I’ve been sidelined from running for nearly 2 months now and I’m at the point where I’d pay some serious money to be pain free!
I’ve had little injuries before but nothing has kept me out for this long and it’s definitely a learning experience. I’ve come up with some tips for anyone else out there who is struggling with being injured, so hopefully this is useful..
Tip 1 – Don’t rush back
If I didn’t have a coach telling me what to do, I’d probably already be training fully again. Thankfully, he knows what he’s talking about and is helping me take my time and keeping me from rushing it. It’s so tempting to just get up and run, but it could potentially cause some serious damage for the future.
To make my return seem less boring, I’m doing a mixture of very short runs, to help the recovery and also to keep me from going crazy. My coach said something excellent a few days ago and it’ll always stick in my mind..
You’re not running because you’re injury free, you’re running to get injury free.
Tip 2 – Keep active (cross training)
Every cloud n all that..
Since being injured, I’ve been doing a lot of cycling, which I normally wouldn’t have had the time to do. I’m no professional but cycling is a non weight bearing sport so should actually aid your recovery. Plus, it’s just an opportunity to get to know another sport and explore your options. I’ll post a picture of my new road bike because I’m stupidly excited to ride it and maybe go on a few adventures with it..
I’ve also been in the gym doing full body workouts, followed by stretching and foam rolling. This is another way to just keep active and take your mind off of the injury. Also, the stretching will probably be helping your recovery.
Obviously you’ll want to be doing cross training that will maintain a level of fitness that you’d be happy with when you come back from injury. But, it’s also about just keeping your mind active because being injured is mentally tough.
Tip 3 – Set small goals
I’m talking about setting a goal to run half a mile pain free in the next month. You’ll want the goals to be small and achievable, but not too easy. This just keeps that competitiveness going and gives you something to work towards. For me, one of my goals is to run a mile with my left leg feeling like my right leg does, which is pain free. It seems like a lifetime since this has happened but I believe in the process.
That leads me onto the next tip..
Tip 4 – Don’t give up
I have days where I feel like I’m making no progress at all and just want to give up all together. Chances are, you’ll feel like that at least once too. You need to trust the process, trust your body and trust that you’re doing the right thing. I’ve had so many people tell me that it’ll seem like no progress is being made and then out of nowhere you’ll notice a huge improvement. I think because I’m focusing so much on the injury, I’m not noticing the small improvements. A bit like when you’re dieting and look back at an old photo and realise just how much progress you’ve actually made.
Try to get as much information that you can on your situation and then just rest up, cross train and get back to running.
Tip 5 – Help others
This is a bit of a bonus tip really but it’s helping me so much.
I’m now coaching my dad, who’s training for a half marathon in September. I’m not qualified (yet) but I’ve written a plan for him and have been going out on all of his runs. It’s actually beneficial for both me and my dad because I’m getting time on the bike cycling next to him. It’s also just a nice feeling to be helping someone towards their own goal.
From tomorrow I’ll also be coaching my mum on a couch to 5k plan, which I’m so excited about.
There it is.. my 5 tips for injured runners! I hope this is useful for some of you and if you have tips of your own, let me know. Thanks for reading, peace.