Returning to Running After Injury
Welcome to Monday, loves. I had a weekend full of fun, running the RunWaterloo 8 KM Endurrace on Saturday night and putting in a beautiful long ride with a friend on Sunday afternoon, capping the evening off with a long run.
Official stats for the race can be seen here, but I finished first in my age group and second female. It was a decent race considering there were nasty head winds and I am not a night racer. I will be doing a full recap on Friday.
Today is the final instalment in my IT Band series. Wow. There are a lot of you with IT band issues out there. Misery loves company and it has been a lot of fun to connect with you over the past month and hear your stories. So say you took my advice and took some time off running to recover, did the therapy and exercises to come back a stronger athlete than ever before and now you are ready to get running. We have all been at the starting line of running following an injury and it is easy to feel apprehensive about getting injured again or coming back too hard to soon, which will equate to even more time off. (Trust me, I have been quite guilty of the last one and it is disheartening).
The good news with coming back from an injury is that you are often a smarter runner. Long weeks of therapy have hopefully folded it into your regular routine and you have learned from the mistakes you made to cause the injury in the first place!
Build Slowly – Don’t get greedy with the miles. Gradually build back to your pre-injury milage and supplement the rest with cross training. I did spin, elliptical and pool running as well as slow, easy outdoor runs to gradually get back to my regular training.
Don’t Slack on Therapy – Keep up the good habits that you formed during injury and keep stretching and foam rolling regularly. I always fit it in after a run and try to do it again before bed.
Don’t Compare – Whether it is to your performance before the injury or to others who have been fitting in solid training blocks while you are recovering, don’t let the numbers affect your post injury comeback.
Don’t Skip Your Warm Up or Cool Down – Make sure you are adding a warm up of dynamic stretches or slow, light running before making huge demands of your body and add an easy cool down to each run to keep injuries at bay and to ensure proper recovery for your workout.
Be Preventative – See your physiotherapist/massage therapist/chiropractor or whatever specialist you have been seeing to overcome your injury on a regular basis following your return to running. Being preventative is vital and helps stop injuries before they can show up again. I tend to have locked ankles and am seeing my chiropractor weekly to make sure they are fully mobile even though I am currently injury-free. I want to keep it that way.
It is almost impossible to have a perfect season, but by learning from your past training mistakes and being smart, not just training hard, you will have a fantastic season and return from injury stronger than ever.
Dealing with an IT Band Injury?
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What are your tips for returning from injury? Injury free? Tell me about your latest race!