The pain in Rachel Tallent's leg should have set off alarm bells, but the Rio Olympian decided to push harder instead of listening to her body. Now she wants to make sure no one else makes the same mistake.
Race walker Tallent is just about to take the first steps in her journey towards the Tokyo Olympic Games in 2020, ready to avenge the injury that hampered her 20-kilometre race.
But before she goes, the University of Canberra psychology student has set up a research program to help give endurance athletes a greater awareness of the warning signs to injury.
Tallent walked in Rio with a stress fracture in her left femur after injuring her leg four weeks before her Games debut. Instead of resting, she trained and then suffered three more stress reactions in her right tibia.
It forced the 25-year-old to miss 12 months of races, including the world championships last year. But she hopes her research alongside associate professor in sport and exercise psychology Richard Keegan helps recognise the alarm bells.
"When I got my first [injury], I definitely neglected the warning signs. I put it down to slight soreness," Tallent said.
"But over time I've been able to distinguish between normal soreness and the sharp pain. At the Olympics I was struggling with a whole heap of pain.
"It's had a really big impact on me and that's what's influenced the research I'm doing."
The research project aims to identify factors which moderate the relationship between interoception and time lost due to injury. Tallent and Keegan have invited athletes to participate in a questionnaire and a lab-based heart tracking.
"We've been doing some work here on resilience and what disposes people to react well to stress," Keegan said.
"It seemed the ability to sense your internal bodily state was a good way of managing stress. We thought that might be applicable to emotional and physical stress.
"So to sense whether damage is occurring and whether they can manage that better. There is normal fatigue and then unpleasant pain, which can be confused with fatigue.
"In the long term we hope to train people to tell the difference and we're pairing something from psychology with physiology to bridge the gap for a purpose."
Tallent, the younger sister of four-time Olympic medal-winning walker Jared Tallent, hopes to get her career back on track after overcoming her injury woes.
She will race in Spain and China next year and weigh up other events to give her the best part of securing qualification for Tokyo.
"I can definitely say that after what I've been through I'm a lot better at telling where my body is at and how hard I can push," Tallent said.
"I'm not too sure if I'm a better athlete. I'd like to take what I've learnt from the last year and use that to my advantage in the coming years, especially in Tokyo in 2020.
"The world championships is in Doha next year, but to qualify ... there is a new rankings system so I'll have to do more races next year.
"The Olympic Games is after that and that's probably my biggest goal. To be able to go to an Olympics is an awesome experience, but everyone wants to go as fit and healthy as they can be.
"Unfortunately I didn't get to achieve that part of the goal. So now it's about keeping my body healthy to perform as best as I can. I don't want anyone to experience what I've gone through."