Doc On The Run Podcast: Goals For Healing Your Running Injury | DOC

Goals for healing your running injury

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Today on the Doc On The Run podcast we’re talking about goals for healing your running injury.

What is your goal for healing your running injury?

Now let me ask you a question. Do you set goals when you are training for a race? What about when you are injured? I mean let’s face it, if you are training for a marathon you probably have a really specific goal right? You want to do a specific race on a specific day. You want to start at a specific time and you want to end at a specific time.

So then you have a whole bunch of goals to try to get you to that particular outcome. But how about when you get injured? I see runners all the time and they seem to just completely get off track when this happens. All of their goals go out of the window. They cancel the race, they don’t have any goals for their next race and many times they have no goals at all for their healing.

Do you set goals for healing if you are injured?

Every goal you have is preceded by a specific process that is going to get you there. If you want to run a four-hour marathon, you have to follow a specific process to get there. You can’t just dream about it. If you want to heal faster than the average American then you also have to have a process to get there.

This is not a thing you can just sit around and wait for. You have to plan-out your recovery process the same way that you would plan-out your training program for your next race so that you can finish a four-hour marathon or qualify for Boston.

The reason that it takes some runners much longer than necessary to heal is because they don’t have any goals. When you get injured, you basically just let down your guard. You don’t really think or behave like an athlete in training anymore. I have seen this all the time.

But whatever it is in terms of discomfort activity, comfort food or whatever it is that you are doing that is something that you are doing in a sense to soothe yourself to get over the bummed out feeling you have, it could really be harming you and your capacity to heal and you know for sure those are things that you would not being doing when you are actually in your training when you are trying to qualify for Boston or finish a race in a specific time or something like that.

These things may make you feel better in the short term but you are obviously going to be paying for it long-term if it takes you a lot longer to recover and as a result your running injury is like a lot longer to heal. That’s a serious problem because the longer it takes you to heal, the worst your running form gets.

Your running form, your neuro-muscular coordination, all of that degenerates very rapidly when you stop running and you can’t really afford to just sit around and wait for this degeneration to affect you globally.

You need to have five specific priorities when you are healing:

  1. Decrease the Stress
  2. Sleep to allow regeneration
  3. Nutrition to fuel the re-build
  4. Optimal hydration to get the nutrients in and the waste out
  5. Strengthen everything that supports the injured part.

Within each of those things you should try to come up with four or five specific strategies to try to stay focused on those strategies. So you come up with specific things in each of these five areas that you can do small steps you can actually measure and then you can keep track of and then you can verify the you are doing on a daily basis so that you can know you are staying on track

There is an interesting thing in the handbook of positive psychology discussion of goals and they say that basically three things you have to do to achieve a goal:

  1. Very Specific
  2. It should be difficult
  3. Trackable

You also have to believe that the goal is important. So if you understand how bad it actually is for you to take a long time to heal running injury, you may start to believe it’s important. You also have to believe that that goal is achievable. So if your coach or your doctor can explain to you why it is possible you can heal faster than the normal person, then you’ll start to believe it is achievable and you will start to look for those ways to actually achieve that goal of healing faster than a normal person.

If you don’t believe it, well you are not going to have any commitment because you don’t think it’s going to work, it’s pretty simple. It was Jim Rohn who actually said “If you want something bad enough, you’ll always find a way and if you don’t want something bad enough, you’ll always find an excuse.”

So it’s really up to you. Nobody can make you heal. Your doctor, your physical therapist, your coach, no one can really make you heal other than you. And you have the capacity though to really set specific goals that will keep you on track and get you back to racing, get you back to running and keep you healthy.

Just think about it the same way you would think about training for a race. You come up with this whole specific timeline that has you doing different things every single day along the course of that training. So if you think about your recovery same way and you sit down and you come up with an actual goal for healing that injury and a recovery plan to achieve that goal, you will heal faster and it will get you back to running sooner.

If you have a question that you would like answered as a future addition of the Doc On The Run Podcast, send it to me PodcastQuestion@docontherun.com. And then make sure you join me for the next edition of the Doc On The Run Podcast!

Dr. Christopher Segler is a podiatrist and ankle surgeon who has won an award for his research on diagnosing subtle fractures involving the ankle that are often initially thought to be only ankle sprains. He believes that it is important to see the very best ankle sprain doctor in San Francisco that you can find. Fortunately, San Francisco has many of the best ankle sprain specialists in the United States practicing right here in the Bay Area. He offers house calls for those with ankle injuries who have a tough time getting to a podiatry office. You can reach him directly at (415) 308-0833.

But if you are still confused and think you need the help of an expert, a “Virtual Doctor Visit” is the solution. He has been “meeting” with runners all over the world and providing just that sort of clarity through online consultations for years. He can discuss your injury, get the answers you need and explain what you REALLY need to do to keep running and heal as fast as possible.

You can arrange a Virtual Doctor Visit with a true expert on running injuries. Right from the comfort of your own home you can meet online with the doctor, discuss your running history, talk about your running injury and figure out a customized recovery plan that will help you heal the running injury so you can get back to running as quickly as possible.

Book your Virtual Doctor Visit with Doc On The Run now!