Today on the Doc On The Run podcast we’re talking about how pain is not a setback in your running injury recovery.
Whether you are conscious of it or not, when you are recovering from a running injury you are probably a little bit gun shy.
Every runner who has ever had to cancel a race or abandon a training plan because of an over- training injury understands how demoralizing and frustrating it is to lose all of your fitness and stop training just so you can “rest” and heal.
If you suffered through that routine it shouldn’t really be surprising that you probably have some trepidation in the back of your mind. Although it’s probably been pushed into the deepest corners of your brain, you may still have some fear holding you back.
Injured runners become afraid of pain.
Whenever I do a phone consultation or WebCam visit with an injured runner who’s trying to figure out how to get over that over-training injury, I can often hear the fear in their voice. What I really do with these runners I help them understand and recognize what they used to do in training when they were fit, but they are no longer doing now that they’re injured.
All runners understand the idea of “no pain, no gain” in training.
But obviously when you get an injury, pain is not such a good thing. You don’t recover from an overt training injury by aggravating damaged tissue.
When you aggravate damaged tissue it often causes pain. So pain becomes a warning sign.
I was just talking to a runner who has been ramping up her training and started to have pain.
She was completely and totally freaked out.
“Did I have a setback? And I back to square one? What Did I do? Was that run stupid of me?”
If you’ve ever been injured and pushed a little too far you’ve probably said one of these things to yourself as well.
Pain does not mean you went too far. Pain does not mean you had a setback.
Everyone wants to believe that there’s some mystical 100% reliable indicator or some magical formula when you start ramping up your running after an injury. Everybody wants some concrete answer on how they can tell how far they can push when trying to run while recovering from an injury.
Pain is just one of the tools which can give you an indication of when you’re doing too much.
But you cannot find your limit if you don’t occasionally get some indication that you’re approaching that zone of “doing too much.”
You really only have three indicators of tissue damage that you can rely on when you’re recovering from an overtraining injury and trying to get stronger:
Pain, bruising and swelling.
Bruising means you got bleeding under the skin because you tore some piece of tissue or cracked a bone or did some kind of other damage.
Swelling means you have mobilized an inflammatory response because you have sustained enough tissue damage that it needs tissue repair.
Pain has a much less fearsome and often a broader range of meaning.
Pain is just an indicator that you’re reaching your limit at that stage of your recovery.
Don’t let pain freak you out.
Use pain. Listen to your pain. Track your pain and use pain as a tool to help you advance as quickly as possible.
The goal is to do as much as possible, just not more than is possible. Pain helps you find that line.
For years I’ve been trying to get injured runners to start tracking their pain before they do anything else. I created a Runner’s Pain Journal and that’s just one page of the Runner’s Rapid Recovery Journal that I created to help walk you through some of those exercises to help you figure out what you’re doing wrong, what you’re doing right and where you’re missing opportunities to get stronger get back to running faster.
You don’t have to create your own pain journal you can go get the one I created for you in the show notes page at DocOnTheRun.com under the podcast tab for this particular episode.
You can print it out, you can use it and will help you look at your pain from a different perspective.
I wrote the Runner’s Rapid Recovery Journal to help walk you through some exercises to figure out exactly what you are ready know that you can do that you’re not doing right now to accelerate the recovery process and get back to full training. This is really the same process I use when I work with runners in person through a phone consultation or a WebCam virtual doctor visit.
Any over training injury is really nothing more than an exaggerated version of the same thing you do to your tissues during your normal workouts. You just want little too far. So what you need to do now is really and truly look at all of the things that made you recover faster when you were training and apply them to your recovery and your healing.
Right now the Runner’s Rapid Recovery Journal is on sale and you can get it at discount. You can get in an instant download version today. You can find a link in the show notes at the bottom of this episode at docontherun.com under the podcast tab.
Go check it out!
Get the Runner’s Rapid Recovery Journal…
Pain is the best tool to help an injured runner decide when run. You don’t have to figure out what to write down. We made a simple Pain Journal PDF for you.
If you have a question that you would like answered as a future addition of the Doc On The Run Podcast, send it to me PodcastQuestion@docontherun.com. And then make sure you join me for the next edition of the Doc On The Run Podcast!