Training schedule after a toe injury

Hi all,

So, 10 years a member and here's my first post although, sadly, it's not really about running - more about walking!

Ten weeks ago tonight (nearly to the hour, as it happens) I tripped in the shower and injured the 4th toe on my left foot. I spent the next day following the RICE advice. As we were days away from lockdown though, and with the weekend looming, I wasn't able to see a doctor at the time. I was advised just to rest it and that toes generally heal themselves.

Over the next ten days I was walking on it ok until it really started to bruise up and swell. So, I stopped and, as it happened, had to quarantine myself anyway. From the 11th April (3 weeks after injury), and on the advise of my doctor, I started daily walking to build my toe back up.

I walked very short distances initially (say 3 mins walking) and then the following day I'd rest. I alternated like this for a couple of weeks until I, foolishly, ended up walking 4 days in a row, at about 20 mins a walk. My toe was quite hot and painful on that night and so I decided to rest it up again, this time for another 3 weeks.

So, now I'm at a week last Monday (18th May) and, again on the advice of my doctor, start to build up my walking. I walk for four days in a row, 500m only (6/7 mins) and then started to get discomfort again last weekend.

I decided to go to a walk-in centre as it's now been 9 weeks since the injury and no medical person has actually looked at my toe - I've just been told "it'll have healed - build up your walking every day" My toe was x-rayed and I was told there was no fracture but that I had a soft tissue injury. He advised I continue to walk on it.

So, here I am having just got back from my second walk since the walk-in centre on Tuesday, Yesterday and tonight I've walked 500m BUT here I sit with a burning sensation in my toe and growing concerns that this thing just isn't going to heal.


My question here is about building up the toe after an injury. What is the best way to do this? Should I be ignoring these sensations after my walk (I wasn't getting these back in April when I alternated walking days) and keep at it every day.

And how about time and distance? Should a 6 min, 500m walk, be ok to do after 10 weeks?

I'd just love some advice on how I should be treating this. Should I be icing my toe when I come back from my walks? Is submerging in hot water a bad idea?

Finally, and with lockdown still ongoing (just about), how have others coped with keeping cardio up whilst injured? I must say it's taken quite a toll on my overall health and mental well-being.

Sorry for the long post (it must feel like it's taken ten years to read!)

Thanks in advance.



    I think you need to speak to a physio or podiatrist, some are doing online consultations.  You could try phoning your GP surgery and ask if their physio/podiatrist services are doing online consultations, if not would have to be private

    Time and distance would be the same as when recovering from any injury, gradually building up, but think you need advice as you still have pain.

    I've had no problem with lock down as long as I can run every day.   Am missing my races and the gym though.
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