrition for Team Marsh? Email them at ask.the.triathletes@gmail.com. On Twitter, follow Brandon @BrandonMarshTX and follow Amy @AmyCMarsh.