Elly Franks is currently in Italy and about to compete at the Ironman 70.3 Italy this weekend. However, she’s had to deal with a string of injuries recently. She checks in just days from her return to racing, and talks about dealing with her injuries. 


“If i get one more injury… I’m changing sports!”

This was what I had openly said to my good friends, but it was mainly for my own ears, following a bad case of plantar fasciitis, which kept me from running for two months leading into Busselton Ironman in December last year. My heart and mind was set on racing regardless, and as I got off the bike in 2nd and ran my best ever marathon to finish 4th, I far exceeded my expectations, fueling my desire to one day line up for an ironman with at least “some” run fitness.

Following Ironman, my body went through a long recovery phase. The hard race and marathon, without the prep, had taken its toll, but I resumed training as soon as possible. I raced the USM Olympic distance race in Geelong and struggled, but scored a lucky win. That was my last race. One day early in Feb, I got off the bike after a long ride back from Mt Eliza into a strong, relentless head wind (we’ve all been there) and tried to run, but was forced to stop due to a sharp pain in my hip. The rest of the injury journey is history and I dont want to bore you with details of appointments, MRI’s and second opinions. Chances are, you are an athlete and you have your own frustrating experiences you have told over and over to somewhat receptive, but mostly distracted and tuned out listeners. As an athlete, training and racing is the centre of your whole world. Your ability to perform these rituals defines your happiness and how you function in other aspects of your life. But when you relive and share the step by step process of injury onset to current status, don’t be surprised if the listener does not understand the emotional roller coaster you are on. I learnt to just say “I have an injury, not sure when I will be running again. Unfortunately I’m not racing at the moment. How are you?” <insert smile here>. There were days when I couldn’t even walk. Driving to my desk at work was difficult. Only problem was, I had booked a trip to Italy to train and race for a team called “Forhans Team” for their summer. This is something I had always wanted to do, and this was my time! There was never a moment where I considered giving up on Triathlons and my motivation following Busselton was at an all time high. Following some relentless support and treatment from friend Louise Davoren (Solutions Physio and Pilates) and Dr PeterBacquie, I was able to swim with a pool bouy, then walk up stairs. Here we are four months later run/walking 45 minutes. During that time, I stuck to my plan to travel to Italy over winter to train and eventually race.


I’m based in a little village with no English speakers, a 10km climb from the local town up to here, and a meat/veg man that rings the bell so that you know when he’s in town – there are no distractions. Not knowing when the stress fracture would heal, I noticed daily necessities such as walking around and driving in traffic in Melbourne etc would inflame the area, so coming over here was majorly beneficial to the healing process. No traffic, no cars, nowhere to be, just lots of time to focus every day on swimming, building up the riding, walking up stairs and doing strengthening work so that when I could eventually run – it would be a quick buildup. With advice and a plan from experienced Coach, Roch Frey, I started with baby steps of jogging/walking, and am now getting excited about the prospect of racing soon. Roch manages to be able to turn my whole mental state around with one email or skype – a skill I value very highly in a coach. I also have great support here from Forhan’s team members Laura Berretta and Luigi Francia for training logistics. Also, NW Sport’s Tardito family for their generous hospitality. I’m reasonably swim fit, stronger on the bike than ever before, and gaining more km’s on the run every week. This coming weekend Im entered in Italy 70.3 which will be a good hit out. Some uncertainty surrounding my run ability, but at least I will get a good taste for racing again and a chance to see where I’m at against some of the best Europeans. Stay tuned for more updates…

Elly x

Elly will fill us in next week on how her race, and the whole race unfolds. Hope you have a ripper! – Ed. 

About The Author

Stef Hanson. Chief.

Chief and founder of WITSUP

Serious about what I do, but don’t take myself too seriously

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4 Responses

  1. Anonymous

    Keep up the positive mind . Wishing you the best in recovery and triathlete journey.

  2. Kristy Hallett

    Go get’em Elly!! Great to hear you’re well and truly mending. Ciao bella!


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