Joining 4 Para but injured, need urgent advice.

#1
Hi,

Here is the situation, I decided that I would like to join 4 para December 08.
Come January though I get drunk, and tore ligament fibers in my right knee. The doctor said it would take 6 weeks to heal, foolishly though I did not give it proper rest and I tryed to do some running for fitness and I played alot of sport such as rugby and had to limp off the pitch many times because I kept injuring my knee. During all this I also started to develop shin splints to the point where my shins start to get sore from 10 mins of standing.

So here I am in May with still an injured knee (nearly recovered I reckon though) and shin splints. I have until the 4th of September untill the 4 Para recruit cadre but I have also been given the chance to do the Short Service Reserve Engagement in june. For those of you who dont know its a 9 week intensive training course for 4 para on which you receive your maroon beret at the end if you pass. This would great for me as I really need to improve my fitness and even if I dont pass 'P' company on the SSRE I will get another chance to do it in Feb with my normal 4 Para TA training.

So my question is what should I do? I could sit on my arse this month hoping my injuries heal in time for June but I will not have been able to do any running training. OR should I forget the SSRE and try and train by myself in July August? Taking into account that I really need to work on my fitness as I have been injured and the SSRE could really help.

Sorry for the long post, but its a matter of urgency considering the SSRE starts in 4 weeks.

Thanks for any advice.
 
#3
Sounds unlikely that you'll be better and at the top of your game in four weeks mate, but only you know what your residual fitness is.

If you are convinced that you are fully recovered then why don't you try two or three days of very intensive exercise, with multiple runs a day, combined with a bit of load carrying. If you've got abolutely no gripes after a couple of days of beasting that might give you an idea.

Unless you are approaching max age to apply, you may well be better to put it off for a year.
 
#4
Ok thanks, a lot. I guess I just wanted to do the SSRE so much that I wasnt thinking realistically.

JonnoJonno, I'm not sure I can hold my self back a year. I think I will spend this month working on upperbody with some boxing and swimming for cardio. Hopefully in 4 weeks I will have healed and be able to start running for June, July, August.

I'm pretty devastated though nothing worse than being injured and having life experiences being taken away from you, but in a way I'm even more determined to give it my all in September.

Any more advice to do with Joining in September, Fitness and Injury Rehabilitation would be greatly appreciated.

Cheers.
 
#5
Mate stop!! If you fcuk your knee again then it will just not heal, and then forget even attempting P Coy, you won't be allowed near the Army.
One of my mates got bad shin splints 8 weeks before TA P Coy and sacked it, because theres no way you can recover and then get up to standard in time. He is still gutted about it, but looking for the next slot on a course. Rest yourself, then go for it with 100% fitness because you will need it.
 
#6
Have you any idea how long ligament take to heal mate? They take for f*ckin' ever! You'd be better off breaking something than doing a ligament IMHO.
 
#7
Fortunately I didn't rip a major ligament. When I went to see the doctor she poked at it for a bit and told me I had torn ligament fibers on on the left hand side of my right knee. She looked pretty un-impressed about the whole thing and sent me on my way saying it could take up to six weeks to heal.

Although maybe you are right and add to the fact that I have been playing contact sport and repeatedly injured my knee during rough tackles etc since getting the injury I think I have shot myself in the foot and made the injury worse and take longer to heal than it should have.

I dont want to go back to the doctors to get it checked up though as they currently have my medical forms for the paras and Im still waiting to do a check up with them but as you might know GPs generally wont let you near the army if they think you have an injury.

I'm pretty sure I can pass the GP medical as my knee only gives me problems under a lot of stress or if I turn sharply.

So either I go to the doctors now and risk being deferred from the army for a year or sit and hope I heal within the next 1 - 2 months so I can get some running in before September.

Although I really dont want to wait a year, it would be like giving you kid the games console he has always wanted for Christmas but then telling him he has to wait a year to open it but if its my long term health on the line then maybe I have to.
 
#8
i would deffo rest it, and maybe go to a pysio to find out any strength building techniques you can learn to help with it, im in the same situation as you, im off to catterick in august and have had a pain in my knee since selection where i ran my ass off with a limp, safe to say tho that even if i have to wait till august without doing any training i will, not worth risking doing myself in before basic, good luck with it tho mate, hope it works for out for ya!
 
#9
You basically aren't going to get fit in 4 weeks. The best bet is to rest your knee until it is fully healed. It's challenging to hold off, but you have no choice. Most athletes get injuries but many sporting/military careers would not be ended if more people had the patience and will power to resist the urge to overtrain on an injury. With any injury, you are better off acting like a little girl than acting like a 'hard' man.

In the interim, work the upper body. The main factor in running times is cardiovascular fitness and you will have lost most of this. Your anaerobic tolerance is finse to build, but you will probably have lost mmost of your aerobic base. The only thing you can do is to get onto one of those retarded hand bicycles you find at the gym and work for extended periods of time (60 mins plus) at UT2 (~HR 155 if you don't know your zone). This will help you when you start running again as your heart will be stronger than if you do nothing.

In terms of recovering from the injury, see a physio ASAP. They know what they are talking about and should be able to give you a program to follow that will build you back up to strength as you heal without causing you further injury.
 
#10
Been there, done that and wiped my tears on the t-shirt; I suffered a torn knee ligament while trying to prepare for 23 Selection. More years ago than I care to remember... :cry:

For what it's worth, I'd rest it. Torn ligiments are a cnut to heal. I was told by my doctor that I would have been better off breaking a bone; at least they can be immobolised with plaster.

Rest it and don't put any strain on it until you are sure it's completely healed. As someone else said, unless you are very near the age limit(44?), there's no point in risking an injury that could leave you unable to serve PERMANTLY. I'm fairly certain the 4 Para training staff would tell you the same thing: turning up in less than 100% shape is just a waste of everybody's time.

Best of luck, mate. :thumleft:
 
#11
I think there may also be a SSRE couse beginning in October. Call 4 Para on 01904 66 45 66 and explain that you are currently injured and would like to re-cadre. Aside from joining 4 Para/the army at large, if you don't give yourself time to heal you may be injured for the rest of your life.
 
#12
Agree 100% with JewUnit, the most important thing is to see a physio, preferably a sports physio who is used to dealing with athletes. They will be able to determine training/rehab from the point of view to getting fit again, rather than your doc, who probably couldn't give two hoots about when you can run again.

In the meantime, unless it's painful, the stationary bike at the gym, and hillwalking with a bit of weight may be the way forward, low impact, but working the muscles and CV system to keep you ticking over, but again, the sports physio ( if you get a good one ) is the best source of info for this one.

Theres nothing clever about turning up for weekend one or for SSRE with an injury, like JewUnit says, and acting the hard man and trying to push through it, guaranteed way to fail/fcuk up your chances of the forces full stop.

ps. what coy you going for, and are you actually loaded onto a cadre yet?
 
#14
better to spend 1 year recovering and getting back on form than a lifetime regretting being impatiant.

good things come to those who wait
 
#15
ohh yeah and get your arse in the wet stuff, swimming is one of the best things for excercise while you have an injury, no nasty hard things to damage your knee
 
#16
Swimming (front crawl) will help you maintain your cardiovascular fitness. Do a swimming workout in place of your running workout, and you will find that you will also develop a lot of upper body strength and endurance, which should help you if and when you eventually do P- company.
 
#17
Thanks for all the advice I have taken note of them.

My plan is now to scrap the idea of the SSRE. I will call the doctor tomorrow and ask for a physio or ask at my gym if their Sports Injury Clinic can do anything for me as today I found a lump on my shin which could mean my splints are pretty serious. I will do some swimming to work on my cardio until I feel I have healed.

I am also doing upper body exercises such as press ups, dips and Im going to the local play park when I can do pull ups, rope climbs, monkey bars and whatever else my imagination can come up with.

If my injuries arnt healed by mid-July I will ring 4 Para and let them know and I will probably try and put it off until the next cadre.

I'm also planning to throw in some daily cold showers to help with my mental toughness if you guys think that'l help?

P.S
smff73, I am applying for Edinburgh, I have everything done apart from the medical so once that is done I can attend the cadre in September.
 
#18
jboyd88 said:
Thanks for all the advice I have taken note of them.

My plan is now to scrap the idea of the SSRE. I will call the doctor tomorrow and ask for a physio or ask at my gym if their Sports Injury Clinic can do anything for me as today I found a lump on my shin which could mean my splints are pretty serious. I will do some swimming to work on my cardio until I feel I have healed.

I am also doing upper body exercises such as press ups, dips and Im going to the local play park when I can do pull ups, rope climbs, monkey bars and whatever else my imagination can come up with.

If my injuries arnt healed by mid-July I will ring 4 Para and let them know and I will probably try and put it off until the next cadre.

I'm also planning to throw in some daily cold showers to help with my mental toughness if you guys think that'l help?

P.S
smff73, I am applying for Edinburgh, I have everything done apart from the medical so once that is done I can attend the cadre in September.
Dude, don't go via the doctors! Keep it between you and the private Physio (ensure he knows not to write to your GP). Makes the medical records a little simpler for the army to read mate :wink:
 
#19
JonnoJonno said:
jboyd88 said:
Thanks for all the advice I have taken note of them.

My plan is now to scrap the idea of the SSRE. I will call the doctor tomorrow and ask for a physio or ask at my gym if their Sports Injury Clinic can do anything for me as today I found a lump on my shin which could mean my splints are pretty serious. I will do some swimming to work on my cardio until I feel I have healed.

I am also doing upper body exercises such as press ups, dips and Im going to the local play park when I can do pull ups, rope climbs, monkey bars and whatever else my imagination can come up with.

If my injuries arnt healed by mid-July I will ring 4 Para and let them know and I will probably try and put it off until the next cadre.

I'm also planning to throw in some daily cold showers to help with my mental toughness if you guys think that'l help?

P.S
smff73, I am applying for Edinburgh, I have everything done apart from the medical so once that is done I can attend the cadre in September.
Dude, don't go via the doctors! Keep it between you and the private Physio (ensure he knows not to write to your GP). Makes the medical records a little simpler for the army to read mate :wink:
Agreed. Most doctors know absolutely f*ck all about sports injuries as well (they don't really cover it at med school, and most don't care enough to inform themselves) so you're best off just staying well clear.

Be aware that cardio in the water takes longer than other forms of exercise to get the same benefit. I don't know the physiology of it, but 45 mins of running is as good as 1hr 20mins of cycling or 2hrs swimming (roughly). If you have/can afford a waterproof polar HR monitor then use it as knowing that you are hitting 150-160 continuously can be very useful.

Good luck and I hope you make it. If you have to delay the SSRE by a year then we could be meeting on the october intake.
 

The_Duke

LE
Moderator
#20
You need to allow yourself as much time to heal as your body dictates. Once healed, you need to build yourself up to a good standard of physical fitness gradually. This may mean missing one, or even two, cadres before you are in the best position to go for it.

The cadre is not the time to do remedial fitness - you need to be reasonably fit when you start - comfortably sub 10 mins 30 secs for the 1.5 mile run, and capable of a steady state 8 mile run over undulating terrain would be a good start point. The cadre will improve your fitness, and give you a series of markers to train towards, but the fitness work is for you to do in your own time.

If you arrive not fully healed, or not fully fit, then you will fail - either because you will suffer a reoccurence of your existing injury, or because you will not be able to keep pace with the increasing fitness demands.
 

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