5 Tips for a Successful Recovery From Running Injury
Have you ever been injured and been unable to run?
Maybe it was a sprained ankle, or maybe your knee started to ache after every run. Either way, it’s frustrating when you can’t do the one thing that makes you feel good. You want to get back out there and start moving again! But how do you know what to expect as your body recovers? And is there anything else you can do to speed up the process?
These some great tips for returning to running after an injury so keep reading! It will help give your body time to heal properly while still allowing yourself the chance of getting back into shape. The key is knowing what exercises are best suited for recovery and which ones are best avoided until your muscles are fully healed. By following these 5 simple steps, we guarantee that in no time at all, you’ll be able to return out on the road with no pain or discomfort whatsoever!
Don't give up
If you’ve been running for a long time, it will be easier to get back into running. When injuries occur and runners take breaks from their sport, they often worry that the fitness level gained over years of practice is lost in just weeks. This isn't true at all! The endurance built up by regular exercise makes recovery quick enough that returning to normal training regimens doesn’t have much downtime involved in getting fit again.
Your body has adapted to be able to handle the physical wear and tear that comes with exercise. This means your fitness will decline at a slower rate than someone who doesn't work out often, so it's easier for you than people think!
You won't be starting from scratch when you start running again after a break. Instead, your fitness level will have increased since leaving it last time around which can make the activity even more enjoyable!
When you are ready to return to running, certain exercises will help your muscles adjust. If you were injured for a long period, likely, the pain won't subside overnight so be careful with how much exercise is too much at once.
As you start running again, it may feel a bit sluggish at first. However as the days go by and your body adjusts to its new routine, you will gradually gain speed and stamina until everything feels back in full form. In time this patience during adaptation phases is worth it because once you're fully comfortable with all aspects of training like adding volume or increasing speeds things become much easier!
Make sure you're ready
Before you head out the door in your running shoes, take a moment to assess whether or not it is safe for you. Running can be considered a high-impact sport, so many people recommend easing yourself back into this activity when returning after an injury. Begin with shorter distances and slower speeds than usual; if everything feels fine then maybe increase these measurements over time as well!
Depending on the type of injury, make sure there is no instability or pain in the affected area. For example, if you have an ankle sprain and it gives away when you put pressure on it, this means that your mind might be playing tricks on you since a true ligament tear would not allow for such movement yet. This is especially important after surgery to ensure stability has been restored to avoid further harm from occurring while running during rehabilitation.
To test the area that is injured, consider doing balancing exercises such as lifting one leg or calf raises. You can also try squats and jumping to see if these are pain-free.
Brisk walking may also be a good option before returning to running. Exercises such as balancing on one leg, calf raises, and squats are all great ways for testing the area too. If you feel confident enough or try jumping or hopping around pain-free - see if these activities cause any discomfort!
If you have a more complex injury that requires specialized care, then I recommend seeing a physiotherapist get tips and advice for your recovery. They can also help with developing an exercise plan so you know what is safe and effective in terms of recovering from this type of injury.
Get back into running gradually
Returning to running after an injury can be difficult, but it’s worth taking the time and effort. Instead of expecting your routine from before you were injured, ease back into things gradually by starting with shorter distances at a slower pace than what you used to run when healthy.
Make sure you schedule time for recovery and rest so that your body can prepare itself to run again. You may need more days off than usual or a longer break between runs, depending on how active the first half of training was.
Before you start your run, find out how far and long you can comfortably go. Sometimes running hurts while it happens but other times the pain comes after a workout is over.
If you want to be safe and get an accurate reading, go treadmill running. It's easier than running outside on the streets where there is less control over speed and more risk of injury from impact with other objects.
When you are unsure of your baseline, go with less. Start by walking briskly and then gradually increase the speed so that it is a pace where you can talk without getting out of breath. Stop if there's any pain or discomfort at all during this process.
Write down the distance, time, and pace. You don’t have to run until it hurts - you just need a speed that won't impact your injury or make it worse!
If feeling more optimistic, try 2-3 runs per week with rest days in between at baseline level for the first few weeks. Increase by 10% each week if able to do so without pain/injury worsening.
You may also want to consider going into an exercise physiologist who can help find exercises that will strengthen muscles around joints as well as give suggestions on how much running is too much based on data from what they observe during tests such as movement patterns while standing still etc.
Modifying and adapting your running is key to achieving goals when returning from injury. Don’t be surprised if you need to modify or adapt during the recovery process, as it can help improve success!
If you are unable to run for any reason, do not be discouraged. You may need to use a longer warm-up before your run or take more frequent walking breaks during it. Running is often difficult at first but if you modify what isn’t working and stick with the program, eventually running will become easier!
This is the time to listen and note how you feel after a run. I recommend making notes on pain as well, from 1-10 with 10 being most painful.
Most people will experience setbacks when returning to running after injury so don't get disheartened if things go wrong during one particular run.
Once you're ready, boost speed and variety
To build your running stamina and speed, you should include different types of runs in training. For example, try doing long-distance trails to help increase endurance or interval sprints for strength building.
If you can handle speed workouts, try replacing one of your shorter runs with a session like intervals or hill repeats. Make sure to keep the mileage consistent during baseline level runs in that week so as not to push yourself too hard.
Our brain and body make an amazing machine. We have direct access to hundreds of variables, all of which are being integrated with our supercomputer in our heads - pay attention to those variables! If you feel off one day, take 3 days off; if you feel good one day maybe add another run. Talk to experts, read articles about running for outside perspective but most importantly learn how to trust your instincts because, in the end, they form a reliable system more than any other resource out there!
We all know that running is good for our physical health, but I'm happy to say it has many important benefits for the mind as well. Whether you're a casual or serious runner, your typical running routine can have numerous mental health benefits. Permit yourself to take care of both your body and brain by getting out there and hitting the pavement today!
It’s okay to struggle. You are not alone in your journey through life, and you shouldn't feel like an outcast because you're struggling with things that everyone goes through. Injuries suck, but they're a part of the process for runners just as much as they are for people who go through other struggles. Your body is amazing and enough all the time - so let's embrace running injuries or any other setbacks together!
You’ve made it this far in your journey. Let's keep going strong together and embrace the beauty of all that you are!