Beginning to Tri – Episode 3, Broken but not out!

So after making the decision to step into the new world of Tri I have had nothing but support but from local Triathletes Alan Pope (@itsbeef) as well as the main host of @UKTriChat Katerina Tanti (@Katerinatanti) on how to start and begin the conversion from road to Tri.  I have book 2 events already, The Dart Duo, a river aquathlon in July and I was looking for a few more to build towards the and my main focus the Cotswold Triathlon in September.

I had 2 things left in the race diary that I booked before the training transfer but began to get in the pool and use the Wattbike to begin to get used to the new disciplines.  I had the Vitality Bath Half and a local 10km race in Exeter to complete before starting my full road to Tri.

That is where disaster struck! I have been struggling with a sore back but thought nothing more than needing to work on my glutes and loosen my hamstrings but it turns out to be more sinister than that!

Walking to the Start line of the Bath Half my back was not 100% but as most runners I believed it would be fine once I had warmed up.  The race went reasonably well, with a finish time of 1 hour 50 minutes it was pretty tough due to the large numbers but the crowds were fantastic.  Post race I felt sore but not too bad, well enough to stay and enjoy the sunshine in Bath with my family for the rest of the day and drive back to Exeter.

It was the Monday morning that made me realise the damage I had done. After a restless night I got up to a very sore lower back and numbness down my right leg.  I rang the doctor at lunch who asked me to come in straight away! He sent me to casualty after a examination as he was worried it may be compartment syndrome.  2 hours later the A & E doctor confirmed it was nerve irritation and DOMs!  A few days rest and all should be fine.

I took his advice and rested (as much as you can working in a school and not taking time off) but it was getting worse rather than better.  I finally bite the bullet and rang Jenny from Quay Kinetics to get some help.  Jen is great and saw me that evening, what I have is text book (she said ‘We like text book!’) I have herniated a disc, L5 to be precise which is putting pressure on S2! That is why i’m in such pain and numb!  Jen told me off for not using pain killers and sent me away until it had calmed down when she would start treatment.  Ibuprofen taken regular for this injury is a must as the inflammation is what causes the pain and irritation.

2 days on regular Paracetamol and Ibuprofen i have noticed huge gains, i’m still limping a little, my back is sore but not painful and i’m only numb on the outside of my right leg and my little toe.  I have my next appointment with Jen in a week and hope to begin some rehab work.

So has my road to Tri been closed? NO! After talking to friends who run the fact this has happened now is a good thing.  My body was not happy, I need to take stock and refocus on my training, technique and approach.  The chance to reboot and start a fresh and build a strong core and focus on all over body conditioning  will in no doubt improve my running, riding and swimming.

So possibly 6 weeks to refocus on my strength and conditioning with Alan, rehab with Jen and some speed work (When I have the green light) with Keryn.  So my ‘Beginning to Tri’ is not over before it started but just had a tricky prologue!


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