Every day is a test run after you’ve healed a running injury, and that’s what we’re talking about today on the Doc On The Run Podcast.
When you have a running injury and you figured out what your goal is, and you’re trying to get back to running, you’ve really got to do a few things. The first thing is you have to start moving. You don’t want to get weaker, stiffer and lose all your neuromuscular connections, that’s super important.
Second thing is you don’t want to make anything worse. The last thing that you want is a setback, an increasing crack, a bigger tear in their tendon. Whatever it is that’s been healing, you have to make sure that you don’t make that worse. You do not want to cause a setback that’s going to set you back weeks and further destroy your running fitness. And of course, you’ve got to get fit as fast as possible.
The only way to do all of those things all at the same time is to test them systematically. This is what I teach people to do in the fast-track challenges. It’s a thing you can access, I’m not trying to pitch it to you. I’m just telling you that you’ve got to go through a process where you figure out what can you do to maintain your running fitness, how can you work as fast as possible and how can you make sure you’re not making things worse.
One of the ways you can do that is obviously to follow your doctor’s advice. If your doctor said don’t do these things that can make this injury worse, don’t do them. But you should do everything else to strengthen everything else that can actually support that one injured part, while you protect that piece. It doesn’t mean that you have to sit still. You just have to be thoughtful and methodical about the ways that you’re strengthening other tissues, other parts of your body, other parts of you that will support your overall running fitness once you’re actually back to full training and full running. But you have to start moving, that is the biggest thing and you’ve got to realize that every single run is a test ride.
Most people want to say there’s a period where they’re injured, a period where they’re healed on one day, and then they can run. It doesn’t work like that. You’ve got to make sure that as you return to running, every single time you go for a run, you’re paying close attention to see is this something my injury can tolerate. Is this something I can get away with. Should I be doing more or should I be doing less every single one of those first test runs.
So, you’ve got to really think about that as you’re getting back to running because every single day, I get comments and questions from runners who want to know if it’s okay for them to continue their current recovery plan. And if they’re not testing and they’re not methodical, there’s no way to know and you’re basically just playing Russian roulette. So, think about what you can do that you know can’t make it worse. Do those things first, monitor your pain, monitor your symptoms, talk to your doctor, and make sure you’re being methodical and that you’re testing and then you’re really treating every single run as a test run, as you get back to training after your injury.
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