Time to read: 5 minutes
Injury rehabilitation after running 2500 miles in 63 days. KYMIRA endorsed Adventure Runner, Nikki Love chats to us about her journey and the use of KYMIRA products that helped her.
Kieran: Good to see you smiling Nikki, hoping you have good news for all of us
Nikki: Yes, all good news!
Kieran: That is great news, it's great to be speaking with you today Nikki, I'll let you explain a little more about yourself as an ultra-runner
Nikki: Ultra runner more like adventure runner so I run long distances but as a leisurely pace so I can go on adventures and really enjoy myself when running, especially seeing how far I can go.
Kieran: Tell us a bit more about why we are here today, tell us a bit more about the mammoth challenge you took on
Nikki: This year I was supposed to run across Australia and that didn't happen as my flights got cancelled and Australia closed so I came up with an idea that instead of running across Australia I would try and run the distance on a treadmill and the distance was going to be 2,500miles Perth to Sydney and I thought what a fun thing to do on a treadmill but it wasn't!
Kieran: You got quite far into it though, how far did you get?
Nikki: I got to 1,040 miles; it was tougher than I thought lots of mental strength as well as physical strength. I found it hard, as the idea is to go out and explore and adventure so it was very different to be inside and running on the spot. Ended up staring at the corner of my lounge for a long time. It was good experience and has set me up for next year, the long days, the repetitiveness. It all came to a screaming halt when a torn the tendon in my toe and brought an end to my little adventure.
Kieran: Not all has gone wrong as it has set you up really well for next year but yes unfortunately you were unable to complete the challenge this year but there is loads of learning to take away from that and yes you are in rehab but you've built onto the challenge for next year
Nikki: I was going to use this anyway as a training run, a long training run but the whole thing the mental strength how the body was ging to cope but the injury that I got is specific to running on a treadmill and that is not what I would experience outside and there was a chain reaction of things because I was running on a treadmill, take the treadmill out of the situation and I hope my body will be able to cope with the distance of running across Australia
Kieran: I think it's time to tell the people a little more about the injury and what actually happened, what actually is the injury
Nikki: There are two tendons between my foot and my toe called the extensors longus and brevis and I tore the tendon to the second toe and the big toe and at the time I was concerned as there was a stabbing pain and I was concerned as I couldn't move my toes and I was worried as I need my big toe, don't need my second toe but I need my big toe! I jumped off the treadmill and went to the couch and get the process of ICE and it took a few days for the swelling to go down for the osteopath to look at it, I got an MRI scan and an x ray to make sure it was a stress fracture on the bone. The point of it was I kept the treadmill on 0 incline as outside we had it balanced on wood and if I raised it the whole machine would bounce around and once moving inside, I forgot to change the incline so it was very repetitive and I wasn't using my butt, or my hamstrings so after 1,040 miles my butt was still the same! There was a lot of strain on my quads which was really tights and around the shins and top of my foot. The repetition led to swelling and I just ignored it and would ice it but it was only meant to be a training so I had to look after myself
Kieran: Maybe you can give us some more background on the difference between a treadmill and running outside on the road and how those two climates affect your body differently?
Nikki: Using treadmill actually almost makes you cheat, you don't have to lift your feet up as much so hamstring use was limited so if I had put it on a slight incline then I would have incorporated my hamstrings more and also there was that constant hitting the treadmill at the front, especially when you get tired, doing it every day, there was a lot of jamming as I hit the treadmill and so that was a combination of those two things it's not as prevalent as when I go out running
Kieran: Is there more of your foot striking the ground when you are running outside as opposed to the treadmill?
Nikki: Yea probably a little more, I try and run mid foot but laziness and tiredness come in so I end up going a little more heel and this causes more strain than it would if I were outside. There is a point to treadmills, I still have it and it will be a part of training still
Kieran: With the incline this time!
Nikki: Yes, and not as many hours on the treadmill, I'll be doing my red zone training on the treadmill as I can make it a steeper incline and have more control over the speed so I can't get lazy, outside I could slow down when I want whereas if the treadmill is going a certain speed, I have to keep up with that. A treadmill is not designed for long distance but can definitely help my training
Kieran: It's like all these things in sport with options and they all serve a purpose, and its about deciding where to use them into our personal eco system, I am a cycler and I enjoy being on my bike. I read that even a 0.5 incline can make such a big difference to your body's mechanisms
Nikki: Yes, only a slight incline makes a big difference
Kieran: Tell us a bit more about what has happened since then, been doctors, had scans, what has the journey been like from the initial injury up until now
Nikki: Well, the best advice was to stop, and I took that, I took it really easy and just rested, put my leg up, and from there it's been strengthening the tendons, and there is still a little swelling around the area of trauma but I am getting acupuncture for that but the strengthening I've been doing for a while. My first thing was standing on my foot flat and my balance was all over the place so I was wanting to get my balance back so I just did the slow building up of rather than rushing it and do the work properly, I then started on working on the action of my toes and walking around in my KYMIRA compression socks to get used to using my toes. As I'm starting to use the tendons, the blood flow to the area is key so that it can help, I lived in my IR50 KYMIRA leggings wearing them all day every day and that has helped with the recovery. My downtime is minima as possible but I didn't also rush it. Always having my compression socks and leggings on heled massively and it was about doing as many things as possible to help the recovery process.
Kieran: As a performance coach, the number of tools you have to help with the recovery process, one being KYMIRA infrared technology to help you like in the socks you've got compression and infrared with compression aiding the muscular skeletal system and the infrared helping with vasodilation and blood circulation. KYMIRA really helps to take the edge of the pain away so you are taken out of discomfort, it's still there but it is eased.
Nikki: I was aware that something was happening and putting the pieces together that something wasn't right, when it does snap, it's about the balancing act and knowing when to stop and rest and let my foot recover but I took it to a point where it was too far gone
Kieran: As mentioned you wear your IR50 leggings and compression socks after ultrasounds and acupuncture, doctors say after injuries to drink a lot of water and keep warm and with KYMIRA infrared technology the thermoregulatory properties allow the fabric to retain 67% more heat than normal leggings so especially around that trauma side of injuries, the leggings and socks promote the blood flow and vasodilation effect through the nitrogen oxide activation but also stores that thermal energy so having both that and the compression element means you have that support and retention in that fabric as well, it is like triggering your mind that something is supporting you and you've got the best of both worlds with compression and infrared and thermal point of view, keeping warm, especially in the winter months it's getting cold, you just feel a lot warmer and better regulated. It is good to feel supported without having to wear a lot of layers.
We are glad we have been able to help you on all fronts from recovery to rehabilitation and that just shows how versatile the technology is helping you to go out and train in the cold climates and help with menopause and blood circulation. What is next for you now?
Nikki: I have been given the thumbs up and I am up and out running, I've done a 15k which is my longest run, I am still doing my strength work and my toes are getting stronger and just slowly building it up and getting back into it