I am looking for the wisdom of the collective to help me to come up with a regimen for fitness whilst I nurse a distorted ankle. I am not allowed to run, jump or jog (anything which would put a shock through the ankle), and have been swimming and using an exercise bike/crosstrainer, but I'm not used to what goals I should be aiming for with this.
Can anyone help?
This goes back to more of my triathlon days but pool running would be a great solution. There are many studies that support pool running as an effective means to maintain fitness during low body injury. Since you are already going to the pool I would instead of doing laps, put on a flotation belt (the ones you see people wearing for water aerobics/fitness).
There is a right and wrong way to do this. The most effective is to stride like you would normally on the pitch with a slight reach of your front foot. Also swing your arms like you are running in synchronicity with your legs. After a few minutes you should be able to develop a good tempo. Now the trick is to beat the boring pool running so set up a bit of an obstacle course, and pool run from marker to marker (or pool edge to pool edge). Pool running will feel like you are in slow motion...you move very slowly so by increasing the rhythmic and cyclic action of your arms, you can speed you legs up. You will actually burn more calories as you are against the resistance of the water.
The water will also be good for the actual injury site placing zero stress on it. You will sweat a lot and not notice so be sure to continue to sip on water during the process (keep a water bottle on the pool ledge).
With high performance athletes, I have them undergo a dynamic warm up as their main set. So I have them do the same movement patterns as say a track athlete warming up. A skips, B skips, etc etc. Its a great way to improve running dynamics because you are completely aware of your movement patterns.
You can offset de-conditioning by many weeks by pool running. Good luck with the recovery!