CFT practice after injury

Discussion in 'Army Reserve' started by Dr_Chris, Dec 16, 2007.

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  1. Sorry if this has been done already, but can't find it if it has.

    I'm recovering from some quite nasty ankle injuries and am at the stage where I can start building strength back up. I was planning to go out on a 4 mile CFT some time in the week with a reduced load of about 15kg just to see how the ankles held out.

    Question 1 - After a time of about 4 months of not being able to do any running, let alone with weight, is 15kg too much? It'd just feel a bit useless walking around with a bergan seemingly filled with air.

    Question 2 - Beforehand I've done CFT practice with just an old backpack of mine. Problems being 1) it rides uncomfortably on my back and 2) It's a bastard if I want to carry easily accessible water. Would I get beaten to death by a MATTS pamflet if I do CFTs locally with webbing/bergan? Is this considered a breach of persec? It's just without spending £60 odd on a new decent civvy hiking backpack I'm a bit stumped.
  2. Personally mate I would start running a decent distance before you start tabbing. Putting weight straight away on an serious injury is a bad idea. Your fitness will need work and your injury will show up if your not top of your game. But it's your choice.

    As for persec I wouldnt worry too much. I go out tabbing regularly using my bergan and have never been pulled up about it. You have to be smart about it though. Your bergan, boots and a pair of lightweights is fine but cutting around your local woods in full fighting order is not the best idea.

    Good Luck.
  3. Get the running sorted then start with wieght .I'd just put the wieght in the bergan rather than bergan and webbing .
  4. The_Duke

    The_Duke LE Moderator


    Do not, under any circumstances, attempt to run with weight until you are 100% recovered. Build your training up gradually wearing good quality running shoes and no weight.

    If you are determined to train with weight, wear boots with good ankle support and light weight in your issue bergan. Walk at a quick pace, off roads and throw a couple of hills in for max benefit. DO NOT RUN!

    The CFT is conducted at brisk walking pace, so if you do the same you will train but also prevent your injury getting worse.
  5. Do not get started on this in the way you say you intend to. It will end in real grief.
  6. Thanks for the responses.

    @Woody - I was thinking webbing mostly because that gives me easy access to my water bottle and also adds a bit more support by dispersing the weight.

    @Duke: I've done full CFTs before no problem, it's just I really need to get back to doing them. I'm in an infantry platoon so I need to be able to keep that level of fitness up.

    There's a lot of pressure on me at the unit to get back and running/tabbing with them so I do really need to get cracking somehow, I'm just trying to do it in the least dangerous way really.
  7. The_Duke

    The_Duke LE Moderator


    Infantry or not, training with weight before you have fully recovered will do you no good at all. Whatever the pressure, you need to get yourself sorted BEFORE you start training.

    Assuming that your chain of command is aware of your injury, ask whoever is putting the pressure on to instruct you in writing that you have to pass the CFT before you are signed off by the RMO as being fit to train.

    I bet they won't!

    Get healed, then get fit. Try it the other way aound and you will set yourself back, possibly permanently.
  8. Cycling might be a good way to start, whether on road or on a trainer, it will build your fitness levels up steadily, whilst being non-impacting on your ankles, allowing them to strengthen and improve in flexibility.
    Then, after a short while, you could consider walks with a light weight, or gentle runs to get your joints used to the impact again. Offroad is better than on as it allows slightly more 'give' than tarmac and concrete.
  9. A few years ago I fractured the vertebrae in my back. To get me on the road again to CFTs ( see what I did there?) I started slowly, without weight. There was no pressure from my unit and I did this in my own time.

    I did the CFT route 3 nights a week and I started off by just doing the off road bit first at a brisk walk. Then I did twice the off road bit, then 3 times. When I got to the point where I could feel able, I started to do a shuffle of sorts which resembled a jog. I gradually built my fitness up and started to run the course. I did a mile, then two, then three etc etc.

    Once I was comfortably doing the route in a oner within the hour ( as it was then) I added just a bit of weight to get myself used to it again. Within two months I had passed the CFT. Not bad for someone who couldn;t walk properly at the start of it.

    You've got to walk before you can run. Build up slowly and you'll pay dividends without putting yourself and your ankle under too much pressure. As mentioned before, start full pelt with weight and you could permanently injure yourself.
  10. BBear

    BBear LE Reviewer

    Some sensible advice here. There is nothing wussy about walking if you can't run, or not carrying weight if your body can't take it at first. To be honest, even fit people shouldn't run with weight that often.

    A mate and I were getting pretty fit last year, going for a long run every day and a pack run every other day. After about 3 weeks, he had to go to the Docs because his knees were hurting, and they still give him grief now. I knakard my shoulder on a course, and didn't let it heal because i wanted to do cambrian, result - i didn't do cambrian because i was injured so couldn't do the training.

    It's not about how hard you train, let the army thrash you about - train sensibly in your own time.
  11. Build your fitness up gradually - you must have seen a physio who gave you seemimgly pointless exercises to do ? you need to do these religously to get all the ligaments and other boring bits in your ankle 'sparking' and talking to your brain properly. if you don't you'll go over on it again and again and they will stretch beyond repair

    Its worth investing a little bit of cash and seeing a good sports therapist they should be able to take the physio's advice (physios take you back to functioning -sports thereapist makes it strong to use!) to the next level - will advise on the best training for you in relation to you and your injury - and give you lots of boring exercises - for a reason!

    If you were one of my clients I'd make sure your ankle was strong and balance before reccomending weight and walking distances!- swimming front crawl properly is good because it works your your ankle and improves your CV at the same time without the impact - beware running machines becasue they can 'snatch' at your ankle when they drag the foot back cross trainer in the gym - use your webbing if needs be?

    I use my webbing/bergen in public! there are enough people walking around in ext military kit for you to be just another Civi with some green kit!

    most of all do not push it too fast listen to your body - beware runnign on the road staright away or you'll have a whole raft of other injuries!

    good luck ankles are a b*gger!
  12. Webbing? In public? Not sure I'd agree with you there.
  13. will confess to mainly using my bergen - and its the middle of nowhere where I walk so I rarely see people!
  14. I totally understand that you fell pressurised to get back to normal unit life asap. What you have to remember is that an injured soldier is no good to man nor beast. I've been through the same situation though a knee injury followed swiftly by an ankle injury. Because I didn't let either one heal properly I am now suffering with the knee again. Regardless as to what people say to there is no shame in taking your time getting back to 100%. I felt pressurised but then I realised that the pressure wasn't comming from my unit but rather from inside my head.