Monday, August 19, 2013

Coming Back from a Running Injury

Editor’s note: This is a guest post from Chris Narbone, creator of Amplify, a blog focused on empowering people through technology. Not only does he write about technology, but also regularly writes about running and other fitness related topics. You can find him at http://amplifytoday.com.

Hands On Injured Knee
No matter the level of runner, a running injury is a possibility. Logging so many miles does a number on a runner’s body. When that injury does present itself, address it promptly and allow for a decent recovery.

If you’re putting yourself on the injured reserve, your running might be limited or not all. We all want injuries to go away, and there’s enough evidence by professionals that reducing or eliminating activity is a must to overcome injuries.

What’s the best approach to get back into running when you’ve healed? Well, I’m going through that right now. I had a nice combination of plantar fasciitis on my left foot and runner’s knee on my right. Both were painful and pretty much had me sidelined for a while.

I saw a doctor at one point because I couldn’t get rid of what ailed me. His advice was to stop running for a while then start up again. Ugh.

I had to follow his advice as I couldn’t run through either injury and I’m pretty sure one led to the other. I stopped running but I didn’t stop moving.

Between low impact cardio on a stationary bike and strength training, the pain subsided. I was tempted to run but knew better. Close to two months went by before I laced up my shoes.

That first run was a little scary. I felt stiff and out of breath. The run itself was a slow jog just short of three miles.

Over the next couple of weeks I continued to ease back into running.  For a while, I felt great during the run but was extremely sore an hour or so after.  I knew I was doing too much too fast. I decided to change a few things and did the following:

  • Stopped using my running mobile app for a while. Logging miles and measuring my pace wasn’t a priority when coming back from an injury. Building stamina and endurance was.
  •  I found new routes. I started running trails and enjoyed the change of pace. This kind of variation from running around my neighborhood felt refreshing.
  • Stretching, stretching, and more stretching. I didn’t do a good job of this pre-injury. While it does eat up time, it’s completely worth for the long term.
  • New shoes. Worn down shoes can certainly lead to running injuries. Making a switch helped provide much needed support and confidence.

When coming back from an injury, take a slow, methodical approach to running. It’s tempting to pick up where you left off but patience does pay off and you’ll be rewarded by staying injury free.

What’s your approach when coming back from an injury?

Chris Narbone, creator of Amplify, a blog focused on empowering people through technology. 

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