Today on the Doc On The Run Podcast we’re talking about two ingredients for recovering from any overtraining injury faster.
Every day when I do calls with runners who are trying to get a second opinion, I do a couple of things. Number one, I ask them what their goal is, like what race you signed up for, what is it that you really want to achieve, and how is this injury interfering with that goal? Now what astonishes me is that many of the times when I talk to these athletes and I ask them what they’re doing and they tell me that they’re not running or they’re losing their fitness and they’re very frustrated, I understand. But what I don’t understand is when I ask them a couple of key questions. The first thing is, what is your pain? And the second one is, what are you doing? What are you doing to maintain your running fitness? And it blows me away that they’re not really taking action and that they’re not keeping track of their pain.
In this episode I wanted to talk about these two ingredients that you have to have if you want to actually recover from an overtraining injury and get back to running faster. Number one, you have to know what your pain is. When I go lecture at medical conferences, I beat this over and over and over. I say, look, you guys, you doctors, all of you, you basically have runners come into your office, they’re injured. You ask them, what is your pain on a scale of 1 to 10? And they basically put it down as what does it feel like right then. Then you make an assessment based just on that. But pain is actually the most frequently changing indicator that you have about whether or not your injury is actually improving and whether or not it is safe for you to add more activities that can actually support your running fitness and help you get back to running faster.
It blows me away. I mean, I don’t get it. You have a smart watch, you’re doing all this stuff, you’re tracking your heart rate, you know what your perceived exertion is, you keep track of your speed and your pace per mile. Everything except your pain. You’ve got to use pain to determine what you’re going to do next, what you’re going to add or what you’re going to subtract so that you can stay on the fastest pass. That’s number one. Now, that’s the very first thing that I’m going to ask you if you call me for a second opinion consultation, is what is your goal and what are you doing to track your pain? Because if you don’t know what your pain numbers are, you can’t decide what you should add. So that’s number one.
Now, if you haven’t got it yet, there is a pain journal you can get. You can download it for free. I already made it for you. If you sign up for the fast-track challenge, it’s one of the first things that I send you. When you go there, it’s a thing that you get that you can start tracking this stuff so you can make the right decision going forward.
The second thing is action. You have to do it. The only difference between somebody who has a stress fracture and heals in four weeks versus someone who has a stress fracture and heals in 52 weeks, is the number of actions they take to change their course of recovery. It is as simple as that. It is not the doctor, it is not the physical therapist, it is the number of things that you do. It’s the same as your training when you’re training for a marathon. It doesn’t matter who your coach is, if you don’t do the work you’re not going to make progress. And the more things you do that can help you and the more things you can stop doing that actually irritate the injury, the faster you’re going to get better.
You’ve got to keep those two things in mind. Think about what you’re doing that your doctor told you to do. And then think about the things your doctor didn’t even mention, like your sleep, your hydration, all of the secondary things that you can do to maintain your running fitness that are not running and not putting stress on that injury. What are those things you can do? You’ve got to keep track of the pain. You got to use pain, you got to take action, you got to do it. Those are the two ingredients that most people are missing when they call me for a consultation.
If you wanted to figure out how to sort of fast-track this stuff yourself, sign up for the fast-track challenge. It’s a free thing that you can get from me where I take you through a training and I give you a couple of things that are going to be really helpful. The first thing is, sort of secret number one, is what I learned when I was injured in medical school that was wrong, that was truthfully, completely wrong, and something I would never in a million years do to you if you were my patient now.
The secret number two is what I learned when I was injured before an Ironman race that was right, and that actually has changed the way that I’ve done things significantly. Secret number three is the five-step process that worked for me and could work for you too. As a bonus, if you go through the challenge, if you actually go through the exercises, if you do the work that is in the fast-track challenge that’s supposed to help you fast-track your injury, then you can do a free 10-minute strategy call with me where we can actually talk about some of these pieces that you might be missing.
You can get it for free. Go sign up at docontherun.com/fasttrack and I’ll see you there.