You can work out now, or you can work out more later. Those are your two choices, and that’s what we’re talking about today on the Doc on the Run Podcast.
I know when you sign up for a marathon, your coach gives you a really clear plan on what to do, and you need to do all of those workouts sequentially and you can’t jam them all in at the end or you get an overtraining injury. We all know that. And when you have an injury though, a really interesting thing happens, and that is that a doctor tells you to sit still and so you do exactly that. You’re a good little patient, so you sit still and you get weaker, and you get stiffer and all these bad things that happen that actually puts you at risk of another over-training injury later.
The big key here is, and the reason for this episode that during some calls recently, I was talking to some runners about this issue and it seemed to be a recurring theme. And I know that you get sold on the idea of sitting still and it’s actually truthfully hard for you to do. That’s why I empathize so much, and I think it’s great that you’ve been able to commit to not doing any workouts, but you pay for that later. When you’re fit, it’s easy to maintain your fitness, but when you take time off, and you may have done this, you may have seen your buddies do this who maybe do a marathon every couple of years instead of every year, and they go through this cycle where they take time off and then they don’t have to do the same number of workouts to get that fitness back. They have to do a whole lot more, a ton more.
So whether you realize it or not, this is why so many injured runners have a high level of anxiety when a doctor says to stop running, right? Because inherently, you really know that you shouldn’t sit still because you know that all of that effort you put in is going to be wasted. You’re going to lose all your fitness and you’re going to have to do a whole lot more work to regain the fitness that has been lost while you’ve been sitting around doing nothing but waiting for your injury to heal.
Every time I get on a call with an injured runner, the goal of the call in my mind is to help the runner figure out what their real limitations are and how they can start working out immediately, not when they get their next X-ray, not after they get an MRI, but immediately so that they don’t have to put in so much effort later because it really is hard-earned fitness that you’re losing really quickly.
Other times this translates into starting to run a whole lot sooner than you would if you just waited and waited and followed these standard regimens. So, you have to do something different if you want to get something different, but it requires work. Don’t be confused. The same way that requires a lot of work to train for a marathon, there’s a lot of work you have to do that’s truthfully not going to be as enjoyable as running if you want to make this happen faster. There isn’t some magic switch. You just have to put in the effort and you have to be willing to work and do some workouts that you maybe don’t enjoy as much so that you can maintain your fitness and that you can actually get back to running a whole lot sooner. That’s really the key.
If you enjoy this episode, please do me a favor. If you can think about helping another runner who you don’t know who maybe needs your help, who is maybe in a worse position than you, help them find this by rating and reviewing this episode, or the show in general and share it with another runner. That helps us reach more runners, and I’ll see you in the next training. Thanks for watching.
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