How long will it take my overtraining injury to heal? Well, that’s what we’re talking about today on the Doc On The Run Podcast.
How long does it take for an overtraining injury to heal? And regardless of which one you have, whether it’s peroneal tendinitis or plantar plate sprain or metatarsal stress fracture or anything else, for that matter, it could be Achilles tendonitis. But let me guess if you’ve heard these timeframes, four weeks, six weeks, twelve weeks, maybe more like a year.
Well, how long it takes for you to heal all depends on what you do and which variables you can and do control. And believe it or not, every injured runner who calls me for a consultation has control over far more of those variables than they think. Let’s say how long does it take for you to train to run a three-hour marathon. Well, that depends on what? On what you would actually do.
Nobody would sign up for the California International Marathon and say, I’m going to run in three hours and then sit on the couch and somebody say, Well, what are you doing? Well, I’m waiting till I’m ready to run three hours. It would be completely insane, right? But this is exactly what people do when they get injured. They think they don’t have control. They think they have to stop training, stop working out, stop doing anything other than just wait for the next doctor’s visit and that is wrong.
So, an analogy to this I was thinking about is in terms of how long does it actually take to get better? Let’s think about a really simple analogy that everybody can understand. How long does it take for you to drive from San Francisco to Santa Barbara? Well, it all depends on how you’re going to get there, how many miles per hour you’re going to drive, and this is the same thing as what you’ve got going on when you’re injured.
You have the ability to change the recovery speed the same way that you have the ability to change the speed when you’re driving a car. You have to think about how often you’re going to stop right? Well, if you’re paying attention and you’re tracking your progress, you can make sure that you don’t just stop and stagnate your recovery, but you can’t do that unless you’re tracking it.
How often do you get to slow down? Well, if you don’t sleep, if you forget to protect the injured tissue from the stress and strain, that actually delays and slows down recovery. Those are things you have control over. How often you’re going to go backwards?
If you are doing something like let’s say burpees and that actually caused your injury, well, if you’re injured and you start doing burpees again, that is going to probably make the injury worse because it’s already weakened injured. And if you do that, you’re going to go backwards. So, if you want to get from San Francisco to Santa Barbara as quickly as possible, you want to drive in a straight line and you want to keep moving and preferably moving as fast as possible. But you don’t want to stop or go backwards. When you’re injured, you really want to make sure that you don’t stop or go backwards.
Waiting is going to make you go backwards, believe it or not, because you’re going to lose running fitness. You’re going to get weaker, you’re going to get stiffer, you’re going to get more unstable, and those things are going to slow down your overall return to running. That’s going backwards. So, when most runners call me they’re asking, how long should I wait before I run, what they’re really asking me is, how long is it going to take for this thing to heal if I don’t do anything at all if I just wait.
Well, waiting is not a treatment plan and time is only one variable. But we’re taught through the standard practice of going to see a doctor, we’re taught that you go and you see the doctor, the doctor tells you to do something and you just wait for weeks to go back and get the next set of instructions. You can’t do that. You have to continue to work out, you have to continue to figure out how to maintain your running fitness while you’re waiting for the next set of instructions.
In the Injured Runners Aid Station, I answer specific questions from injured runners to help them control those other variables. But it takes action on your part. You have to track things, you have to measure things, you have to test things, you have to analyze things and you have to work on your own. You have to do all that stuff. But you can, you’re a runner. That’s what we do. We create training plans that let us train and successfully complete a marathon, ultra marathons, triathlons, whatever. You already know how to do that. You learned how to do it in training and you don’t have to wait for a doctor to maintain your running fitness. S
So, go to the Injured Runners Aid Station. Go check it out. You can check it out at www.docontherun.com/aidstation and inside there I have live trainings that I do every week. I answer questions from any runner in there who has a question for me. And I’ll let you in on a hint, you’ve got to track and measure things and when you ask me your questions, you have to be able to tell me certain things so that I can fully answer your question. There is no magic answer. It depends on what you do. So go check it out, www.docontherun.com/aidstation and I’ll see you inside.