Injury, surgery and maintenance | 80/20 Endurance

Injury, surgery and maintenance

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  • #8377

    Hi there

    A bit of a story… (apologies in advance)

    I’ve been injured (a bit) since the second week of January, and I now know that I ‘kneed’ surgery on one of my knees 🙂

    On doctors orders, I was unable to run from January through April, when I got the results of an MRI scan I had just before UK lockdown. This confirmed the need for surgery, as they were previously uncertain whether it was a ligament or meniscus injury – it was the latter.

    So, after the layoff and getting the results, I asked the doctor for his opinion, considering it wasn’t ligaments, and I required surgery anyway, would I be ok to run? He said; basically, I couldn’t do much more damage, so as a rugby player himself, he said he’d probably just take pain relief and get on with it for as long as possible.

    Fast forward a bit, and I’ve now been doing strength training and mostly easy running since April until I got to a reasonable level of fitness again.

    I’ve previously suffered from running flat out all the time, being okay for a few months, and then picking up an injury that kept me out for a while, so I know I needed a different approach and found 8020 through a friend.

    I have now been following your maintenance plan for a few weeks (thanks so much for making this free), and I’m just reaching the halfway point.

    I’m really pleased with how it’s been going so far, I’m really enjoying the workouts, and it feels like the system suits me and I’m converted.

    But, I like to know what I’m going to be up to next or have some kind of target, or idea of progression and there’s the rub. I have no races to look forward to due to COVID, and I have no idea when the surgery will take place, but being realistic, due to COVID, it’s not going to be this year.

    I intend to keep running and strength training so that I’m in the best shape I possibly can be when the surgery eventually happens, in the hope that I’ll bounce back quicker. At the moment I’m managing the pain fine, and it’s not affecting the running too much (some days are better than others of course).

    So, after completing maintenance, what would you suggest I do? Just repeat the last three weeks of maintenance or move on to something longer?

    Sorry if that’s a bit vague/fluffy 🙂

    David Warden

    Carrot, welcome to 80/20!

    First, I’m going to go assume I can take your doctor’s advise at face value, and you can run with no restrictions. Second, the strength training for you will be essential to take some of the stress off of that knee.

    OK, so where from here? For certain, don’t repeat the Maintenance plan. It would serve you just fine, but you’ll eventually stagnate. Instead, create a second “mini-season” with a 5K, 10K, or half marathon goal. You don’t need an event, just aim for a PR at one of those distances.

    Finish the Maintenance plan, as there is value in that. Then, take a week off and pick up a formal plan. Maybe a 10K is the best option, as you can work on some speed without the high mileage of a HM plan.

    Also, don’t forget our popular Stride Academy as an option.



    Many thanks David, yes, the only restrictions I have is my pain tolerance currently 🙂

    I’m fine with all the Z1/Z2 work, the speed work hits it a bit harder,my knee certainly knows I’ve done it the day after, but it’s all perfectly manageable with my allowed pain relief right now.

    I think you’re right and the 10k plan is probably the way to go – I will check out the stride academy though.

    Many thanks again 🙂


    Ok, a little update on this.

    Firstly, I found out just last week, that my GP got it wrong. I went for my orthopaedic consultation, to be told that I’m not getting surgery, as I don’t have a tear, and came away with a shiny new diagnosis of osteoarthritis.

    I finished the maintenance plan the week before, so during my week off last week (the day after the consultation) I ran a 5k TT, and was very pleasantly surprised that it was less than a minute off my PB. Given that I’d had 3 months out at the start of the year, then another few months of twaddling about before starting the maintenance plan, I wasn’t expecting to be so close, so it certainly reinforces that the system works for me !

    Fortunately the orthopaedic team said to carry on running as much as possible and keep up with the strength training, and the only time I’ll be seeing a knife is if it gets so bad I need a total knee replacement at some point in the future.

    So…..I shall be starting the 10k plan from the book tomorrow with renewed hope of getting quicker, especially now I know what’s wrong, and knowing that I just have to manage my condition as best I can.

    Thanks again for the plan, it’s certainly looking like it’s a game changer for me 🙂

    David Warden


    Great news! Glad the diagnosis is better than it could have been. Carry on!


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