Getting injuries are one of the most frustrating things that can happen to a runner, because it completely messes up your training plan and fitness levels. If you are training for a long-distance run such as a half or a full marathon, you may find yourself sidelined for weeks or even months, depending on the seriousness of the injury.
So if you are injured, don’t run because it will only make your running injuries worse. You should give yourself a complete break from running and allow yourself to recover fully, before you begin again.
How then, do you maintain your fitness levels during the injury period, but at the same time, give yourself enough rest so that the injury can heal and you can then resume your training again?
Here are some tips on how to recover from running injuries.
Do other forms of activities rather than running
Don’t run during the time that you are recovering from your running injuries. If you do, this will most likely aggravate the injured muscles. But you can do other forms of activities such as swimming or cycling to maintain your fitness levels, once you are feeling strong enough to do some exercise. This is known as cross training and can prevent the injury from worsening.
Jogging inside a swimming pool and treading the water is also a great way to maintain your fitness levels during your injury period. This is because the water will help to ease the pressure and strain on your muscles, but at the same time, you are getting a good workout.
Slowly get back into running
After you have suffered running injuries, your fitness levels are most likely to go down. So what you should never do is to run at the same level that you were doing before your injury. You simply won’t be able to do it – you might even struggle. Instead you should try to slowly get back into your running regime. For example, running at half the distance that you used to do, would be good, if you were sidelined for about a week. If you do so, you should be back at your pre-injury capacity within about a month.
But if you have been out for several weeks, then don’t be so hard on yourself. You could try a mixture of running and walking to re-build your levels of speed and stamina. This would help you to slowly get back into running, and after some practice, you will soon find yourself running more than walking. But do remember to be easy on yourself, as you would definitely have lost a substantial amount of fitness while being sidelined.
Start out by running slowly on a treadmill
After suffering from running injuries, you could test your running ability again, by working on a treadmill instead of outdoors. This is mainly so that you won’t find yourself stranded several kilometres away from your house, with no means to get home. This is especially true if you weren’t quite ready to run in the first place and your injury starts to flare up again.
Look at the positives
Dealing with running injuries isn’t just a physical thing. There is also the emotional aspect, especially if you have been sidelined for several weeks. This is because to a runner, losing fitness and almost having to start from scratch again, is one of the worst things that can happen to him or her.
But instead of being pessimistic and yearning to run again, try to look at the positive aspects. For example, when you are able to come back to running, you will feel fitter and more confident about running (even though it may not seem that way at first). Moreover, after having experienced injury, you will also be wiser and able to take better care of your body and know when to run and when your body is telling you to stop running.
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