If you’re an injured runner who’s getting back to running, you need to add stress systematically. And that’s what we’re talking about today on the Doc On The Run Podcast.
Why would you want to add stress? Well, stress is what builds things into stronger tissues and it’s sort of like that saying, right, like, if it doesn’t kill us, it makes it stronger. We’re not talking about psychological stress. We’re not talking about the stress of a screaming baby or a boss yelling at you. We’re talking about stress on the tissues that will actually stimulate a healing response that makes them stronger later, just like working out.
What you have to do though, in order to do this correctly, if you’re an injured runner, you have to make sure that as you increase stress on the whole system, you’re decreasing and preventing strain on that one injured part, that tissue that’s still healing. And you have to make sure that you understand how to measure it.
The way to do that is I show you in great detail in the Fast Track challenge, specifically day by day through a couple of different things over three days. But here’s the thing you’re thinking about, how much pain do I have, how much discomfort do I have, how much swelling do I have. Those are the things you’re actually tracking and measuring.
You’ve got to track your pain and your discomfort on day-to-day activities that you’re checking all the time, that you can check all the time, without some elaborate system and just track your levels of pain. Then what you do is you start actually loading the tissues that support and protect that one injured part.
Let’s say you have an injury in your right foot, well obviously you don’t have any injury in your left foot so you can make that extremity stronger. You can do core work, you can do all the things that would support your running fitness in your best running form, without actually stressing the one metatarsal that has a stress fracture in your right foot or your right Achilles tendon or your right plantar fascia or whatever happens to be irritated and injured.
What you have to do is take those parts that you know you cannot injure like your left lower extremity, or the intrinsic muscles or the calf muscle or whatever is not injured and not attached to anything injured. And you heavily strengthen those low-risk parts first, and that’s what I mean by systematically adding stress and strain to the system.
You pick the things that are lowest risk, exercise them the most and then you pick the things that are moderate risks that are at least attached to your right foot that’s injured, and you exercise them very gingerly, testing things out to see if it actually irritates your injury and how do you know whether or not you have more pain, that’s how you know. So, if your doctor didn’t explain this to you, hopefully this will help a little bit for you understanding it.
If you liked this episode, please share it with a runner who needs to hear it and I’ll see you in the next training.