Today, on the Doc on the Run podcast we’re talking about how you need to find your line if you want to recover from running injury faster.
When you get injured, your goal is to actually recover as fast as possible and maintain your running fitness while you heal that specific injury. Now, everybody wants some timeline, like two weeks, four weeks, six weeks, something that says this is how long I have to wait for it to be healed and me to get back to running safely. But it never works out that way consistently. What you have to do is you have to figure out how you can push your timeline and how you can actually speed things up.
When we were talking about this, the runner said, “Well, how can I find that line?” This brought up a great point. All athletes know how you can find your line. How many pull-ups can you do? This is really simple. This is the simplest example. You go out, you get on a pull up bar, and you see how many you can do. Maybe you can do nine. Maybe you can do 19. Maybe you can do 90. I don’t know, but there is a line and there is some place where you just cannot do one more, and that’s where you have to stop.
Now, all of us runners know that there’s a line as well. When you go out to do speed work, there is some pace which is very difficult for you to maintain. But if you push up to that pace and you try to hold it a little bit, something will happen. You’ll get stronger. Now, you’ll have a process of recovery in between that workout and you getting stronger, but that’s how you get there.
You have to go out and find that line. In a marathon, same thing. If you think that you can do 8 minute miles but you’re really only able to do 8 15s and you go out and you try to do 8, what’s going to happen? You’re going to walk the last couple of miles and you’re going to be demoralized and you’re going to come way off of your goal time because you pushed too far over that line.
The exact same process will work for you in injury recovery when you have a running injury. It can be a metatarsal stress fracture, it could be Achilles tendonitis. It could be anything. But every time I do telemedicine visits with runners, every runner who is in this program where they basically sign up for a month long package of unlimited coaching calls, well, all I do is I talk to them about this line day after day after day. We say, “Okay, well, do you have pain right now sitting still? Okay, that means you can do more than sit still. Do you have pain when you walk around your house? No? Well that means you can do more than just walk around your house. Do you have pain when you do certain exercises?” If the answer’s no, you need to really do those exercises and push the limits of those exercises to build strength to maintain your running fitness.
And if you don’t have any pain when you’re running unless you run 10 miles, then you know that you could safely run 6 or you could safely run 8 every other day and still maintain your running fitness while this injury actually heals. If you do that and you have pain, that’s a different story. That means you’ve crossed over that line.
The really important goal when you’re injured, when you have any running injury, is to maintain your running fitness as best as possible. In order to do that, you have to find your line. Make sure you’re looking for it, make sure you’re keeping track, make sure you’re keeping a pain journal, and do everything you can to find that line. If you want to get a copy of the pain journal that I’ve created for runners, you can get it for free.
Just go https://www.docontherun.com/painjournal to and you can download it there for free. That will help you find your line and get back to running as quickly as possible.