#462 Think of injury recovery as an expanded rest day - DOC

#462 Think of injury recovery as an expanded rest day

Today on the Doc On The Run Podcast, we’re talking about how you should think of your over-training injury recovery, as an extended rest day.


I was just doing a second opinion consultation with a runner and she was really stressed out because she said, “Look, I’m going to lose all my fitness, my aerobic fitness. I’m going to get weaker. I’m going to get stiff or my running form is going to be terrible.”

And I areid, “That’s probably true, but there’s probably a better way that you can think about this, so you don’t have to worry about all that so much and you can actually get better, faster.”

There is a lot of mental tricks that you can use that will be very, very helpful anytime you get an over-training injury, whether it’s a stress fracture, Achilles tendonitis, anything. The thing is that nobody who’s a runner likes to not exercise. I get grumpy when I don’t exercise. My back hurts when I don’t exercise, I feel weak. I feel stiff. I feel old, all this terrible stuff. I feel good when I run and when you get injured and a doctor tells you, you have to rest and sit still, that can be really, really stressful. But we’ve all been through it, whether we’ve been injured or not.

Think about what happens when you taper. If you’re training for an Ironman, your taper might be three weeks. If you’re training for a marathon, it might be one or two weeks. Time when you’re backing off your activity so much, that you actually get grumpy. You feel stiff, you feel weak, you feel sluggish, you feel slow and that in itself is actually stressful for us as runners who are fit and well-trained, particularly right before an event. So the taper is notorious for making people paranoid and they’re blowing their taper, by going out and exercising and doing more than they actually should.

The exact same thing happens in rest day recovery. When you need to recover from injury, all you’re doing is you’re trying to do the same thing that you would do on your rest day. You’re trying to let that tissue actually heal. You don’t get stronger in training. You get stronger when you rest and recover, after the training. You go out. You train. You do tissue damage deliberately, so that you can build stronger tissue to support you in the next harder effort later. That’s where you have rest days and nobody likes those rest days. Everybody wants to add a different workout on those rest days. But if you do that, it’s detrimental.

If you have an over-training injury and you really do think of it as an extended rest day that’s just going to go on for a few days or maybe a couple of weeks or something, then it makes it a lot easier mentally. You’ve got to think of it. It is the same process at hand, it’s just a little bit more extended.

If you can think of it as an extended rest day, it might help you actually make it through that period of recovery so you can really respect that process, get the most out of the recovery and then actually get back to training and running a lot faster. Think of it that way and see if you can’t get back to running a whole lot faster.


If you are injured and don’t know what to do next, you need to check this out!

100% rest = 100% loss of running fitness.

“You CANNOT just sit and wait for healing to happen if you really want to run again!

1 Mental Trick elite runners use to speed recovery:

ALL elite athletes who get back to running faster use this simple mental shift to re-focus on the goal of running…fast! 

12 Clear Steps to speed up running recovery process:

Many runners and doctors get this wrong. You must follow these steps IN ORDER, if you really want to recover and run sooner.

I will show you the exact process I use with injured elite athletes during consultations…