Select Page

My PMI claim, a Triathlon update and World Bicycle Day

My PMI claim, a Triathlon update and World Bicycle Day

With just under two months to go until my triathlon, my use of the support services available through the various policies I have is increasing. My calf problem however, is threatening to derail the whole plan. Indeed, it became bad enough that I needed to see a specialist and claim on my PMI with Vitality.

My triathlon training progress so far has been a mixed bag. The swimming aspect is coming along better than planned as I am now averaging around a 26-27 minute mile in the pool. My first open water experience will be this weekend and I plan to continue this every Saturday until the race at the end of July. This is way ahead of the 30 min mile time I set myself at the start of training!

Likewise the bike training is also ahead of schedule. I am now proficient at changing gears on a road bike (don’t laugh, it took me a while to figure out the whole gears on the breaks thingy) and after a quick search on YouTube, I can even pump the tyres up now (who knew there was another twisty thingy after you take the cap off the pump valve!!). Timewise I am pretty comfortable averaging 30km an hour, even in the hilly lanes I cycle through, so the relatively flat race should hopefully let me average a few km/hr faster.

My issues however, have come with the run. After about a month of running with varying pain in both my calves I decided to get them checked out. Having spoken to one of our doctors hear at Protection Guru, they referred me to a consultant in Musculoskeletal, Sport and Exercise Medicine (SEM). Knowing that FTRC kindly provide all employees with Private Medical with Vitality, our doctors found just the consultant in a local private hospital and provided a referral letter.

Having never claimed with Vitality previously, I was pleasantly surprised by the whole experience. I first submitted the claim via their Care Hub, answering the various questions about my condition. I was then asked for a day and time for a short call to discuss the claim in the next few days. Going into the call I was a little nervous as my referral was to a very specific consultant (who we knew was on Vitality’s panel). I wasn’t sure if Vitality would want to select the consultant, however these fears were allayed pretty quickly once the claim handler found him on their list. The call was very short and in minutes my claim was accepted and I had confirmation that Vitality would cover the initial consultation, any scans and a follow up consultation. After these I would need to get further treatment confirmed.

So off I went and met the consultant. I was referred for an MRI on both legs and the results were not good! To use medical terminology I had a “tear of the lateral and medial gastroc/soleus aponeurosis” in both calves along with “retraction left proximal tendon soleus 2cm”. As it was explained to me, the gastric/soleus aponeurosis is a feather like tissue that connects the gastric and soleus calve muscles. Although not massively serious, I was told it is a niggly injury that takes time to repair and is very easy to re-tear.

The result? Very little running for the next 4-6 weeks and lots of physio to strengthen and stretch the calves. With just over 12 weeks to go until the race, this is not what I wanted to hear!

So back I went to Vitality, who again impressed me with the speed at which they accepted my claim for face to face physio (at this point I hadn’t even shared a referral letter).

5 weeks later and the outlook is getting better! Although I am only running for 10-15 minutes at a time, the extensive physio has meant that for the first time since starting training, I am actually running pain free. My core fitness is not affected, so I know I can run the distance, it is just case of nursing my calves along with me! If I can keep myself to below 5 minute per km average I will be ecstatic!

As a somewhat spurious link, it is world bicycle day today a day in which the Word Health Organisation “actively promotes cycling for its myriad benefits to health and the environment, including increasing physical activity, reducing noncommunicable diseases such as cancer and diabetes, and decreasing air and noise pollution.” Although I am not a complete cyclist convert, I have to admit I have enjoyed the bike far more than I thought I would (and definitely more than running) and family rides of a weekend are proving a hit with my kids.


I will be completing the Triathlon in aid of the Stroke Association to which I have a particular affinity due to my mum having a stroke during lockdown. If you are able to donate anything I would be eternally grateful as would the Stroke Association who do amazing things for those who have suffered from a Stroke.

About The Author

Adam Higgs

Adam leads Protection Guru's detailed protection research and benchmarking of both product and operation features provided by insurers and has a vast knowledge of the protection market. He has been instrumental in building the protection comparison service Quality Analyser and maintaining the data to enable adviser to quickly and easily compare protection products based on qualitative measures. He also works with adviser firms to help in panel reviews and with insurers to help them understand the shape of the market, their strengths and the areas that could be improved in their products. In his spare time and when not spending time with his wife and two children, Adam is a keen Arsenal fan and enjoys hacking his way around a golf course.

Leave a reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *


Contact Us


Protection Guru Awards

2024 Product Ratings

Cost of Living

Protection Forum

Provider Financial Strength Ratings

Claims facts & Figures

Visit our learning & development Hub


We use cookies to track usage of our website using Google Analytics. Click here to opt-out.
Share This