Coach's Corner

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Coping with injury

Post 24 June 2013 By Adam Nash & Toni Minichiello In Coach's Corner Blog
Coping with injury © Andy Chubb 2012

On Tuesday 11 June, Jessica Ennis-Hill announced she was pulling out of the Oslo Diamond League meet through injury, further delaying her season debut. Her recurring Achilles problem also forced her to withdraw from the UK Women’s League match in Edinburgh earlier this year. So we thought we’d ask her coach Toni how she was getting on.

“Her injury is progressing well but like all these things it isn’t as fast as we would like because we’re inpatient people,” admits Toni. “But it’s improving day by day and she is hoping to return for the Combined Events Challenge in Tallinn, Estonia, on 29 and 30 June.”


Jess is no stranger to injury. In 2008 she suffered heartache as a stress fracture in her left foot caused her to miss the Beijing Olympics. But the threat of injury hangs over every athlete who pushes themselves to the limits. It is therefore essential you surround yourself with a supportive, experienced team who can help you overcome any setback and bounce back even stronger.     

“It’s a matter of pulling all the team together, talking to the physios and medics to analyse the injury and planning how you should proceed,” says Toni. “Try to do alternative training to keep fit. If you have an injury to the upper body you can work on your legs and vice versa. If you have a foot injury you can also do bike work to help take the pressure off.” 

The road to recovery can be long and frustrating, but rush back when you’re not fully fit and you could put your whole career in jeopardy.

“First of all you need to find out what actually caused the injury so you can prevent it happening again. You don’t want to rush back too soon and risk turning it into a long-term, chronic injury, “says Toni. “It’s all about setting small goals, following a day-to-day plan and coming up with targets. We put in place small physiological checks to help us see how an injury is progressing.” 

Toni’s Top Tip – 200m 

The 200m might not receive the same level of hype and media attention as the 100m, yet this challenging race demands both blistering pace and solid strategy. 

“In reality the 200m is a flat out sprint. The inside lanes are also notoriously difficult because they’re tight and the centrifugal force can push you out. Your drive out of the block has to be a strong. You need to work the bend well and run out of it as tall as possible with big, high knee lifts as if you’re running up stairs. Then once you’re on the straight fix your eyes on something in front of you and just sprint towards it.”

Follow Toni Minichiello on twitter @Coach_Toni


Last modified on Tuesday, 21 January 2014 12:41
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