Today on the Doc On The Run Podcast, we’re talking about partial credit versus pass or fail with running injuries.
Don’t ever forget that when you get a running injury, the goal is not to heal the injury. The goal is to get back to running. And so, if you heal the injury and you get so weak and so stiff, that you wind up actually getting another overtraining injury, that is a failure.
The thing you have to really think about as you’re returning to running isn’t just about the possible other injuries you could get but incomplete healing because when you’re actually trying to run, when you’re making the transitions, when you’re trying to move from one phase of recovery to another, the goal is to always strengthen everything as much as possible without obviously causing a real injury to the specific injury that got you in the fracture walking boot, on the crutches or thinking about canceling your race.
I was thinking about this in terms of how it really is pass or fail. You don’t get partial credit. The way that I see it, if you were to call me and you told me that you have a marathon coming up and you want me to help you get to the marathon, if it’s possible for you to do it and I coach you through that process and then you break your metatarsal or you rupture your Achilles tendon or something that’s a complete and total failure. That is not a success, and I don’t get any partial credit for that.
It has to be a hundred percent that you actually get to do the thing that you want to do, and that thing is running. So, if you actually start recovering and you’re moving back through your routine and you’re in a fracture walking through for four weeks, and then you run, but because all you did was wait and wear the fracture walking boot and then your first time you go for a run, you actually get another stress reaction or you get another flare of tendinitis or you get another aggravation of the partial tear of your plantar fascia, well, then you get six weeks in a boot. That is a failure.
So, when I talk about all this stuff that teaches you how to actually systematically figure out where you are in your recovery so that you can apply the appropriate amount of workouts, the appropriate amount of stress, so that you can actually strengthen everything and get back to running, it doesn’t just mean to go start running. It doesn’t just mean to start running as soon as possible. It means to test things in a very simple, but very systematic way. And that you already know how to do.
You learned how to do that when you’re running. You learned how to do that when you were training, and you learned how to do it to make it to your first race successfully. And once you know how to do that, you can do it to this process.
Everybody just gets so confused because you’re injured and you think that you have to have somebody in a white coat to tell you the magical answer, it doesn’t work that way. I have laid all of it out for you in the fast track challenge, where I’ll walk you through the process over three days. I have actually taken all the most important stuff that you need to do. The exercises that you really need to think about that your doctor isn’t telling you about and I put them in a new book that I wrote called the Running Injury Roadmap.
The Running Injury Roadmap will actually get you to refocus to actually think about the things that you know, and apply them to your situation right now. But you’ve got to go about this carefully and you have to be really diligent because it is pass or fail. Don’t ever forget that.